Why do men monopolize most technological, political, and economic power in complex societies? Have the inequalities in power between men and women always existed, or did gender stratification have an origin in time? To what extent are these gender hierarchies hardwired into our biology? How much of it is built from socio-ecological forces? If gender stratification has an origin in time, does it occur all at once, or does it happen subtly and gradually over thousands of years? Were there once matrifocal societies as claimed by Neo-pagans? Is there a necessary and direct connection between the presence of goddesses in society’s pantheon and the reverential status of women in that society? What impact might natural disasters have on gender relations? What impact would technologies such as writing and the invention of coined money have on the thinking processes, sense perception, and the memories of men and women? Bronze Age agricultural states were the most oppressive societies to women in history, yet we are also hard-pressed to find instances of mobilization and revolution. Why was there no feminist movement in the ancient world? General Public/Members: $48/$42 Six sessions
This course will be taught in two parts. Part I is a four-week offering in the summer. Part II will be a continuation, in an eight-week course taught in the fall. Each part can be taken independently of the other without losing meaning.
Suggested Texts: Lerro, Bruce (2005) Power in Eden: The Emergence of Gender Hierarchies in the Ancient World Trafford Press (Instructor has copies to sell)
Contact Information: Phone: (510) 333-7107 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Teacher: Bruce has been a night-school college teacher for 27 years and most of his teaching has been with working adults. He has taught in alternative college settings, in prisons, in the Air Force, in the Navy, and has taught in community colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has written three books on the application of Russian Lev Vygotsky’s work to world history. He is also a pen-and-ink artist.