Treatment of Women in Early Complex Societies

Topics: Gender, Sociology, Male Pages: 4 (1273 words) Published: November 19, 2005
Treatment of Women

Dating all the way back to the days of pre history, the treatment of women has varied an awful lot. Women were as equal as men in pre history but eventually evolved into the men being ahead of women in all ways of life except taking care of the household, while the men were gone. The variation of treatment of women from pre history to the Mesopotamian society was a huge advantage for the men, in that they were higher then the women in all standards.

In pre history women and men were equal which meant the women's role was just as important as the men's role in the society. Since the prehistory was a time of hunting and gathering, there were no social distinctions on wealth and no accumulation of private property. All members of the Paleolithic group made contributions in the survival of the community. The men went on expeditions for large animals while the women stayed near the camp and gathered fruits, nuts, roots and plants for eating. The plant foods were essential to survival with a plentiful amount of calories in the plants they ate which sustained the men during their trips. When the men arrived back at the camp without any meat the group relied on the women to provide the camp with enough plant food for them to survive. Since there was detailed interdependence of the sexes from the food collection, the society probably did not encourage the domination of one sex over the other but, rather an equality of the sexes to survive.

The equality of men and women soon changed with the men ahead of the women. In Mesopotamian society a few women held positions as priestesses, scribes, shopkeepers and midwives. Women of Mesopotamia were also forced to maintain their virginity at the time of marriage and the men did not have an obligation to this rule. Women were also not allowed to socialize with married men from other families. Once the women were married, they were required to wear a veil over their face so they would not...
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