The central points of contention on patriarchal studies lie within methodology, as traditional gender studies have looked at patriarchal systems solely through the lens of gender, and the general oppression of females within that system by Male power structures. Works like The Creation of Patriarchy, by Gerda Lerner were highly influential in this line of inquiry. Books like Lerner’s, position gender as the primary factor in the creation of a patriarchal society, and primarily focus on the role of women and the consequences of their subordi...
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...hich viewed it as given and in changing fact, that should be studied only through the lens of gender. However, these new studies have begun to alter that perception, and despite the criticism from some corners that explorations of patriarchy should continue to maintain the focus on women, the floodgates have opened. Questions of patriarchy in early America are becoming more varied seemingly by the day. Were the Virginia colonies more patriarchal than Massachusetts? How did Native American and African conceptions of masculinity change the patriarchal order? What role did religion have in reinforcing male control? These questions and many more wait to be answered. Unfortunately this paper can only scratch the surface of the rapidly building historiography on this topic, but it is certain that a new and more nuanced history of patriarchy is currently under construction.
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