Social and Behavioral Science-Anthropology
The Rule of Mars: readings on the origins, history and impact of patriarchy.
Edited by Cristina Biaggi. Published by Knowledge, Ideas & Trends, Inc., 2006
This eclectic and fascinating collection of 32 essays revolves around the topic of patriarchy, including its origins, diverse cultural manifestations, nefarious effects, and eventual demise. Most of the essays examine patriarchy's origins and are heavily indebted to the work of archaeomythologist Marija Gimbutas. Authors largely view patriarchy as a social construction first forced upon southeastern European peoples by Neolithic Kurgan invaders, thereby undermining their matriarchal, egalitarian, goddess/female-worshiping societies. Marshalling evidence from the anthropological record past and present, several contributors demonstrate vast differences between matriarchal and patriarchal social orders and the chaos, pain, and suffering wrought by the latter, including war, domestic violence, exploitative capitalism, and environmental degradation. Essays range from the well researched and documented to the more philosophical and reflective. That the authors hail from a range of nations makes the collection truly international. Though the sheer number of essays sometimes suggests a less than cohesive whole, Biaggi deftly weaves the various essays together through her introductory comments to each section. Three concluding essays by Clark, Eisler, and Drummond chart an exciting path for a world beyond patriarchy, based on community solidarity, partnership, and respect for Mother Earth.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. -- L. M. Costa, Hollins University