The Past and Future of Women's Roles in America

Alexis Zeigler

We were marching, back when Reagan came to power. At the time it seemed like Roe V Wade was making a final stand. The sense of impending crises brought people out en-mass. Downtown Washington DC was gridlocked with human bodies. You could hardly walk. Coming through the subway system, people were singing, thousands of voices echoing through the tunnels. The entry and exit gates were a mess, a bottleneck of people trying to squeeze through. The transit police were trying to herd and be heard over the din, trying to explain the need for a fee card and how to get through the turnstiles. But the noise and confusion finally overwhelmed them. They broke open the turnstiles to let people pass freely. The commanding officer jumped up on top of one of the turnstile pedestals. He pulled out his riot club, and with great theatric fanfare, pretended to be a conductor in front of a great orchestra. He waived his baton mightily as we sang and streamed through the gates.

Roe V Wade is still standing, but who could have imagined that nearly twenty years later we would still be on the defensive. As an environmental activist, I've marched in the streets, run from tear gas canisters, been arrested, and organized local campaigns. As much respect as I have for the dedicated activists who fight for the rights of people, I have come to believe that the long-term preservation of our civil liberties, for women and for everyone, is intimately linked with the economic evolution of our society in ways that are not at all obvious even to our most seasoned activists.

Women's Rights in American History

Most people's awareness of the evolution of women's rights goes back a few decades at best. We know about the recent conservative drift of American politics dating back to 1980. We know about the tumultuous 1960s, the feminist movement that grew out of that era, and Roe V Wade in 1973 that made abortion legal. Before the 1960s, memory fades off unto a deep dark patriarchal past. If we look deeper into that darkness, we find male supremacy is not as consistent or persistent as some might imagine.

Without knowing, the average American would presume that in colonial times, men ruled with an unchallenged hand. The truth is that in colonial times, women in many areas had the right to vote, and the right to own and inherit property.1 In spite of the reputation of the Puritans, the sexual mores of the time were less restrictive than what came later. Premarital sex was considered normal. It was not unusual for women to go to the alter pregnant, there was no shame involved.1 In this period, the country was predominantly agricultural. Women and men shared in the farm work, as well as in child care. The birth rate was high.

The late 1700s and early 1800s saw rapid industrialization, particularly after the revolution. As the industrial mode of production grew, men became the wage earners and women were left at home. The early 1800s saw a steady deterioration of women's political and legal power. The courts in 1824 established the infamous "Rule of Thumb" allowing men to beat their wives so long as the stick was no thicker than their thumb.2 Women lost their right to vote. Women's dresses became more and more elaborate, expanding outward to the grand hoop skirts of the middle of the century. Women were made into icons of sexual beauty in this period, put on a high pedestal of feminine beauty and motherly attributes.3

By the later part of this period, doctors were advising women that they were infertile in the middle of the menstrual cycle, the precise opposite of the truth. Clitorectomies to "cure" masturbation and other invasive gynecological surgeries were increasingly widespread.4 The belief among other highly male supremacist cultures that women "steal" mens virility and strength by "stealing" their vital fluids became established in some medical and popular circles.5

The techniques of abortion had been developing throughout the period. Although some methods were hazardous, abortion up until the point of "quickening" - when the fetus starts to move - was legally and morally acceptable, and widely practiced.6 Doctors of this era competed with herbalists and homeopaths on more or less equal footing. With the advent of antibiotics, doctors began to gain prestige and power. But they needed a moral cause to boost their political profile. The American Medical Association used abortion as a moral issue to build their social movement.1 With women firmly removed from the workforce, and under the persistent onslaught of the AMA, abortion and contraception advertising were outlawed by the Comstock Act in 1873.2

As the turn of the twentieth century approached, things were changing in many ways. Women were moving into the labor force in ever greater numbers, as well as into higher education. There was an enormous progressive movement of Unionists, Greenbackers, Populists, Socialists, and others. Women's dress started to become more practical as hoop skirts shrunk into narrower dresses.3 Women's organizations worked hard through this period and finally achieved the right to vote in 1917. In retrospect that might seem overdue, but the U.S. was actually one of the earliest industrial nations to give women the vote.

The progressive movement splintered over WWI, but the Booming Twenties saw further relaxing of sexual restriction, and women's employment continued to expand. The "flappers" of that era were women who enjoyed their newly found freedom to smoke, drink, and enjoy an active social life. Movies were new, and alive with social experimentation. Sexuality was becoming more explicit, and even some measure of homosexual expression founds its way into cinema.4

This prolonged expansion of women's legal rights and social roles came to an abrupt end with the onset of the Great Depression. Official government policy gave preference to male "breadwinners" over female employees.5 Hollywood, sensing the new conservative mood, adopted a voluntary "code of conduct" that saw a restriction of sexuality.6 Open theatrical expression gave way to Snow White and other popular entertainment that was devoid of political meaning or sexual expression.

World War II saw a great expansion of employment, of women and everyone else. Even though women's employment expanded, their social roles did not. Rosie the riveter got paid, but did not expand her other rights or protections. The most prominent women's role was as Hollywood sexual icons pinned up in the barracks.1

By the mid 1950s, women's employment exceeded the peek achieved in WWII.2 Following close on the heels of this expansion of women's employment, a powerful feminist movement rose in the 1960s and 1970s. The modern feminist movement sought and won greater legal protection for equal pay, greater protection from domestic violence, and a legal recognition of the right to an abortion. Sexual norms relaxed as sexuality was more openly expressed in cinema and popular entertainment. The expansion of women's rights in this period was of unprecedented scale in American history.3

It is noteworthy that the role of women in the U.S. has not corresponded various shifts right and left in political power. In the 1920s, conservatives were dominate even as women's roles were expanding. The 1930s and World War II saw the rise of New Deal Liberalism even as women were driven back into traditional roles. Women's roles are closely linked with their economic position, not with presidential politics.

The Reagan era, beginning in 1980, has seen the rise of fundamentalist influence in American politics. Abortion rights have in some measure become more restricted. By eliminating any government funding of reproductive health care, and other forms of pressure, abortion services have been eliminated in some regions. Parental notification and restriction of funding are making abortion a class privilege instead of a right.

On the flip side, laws that protect women from domestic violence have changed significantly. Police and prosecutors are now far more empowered to pursue suspected domestic violence cases whether or not the victim presses charges.4 These legal changes have expanded the ever increasing American prison population, already the largest in the world in per-capita terms.5 The ratio of women's pay has continued to get closer to parity to men's, although there is still a notable disparity.6 Though certain elements of our society would prefer a more sexually repressive society, in general the U.S. remains a relatively sexually unrestrictive society. There is a strong trend, however, toward a more restrictive, patriarchal society.

Hidden Histories

There is a clear correlation in American history between women's economic roles and the expansion or contraction of legal rights. The greatest contraction of rights and liberties occurred early in the industrial period. Gender-neutral farming gave way to the male wage-earning breadwinner, and women's rights declined precipitously. As women were employed in ever greater numbers, legal protections expanded and restrictive cultural norms were relaxed. There were setbacks in the Great Depression and in wartime, but in general, rights expanded as employment expanded.

Such correlations are easy for academics to point out, but the activist in the street knows a different story. Activists know about the struggles of the suffragists, about the civil disobedience of the Alice Paul to win the right to vote, about all the work that went into raising the political consciousness of women and male leftist in the 1960s and 1970s. It is very clear from the activist's perspective that women's rights have expanded as a result of organized social movements, not because of the some faceless process of social progress.

And thus we arrive at the crux of why so few are aware of even such basic historical correlations. Academia disdains plain speaking. Pointing out simple correlations in human history, such as the economic foundation of civil liberties, makes a mockery of the long complicated process of getting an advanced degree. Most social theory ventures off into far more complicated, if far less relevant, pursuits. As for the organizer in the street, the truth is too plain to deny. Things change when people rise up and make them change. Power is never given, only taken.

Does the activist perspective contradict the economic argument? Not at all. If we operate within the paradigm that rights are determined solely as a result of political pressure, then we are saying that the women who lost their rights in the early 1800s were too lazy or foolish to organize a movement to prevent such loses. We are saying that women in the 1930s were inadequate organizers to prevent the loss of their rights and liberties. Surely we don't believe that. It is far more plausible to suggest that all people prefer to be well fed and free, and that deeper structural changes in our society influence who wins and who loses political battles.

To understand how our civil liberties expand and contract, we have to understand how economic and ecological changes intersect with our social movements. In our society, economic changes set the stage of politics. Economic and ecological changes create opportunities that social movements can take advantage of, windows in time where things can change if enough people are sufficiently organized to make them change. That does not mean that progressive change will come automatically once conditions allow. But it does mean that the opportunities for change are very different at different times. The economic and ecological foundations of society can also close windows, and make further progressive change impossible.

It is imperative that we understand how these windows in time are opened and closed. There is no social movement that could have arrested the decline in women's rights in the early 1800s through purely political means. The structural changes in our society were too deep, too powerful. The same is was true in the Great Depression. The influence of current economic and ecological change does not bode well for the rights of women in the our future. The politically focused movements of our time cannot address what we are facing. Welcome to 1824. We need a new kind of movement.

To really understand the connection between economy and civil liberty, we need to put our culture into perspective with the greater cross cultural perspective of other human societies. This in turn will give us the means to understand where we are headed as a society and what we can do about it.

Women's Rights in Cross-Cultural Perspective

Anthropologists trying to understand why women in some societies have great respect and power while women in other societies are abused and powerless have pointed out that the most telling correlation is simply women's role in the economy of any given society.

For the vast majority of human history, we lived in small groups of gatherer/ hunters. Among gatherers, women are often responsible for collecting more than half of a community's food supply. In such groups they are respected. They are active participants in group decision making. Such is true among such groups as the !Kung, in southern Africa, or the Imbuti in the central African rainforests. These groups are traditionally egalitarian. The have elaborate healing rituals, and women may become highly respected healers.1 Among the Imbuti, the women participate in with the whole group in net hunting.1 Among the !Kung, women may hunt some. The exception to this pattern occurs among the Innuit where subsistence is entirely dependent on men's hunting. There women have less social power, although their rights are not nearly so denigrated as in some agricultural groups.

The picture gets more complicated among small horticultural and agricultural cultures. Among those groups where women are a significant part of the horticultural production, and if the group is not engaged in active warfare with nearby groups, women have social and political power. The Semai of Malay fit this pattern. They are a peaceful, egalitarian culture that practices small scale "slash and burn" horticulture. They burn sections of the forest and use the clearings to plant gardens and orchards. Women have relatively equal power to men among the Semai.2 The Yanomami of the Amazon are a culture similar in village size but very different in gender relations. They also live in small villages that practice slash and burn horticulture. The primary difference between these groups is warfare. The Yanomami periodically engage if harsh combat, and more often in rituals of bullying and intimidation, with other villages that live nearby. Among the Yanomami, women are beaten by men. There is no social sanction for rape if a woman is not adequately protected by her male relatives.3

The height of women's power occurs in cultures where the men travel great distances to conduct trade. Among the Nayar in India, the family name and family property carries through the women. Traditionally women could marry whomever they wanted, or have multiple husbands if they chose. Children belonged to the female-headed family line. Among preindustrial groups where men travel to fight long distance wars, women also gain a measure of power. Such was true among the Iroquois of North America.4

As human societies grew larger and moved toward more intensive forms of plow and irrigation agriculture, they developed far more extensive and powerful social hierarchies. In general, women's liberties declined as villages became tribes, tribes became states, and states became empires. These changes were not by any means uniform or unilinear. Some feminist scholars have pointed to considerable evidence that some farming societies early in their evolution held women in higher regard. European neolithic villages left behind sculptures of female deities, and no evidence of harsh social hierarchies. Similar things can be said of the very early stages of "civilization" in other parts of the world.

The correlation between women's economic roles and civil liberty is unmistakable, as is the correlation with warfare and decreased liberty. But what actually causes the decline of women's liberty as their economic roles decline? And why does warfare cause women to be disempowered? And last but not least, why does every discussion of women's roles invariably involve looking at sex? Why are women so much more sexualized than men? And why has male supremacy become nearly universal in modern times?

The answer to all these questions lies in understanding how human societies motivate people to undertake arduous or undesirable tasks in response to ecological stress and threats of violence from other groups. Starting with gatherers, we can see that they are for the most part monogamous. Their sexual attitudes are remarkably relaxed compared to what we are accustomed to in modern times. Among gatherers, good hunters will occasionally have more than one wife. The anthropological term for multiple wives is polygyny. Multiple spouses is referred to as polygamy, multiple husbands is called polyandry. Of the hundreds of cultures studied by modern anthropology, 95% practice polygny.1 You can count on your fingers the number practicing polyandry.

Why would good hunters have more than one wife? It would appear to be the very beginnings of a sexual rewards system. Ecosystems are pyramidal, meaning it is a lot more likely that one will deplete large, huntable animals at the top of the pyramid than the roots and berries at the bottom of the pyramid. Thus as gathering societies feel a lack of animal foods, they reward good hunters with increased social respect and increased sexual access. This process is apparent in hundreds of ethnographic works from around the world. The Sharanahua of South America, for instance, have rituals where the women flirt with the hunters to encourage them to go off and hunt, the implication being that everyone will have a merry time when they come home.2 And presumably they do. Similar symbolism exist all over the world. In our case, getting rich is symbolized to increase sexual access.

In horticultural societies, leadership becomes more visible, although it is still based on charisma rather than wealth, family name, or inheritance. These village leaders are always male, and they almost always have multiple wives. Even if their houses and clothes are indistinguishable from other's, the leaders have greater social respect and sexual access to more wives. In many cultures, these village leaders get up early in the morning, and shout to people to get up and work and prepare for the next feast. They are responsible for encouraging people to intensify their productive effort. The leader comes to be seen as a "great provider" who will provide for the wellbeing of the village.1 They are also often the center of a local redistribution network. Among some Native American groups, and other similarly sized cultures around the world, there is often a "chief's granary" where each family is supposed to put some grain at harvest time to be used redistributed as needed.2 Among the Trobriand Islanders in the South Pacific, each family unit hung sweet potatoes on racks on the chiefs house, whereby they were redistributed as needed.3

The transition to horticulture, and then to more intensive forms of agriculture, was pushed forward by increasing population growth and ecological stress. Gatherers generally had enough, and their food sources were reliable by virtue of being diverse. Subsistence farmers have to work harder, and their food supply is less reliable. They have to overproduce to compensate for potential crop failures. The village leaders in horticultural encourage thus increase production. They don’t get paid more money, they don't have a nicer car. Among the smaller groups, the only distinction of their leadership at all is social respect and multiple wives. Although one can imagine many other potential means to motivate people, the sexual reward system is used by almost every human culture. The vast majority of human cultures practice polygyny. Even in many nominally monogamous cultures, men are seen to be more promiscuous than women.

Male leadership and polygyny in peaceful horticultural societies is not necessarily particularly onerous for women. They still retain a great deal of respect and autonomy. That changes under conditions of warfare, more severe ecological stress, and heightened social hierarchy. For those groups that practice inter-village warfare, male supremacy is greatly exacerbated. The power of the male warriors, particularly the headman of the village, is greatly increased. Women's status is dramatically reduced. Polygyny becomes more pronounced as the village headman/ great provider/ great warrior collects as many wives as he can. Wars are fought to capture young women for wives. Among the Yanomami in the Amazon, men may beat their wives without any social sanction. Cultural practices of mutilating women's bodies in various ways may be adopted. Among the Dani in New Guinea, when a man died, the finger of a female relative was amputated.1 Public rape may be adopted by village leaders as a means of social control to keep women in line.2

In such cultures, men are taught to be fierce, boy children are cheered when they fight with each other. Women are taught to be more passive, to not fight back. Preindustrial warfare is gruesome, hand to hand, and more dependent intimidation than actual violence. Teaching men to be aggressive maximizes the power of a group relative to the groups around it, even if there is a price at home.3

The purpose of leadership on small human cultures is to intensify and focus the effort of the group, towards production, or towards warfare. The period referred to by feminist scholars in early agricultural societies when women were more respected probably represents a time of decreased ecological stress for these cultures. Agriculture can support many more people in a given area than gathering. The early stages of agriculture were thus a time of relative plenty. As ecological stress increased, headmen became more powerful tribal leaders, and tribal leaders became kings. Hierarchy became institutionalized, and power became arbitrary. The sexual reward system has been and remains the primary means by which societies of every size motivate people to undertake arduous or dangerous tasks. And that's why male supremacy is so pervasive in the modern world. We live at a very particular point human history, specifically near the end of a long run of accelerating population growth and intensification of effort.

Why are men always the focus of sexual reward? Gender segregation of work is as older than we are. Even among the earliest gatherers, it is likely that men hunted and women gathered. (That is probably the reason men of northern heritage have beards and women do not, because facial hair affords a little more protection from the elements for hunters.) Hunting with bows and spears often involves extended trecks for days at a time chasing wounded animals. Women, because of bearing children, were more suited for gathering. There was nothing onerous or oppressive necessarily about this original division of labor. From the beginning men were hunting, and engaging in the "politics" of going out to face or fight others. Political decision making is the source of great power in our time. That's a recent development. For the vast majority of our history, there was no special privilege or prestige attached to hunting or being the political face of the band. But this early division of labor did put men in those roles. As the world became more and more crowded, the nature of those roles changed dramatically. What started as a benign division of tasks became the root of male supremacy in a more crowded, ecologically stressed, and militarized world.

Modern Times

In modern times, sexual reward is as alive as ever. In our commercial society, sex has become the reward for working hard and making money. Even though our society is nominally monogamous, it possesses archaic patterns of polygyny whereby men are supposed to be virile and women are supposed to be chaste. Advertisers have not hesitated to use the symbolism of sexual reward to market their products. If a man works hard enough he will get the pretty blond and the sports car. As women have become increasingly integrated into the modern work force, we have seen the rise of a limited sexual reward for females as men are sexually idealized.

What does all this have to do with the fate of women's rights in modern America? The near future is uncertain. The longer term trends are much clearer. Human cultures respond to ecological stress with increased social hierarchy, male supremacy, and sexual reward.

Our society is very class divided, so the impingement of civil liberty is very class specific. The right to an abortion has been effectively eliminated for women of the lower class living in specific regions, likewise poor women in many areas of the world. Lower class women will see their rights curtailed first and most severely. These divisions also correlate to some degree with attitudes about abortion. Modern urban society demands that people be geographically mobile to fill highly specialized jobs. Urban professionals are more likely to be pro-choice. The other end of the American labor force does non-specialized production or service work and these people are more likely to see families in a traditional mold and to have conservative attitudes about abortion.1 This latter group has also felt far more stress in the last few decades. The buying power of working class pay checks has shrunk since the 1970s. It is no accident that such stresses cause people to seek a safety net in more "traditional" family structures. The Great Depression saw a similar stress-response, and a loss of liberty for women.

We tend to see the restriction on abortion and women's rights in the modern conservative area in purely political terms. We focus on the manipulations and pay-offs to particular power brokers. Certainly, conservative social movements are using the abortion issue in the same manner that the AMA used the issue 150 years ago. But it is important to understand the underlying economic and ecological underpinnings. The rate of profit for corporations collapsed in the 1970s because of energy and labor costs. We could have responded to that constriction by redistributing wealth, but instead the old patterns of intensification were brought to the fore. Bringing people together in unified effort, whether they are responding to economic or military threats, creates an opportunity for social movements to evoke the age-old institutions of sexual reward. That is why conservatives are trying to restrict abortion, and even birth control.2 The point is to make women a sexual reward, to take control over everyone's sexuality, and then use the symbolism of sexual reward in unified effort. Remember, 95% of human cultures are polygynous. This is not an isolated phenomena, or one that can be overcome by appropriate legislation.

What is the shape of our future economy, and how is that likely to affect the future role of women's rights? Ralph Nader has called our time the Second Gilded Age, referring to the first Gilded Age in the late 1800s when corporate capitalists held such political power that they could largely do as they wanted. What they wanted then is similar to what they want now, control of the money supply, and tight fiscal policy that serves to limit wages. In general, progressive advocates favor a more liberal fiscal policy that allows for faster growth and higher wages, even if that means something of an increase in inflation.1

The battle for the control of wealth has been fought for decades, one could argue millennia. Wealthy business owners try to consolidate wealth, and the working classes organize unions or other worker's movements to try to take control of their share of wealth. The struggle between such groups is fairly apparent. It is less apparent that the wealthy classes do not mind recessions and depressions. The value of a billionaires' money is well protected, even increased in a depression. Wages fall and inflation is checked. The Great Depression, like other downturns before and since, was governed by tight fiscal policy under the hand of wealthy business owners. That logjam was not broken until WWII. This battle for wealth between the owners of business and workers, the former seeking restrictive fiscal policy and the latter more liberal fiscal policy, is now being played out on the global stage under the auspices of the International Monetary Fund. The industrialized North wants a tight money supply under their control. The less-developed South wants freer access to money more under their control.2

In the short to medium term, the American economy, and the global economy, will continue to polarize as a result of tight fiscal policies. What that means for women's rights is that they are and will increasingly be defined by class. Women in the global upper class can expect the current trend toward parity with men to remain the same or improve. For the global working and under classes, history offers some chilling lessons. In the last few thousand years, human populations have responded to ecological and economic stress by increased stratification and sexual reward. The rise of large political entities of nations and empires has removed warfare at the village level and transposed it to an occasional international conflict. That has taken some of the pressure off of women to be the rewards of fierce local warriors. It is certain however that many working and underclass women around the world will face increasing pressure to take on "traditional" roles that serve as sexual reward, wife, and servant to male roles as ecological stress increases.

The current trends in the U.S. fit these patterns. The pattern of intensification of effort is deeply embedded in our society and its history. Women in the upper classes have seen improvements in their legal protection from domestic violence, improving (though still unbalanced) parity with men's wages, and a maintaining of reproductive choice. Working and underclass women are more likely to be pressured (or to choose?) to be wives, mothers, underpaid or unpaid, and to have their reproductive choices limited. I would suggest that this is a reinvigoration of a very ancient sexual reward system that responds to stress by increasing sexual reward and social hierarchy. Women of all classes are still highly sexualized in our society, the most noticeable manifestation of the sexual reward system.

A Better Way

History is always written by people who consider themselves terribly important. Academic historians are in the business of telling people that ideas are important. We have been taught to believe that our society evolves as a result of ideas and political decisions. That is true only in part. Changes in the ecological foundation of society (manifest in economic changes) creates pressure that social movement may or may not be able to resist. The fate of women's rights in America, and globally, in inextricably linked to the fate of society as a whole. We will not be able to make these decisions at the ballot box. There is not purely political movement that could have stopped past degenerations of women's rights, nor will a purely political movement stop the loss of women's rights in twenty first century America.

The lessons of history are plain. Women may be enlisted in the American military currently, but there is nothing more corrosive to women's position in human societies than warfare. If the case for peace were not sufficiently clear already, I would suggest that continued war is a virtual guarantee that we will return to the darkest days of male supremacy.

As our environmental crises intensifies, it will manifest itself in increasing prices. While the extinction of thousands of economically irrelevant species will go unnoticed in the short term, the increasing demand for forests, fishes, minerals, food and bio-energy will be economically felt.

Abundance makes liberty politically viable. Given that we are living in an age of perceived and increasing scarcity, that might seem to put us at risk. But the scarcity of our age is manufactured by powerful interests who use it create fear and allegiance. Like the neolithic goddesses who lived in the early age of agricultural abundance, we need to recreate a culture that is not stressed. We cannot do that through political means. We will not have the political power to respond to the collapse of civil society if we sit around and wait for that. The only way we are going to avoid the dark patterns of our past is by taking much greater conscious control over the shape of our society. That will involve educating ourselves and each other about the matters so suppressed, avoided, and disdained by political and academic traditions. It will also involve dramatically reducing consumption. To maintain employment, we will have to localize economies at the community level, and build political power up from there.1

The greatest mistake we could make is to presume that currently improved status of women in the western world is unassailable, and can be defended through political processes. The coming ecological changes are going to reshape our society profoundly whether we like it or not. If we continue on the current path, that reshaping will involve an extreme polarization that severely degrades the position of women. We have to remake our society, consciously, purposefully, profoundly, or it will be remade in the mold already cast.

1 Women lost the right to vote in New Jersey in the early 1800s. * Johnston, Carolyn, Sexual Power: Feminism and the Family in America, Tuscaloosa, University of Alabama Press, 1992, p.14

1 O'Kelly, Charlotte G., and Carney, Larry S., Women and Men in Society: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Gender Stratification, Belmont CA., Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1986, p.126, Gordon, Michael (ed), The American Family in Social-Historical Perspective, New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1978, p.363-372, Haller, John S, and Haller, Robin M., The Physician and Sexuality in Victorian America, Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 1974, p.94

2 Elman, Amy R., Sexual Subordination and State Intervention: Comparing Sweden and the United States, Providence, Berghahn Books, 1996, p.43

3 Banner, Lois W., American Beauty, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1983

4Okelly, ibid, p. 130, Gordon, ibid, p. 388,410

5 Harris, Marvin, Culture, People and Nature: An Introduction to General Anthropology, New York, HarperCollins, 1993, p.361-363, Gordon, ibid, 374-393

6 Mohr, James C., Abortion in America: The Origin and Evolution of National Policy, 1800-1900, New York, Oxford University Press, 1978

1Mohr, ibid

2 Mohr, ibid, p.196

3 Steele, Valerie, Fashion and Eroticism: Ideals of Feminine Beauty from the Victorian Era to the Jazz Age, New York, Oxford University Press, 1985, p.52

4 Sterling, Walter (copyright), The Love Goddesses: A History of Sex in the Cinema, (film) Paramount Pictures, 1984

5 Margolis, Maxine, Mothers and Such, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1984

6 Banner, ibid p.282

1Banner, ibid, p. 283, Baty, S. Paige, American Monroe: The Making of a Body Politic, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1995

2 Ryan, Mary P., Womanhood in America: From Colonial Times to the Present, New York, New Viewpoints, 1975, p.319

3 Banner, Lois W., Women in Modern America: A Brief History, Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, New York, 1974.




1O'kelly, ibid, p.23, Katz, Richard, Boiling Energy, Community Healing Among the Kalahari Kung, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1982

1 Turnbull, Colin M., The Forest People, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1962

2 Dentan, Robert Knox, The Semai: A Nonviolent People of Malaya, New York, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc. 1968.

3 Lizot, Jacques, Tales of the Yanomami, Daily Life in the Venezuelan Forest, Cambridge University Press, Paris, 1985

4O'kelly, ibid.

1 Murdock, George P. et al, Outline of Cultural Materials, New Haven, Conn. : Human Relations Area Files, Inc., 2000

2 Siskind, Janet, To Hunt in the Morning, New York, Oxford University Press, 1973,

1 Harris, Marvin, Cannibals and Kings, The Origins of Cultures, Vintage Books, New York, 1978

2Harris, ibid, 1993

3 Malinowski, Bronislow, Argonauts of the Western Pacific: An Account of Native Enterprise and Adventure in the Archipelagoes of Melanesian New Guinea, Waveland Press, Prospect Heights, IL., 1984

1 Heider, Karl, The Grand Valley Dani, Peaceful Warriors, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, New York, 1979

2 Gilbert, Herdt, The Sambia: Ritual and Gender in New Guinea, Holt, Rinehard, and Winston, New York, 1987

3 “Men that in family-level societies would be taught restraint or expelled from the group, among the Yonomamo gain extra wives and a following of men. But, being [fierce], they are truly fearless and expose themselves and those around them to danger: despite efforts to restrain them, they lose control and maim or kill other men, bringing the wrath of their victims’ families down on themselves and their close relatives and inflicting on everyone the costly consequences of a state of war. There is seemingly no alternative, since less combative groups are bullied and exploited by stronger groups who covet their women or want to displace them from their lands.” Johnson, Allen W. and Earle, Timothy, The Evolution of Human Societies: From Foraging Group to Agrarian State, Stanford University Press, Stanford CA, 1987. p.129

1 Luker, Kristin, Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1984

2The Missouri stat legislature has acted to restrict birth control, as did the Victorian doctors in the 1800s in the U.S. when the captains of industry wanted more workers. The Soviets acted likewise in their time. Thus the womb becomes ground of class contention.

1 Nossiter, Bernard D. Fat Years and Lean, The American Economy Since Roosevelt, Harper and Row, New York, N.Y., 1990

2 Armstrong, Phillip, Andrew Glyn, John Harrison, Capitalism Since World War II, The Making and Breakup of the Great Boom, Fontana, London, 1984

1 Zeigler, Alexis, Conscious Cultural Evolution, Understanding Our Past, Choosing Our Future, Ecodem Press, Charlottesville, 2003, also at