The early development of gender relations is a matter of deep interest, regardless of the origins debate. In fact it hardly matters whether we can define an origin or not. The history begins when the archaeological evidence becomes full enough to throw some real light on the structure of gender relations.

There is no evidence of any weight before the upper palaeolithic, nor is it likely to appear. The earliest stages of human tool-making and food production have left material traces like tools, bone deposits and hearths, but there is nothing in such objects to indicate the gender relations in which they were produced. There is no basis of evidence for the conventional assumption, made alike by archaeologists, sociobiologisTTlmd many feminists, that there was a sharp sexual division-of4abour with men making tools and going hunting while women gathered. ox-^tayed at home. That is simply guesswork.

By the upper palaeolithic some evidence is accumulating in the form of paintings, bone carvings and burials. While these are as uncertain a representation of social reality as a single page of Playboy would be, they are at least pointers. For instance a sexual division of labour is suggested by rock paintings in eastern Spain, where genitals and breasts are distinguishable and women and men are associated with different forest scenes. A burial and other objects at a settlement of mammoth-hunters at Dolm Vestonice in Czechoslovakia imply some association of a woman with ritual power.

To assemble such fragments into a historical argument will require a lot of work; isolated examples like these may be quite misleading. I mention them simply to show that this is the stage in the story where a reconstruction becomes just possible. The

evidence becomes very much richer with the development of the first agricultural societies in south-western Asia – the lands around Mesopotamia – around 10,000 years ago.

Some speculation about the history of gender identifies a matriarchal, or at least egahtarianT^age’In neolithic village society based on domesticationjT plants and animals and the invention of cloth and pottery. This is followed at a considerable interval by a patriarchal stage associated with cities or nomadic herders, warfare and kingsjnp, Unfortunately for this scheme the results of post-war excavation have broken down the once clear distinction between an ‘agricultural revolution’ and an ‘urban revolution’. It now appears that towns like Jericho in Palestine, Qatal Hiiyiik in Anatolia and Abu Hureyra on the middle Euphrates developed long before the plains civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt, close to the time when agric. nltnre_aj»4 aninul hushnndre-emcrgecL If city walls are an indication of warfare tV|pn at Tericho war came / lottery/ There is no evidence whether it was a male monopoly or not.

Подпись: AfM*Two conclusions about this era seem‘clear, nevertheless. One is that the cultural elaboration of gender had begun. At Qatal Hiiyiik for instance women’s graves included jewellery more often than men’s, and there were differences in the types of tools and features of clothing. In some respects women and men were being treated differently in ritual and religion. The second is the absence of a sharp sex difference in access to social goods. Women’s graves and ritual objects are not reported as poorer than men’s. Argument from a negative is notoriously weak, but so far as this goes it suggests that the cultural marking of gender differences in early settlements did not require an economic siihordynajirm of wnmpn The excavator ofQatal Hiiyiik, Jarn^Meilaart, cautiously remarks that ‘the position of women was obviously an important one’.

With the invention of writing in Sumer around 5,000 years ago the history of gender relations takes on new detail and immediacy, and a history of the structure of cathexis becomes possible. The surviving records include myths that show patterns of emotion, commercial and legal documents that evidence divisions of labour and household arrangements, and state archives that cast light on the organization of power. Some of this is stunningly familiar. Stories of jealousy, disputes about paternity, idylls of love and loyalty, are found in the earliest surviving literatures. Yet it is also very alien. Early epics from the Gilgamesh tablets to the Iliad

show structures of emotion very different from ours. A good part of the dynastic history of Egypt revolves around planned incest on a scale that should have turned Freud’s beard prematurely white. There is no clearer case of the need to treat gender history rigorously as history, not as a reading-back. The reconstructed patterns are likely to be unfamiliar, perhaps shockingly so.

Writing is not only a source of evidence, it was itself a major social technique, closely bound up with the centralized states and commercial networks that were knitting whole regions into the provinces of an urban culture. By perhaps 5,000 years ago in south-west Asia and the eastern Mediterranean, 3,000 years ago in India and China, 1,500 years ago in Central America, a new social order was entrenched beyond the power of wars or famines to destroy. It was characterized by state structures that linked cities to agricultural hinterlands, with large populations integrated by exchange of services and goods as well as religion and power. Its history has been continuous from then until the advent of industrial capitalism.

Historians’ accounts of this transition, in so far as they have addressed social dynamics, have focused on the class issues by which Gordon Childe originally characterized the ‘urban revolution’. We can now pose the question of a gender dynamic at a more fundamental level than the traditional question of the effects of this transition on the status of women. If the argument of chapter 6 is broadly correct, the creation of the state is itself a reorganization of gender relations, particularl^jjie structure of gender power,{The sexual division of labour is implicated in the production processes that generate the surplus of goods and services which makes urban populations~~possible It is important to know to what extent the surplus is appropriated through sexual politics and on gender lines, and to what extent the increased specialization of workers is a gendered one. It_ seemsj-ikelv that the changed population densities „opportunities and demographic structure of urban populationsvwore__a£companied by changes in the structure of cathexis.

The construction of the state is a particularly interesting and important aspect of these issues. One of its key features was the invention of armies. As far as the written and visual record goes, the armies of Sumer, Egypt and their successors were composed wholly (or nearly so) of men. David F&rn_bach proposes that the ‘masculine specialization in violence’ is a key both to the develop-

ment of the state as an instrument of class and patriarchal power, and to the history of masculinity. The point is important, but this overstates it. Ancient armies were small, so it is likely that organized violence could determine the character only of a minority of men. Nor did the masculine personnel of the machinery of violence immediately determine a subordination of women in other spheres of life. Both in Sumer and in Egypt there is a good deal of evidence of women’s prestige and authority. In Sumer for instance women owned property, engaged in trade and so on, while the myths have goddesses active and powerful, notably the cycle of legends around the goddess Inanna (Ishtar). In Egypt much the same is true, with women’s prestige perhaps rising in the period of the Empire, when Egyptian military power was at its height.

Yet the control of the means of violence by some men rather than by any women remains a central fact. So dq>es the concentration of supreme political authority in the hands oF~a man or group of men. The implicatio-tijis that (^г1у~~5ттт^–лл/еге a vehicle of the differentiation of masculinities and a ^ile-qf contestation between them~-Xhe conflict between the priests of Amon and the reforming Pharaoh Akh-en-Aton at the height of the Egyptian Empire is a striking example. The stake of these struggles was—still limited because the exclusion of women from supreme power did not mean their overall subordination-m-xither spheres.

There seems to be some confirmation of this in the structure of emotion in the world’s first (surviving) literary masterpiece, the Sumero—Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh. The story centres on the conflict and passionate attachment of Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, and Enkidu, a hero from the wild; the two men turn out to be mirror images of each other. The sexuality in the epic seems to involve ritual more than emotional relationships. The strongest feelings and personal attachments are connected with war and rulership rather than sex.

These bits of evidence suggest societies that were controlled by menT>u-t-net-^aatriarchar imTEETsense nsii^vnnderstood today. That is to say, the patterns of emotional relationship, production’ and consumption тееге~ти1гтір5е1уГгпtpgrTiTd~wuh thеТёТаtioris of gender subordination and exclusion that had developed in the state. The^palture-was-not^completely ‘gendered’. If that is true, the subsequent history of agricultural/commercial civilization in western Asia and the Mediterranean involves a deepening

institutionalization of patriarchy to the point we are familiar with in classical Greece (for example the exclusion of women from the public sphere in Athens) and the Roman Empire. There is a major transition in gender relations here which does not obviously correspond to a major change in technology, demography or class relations.

However it is important not to presume a single sequence of events, for two strong reasons. One is the diversification of urban civilizations, – including their gender on of

hegemonic masculinity with militarism and violence that developed in the Mediterranean world and Europe seems not to have developed in China, at least to the same degree. In Gonfucian culture soldiers had much less prestige, scholars and administrators more.ft^eemiTikely that the social surpIuS~produced in agricul – tural/cohftnnrefciar society allowed new options, more potential diversity of social structure. yith_no.-^lobal dynamic to constrain them, the result was likely to be divergehl ^endenlhi^tones in the major wnr|d~pTnvTnres of urbaa-cu-l-ture.

The other reason is that in the five millennia of its ascendancy, agricultural/commercial civilization never controlled, let alone covered, the greater part of the inhabited world. Because of their density urban cultures probably included the majority of the world’s human population, but left vast tracts where settlement was organized on different bases. Lower-density economies were pastoral (central Asia), hunter-gatherer (northern North America, Amazonia, Australia), agricultural but not urban (Mississippi – Great Lakes, western Africa) and an infinite range of combinations. It is a gross historical error to treat these societies as primitive survivals (much of the literature on ‘origins’ does), as static, or as just peripheral to the real human story. Synthetic works like Basil Davidson’s Africa in History show dramatically how active and intricate was the history of societies beyond the pale of the major empires.

It is difficult to get bearings on the gender orders of such a range of situations, and I will make only a few suggestions. The most promising sources are written decriptions of these societies by travellers from literate cultures. Roman and Chinese descriptions of the barbarians across the frontier have an understandable emphasis on what was perceived as the main threat, the hypermasculinity of undisciplined warriors. The account of gender relations from such sources, then, is likely to be systematically biased; the reality

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may be very different. The mutjual dependence of women and men in subsistence agriculture is 1іке1у__Щ_^іуе considerable power resources to womenTTTigh rates of fertility plus high rates of infant mortality mean that close mothen-child relations are unlikely, as Philippe Aries has argued loFTnediaeval Europe, and femininity cannot be constructed around dependence and nurturance. It is a cliche that peasant women^^e-^^Tfd’ in terms’ of urban sensibilities; there are hard reasons for it. Finally it is notable that the heroic literatures of societies on the fringes of urban culture, while stressing masculine violence, do not picture women as simply subordinate. In the pre-Christian mythology of the Anglo-Saxons, for instance, when Beowulf had triumphed over the monster Grendel he faced an even fiercer struggle with Grendel’s Mum. Meanwhile the Vikings imagined the Valkyries, war goddesses more bloody and terrifying in the original than in the sanitized modern versions.

Over the last 500 years the world order just sketched has been replaced by something very different. This era sees the first global empires, controlled from western Europe; the first global economy, centered on the North Atlantic; a new system of production and exchange, with rationalized agriculture, industrial manufacturing and capitalist control; a revolutionary development of transport, medical technique and nutrition resulting in a spectacular increase of world population; bureaucratized and powerful state structures, which have developed not only an unprecedented capacity to educate and control, but also an unprecedented capacity for mass killing. As with the ‘urban revolution’, the node of this transition has long been taken to be the class dynamic. As in that case, we can now pose questions not only about the effects on gender relations but about the gender dynamic of the transition itself. Three issues emerge most clearly, centering on the three main structures. 0

The first has to do with the reconstruction of the state and of masculinityr On the argument of chapter 6, the bureaucratized state is jnjhnd я mental respects a pattern of gender relations. The previous exclusion of women from the state apparatus cannot be sustained. More and more women are now drawn into employment in the state; exclusion is replaced by various forms of segregation and direct subordination. The rationalization of administration is incompatible with forms of masculinity that were hegemonic in the aristocratic ruling classes of the old regime. Even in the

military branch of the state, heroic personal leadership is steadily displaced by the calculating masculinity of General Staffs and logistics experts. Napoleon appealed to 4a gloire’; Admiral Nimitz, the architect of the American defeat of Japan in World War II, hung a sign in his office that read: ‘IS IT IN THE REALM OF PRACTICABILITY OF MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES?’ Commercial capitalism calls on a calculative masculinity and the class struggles of industrialization call on а сотіщТуе one. Their combination, competitiveness, is insfifuthTfiafized in ‘business’ and becomes a central theme in the newjbrm of hegemonic masculinity.

The second issue has to do widTThFAvedge that is driven between money economy and domestic_economy, between wage work and housejimrETAs Elizabeth Janeway remarks, the notion of ‘the home’ as a distinct splifereTiUhfed’the stronghold of family and leisure, did not exist before the eighteenth century in Europe. The notion that women were or ought to be dependent on men would have seemed absurd in the context of the reciprocities of village agriculture and commercial towns. In fact women’s exten­sive involvement in production, and in earning cash, continued through the period of industrialization. As Joan Scott and Louise Tilly have shown, the percentage of European women in paid jobs remained impressively stable in the nineteenth century. It was the location and social meaning of the work that changed. A combi­nation of technology and industrial~politics gradually levered women out of the core industries of the Industrial Revolution, creating the segregated occupations and low wage structures now familiar. The ‘family wage’ model of male breadwinner and dependent wife, never a" reality for much of the working class, nevertheless became a criterion both "of"union activity and state policy. The construction of the gender division between ‘breadwin­ner’ and ‘housewife’ was formative not only for modern definitions of masculinity and femininity but also for the character and direction of working-class politics.

The third issue has to do with a new structure of cathexis centering on what might be called hegemonic heterosexuality. The shift here is complex and subtle. Heterosexual relationships had been predominant in the previous European agricultural/ commercial civilization, but were not exactly hegemonic, given the importance of asceticism in the Christian tradition before Protestantism. The married heterosexual couple now came to be defined as a cultural ideal, and this involved a splitting-off of

kinds of sexuality that came to be seen as deviant. More, they come to be identified with types of people: the homosexual, the pederast, the whore-master, the Don Juan, appear as social types. It seems that this typification is reflected in the internal organization of emotions. There is a marked growth in the tendency to form fixations, both on people and objects, a tendency essential to the construction of the family as a tightly knit emotional unit but which ultimately breaks its bounds. One result is the cult of sexual fetishes – high heels, corsets and so on – which is in full swing by Krafft-Ebing’s day. The partial reification of emotional relationships here is surpassed by the development of a completely externalized sexuality in twentieth-century mass media, starting with the cult of movie sex goddesses and moving on to the pin­up and the eroticization of advertising. The reorganization of emotions that allows this externalization of cathexis is perhaps the truth behind Foucault’s claim of an increasing incitement rather than repression of sexuality.

These are issues about the nature of the transformation in the core countries of the new world order. Another set of issues arises about the global spread of these relations. There is now considerable research on the effects of imperialism on the position of women in the colonized world. The impact is plainly uneven. We can nevertheless say that for the first time in history since early urbanization there is a strong^xbmamic tending to standardize gender relations in different parts of the world. The spread of wage relationships is one ^paxtaaf-this; the labour-market segmentation strategies of international businesse§_anather; the cultural prestige of the ‘Western’ family, especially among urban people, a third.

At the same time the creation~ofThe imperialist world order involves a global differentiation of gender patterns, or inserts a global dimension into their definition. The frontier of trade, conquest or settlement exalted forms of masculinity different from those becoming dominant in the core countries. The formula of the Davy Crockett story – the frontiersman elected to Congress at odds with the urban elite – is classic. So is the formula of normalization: the white women arrive to raise families. An Australian history of women’s work in the colonies is called Gentle Invaders, and the point is well made. The expansion of white settlement involves a dialectic of masculinities and femininities as well as race and class; the women were invading white men’s realms as well as the lands of the blacks.

More broadly than the process of settlement, imperialism involves reconstruction of the sexual division of labour on a global scale. Agricultural communities are systematically disrupted. New industries commonly involve a stark sexual division of labour: men in mines and copra plantations, women picking cotton, etc. More recently a strong sexual division of labour has been created in Third World manufacturing, in industries such as garment­making and microprocessor assembly. Yet women have also gained access to education on an unprecedented scale, and with it entry to expanding occupations like clerical work and some semi­professions such as teaching.

Though the evidence is much more difficult to come by, it seems that there might also be differentiation in the structure of cathexis. The psychoanalytic arguments of Octave Mannoni in Prospero and Caliban and Frantz Fanon in The Wretched of the Earth and Black Skin, White Masks, suggest that colonialism disrupts existing forms of masculinity and femininity and produces on both sides a distinctive organization of the unconscious. Episodes like the Port Moresby (Papua) race/rape panic of 1925, documented by Amirah Inglis in Not a White Woman Safe, suggest that this dynamic can have drastic effects in colonial politics.