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Why did the oppression of women start and become so widespread across the world throughout history?

I'm a woman and a feminist. I'm just curious about this question.

All real theories are fine as answers as long as they're backed up with real evidence.

I'm not seeking rhetoric from any point of view, but evidence-backed and well-reasoned answers.

If there are gaps in your evidence or reasoning, I will ask questions or debate with you, whether you have a feminist point of view or not.

  • Here are my hypotheses about potential reasons:
  • Men are physically stronger than women and did what they were physically able to and could get away with.
  • Human history and prehistory is fraught with conflicts between groups and against predators, as well as a need for meat which came from hunting. Those things required men being "strong," and as a result individual men who were "strong" and had traits that made them "strong" at those skills had the most power. They led the oppression of women.
  • Not all men led it equally.
  • Men's need to have offspring somehow contributed to the oppression of women.

Those are only guesses. What does the research and evidence point to?

Note: Answers that only say, "It was evolutionarily advantageous to societies" will be downvoted. If that is your answer, you need to explain exactly why the oppression of women was evolutionarily advantageous.

If your answer is about the division of labor, you still need to explain why there was the oppression of women.

Answers with no explanation or evidence will be downvoted.

Please cite your sources of information as much as possible.

It seems this shouldn't need to be said but blatantly sexist answers will be downvoted and reported.
tynamite's avatar If you look at the history of the human race, you'll find that the inferior group always finds a way to persecute the superior group and try to usurp them. It's natural human instinct.

For example, the reason why white people and Europeans are technologically more advanced than Africa, is because black people had it easier in a tropical climate with big animals to kill like wild cats, whereas white people in colder climates had to use intelligence to utilise fire to keep warm and hunt for animals that were more scarce. Because conditions were harsher in Europe, higher intelligence was needed which passed onto the offspring much easier. Now when when white people went over to Africa, they noticed that the black people were more superior to them physically because they had longer or better legs to run faster, were stronger, and had more stamina to do back breaking work like in sugar fields. So because they were superior, they were persecuted to become slaves. This is why they chose blacks for slaves instead of asians.

Even with the Neanderthals, they were more intelligent than humans, had bigger brains and better tools, but when humans emigrated to where they was, they wiped them out because they were superior to them.

Why did Hitler choose to genocide the Jews and seize their wealth? Because after Germany was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles, after losing WWI, they were a bankrupt debt ridden country. So Hitler chose to wipe out the Jews because they owned all the businesses in Germany controlling the country's wealth. Some will find my stereotypical views to be Anti-Semitist to stereotype Jews as rich, but all stereotypes have a bit of truth to them.

Why do democratic governments like Russia and Britain choose to harm innocent and peaceful protesters? Because governments are scared of their people and fear for riots and revolutions, as there are more citizens than there are politicians.

Women live longer than men, are more intelligent intellectually and emotionally, get better grades in school, and have more power socially and sexually. The only advantage a man has over a woman, if you disregard society, is being stronger, not having periods and not having a menopause (which I disregard as 50 year old men aren't attractive to single women who want kids). This makes men disposable to be mauled at by a tiger or nowadays fight in the war. This is also why women naturally make better scientists than men.

In the past, men could use their strength as leverage over women as women were required to pair up with men in order to eat the food they hunted, but when farming got invented and shops started selling food, the need for men to be strong declined, so as the only advantage a man then had over a woman is strength, they then used force to prohibit women from working, so that men wouldn't have to compete with women in the dating market. If women could go to work to provide for themselves, they wouldn't be contractually obliged to pair up with men for resources (and survival). They would then be able to mate with who they please, to the horror of many men being single because of it.

As women are only fertile for a limited period of their life and have the "choice" role in relationships (they can pick from a selection of suitors whereas men can't with most of them being ignored on dating sites) , this made women more superior to men, whereas the strength advantage that men had in the past wasn't as much as an advantage anymore due to the proliferation of farms and food shops. Men could only keep their past level of power of the hunting days through force (oppression) and not by letting the free market (unregulated) decide.

To break it down, the only advantage men naturally have over women which was good at an evolutionary and not envirionmental standpoint after the invention of farming was not having periods, as strength doesn't matter in our modern society any more.

If you know of any other reasons that makes men or women naturally superior minus their environment, I'd love to hear it.

For all these reasons, women are naturally born superior to men, which is exactly why men like to persecute (and hopefully usurp) them.

You can look at it from an extreme example in Islamic countries where women are forced to wear a burka to hide their sexuality because the prophet Mohammed didn't want other men looking at his women stealing them away from him. (It has nothing to do with protecting a woman's modesty.) How this relates to women being superior than men is that an attractive man walking down the street is just an attractive man but an attractive woman walking down the street is a commodity who can trade-up or upgrade her partner from the selection of willing men who walk down the street. Women have a sexual leverage over men that men don't have over women, which is why they get persecuted.

I say persecuted instead of oppressed because democratic countries tend to diminish oppression in favour of equal rights unlike dictatorships.

Another example is women who reveal themselves to be female, getting lewd comments from their male peers. Because the men don't have a chance to socialise with women in their day to day lives, whereas women do have the chance to socialise with the opposite sex, the misogyny happens where men vent their frustrations.

Another example is female genital mutilation, by stopping women from enjoying sex, they have no reason to cheat or have sex unless their man wants it, which is why it's also paired with child marriages, to ration women among men.

Another example is arranged marriage. By reducing the extent of choice a woman has in dating, women are thus rationed out among more men than if it had never existed, as many women stay "single" after using dating sites.

Basically all persecution is down to someone who feels they're inferior, consciously or not, targeting the superior group.

It's not just women, we also persecute the rich. Because men are polygamous and women are hypergamous (attracted by status), rich men will have multiple women. To stop this, prostitution is illegal in certain places so men can't pay them to have sex and they have to pay alimony if they get married and divorced. Without alimony and prostitution bans, rich men would have lots more women.

We also persecute the rich by making child support proportional to a man's income. A millionaire can't have 20 kids without sacrificing his income, but a poor person can have 20 kids and get free money from the government for each kid he pops out. Lil Wayne has kids to 3 different women, and I'm sure the government has forced him to pay more money for his children than my mum has for having 6 kids without having a job.

The same with banning prostitution, ensuring that the cost of a woman's body is kept lower than it's actually worth, helped artificially with the government endorsed option of marriage that ensures that married men get sex in times they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford prostitution. Does it make sense that the powerful, presumably men, would want the price of a woman's body to go down?

It also applies to women being discouraged to work in technology, as men feel intimidated by more intelligent women (as women are biologically more intelligent) from taking their role and last shred of superiority left over women.

If you think about male privilege, you'll find that it's not as much a privilege as people think it is. Norah Vincent is a man who dressed up as a man for 6 months to blend in with them, got sectioned because of her experience, and she said after the experience that she was never more thankful for being a woman. Below I've summed up the main points of male privilege I hear and read from feminists.

  • No sexual harassment (Men would not mind sexual harassment.)
  • Prepositions for sex from strangers (Men would not mind this.)
  • Not being objectified (Men wouldn't mind this, and women consensually choose to be objectified.)
  • More likely to enter leadership/powerful roles. (As most men aren't in those roles, I consider it to be statistically insignificant.)
  • Gender stereotyping (Men and women are equally stereotyped.)
  • Discouragement of entering technical roles (This is a minor thing, and shouldn't deter any woman who is dedicated. Look at Why don't more women go to hackathons? how the answers attribute their not attending due to sexism and gendered roles and typecasting. If you reversed the genders and it was the men on the receiving end of that, you would find that it would NOT deter men from attending, as men would love to be in a female environment.)
  • No threat of rape. (Rape is so uncommon, it's not worth talking about. When was the last time a feminist complained about the popularity of rape? Lil Wayne said he loved being raped and Richard Dawkins controversially said that being molested wasn't child abuse. The only bad thing about rape for men is to have a child you don't want.)
  • Death, rape threats and stalking (Men get this too.)
  • More likely to enter positions of power (The chances of me entering a powerful position is so slim, I've had to start and fund my own business.)
  • The pay gap (The pay gap of women getting 25% less than men is a myth because it is caused by lifestyle choices and not because of sexism. I'm happy to discuss this in the comments.)

Do you actually believe that everything you've achieved in your life, would be easier if you were a man? Ask Western women what they've achieved in their life, and not much of it had their gender help or dispel them from doing so. Being a man hasn't made anything I've ever achieved any easier to do. Maybe you think that being a man makes it more likely to be employed and fill positions of power, as a feminist told me. I know two things that would be easier if I was a woman.

Basically all persecution and oppression is based on the inferior aggressor feeling insecure over the superior group. Maybe you might want to think about that the next time you think about women.

77% of suicides are done by men, and men are much more likely to have mental health issues. There's a reason that is, and feminists aren't as hard done by as men, judging by that statistic.

2018 Update

Read this article
Introducing the disposable male in action
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