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Marriage & Family Life: P3—Woman’s Status in Early Society and under the Mores

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The Cosmic Citizen

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We continue our study of Paper 84, Marriage and Family Life with §4, Woman’s Status in Early Society and may proceed to §5, Woman under the Developing Mores.

Generally speaking, during any age woman’s status is a fair criterion of the evolutionary progress of marriage as a social institution, while the progress of marriage itself is a reasonably accurate gauge registering the advances of human civilization. (935.1) 84:4.1

The sexes have had great difficulty in understanding each other. Man found it hard to understand woman, regarding her with a strange mixture of ignorant mistrust and fearful fascination, if not with suspicion and contempt. Many tribal and racial traditions relegate trouble to Eve, Pandora, or some other representative of womankind. These narratives were always distorted so as to make it appear that the woman brought evil upon man; and all this indicates the onetime universal distrust of woman. Among the reasons cited in support of a celibate priesthood, the chief was the baseness of woman. The fact that most supposed witches were women did not improve the olden reputation of the sex. (935.4) 84:4.4

(936.4) 84:4.11 But primitive women did not pity themselves as their more recently liberated sisters are wont to do. They were, after all, fairly happy and contented; they did not dare to envision a better or different mode of existence. (936.4) 84:4.11

(937.4) 84:5.7 Science, not religion, really emancipated woman; it was the modern factory which largely set her free from the confines of the home. Man’s physical abilities became no longer a vital essential in the new maintenance mechanism; science so changed the conditions of living that man power was no longer so superior to woman power.

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