Back in the eighties, when I was young, I read a book that changed my perspective on a lot of things. That book was The Chalice and the Blade. The author is a wonderful human being named, Riane Eisler.
Eisler provides compelling evidence that in the pre-historic neolithic era, humans lived in small groups or clans that functioned on a cooperative partnership model in which men and women lived as equals, and shared responsibility and decision making. In fact, the evidence suggests that neolithic human life was closely tied to the cycles of nature. Women had a particularly sacred place in those primitive societies because their menses reflected the rhythms of nature, and because they were capable of giving birth to new life.
That pre-historic partnership paradigm was lost about 10,000 years ago when humans evolved from hunter-gather groups that moved about constantly to fixed communities that depended on agriculture for food. To provide a common defense against maurauders that survived by raiding and pillaging what humans living in permanent settlements had, settled peoples moved away from a partnership based culture to one dominated by males. From that time on, males of the species have pertty much run the show. Religion, governance, economics: the shape of human culture is built on a male domance model in which women are subjugated and billigerence and confrontation overwhelm caring and cooperation. All of human history, since the beginning of agriculture, has been shaped by male dominance.
Eisler's bottom line: Men and women must learn to live together in partnership as co-equals closely aligned to the natural world. It was that way once. It can be that way again. Advanced societies do seem to be headed in that direction. Women should be equal to men in all ways. It's only right, and it may be the only pathway to a future that is truly sustainable.
Riane Eisler founded the non-profit, The Center for Partnership Studies.
Here is a link to her webpage....
Here is a link to her book, The Chalice and the Blade...