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The Inevitability of Patriarchy: Why the Biological Difference Between Men and W Paperback – January 1, 1974


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Morrow; Revised Edition edition (1974)
  • ISBN-10: 0688051758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688051754
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,389,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven H. Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on February 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Steven Goldberg (born 1941) was president of the sociology department at City College of New York from 1988 until his retirement; he has also written Why Men Rule: A Theory of Male Dominance, When Wish Replaces Thought: Why So Much of What You Believe Is False, etc. He wrote in the Preface of this 1973 book, "This work is a theory... I am well aware that this theory reaches conclusions that many readers will find most unpalatable... I believe I can demonstrate that all alternative theories are either internally contradictory or disprovable with the evidence provided by anthropological investigation... No doubt the tone of this book will strike some readers as being exceedingly strong... I invoke this tone only when I focus either on logical contradiction or a misrepresentation of empirical data that could not possibly be defended as being merely alternative interpretation..." Later, he explains, "This book is... an attempt to discover why these three institutions [patriarchy, male attainment, and male dominance] are universal and to assess the possibility of their being inevitable." (Pg. 73)

He states, "whether we are referring to woman's response to male aggression or to the emotions underlying woman's universal role as life creator and life sustainer, feminine behavior and the institutions that are related to this behavior are as inevitable as patriarchy and are inevitable for the same reasons." (Pg. 25) He asserts, "Every society gives higher status to male roles than to the nonmaternal roles of females..." (Pg.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is a joy to read, if what you like is painstaking, step-by-step logic, with Mr. Goldberg proving the strongest possible case -- that patriarchy is not merely highly probable but inevitable -- using the fewest possible determiners. He dismantles feminist arguments -- putting them forward as reasonably as possible, trying to make sense of them when they themselves do not make sense, and then carefully illustrating the fallacies therein. And not only the fallacies, but the distortions of evidence . . .
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13 of 21 people found the following review helpful By L O'connor on December 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is bound to annoy, if only slightly, any woman reading it. Naturaly we don't like to be told that patriarchy is inevitable, that all societies everywhere have always been male-dominated and always will be, and that men are always going to predominate in leadership roles. We don't like it, but must nevertheless consider if it may be true. This book was published in the early seventies and i understand has been updated since. There is one point in the book where Mr. Goldberg states confidently "South Africa will never elect a black Prime Minister". Oops, I bet that line's been deleted from the new edition. The references to Germaine Greer seem strangely dated too, nowadays she has little interest in feminism and mostly writes about her garden. Mr Goldberg does not argue that women are less intelligent or less able than men, merely that few women have the drive to achieve high-ranking positions of authority. Is this true? I don't know, certainly it does seem that there are still relatively few women in high-ranking positions in many professions. He writes that there are no women in the Senate, is that still true? Frankly, I'm not entirely clear what the difference is between the Senate and the Congress, sorry but I have enough trouble coping with the House of Commons and the House of Lords, keeping track of foreign political systems is too much for me. His argument that there are far fewer women of genius than men of genius is one I've heard before, he doesn't say that there are none, just fewer (he does not, as the previous reviewer claims, suggest that Jane Austen, George Eliot and the Brontes are less talented than male authors). I found myself struggling a bit with parts of this book, it gets quite technical here and there, but it's interesting.
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11 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Montgomery Nigma on February 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Consider the great women through history you've read about: great women scientists, writers, etc. What do they have in common? They had unusually high levels of testosterone.

So pointing to them as proof that a woman can be a genius is self-defeating.
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21 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Violet on June 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
I'd read about this book earlier and wondered about it, so I was rather pleased when it appeared in my college library. I'd hoped that behind the inflammatory cover there would be a well-written and thought-provoking discussion of the biological differences between women and men.
Time constraints didn't allow me to read the entire book, but I was unimpressed by what I did read. My assumption when I'm forced to skim a book or only partly read it is that the treatment of smaller arguments is indicative of the treatment of the large arguments- that is, if a small argument is well-made, then the author will have taken the same care with the argument or theory on which the book is based. The example that sticks in my mind is Goldberg's example of how men are more likely to be great writers than women: he says that Jane Austen, George Eliot, and the Brontes were indeed great writers, but we can't truly compare them to great male writers such as Homer and Virgil.
Yeah, darling. Uh-huh.
Actually, that's a ridiculous statement. To properly compare writers, thay have to be from rather similar backgrounds and time periods; the proper female counterpart to the classical writers would be Sappho. Unfortunately only fragments of her work have survived, but both her contemporaries and modern-day scholars agree that Sappho produced what was, quite possibly, the best writing- both in technique and in sentiment- of Ancient Greek. Ever.
Therefore the question to ask is not how Austen, Eliot, and the Brontes measure against the classics, but how they measure against male writers working at the same time- writers like Balzac, Flaubert, and Tolstoy, against whom they stack up very nicely.
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