July 30, 2005

Patriarchy Through The Ages

In the London Review of Books, Eric Hobsbawm discusses the history of the family in the 20th century, including some fun trivia: "How many people knew, for example, that up to the middle of the 20th century by far the highest rate of divorce ever recorded—up to 50 per cent—was to be found among nominally Muslim Malays, that there is less gender bias in domestic work in Chinese cities today than in the USA, that the highest divorce rates in the second half of the 20th century were to be found among the main protagonists of the Cold War, the USA and Russia, or that the most sexually active Western people are the Finns?" Well, I didn't. Nor have I ever really thought about the fact that the Russian Revolution did more to bust up patriarchal family structures than perhaps any other event—as, for instance, in the way that decades of Communism brought the Balkan zadruga, the patriarchal extended family, to an end. Very much worth reading.
-- Brad Plumer 6:40 PM || ||