Did Ancient Hunting-Gathering Societies Define Gender Roles? Let’s Find Out if Women Were Really ‘Weak’!

Women of the past defined gender norms, but it is the society of today that doesn’t follow these very norms.

In 2018 a group of anthropologists went to the Andes for excavation at the site- Wilamaya Patjxa in Peru. Through the course of their excavation, these archeologists found five burial sites with six bodies. Interestingly enough with these bodies, they happened to find some tools which are said to be associated with hunting and gathering.

The two individuals who were buried with twenty-four of these tools were then said to be women. They confirmed their analysis with a series of dental and DNA checks which was done at UC Davis. Now, what they found goes wildly against the belief of society.

9,000 years ago, it was tribal women, who were the sole bread earners for their family. Not only did they take care of their children as per their maternal instincts but they also went around hunting for food to take care of their village and family.

Researchers have also stated that this is not the first-time women have been found with these tools. In the late 1960–70s other tribes and women were also found buried with scarpers or knives or women’s tools, indicating that they were the ones who hunted for food.

This shows that societies belonging to the earlier eras were more women-friendly and less patriarchal than the one we live in today. Interestingly, those very societies that respected women, were less advanced and more backward than the one we live in today. While we may have progressed in terms of technology and lifestyle, it is our thought process that has drastically digressed.

In those societies, women and men had the same labor roles where gender had nothing to do with the designation of the occupation one had. While today, it is believed that women are the weaker sex or the ones who cannot participate in strenuous jobs because of biology. These findings smash the stereotype that women are biologically weaker than men. Gender inequalities on the basis of biology do not make sense because facts and history prove that women were given equal status and the same jobs that men were.

This gets you thinking that if all the factors in society were progressing, how is that gender role were the only thing that digressed? What was the reason behind which women who were seen to be equal sex are now considered to be weaker sex?

Patriarchy and the introduction of it in our society has degraded the value of women and diminished their capabilities. Women do not belong suppressed and history along with facts proves that they are fabulous multitaskers. These hunters and gathers have proved to the world that gender and biology have no basis for discrimination. It is now time to start believing in that.

Patriarchy and the fear of male dominance have been ingrained in our brains, which has set our thought process back by centuries. While we actively progress towards the future, we should determine that we will go back 9,000 years, and teach the world that women are equal members of society. They deserve the opportunity along with that respect.

Wilamaya Patjxa hunters have shown us, women can really do it all. So it’s time we show the world the same.

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