dedication and organization

opening words


the program

literature of the lecturers






press releases

1st World Congress on Matriarchal Studies
Luxembourg 2003
Selected Papers


Center for the Study of the Gift Economy

International Academy Hagia

Riane Eisler

The Battle over Human Possibilities: Women, Men, and Cultural Transformation

Many of us agree that the issue of what is possible or impossible for us as humans is critical for our future, and even whether we have one. In an age of escalating terrorism and the unabated use of warfare and other forms of violence to resolve differences, an age of nuclear and biological weapons, soaring global overpopulation, and unprecedented environmental, economic, and social challenges, many of us are also aware that our present course is not sustainable.  Therefore, many of us worldwide are working for cultural transformation, for a shift to a more peaceful, equitable, and sustainable way of relating to one another and our Mother Earth.

But the question – and it is a fundamental question – is whether such a shift is possible.   This question has been a central focus of my research.1 

According to some popular sociobiological theories, a shift to cultures that are less violent, more gender- balanced, and more equitable goes against human nature. As much as we might like it to be different, the argument goes, to believe anything else is naive and unrealistic because of ancient evolutionary imperatives we carry in our genes.  This negative position is also buttressed by some archeologists and cultural historians who claim that human society always was, and by implication always will be, violent and inequitable.

I will briefly examine these arguments from the perspective of the cross-cultural and historical study carried out by me and some of my colleagues over three decades. Drawing from transdisciplinary research, I will look at cultural evolution from the perspective of two underlying possibilities for structuring social systems: the contrasting configurations of the domination model and the partnership model. I will propose that narratives about our cultural origins are not just of academic interest; they reflect and guide how we think, feel, and act.  Theories that deny the possibility of more equitable, peaceful, and gender-balanced societies constrict human possibilities as they serve to maintain cultural patterns orienting to the domination model of top-down rankings ultimately backed up by fear and force.  I will also show that so-called "women's issues" are not, as we have been led to believe, secondary to "the important issues," but of central importance in shaping policies, quality of life, and our future.

My method of inquiry, the study of relational dynamics, differs in key ways from most studies of human society.  Rather than looking for simple causes and effects, it looks for interactive patterns that are self-organizing, self-maintaining, and, during periods of severe disequilibrium, capable of transformative change. It draws from a larger data base than most studies.  Instead of examining one period or place at a time, it takes into account the whole span of our history –  including prehistory.  It also takes into account not only the public, political and economic sphere but also the private sphere of our day-to day family and other intimate relations. And unlike most studies, which have aptly been called "the study of man," it takes into account the whole of humanity –  both its female and male halves.

Two Basic Cultural Patterns:

The Domination Model and the Partnership Model

Drawing from this larger data base, I found that cross-culturally and historically cultures fall on a continuum of two basic possibilities for structuring relationships, beliefs, and institutions: the partnership model and the domination or dominator  model. Because I drew from a data base that gives equal importance to both the female and male halves of humanity, I also saw that one of the core differences between these two models is the cultural construction of the roles and relations of women and men.  This is why I sometimes use the gender-specific terms androcratic or ruled by men, and the neologism  gylanic, which derives from the Greek gyne (woman) and andros (man) linked by the letter l for lyen (to resolve) or lyo (to set free), signaling that the female and male halves of humanity are linked rather than ranked.

No culture orients completely to either model.  But the degree to which it does, profoundly affects beliefs, institutions, and relationships – from intimate to international. And this is so regardless of differences in geographical locations, time periods, religion, economics, politics, or levels of technological development.

The four core elements of the domination configurations are an authoritarian social and family structure, rigid male-dominance, a high level of fear and built-in violence and abuse (from child and wife beating to chronic warfare), and a system of beliefs, including beliefs about human nature, that make this kind of structure seem normal and right.  Difference, beginning with the fundamental difference between the female and male halves of humanity, is equated with superiority or inferiority.

The European Middle Ages and fundamentalist regimes such as the Taliban are both examples of religious cultures that orient closely to the domination model.  But the same configuration can be found in secular societies.  And here too the subordination of women is a central theme.  When the Nazis came to power, they too called for a return of women to their "traditional" place (a code word for subservient) in a "traditional" family.

As we move toward  the partnership side of the partnership/domination continuum, we begin to see a very different cultural configuration. The four core elements of this configuration are a more democratic and egalitarian family and social structure, gender equity, a low level of institutionalized violence and abuse (as there is no need for fear and force to maintain rigid rankings of domination), and a system of beliefs, stories, and values that supports and validates this kind of structure as normal and right. 

Again, we find cultures orienting more to this model in many different settings.  They can be tribal societies such as the Teduray of the Philippines, agrarian cultures such as the Mosuo of China and the Minangkabau of East Sumatra, or industrial societies such as Sweden, Norway, and Finland.2

None of these are ideal societies.  But Nordic nations, in contrast to the United States and other wealthier nations, do not have huge gaps between haves and have nots. They not only have more political and economic democracy. In these nations, we also find a much more equal partnership between the female and male halves of humanity.  For example, women are in Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland 35 to 45 percent of the legislatures –  more than anywhere else in the world.

Among the Teduray,  anthropologist Stuart Schlegel found elaborate social mechanisms for the prevention of cycles of violence.  The Teduray recognized that violence will occasionally erupt.  But violence is not integral to male socialization and men are not ranked over women. Nor do they have tribal hierarchies of domination.  Instead, there are elders – both female and male – who are highly respected because of their wisdom and who play an important role in mediating disputes.

Similarly, among the Minangkabau of East Sumatra mediation for violence non-escalation help maintain a more peaceable way of life.  Again, the Minangkabau do not rank men over women.  On the contrary, as anthropologist Peggy R. Sanday extensively documents, women play a major social role. As among the Teduray, violence is not part of Minangkabau child-raising practices. For the Minangkabau, nurturance rather than violence is viewed as inherent in humans and nature.

This takes me to a very important point about the interactive dynamics of social systems.  This is that, as the status of women  rises, so also does the status of values and activities such as empathy, nonviolence, and caregiving that are in domination-oriented cultures unacceptable in men because they are stereotypically associated with "inferior" femininity. 

But all the different qualities and behaviors are part of our genetic repertoire.  The real issue is what human possibilities are culturally supported or inhibited by the prevailing system of beliefs and social institutions – from the family, education, and religion to politics and economics.


Genes, Experience, and Findings from Biological and Social Science

This does not mean that genes do not matter, individually and collectively.  But we humans are not, as some sociobiologists and evolutionary psychologists claim, robots of selfish genes ruthlessly trying to replicate themselves. 3

War, these theorists say, is adaptive. It came about because it has "evolutionary payoffs" in the competition of genes to reproduce themselves.  Male dominance, too, they claim is built into our genes. They claim the same for rape, arguing that primate males "naturally" seek to control females to ensure their genes, and not those of other males, are passed on.4  All this, they argue, is the inevitable result of our genetic heritage from what they call out ancestral environment millions of years ago.

These claims fail to note that all human behaviors – including caring and nonviolence –  have evolutionary roots, or we would not be capable of them.  Instead, they highlight those behaviors appropriate for dominator relations. They also ignore the fact that one of our closest primate relatives, the bonobo chimpanzee, has a social organization that is not male dominated and chronically violent.

Like common chimpanzees, bonobos share approximately 98.4 percent of their genes with humans.  But they are a much less tense, less-violence-prone, primate than the common chimpanzee. For example, in contrast to chimpanzees, where males have been observed killing infants, there are no instances of infanticide among the bonobos.5  Females, particularly mothers, play key social roles.

But there is much more that is wrong with theories that claim we are driven to male dominance, inequity, and chronic violence by genetic imperatives rooted in our primate heritage.  Perhaps most critically, these theories discount the importance of environmental influences – sometimes even claiming that parenting does not matter in how our brain, and with it our behaviors, develop.

Astonishingly, this position ignores the evidence from neuroscience showing that the human brain develops out of the interaction of genes and experience –  which is heavily influenced by the human creation we call culture as mediated by the family, education, religion, politics, and economics.  It even ignores evidence that the behavioral expression of individual genetic predispositions is largely dependent on experience.Findings from anthropology, sociology, and psychology further contradict claims that our genetic heritage inevitably leads to behaviors and cultures that are violent and inequitable.

For example, cross-cultural surveys such as those of anthropologist Peggy R. Sanday and sociologist Scott Coltrane show great cultural variability in the relations between women and men, rates of violence, and general social structure. 

Sanday and Coltrane found statistically significant correlations that verify the foundational importance of gender roles and relations to a culture's character.6 For instance, they found a statistically significant correlation between greater sexual equality and a greater male involvement in childcare, which in turn often correlated with a cultural construction of masculinity that is not disassociated from all that is "soft" or stereotypically feminine.

Nonetheless, in different permutations, narratives that make it seem as if the androcratic/domination model is the only possible cultural form periodically resurge.   Indeed, these resurgences are a notable feature of times of regression to the domination model – times like the period we are experiencing worldwide today.

The Battle over Cultural Origins

If we look at modern history through the analytical lens of the partnership-domination continuum, we see that, while this is not brought out in conventional historical analyses, all the progressive social movements have been challenges to entrenched tradition of domination.

This takes me to one of the themes of this conference: the current resurgence of the argument that archeological evidence supports the conclusion that violence, male dominance, and unjust social arrangements are universals that have been with us since prehistoric times.

Again, this position is not new.  And neither is the position that it is not true. 

The mid and late nineteenth century was a time of strong partnership movement in Europe and the United States.  At the same time that writings on humanism, feminism, and socialism challenged entrenched traditions of domination, a number of scholars proposed that mythical and archeological evidence points to a time when human society was not one of domination and exploitation. These scholars wrote of matriarchies that preceded patriarchies, societies in which women were not dominated by men that were also more equitable and peaceful.7  But toward the end of the 19th century, there was a strong movement to discredit these matriarchal theorists. This came along with an anti-feminist crusade, a religious movement that had as its goal the creation of a Christian state, a massive re-concentration of wealth in the hands of industrial "robber barons," and a cultural push to re-establish the old "macho" masculinity that, as Theodore Roszak wrote, combined the vilification of women with the glorification of male violence that eventually culminated in the bloodbath of World War I.8

But the movement toward partnership resurged with renewed vigor in the second half of the 20th century. Along with the civil rights, peace, economic equity, and women's liberation and women's rights movements, came a new wave of assertions that patriarchy is not the only cultural possibility.  And, again, part of this movement was the assertion that there were prehistoric societies in which men did not dominate women, that were also generally more egalitarian and peaceful.

During the 1960s, British archeologist James Mellaart reported his discovery of the Anatolian town of Çatal Hüyük, an advanced Neolithic site where he reported finding many female images and no signs of destruction through warfare for almost 1000 years. This was followed by the publication of the work of Lithuanian-American archeologist Marija Gimbutas on what she called the pre-Indo-European Civilization of Old Europe, where she reported that between circa 7000 and 3500 B.C.E. there developed a complex social organization, in which female figures and symbols were foremost, and peace seems to have been the general norm.  Others, such as Alexander Marshack, who revised earlier interpretations of Paleolithic art, and Nikolas Platon, who excavated the generally peaceful Minoan civilization that flourished on Crete until circa 1400 BCE, also reported the presence of what they called Goddess figurines in prehistoric cultures.9

But in the closing decades of the 20th century, came yet another campaign to demolish interpretations of prehistory and ancient history that did not present a top-down, male-dominated, chronically violent system as the only human possibility. Many scholars returned to the view that cultural evolution is driven by genetic imperatives that make a top-down, male-dominated, chronically violent social organization the only possibility. Or they argued that although the early hunting-gathering stage of culture was more egalitarian and peaceful, technological and social complexity inevitably led to war and domination.10

As in the late 19th century, this 20th century backlash against narratives that support the possibility of partnership or gylanic relations was not an isolated event. It was part of a larger cultural backlash.  It occurred at the same time as fundamentalist religious leaders launched a virulent anti-feminist crusade and agitated to get women back into their "traditional" place.  As in the late 19th century, there was also an enormous re-concentration of wealth –  this time in multinational corporations with more assets than most nations, and in a new class of billionaires with a combined wealth equal to the combined wealth of the majority of people on the planet.11

In short, the efforts to counter challenges to dominator narratives about human possibilities did not take place in a cultural vacuum.  This does not mean there was a conspiracy between archeologists and regressive religious, political, and economic forces seeking to return us to a time when most men and all women "knew their place." But because of pressures for dominator systems maintenance, the cultural climate, including the academic cultural climate, was no longer supportive of those who looked at prehistory through a different lens.

Ideology and Interpretation

Of course, no one can be certain of what happened thousands of years ago. Indeed, even when there are written records, we cannot fully rely on them as accurate, much less complete, accounts. They too reflect the writers' views, his or her personal history and professional training, and with the academic rewards system for certain views rather than others. Above all, interpretations are often influenced by the prevailing cultural assumptions, which are often projected onto earlier societies.

For example, when the Paleolithic "Montgaudier baton" (a 14½ inch engraved reindeer antler) was found in the 1880s by the famous French prehistorian Abbé Breuil, he reported that  he saw on it a series of  "barbed harpoons." But when Marshack looked at these carvings again through a magnifying lens that made it possible to more clearly make out worn areas, the "weapons" turned out to be line drawings of plants. As Marshack wrote: "Under the microscope, it was evident that these were impossible harpoons; the barbs were turned the wrong way and the points of the long shafts were at the wrong end. However, they were perfect plants or branches, growing at the proper angle and in the proper way at the top of a long stem." So according to Marshack, the images on this ancient object had little to do with killing. They reflected our ancestors' interest in, and celebration of, the coming of Spring – or, as Marshack put it, "the birth of the New Year."

This concern with the renewal of life also seems to be reflected in many of the beautiful animal cave paintings of the Paleolithic, which show male and female animals in pairs, with the females sometimes pregnant as well as in the carvings generally known as Venus figurines: stylized female figures  highlighting woman's life-giving powers. Yet some scholars today argue that these carvings were just representations of women, with no mythical significance – or even that they were just dolls.           

But to say that a work such as the Venus of Laussel, carved at the entrance of a cave sanctuary or ritual site, is merely a representation of a woman with no mythical significance, or something meant for children's play, does not make sense.  Like other Venus figures, the Venus of Laussel is a wide-hipped, large-bellied, possibly pregnant, nude. She is not a portable figure, and hence cannot have been meant as a doll. Her left hand points to her clearly delineated vulva, and in her right hand she holds a crescent moon notched with thirteen markings: the number of the lunar cycles of a year as well as of woman's menstrual cycles.  As Elinor Gadon and other scholars noted, this prehistoric figure, and the ceremonies performed in the Laussel cave, must have had something to do with women's menstrual cycles and the cycles of the moon.12  They were most probably associated with the recognition that woman's  life-giving power plays an important role in the great cyclic drama of birth, sex, death and rebirth.13

There are also conflicting interpretations of the next phase of cultural development: the Neolithic. It is difficult to establish the social and economic structure of prehistoric societies from archeological remains.  But we can draw some conclusions from the relative size and arrangement of dwellings as well as from the relative sizes of  burials and the "grave gifts" in them.  Based on these sources, Mellaart wrote that although some social inequality is suggested by sizes of buildings, equipment, and burial gifts, this was "never a glaring one". Similarly, Gimbutas wrote of "tightly knit egalitarian communities" in Old Europe, noting that "the distribution of wealth in graves speaks for an economic egalitarianism."14  Platon wrote that excavations of later Minoan sites not only showed a generally high standard of living and a high status for women but also a general absence of signs of destruction through warfare.

Gimbutas and Mellaart too concluded that while the earlier Neolithic cultures they excavated were not violence-free, they were not warlike. These interpretations contrast sharply with those of archeologists such as Brian Hayden, who wrote that the Old European sites described by Gimbutas must have been top-down chiefdoms in light of their size, craft specialization, and other advanced features.  Indeed, one of Hayden's major assumptions has been that Neolithic societies were chronically warlike and can best be understood in terms of a "Big Man complex", which he believed is "founded upon self-interest, desire for power and materialism."15

These kinds of interpretation not only ignore the   evidence for a more egalitarian social structure; they also ignore the general absence of fortifications as well as of scenes depicting and idealizing violence in the art of the early and middle Neolithic. In contrast to later art, there is a general absence of scenes of men killing each other in "heroic battles" or idealizing strong-man rule.  Instead, we find a great variety of images of nature, as well as a profusion of female figures often emphasizing vulvas and breasts, pointing to a cultural focus on the power to give and nurture life rather than the power to dominate and take life.

Nonetheless, proposals that the prevalence of these female images reflects cultures in which women were not dominated by men are today fiercely disputed. Even beyond this, Paleolithic cave carvings that scholars such as Marshack and Gimbutas classified as vulvas are being reclassified as merely cleft ovals or ovals with slits, although phalluses are still described as phalluses.  In the same way, Neolithic female carvings that Mellaart and Gimbutas classified as Goddess figurines are being described as female dolls, even though male figurines are recognized as having ritual significance.  And the old assumption that the appearance of the archaic state, and with it "high civilization," brought with it male dominance, chronic warfare, and slave-based economies is being revived, despite the fact that there are no indications that this was the case in the highly advanced civilization of Minoan Crete.

The High Civilization of Minoan Crete

Although Minoan society was socially complex and technologically advanced, with clear signs of centralized government, it was in key respects different from the other high civilizations of that time. As Greek archeologist Nanno Marinatos noted, the lack of fortifications indicates not only peaceful co-existence among the Minoan city-states but also that religion rather than violence was the primary means of enforcing the authority of the rulers. Also interesting is that there are no martial female deities in Minoan iconography.16 This too is in contrast to later high civilizations, where female deities such as Ishtar and Athene are already warrior goddesses.

We have to make a distinction between two different kinds of hierarchies.  One kind are hierarchies based on force or the threat of force, which I have called domination hierarchies. The other are the more flexible and less authoritarian hierarchies I have called actualization hierarchies, which go along with greater complexity of functions and higher levels of performance. In hierarchies of actualization respect and accountability flow not only from the bottom up but also from the top down. It is this second kind, the actualization hierarchy, that I probably better describes the administrative and religious structure at ancient Minoan sites such as the Palace of Knossos, which apparently also served as centers for crafts, trade, and resources distribution.

A Minoan art work of particular interest in this connection is the so-called procession fresco. Here the central figure (with arms raised in benediction) is not on an elevated pedestal (as later "divine kings" characteristically are shown) or of a larger size than the approaching figures bringing it offerings of fruit and wine. Equally interesting is that the central figure in this fresco is female rather than male.

Accordingly, some scholars have written about a queen or queen/priestess as the representative of the Goddess officiating in the famous "throne room" of the Palace of Knossos. As Reusch points out, the griffins on each side of the "throne" are almost universally associated with goddess figures. The lilies and spirals on the walls are also typical goddess symbols and the smallness of the "throne" (actually a gracefully carved stone chair that is not elevated) also suggest that a woman may have been its occupant. However, as Willetts further points out, it is also highly probable that "male hierarchies had co-existed with the palace priestesses, some in charge perhaps of trade and maritime affairs, others serving as priests."

What all this points to is a partnership-oriented or gylanic society where both women and men played leading roles, with men probably playing a larger role in trade and administration, and women in religion.

From Past to Present and Future

Using the analytical framework of the partnership/domination continuum, the cultural transformation theory introduced in my books traces the evolution of Western societies from prehistory to the present in terms of the underlying tension between the partnership and domination models as two basic alternatives for organizing society.  Like chaos theory, cultural transformation theory highlights that social systems are self-organizing and self-maintaining, but that during periods of disequilibrium they are capable of transformative change. It proposes that cultural evolution is not a straight-line upward movement from barbarism to civilization, as we are often taught, but that it has from the beginning consisted of the tension between the partnership or gylanic and the dominator or androcratic models as two underlying possibilities for all societies – from tribal to technologically advanced.17Cultural transformation theory further proposes that there is evidence of cultural transformation during a time of disequilibrium in prehistory when the original course of civilization, not only in the West but also in other early centers of civilization, shifted from a partnership to dominator direction.

Here I want to conclude my remarks by looking at the application of cultural transformation theory to our present and future.  Because in our time of massive technological and social dislocation another fundamental shift is possible — to a world orienting more to partnership rather than domination.   

Largely because of the dislocation and disequilibrium brought by the shift to industrial technologies that accelerated in the West during the 18th century, modern history has seen many challenges to entrenched traditions of domination – from the "divinely ordained" rule of kings over their "subjects" and of men over women and childrenin the "castles" of their homes, to the enslavement of one race by another and the use of warfare as a means for one nation to control another. These challenges brought many gains we today take for granted.

However, the movement toward partnership has not been linear.  It has been more like a spiral upward movement, with periodic dips or regressions to the domination model.  In the West, the most visible regressions have been those of Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union.  Today, we are in a time of global regression to the domination model.

It is precisely during periods of regression that we need to be proactive rather than just reactive. This requires a systemic approach – one that takes into full account what we have been examining: the foundational importance of how a culture structures the roles and relations of the female and male halves of humanity.

In the first stage of the modern partnership movement, the emphasis was primarily on dismantling the top of the dominator pyramid –  on economic and political relations in the so-called public sphere. Far less emphasis was placed on the so-called private sphere of relations – the relations between women and men and between them and their sons and daughters –  which were seen as secondary "women's issues" and "children's issues."

As a result, we still lack the solid foundations on which to build a truly democratic, equitable, more peaceful world.

It is not coincidental that for the most violent and repressive regimes and would-be regimes of modern times a top priority has been "getting women back into their traditional place" in a "traditional family," a code word for a family where top-down control and severe punishments are taught children as normal, moral, and inevitable. The reason, simply put, is that it is in family and other intimate relations that people first learn and continually practice either dominator or partnership relations. 

But a way of structuring relations into rigid rankings of domination –  be it man over woman, man over man, race over race, nation over nation, or man over nature –  is not tenable at our level of technological development. This is why we urgently need to move to a crucial second stage in the challenge to traditions of domination: a politics of partnership that encompassesboth the public and private spheres of human relations and focuses intense attention on shifting gender relations from domination to partnership.18

There has already been much progress in moving toward partnership, as evidenced by the changes in the West from the Middle Ages to today.  There is today an unprecedentedly strong grassroots movement in all world regions toward family and social structures that are closer to the partnership than domination model. But, as I have briefly outlined,  much more attention must be given to the cultural construction of the roles and relations of the two basic halves of humanity as foundational to a more sustainable, equitable, and peaceful future.

Congresses such as this are important contributions to this urgently needed focus on gender roles and relations as integral to the kind of cultures and world we create. Cultural transformation does not happen by itself.  It comes about through human agency, and every one of us can play a part.  Awareness that a cultural organization based on partnership – on mutual respect, accountability, and benefit, rather than on fear, domination, and violence – is possible, and that so-called women's issues are central rather than peripheral, is basic to the construction of  the kind of world we so want and need for ourselves, our children, and generations to come.


- Bachofen, J.J. Myth, Religion, and Mother-Right. Ralph Mannheim, translator. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.  Originally published as Das Mutterrecht in German in 1861.

- Dijkstra, Bram. Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evils in Fin-de-siecle Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986.

- Eisler, Riane. The Chalice and The Blade: Our History, Our Future. San Francisco: Harper & Row,


--. Sacred Pleasure: Sex, Myth, and the Politics of the Body. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1995.

--. Human Possibilities: Who We Are, Were, and Can Be. Work in progress.

- Eisler, Riane and Daniel S. Levine. "Nurture, Nature, and Caring: We Are Not Prisoners of Our Genes." Brain and Mind, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2002: 9-52.

- Engels, Friedrich.  Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State.  New York: International Publishers, 1972.  Originally published in 1884, 1890.

- Gadon, Elinor. The Once and Future Goddess. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989.

- Gage, Matilda Joslyn.  Woman, Church and State: A Historical Account of the Status of Woman Through the Christian Ages with Reminiscences of the Matriarchate. Arno Press Inc, 1972, original publication 1893.

- Gimbutas, Marija. The Civilization of the Goddess.  San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1991.

--. Edited and supplemented by Miriam Robbins Dexter. The Living Goddesses. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1999.                           

- Lerner, Gerda. The Creation of Patriarchy.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

- Leroi-Gourhan, André. Prehistoire de l'Art Occidental. Paris: Edition D'Art Lucien Mazenod, 1971.

- Marinatos, Nanno. Minoan Religion: Ritual, Image, and Symbol.  Columbia, S.C.:  University of South Carolina Press, 1993.

- Marler, Joan. "A Response by Joan Marler to Brian Hayden's article, ‘An Archaeological Evaluation of the Gimbutas Paradigm.'" The Pomegranate 10, 1999: 37-46. http://www.uscolo.edu/natrel/pom/old/POM10a2.html

- Marshack, Alexander. The Roots of Civilization. Mount Kisco, New York: Moyer Bell, 1991.

- Platon, Nicholas. Crete. Geneva: Nagel Publishers, 1966.

- Roszak, Theodore. "The Hard and the Soft: The Force of Feminism in Modern Times." In Masculine/Feminine edited by Betty Roszak and Theodore Roszak, New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1969: 92-93.

- Sanday, Peggy Reeves.  Female Power and Male Dominance:  On the Origins of Sexual Inequality.  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1981

- Ucko, Peter J.  Anthropomorphic Figurines of Predynastic Egypt and Neolithic Crete with Comparative Material from the Prehistoric Near East and  Mainland Greece. London: Andrew Szmidla, 1968.

- Willetts, R. F. The Civilization of Ancient Crete. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977.

1 Eisler, 1987; 1995; 2000; 2002.

2 Schlegel 1970, 1998; Sanday 2002; Min, 1995; Goettner-Abendroth;  Pietila , 2001; Eisler, Loye, and Norgaard, 1995.

3 Dawkins, 1976; Barkow, Cosmides, and Tooby, 1992; Wright, 1994.

4 Thornhill and Palmer, 2000; Pinker, 2002.

5 de Waal and Lanting 1997, 118-121.

6  I want to emphasize that when we speak of statistically significant correlations, this does not mean invariable correlations, but rather central tendencies.  Because cultures involve a very large number of variables, we can expect some variations from central tendencies.  For example,  some societies with an ideology of male dominance where women had some economic power still tended to have a relatively high degree of male aggression, including aggression against women.

7 Bachofen, 1861; Morgan, 1877; Engels, 1884; Gage 1893.

8 Roszak, 1969; Dijkstra, 1986; Eisler, 1995.

9 Marshack,  Platon, Gimbutas.

10 Engels had proposed a variation of this theory in Origins of the Family.  More recent articulations are Meillassoux, 1972; Boulding, 1976; Lerner, 1987.

11 United Nations Development Program, Human Development Report1998, New York: Oxford University Press 1998, pp. 29-30.

12 Gadon, 19..

13 Andre Leroi-Gourhan, director of the Sorbonne's Center for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Studies, also concluded that Paleolithic art expressed an early religion in which feminine representations and symbols played a central part. He wrote that characteristically the female figures and symbols were located in a central position in the excavated chambers.  In contrast, the masculine symbols typically either occupied peripheral positions or were arranged around the femalefigures and symbols."(For a more detailed discussion, see Eisler 1987).

14 Gimbutas 1991: 94; 324.

15 Hayden, 1993:251-253. For a detailed critique of Hayden, see Marler, 1998.

16 Marinatos 1993: 104, 149.

17 Eisler, 1987 (The Chalice and The Blade), 1995 (Sacred Pleasure), and 2000 (Tomorrow's Children).

18 This integrated partnership political agenda focuses on four cornerstones: Partnership gender relations; Partnership childhood relations; Partnership economics; and Cultural beliefs, myths, and stories that support partnership. In my most recent book, The Power of Partnership, I present some key strategic building blocks to put each of these cornerstones in place and show how every one of us can help with their construction.