In a conversation recently, I was a bit surprised there are those who consider agriculture a “revolution.” I admit, I infer force and violence when I think of a revolution, but discovered, it doesn’t have to be. It can be just a radical societal structure change. So I suppose in this sense I can see why agriculture might be considered by some as a revolution.
People, hundreds of years ago, were hunters and gatherers according to historical records and once people discovered producing food through the means of planting and harvesting, it did change the way people lived. It required (or enabled) people to stay in an area longer if they were able to sustain their diet this way. Some would even say this is the catalyst to permanent settlements, which eventually led to towns, cities and states.
Others would also suggest the idea of agriculture as the beginning of the decline of women’s rights. I am not a “woman’s rights activist” and might even lean toward the other side of this particular equation. While I don’t want to be less than equal to a man on most levels, there is something special about being held in an honored way or valued as a woman. I enjoy a door being opened for me, or having a man being “head of the household.” That doesn’t mean I want to be considered less of a person because I am a woman. My opinions and ideas are as important as any male figure, but in the hierarchy of things, I just see the man edge out the woman by just a nudge!
Women and men see the world differently, and that’s by design! I react and work largely on my emotions while my husband is logical and much less emotional than I. Neither is wrong, just different! But when you add agriculture to the equation, I have a difficult time coming up with this unique perspective.
When we have a garden, my husband and I usually plant together. He usually is the “weeder” and we both harvest, yet it is I who prepare the meals from the food gathered and preserve the extra through canning, dehydrating or freezing. So I don’t see how women’s right’s were infringed upon at all!
Like most jobs in a marriage or relationship, it’s a division of labor, often according to preference and ability. So is agriculture a revolution? Maybe, but I think it singularly may not be the case. When considering how society has changed over the years, I see it as a lot of little things that caused settlements to emerge in a fledging country battling for sustainability, both collectively and singularly in family units.
So I wonder, how do you feel about the idea of agriculture being a “revolution?” And do you see it as an infringement on women’s rights? Can you see any connection between the two? Share your thoughts on this unique perspective!