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Well, there are signs that many ancient societies were matriarchies. Some of these women-dominated societies still exist in parts of Asia and perhaps in south America as well. I guess women from such societies will probably deplore the male-dominated world we have today.|
Marx is right in his basic concepts of base and superstructure - human behavior, and that includes the way they think, arises largely out of their socio-economic conditions. In less technology-driven societies, it could be more economically advantageous to have women working at home and looking after children while their menfolk, capitalizing on their greater upper-body strength, work outdoors (when in fields or factories). However, when societies become more knowledge and technology-driven, muscle power becomes less vital, thus opening the door for women to work outside the home. In some occupations, women might even have the advantage as their fine motor skills, possibly due to smaller hands and years of working with sewing and other similar activities, enable them to be more productive than their menfolk. These occupations include keyboard typing and operating machines that more and more require merely the pressing of tiny buttons. For example, as airplanes become more and more computerized, we would see more and more women pilots.
Many occupations outside the home still depend largely on gross motor skills, and these include not only car repair, furniture making, homebuilding, but also fire-fighting, truck-driving, etc. As these occupations also usually require less schooling, it's not surprising that men would find them attractive (they could start earning a living while their college friends still burn the midnight oil). Women, of course, would generally prefer work that require less manual labor and more brainwork. So the higher ratio of women vs men in colleges is quite natural. However, because knowledge-oriented work pays more than most manual occupations or, put it another way, college education does bring in more money and higher status, women ARE beginning to dominate in fields that were once male preserves. And when that happens, there's what you called "role reversal."
Is it really that bad - the role reversal thing? As I said at the beginning, those that remember past matriarchies might very well complain about the role reversals that took place some 7 or 8 thousand years ago. But I don't think the future would be matriarchal: even today, there's a glass ceiling for women in most corporations, and in the US men still vastly outnumber women in Congress. Women, sadly, still on average get only about 65 percent of the salary paid to men for the same kind of work. As a father and grandfather of several women, I'm outraged at this.