Ancient Rome Infanticide Practices Did Not Favor Boys After All, DNA Study Suggests-
A new look at a cache of baby bones discovered in Britain is altering assumptions about why ancient Romans committed infanticide.
Infant girls were apparently not killed more often than baby boys, researchers report in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.
"Very often, societies have preferred male offspring, so when they practice infanticide, it tends to be the male babies that are kept, and the female babies that are killed,” said study researcher Simon Mays, a skeletal biologist for English Heritage, a non-governmental organization that protects historic sites.
Though ancient Romans indeed preferred boys, there is no evidence they went as far as infanticide to skew the sex ratio, Mays told LiveScience. [The Science of Death: 10 Tales from the Crypt]
Read more: Huffington Post
What we don’t know for certain is the cause of these facts. Countless ‘reasons’ are flung around to try to explain the disparities, from unsupported theories about gender-based skill sets, to frustratingly simplistic claims that women are to blame for not being tenacious or ambitious enough, to over-generalised stereotypes about childbirth and family life. The latter frequently fail to take into account the enormous influence of provisions for maternity and paternity leave, support for working parents and more, thus conveniently blaming parents whose careers are adversely affected instead of critiquing the system that has created this result in the first place.
None of these theories alone is sufficient to explain the enormous disparity between men and women’s professional achievements and earnings. It is likely that several of the more considered and balanced ideas may hold some merit and account for some part of the problem.
But there are other factors at play. While it may not be convenient or popular to acknowledge it, the huge number of women who have written to the Everyday Sexism Project to document their experiences of sexism in the workplace strongly suggests that this is another important influence.
Photo by Gemma Angel.
As far as I am concerned, the epidemic of gaslighting is part of the struggle against the obstacles of inequality that women constantly face. Acts of gaslighting steal their most powerful tool: their voice. This is something we do to women every day, in many different ways.
I don’t think this idea that women are “crazy,” is based in some sort of massive conspiracy. Rather, I believe it’s connected to the slow and steady drumbeat of women being undermined and dismissed, on a daily basis. And gaslighting is one of many reasons why we are dealing with this public construction of women as “crazy.”