An Anthropologist and Feminism, 1974, page 5

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unpredictable labors of men seems accurate. women are pro-
ducers of important subsistence foods as are.men; but women's
production is reliable. Limiting resources by definition may
easily become less available and chancier and, I suggest, are
the domain of men. I have not focused on the origins for this
division being more concerned with how it functions. The
question of origins in the sense of the original invention of
any social trait is analogous to querying the origin of a par«

tioular mutation. Though interesting, perhaps, neither are

important in considering the behavioral results and function~‘_

ing of the_innovation. However. I suspect that the assign-
ment off: steady, dependable food supply relates to women's
responsibility for continuous infant care. I agree with the
work of several anthropologists who have pointed out that un-
til the invention of the baby bottle, women had to be the
primary socializers of.a population's children. In any.
society that plans to survive this essential responsibility
must be considered in any other employment of women's skills.

If I am able to support this hypothesis for the basis of the

division of labor it will not solve all questions regarding

' women's roles. It will. however, add an important dimension

to the discussion of uhy some tribal societies treat women
well while others abuse them, and why it is still possible

to view tribal societies as structurally more egalitarian in