In human history, how did marriage evolve, and the subjugation of women? 


This is the compromise that human beings have made: to be secure about the future, to be certain about the tomorrows, to have a guarantee that the woman who loves you is going to love you forever, that it is not a temporary affair....

That’s why religious people say that marriages are "made in heaven"... a strange kind of heaven, because if these marriages are made in heaven, then what can you make in hell? They don’t show the signs, the fragrance, the freshness, the beauty of heaven. They are certainly disgusting, ugly... they show something of hell certainly. But man settled for marriage because that was the only way to have private property.

Animals don’t have private property -- they are all communists, and far better communists than have appeared in human history. They don’t have any dictatorship of the proletariat and they have not lost their freedom, but they don’t have any private property.

Man also lived for thousands of years without marriage, but those were the days when there was no private property. Those were the days of hunting; man was a hunter. And those people thousands of years ago had no cold-storage system, no technology -- whatever food they got they had to finish as quickly as possible. They could only hope that tomorrow they will get some food again.

Because there was nothing to accumulate, there was no question of marriage. People lived in communes, tribes; people loved, people reproduced, but in the beginning there was no word for "father." The word "mother" is far more ancient and far more natural. You will be surprised to know that the word `uncle’ is older than the word "father" -- because all the people who were the age of your father... you didn’t know who your father was. Men and women were mixing joyously -- without any compulsion, without any legal bondage, out of their free will. If they wanted to meet and be together there was no question of domination. The children never knew who their father was, they knew only their mother. And they knew many men in the tribe; someone amongst those men must have been their father, hence they were all uncles.

As private property came into existence with cultivation.... With hunting, man could not survive long. People have destroyed complete species of animals. Hundreds of species which once used to dance and sing on this earth... man has eaten them up. Something had to be done because hunting was not reliable. Today you may get food, tomorrow you may have to be hungry. And it was very arduous. The search for animals did not allow man to develop any of his other talents, his genius. But cultivation changed the whole life of man.

You must be reminded
of the fact that
is the discovery of women,
not of men.

The woman was confined -- she was not able to go hunting. Most of the time she was pregnant, she was weak, she was carrying another soul within her. She needed care, protection...so she was living in the house. She started making the living space more beautiful -- and this you can see even today, after thousands of years.

If you enter into a bachelor’s room you can immediately say that it is a bachelor’s room. You may not be able to decide by seeing the bachelor whether he is bachelor or not, but his room certainly is a bachelor! The woman, her touch, is missing. The house of a bachelor is never a home, it is just a place where he sleeps. It is not something with which he feels a certain intimacy, a certain creative relationship.

The home, the village, the city and the whole civilization are because of the woman, because she was free from hunting and she had different values of the heart and of the mind -- she was more aesthetic, more graceful, more earthly, not at all interested in hell and heaven and God and the devil and all that crap! No woman has written a single religious scripture. No woman has been a philosopher thinking about abstract, faraway things.

Woman’s consciousness is interested only in the intimate surroundings -- she would like a beautiful house, she would like a beautiful garden. She wants to create a small world of her own -- cozy, comfortable. She imparts a certain quality to a dead house and it becomes a living home. It is a magical transformation.

Man continued to hunt, and the woman started looking around...the man had no time. He has always been busy without business, but the woman had all the time there is. The basic work of hunting was being done by the groups of men and the woman started looking around. She discovered cultivation because she saw wild fruits growing, she saw many other things growing and she also saw that every year the crop dies, the seeds fall back into the earth and when the rains come, again those seeds sprout in thousands of plants.

She started experimenting to find what was edible and what was not edible. Soon, as hunting was becoming more and more difficult, men had to agree with women: "We have to shift our whole economic focus. We have to go for cultivation, for fruits, for vegetables. And these are in our hands -- we can produce as much as we want, as we need it, and there is tremendous variety."

Slowly, slowly the nomads, the wandering tribes...because hunters cannot stay in one place. They have to go on moving as the animals escape. Once hunting was dropped and cultivation became our very measure of survival a new thing also happened alongside.

There were people who were powerful people and there were people who were weak people. The people who were physically powerful managed to claim much ground as their property. They earned much...slowly, slowly the barter system started, because when you have too much of one crop, what are you going to do with it? You have to exchange it; then you can have many more things. Life became more complex, with more excitement.

But a problem was felt: after a person dies, who is going to inherit his property? Nobody wanted their property to be inherited by any XYZ. They wanted their property to belong to their own blood.

It is out of economics,
not out of the understanding of love
that marriage came into existence.
Its very birth was wrong,
under the wrong stars.

And because man had to agree for marriage.... The woman was very willing for the simple reason that for thousands of years in the hunting period she was not financially a part of the society; man was all. Man continued his power, although the whole social structure changed. The hunter’s nomadic life became a peaceful life in a village but man’s concern about his property.... He wanted a contract with the woman to be certain that the son she was giving birth to is not somebody else’s, but his own. For this simple purpose all the woman’s freedom had to be destroyed. She had to live almost like a prisoner, or worse.

Man agreed -- under compulsion, he compromised. If the woman was losing a few things -- her freedom of movement, her freedom in changing lovers -- man was also ready to sacrifice his freedom. They would remain devoted to each other forever.

But it is against nature. Even if you want to do it nature is not going to support you.

Nature is for freedom, not for any kind of bondage.

So new problems started arising. Men started finding prostitutes who were no-one’s wives, or as it was phrased in India, the prostitute was the wife of the whole town: nagarvadhu. She belongs to anybody, she is a commodity; you have to pay and buy her time and her body. Because of marriage it was very difficult to find married women because then there were more complexities: they had their husbands.... Prostitutes were good.

And you will be surprised to know that in India every city had its topmost prostitute -- she was the most beautiful girl born in that city. Because she was so beautiful it was not right to let her get married to one person, she had to be shared. She was so beautiful that if she got married there would be trouble, there would be problems -- people would go on falling in love with her. It was better to keep her free for anybody who would pay.

Marriage created suspicion. The husband was always suspicious about whether the child born to them was his own or not. And the problem is, the father had no way to determine that a child was his own. Only the mother knew. Because the father had no way of being certain, he created more and more walls around the woman -- that was the only possibility, the only alternative -- to disconnect her from the larger humanity. Not to educate her, because education gives wings to people, thoughts, makes people capable of revolt, so no education for women. No religious education for women, because religion makes you saints, holy people and it has been a male-dominated society for centuries and man cannot conceive a woman to be higher and holier than himself.

Man has been cutting from the very roots any possibility of woman’s growth. She is just a factory to manufacture children. She has not been accepted by any culture in the world as equal to man.

Osho: Sermons in Stones, Chapter 13.