Looking back on human history males have been the dominant sex in virtually every civilization. However, patriarchy was not always the standard. In the world's first civilization, Mesopotamia, females were regarded in much higher standing than males. Females were seen as the givers of life and without them the sources of future generations would not be possible. Conversely males were insignificant.
During this time, Mesopotamians did not understand that sexual intercourse could lead to pregnancy, rather just an enjoyable act. Child birth was thought to have just happened which was what had made female so special. The birth of a daughter was a gift. In Mesopotamian writing people were represented as trees. When a tree (the mother) drops a seed (a daughter) another tree will grow. On the other hand, when a leaf sprouts (the birth of a son) it lives for a while but eventually falls off and dies.
This meant that males played no part in pro-creation and no part of them lived on in future generations. The profound irony is that in modern society the perception of the male's role in pro-creation is almost the complete opposite; male is supreme.
This philosophy influenced Mesopotamians in religion. All the Mesopotamians worshipped were females or at least representative of females. Examples of symbols that they worshipped were mother earth, the moon, snakes, and the double axe. Mesopotamians believed that all vegetation was born of mother earth and that each day the sun was born and rose all day until it went back into mother earth only to be reborn the next day. The moon was also a symbol of worship. This was seen as being holy like the sun because of its constant rebirth. Snakes were especially sacred to Mesopotamians. Snakes and other serpents were regular focuses of...