"What is needed now is a perceptual shift to help account more convincingly for what we already know. Scholars are familiar with that most satisfying of tasks here: finding plausible links between apparently unconnected bits of information. The result will be not only a fuller picture of the past but also a different one. The operative image is not the discovery of missing pieces in the jigsaw puzzle of the past, but rather a turn of the historical kaleidoscope. The colored stones collected so far will remain in view when it is held to the light, but their hues and positions will have changed."
Mary S. Hartman The Household and the Making of History (Cambridge, 2004), 242
Hartman suggests that the northwest European marriage pattern set up an entirely unique gender and family dynamic that in turn created the path of western history. Do you agree? Does Hartman's explanation for patriarchy and early modern gender also explain some of our contemporary attitudes about masculinity and femininity?