The present inquiry, therefore, is not concerned with the beginning of indolence, nor with the beginning of the appropriation of useful articles to individual consumption (Hinkrl and Fotos, 2002). The point in question is the origin and nature of a conventional leisure class on the one hand and the beginnings of individual ownership as a conventional right or equitable claim on the other hand.
The early differentiation out of which the distinction between a leisure and a working class arises is a division maintained between mens and womens work in the lower stages of barbarism (Hodgson, 2004). Likewise the earliest form of ownership is an ownership of the women by the ablebodied men of the community. The facts may be expressed in more general terms, and truer to the import of the barbarian theory of life, by saying that it is an ownership of the woman by the man.
There was undoubtedly some appropriation of useful articles before the custom of appropriating women arose (Michelman, 1969). The usages of existing archaic communities in which there is no ownership of women is warrant for such a view. In all communities the members, both male and female, habitually appropriate to their individual use a variety of useful things; but these useful things are not thought of as owned by the person who appropriates and consumes them (Mitchell, 1936). The habitual appropriation and consumption of certain slight personal effects goes on without raising the question of ownership; that is to say, the question of a conventional, equitable claim to extraneous things.
The ownership of women begins in the lower barbarian stages of culture, apparently with the seizure of female captives (Rosenberg, 1936). The original reason for the seizure and appropriation of women seems to have been their usefulness as trophies. The practice of seizing women from the enemy as trophies gave rise to a form of