Etymology of Patrimony

It is part of the cultural and historical influence of the patriarchy at the linguistic level, exposing reference in the Latin patrimōnium, resulting in a composition given by pater, which refers to the head of the family or owner and master of servants or slaves who served in his residence or famulus as it was originally conceived. From the Indo-European *pater, and -mōnium, expressed in the suffix -mony, encompassing various religious or legal functions.

Historically, men were in a position of power over the financial management within their homes, depriving women of their decisions and freedoms, and limiting them to the procreation, care and education of children, as an unbreakable natural order. Likewise, the woman had to explain and justify her expenses to her husband, and if it was something significant, she had to have prior consent for it. When women began their struggle for work independence in the 1960s, it was normal that their earnings were given to their husbands, so that they could organize them in such a way as to maintain their place.

At a legal level, the patrimony is referred as ‘estate’, observed in the sense of the succession of assets of a deceased person to his closest relatives or the dispositions given in the form of a will. Likewise, there is a similar process in divorce cases for the distribution of assets acquired during the relationship, which could extend to common-law relationships as well, according to local laws. In essence, it is understood nationally and internationally as the preservation of people’s assets. On the other hand, it is seen in the field of taxation, from the declaration made by the physical and legal entities, regarding the goods acquired as well as the income received, aspects that have to be informed to the state, observing that its omission can be punishable by law up to a prison sentence depending on the person’s intension and the gravity of the situation.

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