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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Has there ever been a well documented matriachal society?

55 replies

ChickensHaveNoEyebrows · 20/08/2011 12:16

I was just wondering , if the power balance was tipped in womens favour, how society would define masculine roles iyswim? Would it be a fairer society generally, or would it still have equality problems? And if it has ever happened, what exactly were those problems?

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alexpolismum · 20/08/2011 13:33

there was one in South America, but I can't remember the name just now.

Anyway, the one I like most is this one in China (I've mentioned it on MN before): the Mosuo also look here

you can find out more about them by typing 'Mosuo' into Google

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ChickensHaveNoEyebrows · 20/08/2011 14:13

Ooh, thanks

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alexpolismum · 20/08/2011 14:39

I was trying to remember the South American one, and I came across this overview of contemporary matriarchy which looks quite interesting

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InvaderZim · 20/08/2011 22:30

North American Indian (or First People) Tribes which are matriarchal:

Haida (Pacific Northwest US and Canada)
Hopi and Tanoans (Pueblo, Southwest US)

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UsingMainlySpoons · 20/08/2011 23:31

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SpamMarie · 22/08/2011 20:58

Elephants?

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PotPourri · 22/08/2011 20:59

Lions

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ChickensHaveNoEyebrows · 22/08/2011 21:01

Lions get a raw deal, though. The females do all the work and the bastard big haired lion swaggers in and gets all the tasty bits of the kill. And male lions kill cubs belonging to other males.

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LeninGrad · 23/08/2011 11:24

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UsingMainlySpoons · 23/08/2011 11:26

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LeninGrad · 23/08/2011 11:33

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alexpolismum · 23/08/2011 14:16

Lenin - I like Heide Gottner Abendroth from the previous link. She has done a lot of research into matriarchy, if you put her name in Google something should come up. It's fascinating!

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LeninGrad · 23/08/2011 20:59

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LeninGrad · 24/08/2011 12:39

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alexpolismum · 24/08/2011 14:28

I agree, Lenin, and in fact, I am surprised by how few responses there have been on this thread.

[[http://matriarchy.info/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1 here] is another page to look at

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alexpolismum · 24/08/2011 14:29

Ooops, I mean

here

of course

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ChickensHaveNoEyebrows · 24/08/2011 14:30

I am lurking, but I'm reading through the links.

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Revupk · 24/08/2011 14:34

The Nair community in Kerala is Matrilineal (not Matriarchial) i.e. the inheritane is via the woman not the man. However, since control of wealth confers power, the power balance between the genders is more or less balanced in many ways.

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LeninGrad · 25/08/2011 09:02

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ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin · 25/08/2011 09:16

Interesting that there are so few examples in the entire world and history of the world as we know it.

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LeninGrad · 25/08/2011 09:21

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ChickensHaveNoEyebrows · 25/08/2011 12:22

I suspect (but don't know) that patriarchies got established just because men on the whole are bigger, stronger and could make it happen, iyswim. The alpha male types would have just imposed their will on everyone by throwing their weight around.

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corygal · 25/08/2011 13:45

Isn't Tibet matriarchal? Not the politics, the family structure.

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alexpolismum · 25/08/2011 15:34

Lenin - to go back to your point about self-sufficiency - I don't think that this is necessarily a product of a matriarchal society. I know of communities that were largely self-sufficient, growing their own food, using local resources, etc, before the modern world (and electricity!) caught up with them. But they were not matriarchal communities, and in fact the one I have the most personal knowledge of was heavily patriarchal, and continues to be.

Chickens - I think that men didn't suddenly think "Hey, why don't we oppress women!", it all happened gradually, bit by bit, until one thing lead to another and patriarchy was established. And societies are all inter-linked, neighbouring communities were affected by each other, so that a heavy patriarchy in one community would have affected the non-patriarchal neighbouring group, with a drip-drip effect until patriarchy was established there too. (Obviously, this is just my theory, I can't provide any links or proof!)

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ChickensHaveNoEyebrows · 25/08/2011 15:45

I'm sure you're right alex. I'm just theorising on why most societies became patriarchal rather than matriarchal. The men with the good ideas could throw their weight around effectively if they wanted to shout down other less physically strong members of their community. So eventually, size and strength equals power. Regardless of whether their ideas are the best or not. We still see that in the world today.

As a point of interest, has there ever been a female dictator? Or a female led military style coup?

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