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A matriarchy is a mother or oldest female heads the family. Descent and relationship are determined through the female line. It is also government or rule by a woman or women. While those definitions apply in general English, definitions specific to the disciplines of anthropology and feminism differ in some respects.

Most anthropologists hold that there are no known societies that are unambiguously matriarchal, but some authors believe exceptions may exist or may have. Matriarchies may also be confused with matrilineal, matrilocal, and matrifocal societies. A few people consider any non-patriarchal system to be matriarchal, thus including genderally equalitarian systems, but most academics exclude them from matriarchies strictly defined.

In 19th century Western scholarship, the hypothesis of matriarchy representing an early, mainly prehistoric, stage of human development gained popularity. Possibilities of so-called primitive societies were cited and the hypothesis survived into the 20th century, including in the context of second-wave feminism. This hypothesis was criticized by some authors, including Camille Paglia and Cynthia Eller, and remains as a largely unsolved question to this day. Some older myths describe matriarchies. Several modern feminists have advocated for matriarchy now or in the future and it has appeared in feminist fiction. In several theologies, matriarchy has been portrayed as negative.


  • Definitions, connotations, and etymology 1
  • Related concepts 2
    • Words beginning with gyn- 2.1
    • Intergenerational relationships 2.2
    • Words beginning with matri- 2.3
  • History and distribution 3
    • By region and culture 3.1
      • Ancient Middle East 3.1.1
      • Roman Empire 3.1.2
      • Asia 3.1.3
        • Burma
        • China
        • India
        • Vietnam
      • Native Americans 3.1.4
    • By chronology 3.2
      • Earliest prehistory and undated 3.2.1
      • Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages 3.2.2
      • Bronze Age 3.2.3
      • Iron Age to Middle Ages 3.2.4
      • 20th–21st centuries 3.2.5
  • Mythology 4
    • Amazons 4.1
    • Greece 4.2
    • Celtic myth and society 4.3
    • South America 4.4
  • In feminist thought 5
  • In religious thought 6
    • Exclusionary 6.1
    • Inclusionary 6.2
  • In popular culture 7
    • Ancient theatre 7.1
    • Literature 7.2
    • Film 7.3
    • Television 7.4
  • See also 8
  • Notes 9
  • References 10
  • Bibliography 11
  • Further reading 12
  • External links 13

Definitions, connotations, and etymology

According to the A. R. Radcliffe-Brown argued in 1924 that the definitions of matriarchy and patriarchy had "logical and empirical failings .... [and] were too vague to be scientifically useful".[4]

Most academics exclude egalitarian nonpatriarchal systems from matriarchies more strictly defined. According to Heide Göttner-Abendroth, a reluctance to accept the existence of matriarchies might be based on a specific culturally biased notion of how to define matriarchy: because in a patriarchy men rule over women, a matriarchy has frequently been conceptualized as women ruling over men,[5] while she believed that matriarchies are egalitarian.[5][6]

The word matriarchy, for a society politically led by females, especially mothers, who also control property, is often interpreted to mean the genderal opposite of patriarchy, but it is not an opposite (linguistically, it is not a parallel term).[7][8][9] According to Peoples and Bailey, the view of anthropologist Peggy Reeves Sanday is that matriarchies are not a mirror form of patriarchies but rather that a matriarchy "emphasizes maternal meanings where 'maternal symbols are linked to social practices influencing the lives of both sexes and where women play a central role in these practices'".[10] Journalist [15] According to Adler, in the Marxist tradition, it usually refers to a pre-class society "where women and men share equally in production and power."[16]

According to Adler, "a number of feminists note that few definitions of the word ["matriarchy"], despite its literal meaning, include any concept of power, and they suggest that centuries of oppression have made it impossible for women to conceive of themselves with such power."[16]

Matriarchy has often been presented as negative, in contrast to patriarchy as natural and inevitable for society, thus that matriarchy is hopeless. Love and Shanklin wrote:

When we hear the word "matriarchy", we are conditioned to a number of responses: that matriarchy refers to the past and that matriarchies have never existed; that matriarchy is a hopeless fantasy of female domination, of mothers dominating children, of women being cruel to men. Conditioning us negatively to matriarchy is, of course, in the interests of patriarchs. We are made to feel that patriarchy is natural; we are less likely to question it, and less likely to direct our energies to ending it.[17]

The Matriarchal Studies school led by Göttner-Abendroth calls for an even more inclusive redefinition of the term: Göttner-Abendroth defines Modern Matriarchal Studies as the "investigation and presentation of non-patriarchal societies", effectively defining matriarchy as non-patriarchy.[18] She has also defined matriarchy as characterized by the sharing of power equally between the two genders.[19] According to Diane LeBow, "matriarchal societies are often described as ... egalitarian ...",[20] although anthropologist Ruby Rohrlich has written of "the centrality of women in an egalitarian society."[21][1]

Matriarchy is also the public formation in which the woman occupies the ruling position in a family.[1] For this usage, some scholars now prefer the term matrifocal to matriarchal. Some, including Daniel Moynihan, claimed that there is a matriarchy among Black families in the United States,[22][2] because a quarter of them were headed by single women;[23] thus, families composing a substantial minority of a substantial minority could be enough for the latter to constitute a matriarchy within a larger non-matriarchal society.

Etymologically, it is from Latin māter (genitive mātris), "mother" and Greek ἄρχειν arkhein, "to rule".[24] The notion of matriarchy was defined by Joseph-François Lafitau (1681–1746), who first named it ginécocratie.[25] According to the OED, the earliest known attestation of the word matriarchy is in 1885.[1] By contrast, gynæcocracy, meaning 'rule of women', has been in use since the 17th century, building on the Greek word γυναικοκρατία found in Aristotle and Plutarch.[26][27]

Related concepts

In their works, gyneocracy meant 'female government' in politics. They were aware of the fact that the sexual structure of government had no relation to domestic rule and to roles of both sexes.

Words beginning with gyn-

A matriarchy is also sometimes called a gynarchy, a gynocracy, a gynecocracy, or a gynocentric society, although these terms do not definitionally emphasize motherhood. Cultural anthropologist Jules de Leeuwe argued that some societies were "mainly gynecocratic"[28] (others being "mainly androcratic").[28][3]

Gynecocracy, gynaecocracy, gynocracy, gyneocracy, and gynarchy generally mean 'government by women over women and men'.[29][30][31][32] All of these words are synonyms in their most important definitions. While these words all share that principal meaning, they differ a little in their additional meanings, so that gynecocracy also means 'women's social supremacy',[33] gynaecocracy also means 'government by one woman', 'female dominance', and, derogatorily, 'petticoat government',[34] and gynocracy also means 'women as the ruling class'.[35] Gyneocracy is rarely used in modern times.[36] None of these definitions are limited to mothers.

Some question whether a queen ruling without a king is sufficient to constitute female government, given the amount of participation of other men in most such governments. One view is that it is sufficient. "By the end of [Queen] Elizabeth's reign, gynecocracy was a fait accompli", according to historian Paula Louise Scalingi.[37][4] Gynecocracy is defined by Scalingi as "government by women",[38] similar to dictionary definitions[30][31][32] (one dictionary adding 'women's social supremacy' to the governing role).[33] Scalingi reported arguments for and against the validity of gynocracy[39] and said, "the humanists treated the question of female rule as part of the larger controversy over sexual equality."[40] Possibly, queenship, because of the power wielded by men in leadership and assisting a queen, leads to queen bee syndrome, contributing to the difficulty of other women in becoming heads of the government.

Some matriarchies have been described by historian Helen Diner as "a strong gynocracy"[41] and "women monopolizing government"[42] and she described matriarchal Amazons as "an extreme, feminist wing"[43][5] of humanity and that North African women "ruled the country politically,"[41] and, according to Adler, Diner "envision[ed] a dominance matriarchy".[44]

Gynocentrism is the 'dominant or exclusive focus on women', is opposed to androcentrism, and "invert[s] ... the privilege of the ... [male/female] binary ...[,] [some feminists] arguing for 'the superiority of values embodied in traditionally female experience'".[45]

Intergenerational relationships

Some people who sought evidence for the existence of a matriarchy often mixed matriarchy with anthropological terms and concepts describing specific arrangements in the field of family relationships and the organization of family life, such as matrilineality and matrilocality. These terms refer to intergenerational relationships (as matriarchy may), but do not distinguish between males and females insofar as they apply to specific arrangements for sons as well as daughters from the perspective of their relatives on their mother's side. Accordingly, these concepts do not represent matriarchy as 'power of women over men'.[46]

Words beginning with matri-

Anthropologists have begun to use the term matrifocality. There is some debate concerning the terminological delineation between matrifocality and matriarchy. Matrifocal societies are those in which women, especially mothers, occupy a central position. Anthropologist R. T. Smith refers to matrifocality as the kinship structure of a social system whereby the mothers assume structural prominence.[47] The term does not necessarily imply domination by women or mothers.[47] In addition, some authors depart from the premise of a mother-child dyad as the core of a human group where the grandmother was the central ancestor with her children and grandchildren clustered around her in an extended family.[48]

The term matricentric means 'having a mother as head of the family or household'.

Matristic: Feminist scholars and archeologists such as Marija Gimbutas, Gerda Lerner, and Riane Eisler[49] label their notion of a "woman-centered" society surrounding Mother Goddess worship during prehistory (in Paleolithic and Neolithic Europe) and in ancient civilizations by using the term matristic rather than matriarchal.

Matrilineality, in which descent is traced through the female line, is sometimes conflated with historical matriarchy.[50] Sanday favors redefining and reintroducing the word matriarchy, especially in reference to contemporary matrilineal societies such as the Minangkabau.[51] The 19th-century belief that matriarchal societies existed was due to the transmission of "economic and social power ... through kinship lines"[52] so that "in a matrilineal society all power would be channeled through women. Women may not have retained all power and authority in such societies ..., but they would have been in a position to control and dispense power."[52]

A matrilocal society is one in which a couple resides close to the bride's family rather than the bridegroom's family; the term is by anthropologists.

History and distribution

Most anthropologists hold that there are no known societies that are unambiguously matriarchal.[53][54][55] According to J. M. Adovasio, Olga Soffer, and Jake Page, no true matriarchy is known actually to have existed.[50] Anthropologist Joan Bamberger argued that the historical record contains no primary sources on any society in which women dominated.[56] Anthropologist Donald Brown's list of human cultural universals (viz., features shared by nearly all current human societies) includes men being the "dominant element" in public political affairs,[57] which he asserts is the contemporary opinion of mainstream anthropology. There are some disagreements and possible exceptions. A belief that women's rule preceded men's rule was, according to Haviland, "held by many nineteenth-century intellectuals".[3] The hypothesis survived into the 20th century and was notably advanced in the context of feminism and especially second-wave feminism, but the hypothesis is mostly discredited today, most experts saying that it was never true.[58]

Matriarchs, according to Peoples and Bailey, do exist; there are "individual matriarchs of families and kin groups."[2]

By region and culture

Ancient Middle East

Matriarchy was reported to be found in the ancient Near East by The Cambridge Ancient History (1975):[59] "the predominance of a supreme goddess is probably a reflection from the practice of matriarchy which at all times characterized Elamite civilization to a greater or lesser degree".[6]

Roman Empire

Tacitus noted in his Germania that in "the nations of the Sitones a woman is the ruling sex."[60][7]



Possible matriarchies in Burma are, according to Jorgen Bisch, the Padaungs[61] and, according to Andrew Marshall, the Kayaw.[62]



  • ( Land (fictional and real-life examples)
  • Knight, Chris, Early Human Kinship was Matrilineal (2008)

External links

  • Czaplicka, Marie Antoinette, Aboriginal Siberia, a Study in Social Anthropology (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1914)
  • Finley, M.I., The World of Odysseus (London: Pelican Books, 1962)
  • Goldberg, Steven, Why Men Rule: A Theory of Male Dominance (rev. ed. 1993 (ISBN 0-8126-9237-3))
  • Hutton, Ronald, The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles (1993 (ISBN 0-631-18946-7))
  • Lapatin, Kenneth, Mysteries of the Snake Goddess: Art, Desire, and the Forging of History (2002 (ISBN 0-306-81328-9))
  • Lerner, Gerda, The Creation of Feminist Consciousness: From the Middle Ages to Eighteen-Seventy (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1993 (ISBN 0-19-509060-8))
  • Lerner, Gerda, The Creation of Patriarchy (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1986 (ISBN 0-19-505185-8))
  • Shorrocks, Bryan, The Biology of African Savannahs (Oxford Univ. Press, 2007 (ISBN 0-19-857066-X))
  • Stearns, Peter N., Gender in World History (N.Y.: Routledge, 2000 (ISBN 0-415-22310-5))
  • Raman, Sukumar, A Brief Review of the Status, Distribution and Biology of Wild Asian Elephants Elephas Maximus, in International Zoo Yearbook, vol. 40, no. 1 (2006), pp. 1–8
  • Yoshamya, Mitjel, & Zyelimer Yoshamya, Gan-Veyan: Neo-Liburnic Glossary, Grammar, Culture, Genom, in Old-Croatian Archidioms (Zagreb: Scientific Society For Ethnogenesis Studies (Monograph I), 2005), p. 1–1224

Further reading

  • Eller, Cynthia, The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won't Give Women a Future (2001 (ISBN 0-8070-6793-8))
  • Gimbutas, Marija, The Language of the Goddess (1991)


  1. ^ a b c d e Oxford English Dictionary (online), entry matriarchy, as accessed November 3, 2013 (subscription may be required or content may be available in libraries).
  2. ^ a b Peoples, James, & Garrick Bailey, Humanity: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Australia: Wadsworth (Cengage Learning), 9th ed. 2012 (ISBN 978-1-111-30152-1)), p. 259, col. 1 (author Peoples prof. sociology/anthropology & dir. E. Asian studies, Ohio Wesleyan University, & previously taught at Univ. of California at Davis & Univ.of Tulsa & author Bailey taught anthro. at Univ. of Tulsa, sr. Fellow in anthro. at Smithsonian Institution, & scholar at School of American Research, Santa Fe).
  3. ^ a b Haviland, William A., Anthropology (Ft. Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 8th ed. 1997 (ISBN 0-15-503578-9)), p. 579, col. 1 (author prof. anthropology, Univ. of Vermont).
  4. ^ Kuznar, Lawrence A., Reclaiming a Scientific Anthropology (Walnut Creek, Calif.: AltaMira Press (div. of Sage Publications), pbk. 1997 (ISBN 0-7619-9114-X)).
  5. ^ a b Matriarchal Society: Definition and TheoryGoettner-Abendroth, Heide, , as accessed January 10, 2013.
  6. ^ Lepowsky, M. A., Fruit of the Motherland: Gender in an Egalitarian Society (U.S.: Columbia University Press, 1993).
  7. ^ Compare, in Oxford English Dictionary (online), entry patriarchy to entry matriarchy, both as accessed November 3, 2013. (Subscription may be required or content may be available in libraries.)
  8. ^ Eller, Cynthia, Living in the Lap of the Goddess: The Feminist Spirituality Movement in America (Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press, 1995 (ISBN 0-8070-6507-2)), pp. 161–162 & 184 & n. 84 (author, with doctorate in religion from Univ. of Southern Calif., taught at Yale Divinity School & Fairleigh Dickinson Univ.) (p. 184 n. 84 probably citing Spretnak, Charlene, ed., Politics of Women's Spirituality: Essays on the Rise of Spiritual Power Within the Feminist Movement (Garden City, New York: Anchor Books, 1982), p. xiii (Spretnak, Charlene, Introduction)).
  9. ^ Goettner-Abendroth, Heide, ed., Societies of Peace: Matriarchies Past, Present and Future: Selected Papers: First World Congress on Matriarchal Studies, 2003 [/] Second World Congress on Matriarchal Studies, 2005 (Toronto, Ontario: Inanna Publications & Educ. (York Univ.), 2009 (ISBN 978-0-9782233-5-9)), pp. 1–2 (ed. a/k/a Heide Göttner-Abendroth) (ed. founder Modern Matriarchal Studies & HAGIA & was visiting prof., Université de Montréal & Univ. of Innsbruck (Austria)).
  10. ^ Peoples, James, & Garrick Bailey, Humanity, op. cit., p. 258, col. 2–p. 259, col. 1.
  11. ^ Adler, Margot, Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America (N.Y.: Penguin Books, 2006 (ISBN 0-14-303819-2)), p. 193 (previous editions in 1979, 1986, & 1997) (italics so in original) (author then N.Y. Bureau Chief for National Public Radio).
  12. ^ Love, Barbara, & Elizabeth Shanklin, The Answer is Matriarchy, in Trebilcot, Joyce, ed., Mothering: Essays in Feminist Theory (New Jersey: Rowman & Allenheld, 1983), pp. 275.
  13. ^ Eller, Cynthia, The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won't Give Women a Future (Boston, Mass.: Beacon Press, 2000 (ISBN 0-8070-6792-X)), pp. 12–13.
  14. ^ Eller, Cynthia, Gentlemen and Amazons: The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory, 1861–1900 (Berkeley: Univ. of Calif. Press, 2011).
  15. ^ Epstein, Barbara, Political Protest and Cultural Revolution: Nonviolent Direct Action in the 1970s and 1980s (Berkeley, Calif.: Univ. of Calif. Press, cloth 1991 (ISBN 0-520-07010-0)), p. 173 and see p. 172 (author prof. on history of Consciousness Board).
  16. ^ a b Adler, Margot, Drawing Down the Moon (2006), op. cit., p. 194.
  17. ^ Love, Barbara, & Elizabeth Shanklin, The Answer is Matriarchy, op. cit.
  18. ^ Second World Congress on Matriarchal Studies, in Introduction.
  19. ^ (Mexico: Consejo Editorial, 1994))Juchitán, City of Women (review of Bennholdt-Thomsen, Veronika, Cornelia Giebeler, Brigitte Holzer, & Marina Meneses, The InvestigatorDeMott, Tom, , as accessed Feb. 6, 2011.
  20. ^ LeBow, Diane, Rethinking Matriliny Among the Hopi, in Rohrlich, Ruby, & Elaine Hoffman Baruch, eds., Women in Search of Utopia: Mavericks and Mythmakers (N.Y.: Schocken Books, 1984 (ISBN 0-8052-0762-7)), p. 13 (author taught women's studies & Eng., teaches in Humanities Div., Cañada Coll., Calif., & directs Women's Ctr., Women's Studies, & Women's Re-entry Pgm., Cañada Coll., Calif.)
  21. ^ Rohrlich, Ruby, Women in Transition: Crete and Sumer, in Rohrlich, Ruby, & Elaine Hoffman Baruch, eds., Women in Search of Utopia, op. cit., p. 37 (author prof. emeritus anthropology, Manhattan Community Coll., City Univ. of N.Y., & research assoc., Univ. of Calif., Berkeley).
  22. ^ (U.S. Department of Labor, 1965)The Negro Family: The Case For National ActionOffice of Policy Planning and Review (Daniel Patrick Moynihan, principal author), , esp. Chapter IV. The Tangle of Pathology, authorship per History at the Department of Labor: In-Depth Research, all as accessed November 2, 2013.
  23. ^ Donovan, Josephine, Feminist Theory: The Intellectual Traditions (N.Y.: Continuum, 3d ed. 2000 (ISBN 0-8264-1248-3)), p. 171 (author prof. Eng., Univ. of Maine), citing Moynihan, Daniel, The Negro Family: The Case for National Action (1965) ("In this analysis Moynihan asserted that since a fourth of black families were headed by single women, black society was a matriarchy .... [and t]his situation undermined the confidence and 'manhood' of black men, and therefore prevented their competing successfully in the white work world.") and citing hooks, bell, either Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism (Boston: South End, 1981) or Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center (Boston: South End, 1984) (probably former), pp. 181–187 ("freedom came to be seen by some black militants as a liberation from the oppression caused by black women"), id., hooks, bell, pp. 180–181 ("many black men 'absorbed' the Moynihan ideology, and this misogyny itself became absorbed into the black freedom movement" and included this, "Moynihan's view", as a case of "American neo-Freudian revisionism where women who evidenced the slightest degree of independence were perceived as 'castrating' threats to the male identity"), and see id., hooks, bell, p. 79.
  24. ^
  25. ^ Edvard Westermarck (1921), , Vol. 3The History of Human Marriage, London: Macmillan, p. 108.
  26. ^ γυναικοκρατία, for An Intermediate Greek–English LexiconLiddell, Henry George, & Robert Scott, .
  27. ^ γυ^ναικο-κρα^τέομαι, for A Greek–English LexiconLiddell, Henry George, & Robert Scott, .
  28. ^ a b Leeuwe, Jules de, untitled comment (November 18, 1977) (emphases so in original), as a response to and with Leacock, Eleanor, Women's Status in Egalitarian Society: Implications for Social Evolution, in Current Anthropology, vol. 33, no. 1, supp. Inquiry and Debate in the Human Sciences: Contributions from Current Anthropology, 1960–1990 (February, 1992 (ISSN 00113204 & E-ISSN 15375382)), p. 241.
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  30. ^ a b Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam (Merriam-Webster), 1966), entries gynecocracy, gynocracy, & gynarchy.
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  33. ^ a b Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged, op. cit., entry gynecocracy.
  34. ^ The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, op. cit., entry gynaecocracy.
  35. ^ The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, op. cit., entry gynocracy.
  36. ^ The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, op. cit., entry gyneocracy.
  37. ^ Scalingi, Paula Louise, The Scepter or the Distaff: The Question of Female Sovereignty, 1516–1607, in The Historian, vol. 41, no. 1 (November 1978), p. 72 (author instructor history, Mary Washington Coll.).
  38. ^ Scalingi, Paula Louise, The Scepter or the Distaff, op. cit., p. 59.
  39. ^ Scalingi, Paula Louise, The Scepter or the Distaff, op. cit., p. 60 & passim.
  40. ^ a b c d Scalingi, Paula Louise, The Scepter or the Distaff, op. cit., p. 60.
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  43. ^ Diner, Helen, Mothers and Amazons (trans. 1965 (original 1930s)), op. cit., p. 123 and see p. 122.
  44. ^ Adler, Margot, Drawing Down the Moon (2006), op. cit., p. 195.
  45. ^ Latter quotation: (brackets in title so in original) & quoting: (author asst. prof. rhetoric, Univ. of Iowa).
  46. ^ Ferraro, Gary, Wenda Trevathan, & Janet Levy, Anthropology: An Applied Perspective (Minneapolis: West Publishing Co., 1992), p. 360.
  47. ^ a b Smith, R.T., Matrifocality, in Smelser & Baltes, eds., International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2002), vol. 14, p. 9416 ff.
  48. ^ Goddesses and the Divine Feminine: A Western Religious HistoryRuether, Rosemary Radford, , p. 18.
  49. ^ Eisler, Riane, The Chalice and the Blade, as cited at the author's website, as accessed Jan. 26, 2011.
  50. ^ a b Adovasio, J. M., Olga Soffer, & Jake Page, The Invisible Sex: Uncovering the True Roles of Women in Prehistory (Smithsonian Books & Collins (HarperCollinsPublishers), 1st Smithsonian Books ed. 2007 (ISBN 978-0-06-117091-1)), pp. 251–255, esp. p. 255.
  51. ^ Sanday, Peggy Reeves, Woman at the Center: Life in a Modern Matriarchy (Cornell Univ. Press, 2004 (ISBN 0-8014-8906-7)).
  52. ^ a b Eller, Cynthia, Living in the Lap of the Goddess, op. cit., p. 152 and see pp. 158–161.
  53. ^ Goldberg, Steven, The Inevitability of Patriarchy (William Morrow & Co., 1973).
  54. ^ Eller, Cynthia, The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won't Give Women a Future (Boston: Beacon Press, 2001).
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  57. ^ Brown, Donald E., Human Universals (Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press, 1991), p. 137.
  58. ^ "The view of matriarchy as constituting a stage of cultural development now is generally discredited. Furthermore, the consensus among modern anthropologists and sociologists is that a strictly matriarchal society never existed." Encyclopædia Britannica (2007), entry Matriarchy.
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    Paragraph 45:6: Suionibus Sithonum gentes continuantur, cetera similes uno differunt, quod femina dominatur: in tantum non modo a libertate, sed etiam a servitute degenerant. Hic Suebiae finis.
  61. ^ Bisch, Jorgen, Why Buddha Smiles, p. 71 (Ahu Ho Gong, Padaung chief: "no man can be chief over women. I am chief of the men. But women, well! Women only do what they themselves wish" & "it is the same with women all over the world", pp. 52–53, & "no man can rule over women. They just do what they themselves want").
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      Same quotation: Chesler, Phyllis, Women and Madness (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1972 (ISBN 0-385-02671-4)), p. 284 (italics omitted) (author then asst. prof., psychology dep't, Richmond Coll., City Univ. of N.Y., Policy Council Member of Ass'n for Women in Psychology, & feminist).
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  139. ^ Adler wrote a matriarchy is "a realm where female things are valued and where power is exerted in non-possessive, non-controlling, and organic ways that are harmonious with nature." Adler, Margot, Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, and Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today (Boston: Beacon, 1979), p. 187, as quoted in Eller, Cynthia, Relativizing the Patriarchy, op. cit., p. 287 & n. 18.
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  185. ^ Castro, Ginette, American Feminism, op. cit., p. 36.
  186. ^ Echols, Alice, Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America 1967–1975 (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Univ. of Minn. Press, 1989 (ISBN 0-8166-1787-2)), pp. 183–184.
  187. ^ Tong, Rosemarie Putnam, Feminist Thought: A More Comprehensive Introduction (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 2d ed. 1998 (ISBN 0-8133-3295-8)), p. 23.
  188. ^ Echols, Alice, Daring to Be Bad, op. cit., p. 184 (quoting Barbara Mehrhof and Pam Kearon (full names per id., pp. 409 & 407 (Index) & memberships per id., p. 388, 383, & 382)) and see p. 253 ("moved toward ... matriarchalism").
  189. ^ Echols, Alice, Daring to Be Bad, op. cit., pp. 183–184 (n. 246 omitted from end of quotation here; foundership per id., p. 388).
  190. ^ Morgan, Robin, Going Too Far: The Personal Chronicle of a Feminist (N.Y.: Random House, 1st ed. 1977 (ISBN 0-394-48227-1)), p. 187 (italics so in original).
  191. ^ Adler, Margot, Drawing Down the Moon (2006), op. cit., p. 198 ("Maior" so in original) (same quotation also in Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, and Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today (1979), op. cit., p. 191, as quoted in Eller, Cynthia, Relativizing the Patriarchy, op. cit., p. 289 & n. 24).
  192. ^ Schönpflug, Karin, Feminism, Economics and Utopia: Time Travelling Through Paradigms (Oxon/London: Routledge, 2008 (ISBN 978-0-415-41784-6)), p.&npsb;108 (author economist, Austrian Ministry of Finance, & lecturer, Univ. of Vienna, per p.&npsb;[i]), citing Brantenberg, Gerd, Egalia's Daughters (Norwegian original published in 1977).
  193. ^ Schönpflug, Karin, Feminism, Economics and Utopia, op. cit., p. 19.
  194. ^ a b Schönpflug, Karin, Feminism, Economics and Utopia, op. cit., p. 20.
  195. ^ Egalia's Daughters as fiction: entryWorldCat, as accessed August 29, 2012.
  196. ^ (International Academy HAGIA)Matriarchal Studies, as accessed January 30, 2011.
  197. ^ 1st World Congress on Matriarchal Studies, also known as Societies in Balance, both as accessed January 29, 2011.
  198. ^ Societies of Peace: 2nd World Congress on Matriarchal Studies (home page), as accessed January 29, 2011.
  199. ^ For a review of the conferences, esp. that of 2005, by a participant, see , October 15, 2005Khasi Matriliny Has Many ParallelsMukhim, Patricia, , as accessed February 6, 2011 (also published in The Statesman (India), October 15, 2005).
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  201. ^ Goettner-Abendroth, Heide, trans. Karen Smith, The Deep Structure of Matriarchal Society: Findings and Political Relevance of Modern Matriarchal Studies, in Goettner-Abendroth, Heide, ed., Societies of Peace, op. cit., p. 23.
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  203. ^ Goettner-Abendroth, Heide, The Deep Structure of Matriarchal Society, op. cit., p. 25 (emphasis so in original).
  204. ^ a b c Eller, Cynthia, Relativizing the Patriarchy, op. cit., p. 290.
  205. ^ a b Eller, Cynthia, Relativizing the Patriarchy, op. cit., p. 291 n. 27.
  206. ^ a b c d e Eller, Cynthia, The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory (2000), op. cit., p. 10 (whether author's data global unspecified).
  207. ^ Take Back the Day, Pt. III, Letters From a War Zone: Writings 1976–1989 (1977), from Dworkin, Andrea, Biological Superiority: The World's Most Dangerous and Deadly IdeaDworkin, Andrea, , as accessed December 25, 2010 (first published in Heresies No. 6 on Women and Violence, vol. 2, no. 2 (Summer 1978)).
  208. ^ Morgan, Robin, The Demon Lover: On the Sexuality of Terrorism (N.Y.: Norton, 1989 (ISBN 0-393-30677-1) (rev. ed. 2000 (ISBN 0-7434-5293-3))), p. 27 (pagination per edition at
  209. ^ Badinter, Elisabeth, trans. Julia Borossa, Dead End Feminism (Polity, 2006 (ISBN 0-7456-3381-1 & ISBN 978-0-7456-3381-7)), p. 32, in Google Books, as accessed December 4, 2010 (no source cited for Ti-Grace Atkinson's statement); Amazon Continues Odyssey, in off our backs, December, 1979 (interview) (mentioning "female nationalism" (relevant herein insofar as the female nationalism is matriarchal) & women as nation); Atkinson, Ti-Grace, Amazon Odyssey (N.Y.: Links, 1974 (SBN (not ISBN) 0-8256-3023-1)) (may preclude female nationalism (relevant herein insofar as female nationalism is matriarchal)); also there exists (not read by this WorldHeritage editor) Atkinson, Ti-Grace, Le Nationalisme Feminin, in Nouvelle Questions Feministes 6–7, Spring 1984, pp. 35–54 (French) (Eng. trans., Female Nationalism (unpublished), was held by author) (relevant herein insofar as female nationalism is matriarchal) (cited by Ringelheim, Joan, Women and the Holocaust: A Reconsideration of Research, in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, vol. 10, no. 4 (Summer, 1985) (Communities of Women), pp. 741–761 ([§] Viewpoint) (also in Rittner, Carol, & John K. Roth, eds., Different Voices: Women and the Holocaust (N.Y.: Paragon House, 1993), pp. 373–418) & by Weiss, Penny A., & Marilyn Friedman, Feminism & Community (Temple Univ. Press, 1995 (ISBN 1-56639-277-2 & ISBN 978-1-56639-277-8)), p. 330, in Google Books, as accessed December 4, 2010 (author Penny A. Weiss dir. women's studies & prof pol. sci., St. Louis Univ., & author Marilyn Friedman prof. philosophy, Washington Univ.)).
  210. ^ Mansfield, Harvey C., Manliness, op. cit., pp. 241–242, citing Plato, Republic.
  211. ^ Mansfield, Harvey C., Manliness, op. cit., pp. 173–174 & nn. 14, 16–17, & 19, citing Hobbes, Leviathan, ch. 10, 14–15, & 21, Tuck, Richard, Natural Rights Theories (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1979), ch. 6, & Tarcov, Nathan, Locke's Education for Liberty (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1984), p. 38.
  212. ^ Ross, Becki L., The House That Jill Built, op. cit., p. 208.
  213. ^ Dworkin's comments: Take No Prisoners, in The Guardian, op. cit.
  214. ^ Farley, Tucker, Realities and Fictions, op. cit., p. 238 (respecting Wittig, Monique, Les Guérillères).
  215. ^ Stansell, Christine, The Feminist Promise: 1792 to the Present (N.Y.: Modern Library (Random House), 1st ed. 2010 (ISBN 978-0-679-64314-2)), p. 394 (author prof. history, Univ. of Chicago & feminist).
  216. ^ Bartkowski, Frances, Feminist Utopias (Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1989 (ISBN 0-8032-1205-4)), ch. 1.
  217. ^ Donovan, Josephine, Feminist Theory, op. cit., p. 48.
  218. ^ Schönpflug, Karin, Feminism, Economics and Utopia, op. cit., p. 21 and see p. 20–21.
  219. ^ Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, What is "Feminism"?, in The Sunday Herald, vol. CXL, no. 65, September 3, 1916 (Extra ed.), [§] Magazine, p. [7] [of §], of The Boston Herald (Boston, Mass.) (on genderal integration: "essential duty of the female is ... in choosing a father for her children" & "women will always love men", both per col. 2, & "closer union, deeper attachment between men and women", per col. 3; on freedom: "[women's] full economic independence.... [and] freedom now allowed our girls", per col. 1, "freedom" (several references), per col. 2, & "feminism .... [will] set free four-fifths of its labor" & "comparative freedom of action possible to women today [1916]", both per col. 3) (microfilm (Bell & Howell)).
  220. ^ Mansfield, Harvey C., Manliness, op. cit., pp. 80–81 ("Women do not run for office as readily as men do, nor do most women, it seems, call on them to run. It seems that they do not have the same desire to 'run' things as men, to use the word in another political sense that like the first includes standing out in front.... Women are partisan, like men; hence they are political, like men. But not to the same degree. They will readily sail into partisan conflict, but they are not so ready to take the lead and make themselves targets of partisan hostility (though they do write provocative books)." (note omitted)) & 79–80 (a "study .... traces the gender gap ... to 'participatory factors,' such as education and income, that give men greater advantages in civic skills, enabling them to participate politically") and see pp. 17 ("in politics and in other public situations, he ["the manly man"] willingly takes responsibility when others hang back.... His wife and children ... are weaker"), 49 ("manliness ... is aggression that develops an assertion, a cause it espouses"), 170–171, & 204–206 but see p. 161 ("a woman .... may have less ambition or a different ambition, but being a political animal like a man, she too likes to rule, if in her way"). See also (The Claremont Institute For the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy)Man's Field: A Review of Manliness, by Harvey C. MansfieldSchaub, Diana, , as accessed February 6, 2011, and appearing in Claremont Review of Books (Spring 2006) (reviewer prof. pol. sci., Loyola Univ., Maryland).
  221. ^ Roald, Anne Sofie, Women in Islam: The Western Experience (London: Routledge, 2001 (ISBN 0-415-24896-5)), p. 195 (stated in a passage criticizing this criticism, the latter attributed to a common belief) (author assoc. prof. at International Migration and Ethnic Relations, Malmö Univ., Sweden, & Muslim).
  222. ^ Donovan, Josephine, Feminist Theory, op. cit., p. 30, citing Grimké, Sarah M., Letters on Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Woman (N.Y.: Burt Franklin, 1970 (1838)), p. 81 (objecting to women "participating in government", "reflecting perhaps the Victorian notion that public affairs were too sordid for women").
  223. ^ a b c d Herzog, Don, Poisoning the Minds of the Lower Orders (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ. Press, 1998 (ISBN 0-691-04831-2)), pp. 424–425 & nn. 34–37 (including sources cited) (author teaches law & poli. theory, Univ. of Mich.).
  224. ^ Richards, Judith M., "To Promote a Woman to Beare Rule": Talking of Queens in Mid-Tudor England, in The Sixteenth Century Journal: The Journal of Early Modern Studies, vol. 28, no. 1 (Spring, 1997), p. 120 & nn. 60–61 but see pp. 120–121 (author was of La Trobe Univ.).
  225. ^ Mansfield, Harvey C., Manliness, op. cit., pp. 72 ("the evidence [is] ... of males ruling over all societies at almost all times" & "males ... have dominated all politics we know of") & 58 ("every previous society, including our democracy up to now, has been some kind of patriarchy, permeated by stubborn, self-insistent manliness" (italics omitted)) and see p. 66 (patriarchy as "based on manliness, not merely those governments staffed by males", applicability depending on the antecedent for "here").
  226. ^ Ruden, Sarah, Paul Among the People, op. cit., p. 80 ("Athenians were extreme, but almost no Greeks or Romans thought women should participate in government. There was no approved public forum for any kind of women's self-expression, not even in the arts and religion [perhaps except "priestesses"]." (emphasis in original) (Athenians discussed in the context of play by Aristophanes, id., pp. 78–80)).
  227. ^ Mansfield, Harvey C., Manliness, op. cit., p. 210 ("[according to] Aristotle ....[,] [a]s women do not have the authority, the political capacity, of men, they are, as it were, elbowed out of politics and ushered into the household.... Meanwhile the male rules because of his greater authority").
    Aristotle was a Greek philosopher born in 384 BC. The World Book Encyclopedia (Chicago, Ill.: World Book (of Scott Fetzer) 2010 (ISBN 978-0-7166-0110-4)), vol. 1, p. 663, col. 1, entry Aristotle.
  228. ^ Mansfield, Harvey C., Manliness, op. cit., pp. 75 ("ability to fight .... is an important claim to rule ..., and it is the culmination of the aggressive manly stereotype we are considering", "who can reasonably deny that women are not as accomplished as men in battle either in spirit or in physique? .... Conservatives say that this proves that women are not the same as men", & "manliness is best shown in war, the defense of one's country at its most difficult and dangerous") & 76 ("there might come a point when ... stronger persons would have to be fought [by women] rather than merely told off.... The very great majority of women would take a pass on the opportunity to be GI Jane. In the NATO countries where women are allowed in combat units they form only 1 percent of the complement.... Whatever their belief about equality, women might reasonably decide they are needed more elsewhere than in combat" (note omitted)).
      GI Jane is 'a female member of a military'. Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang (N.Y.: Random House, 1st ed. 1994 (ISBN 0-394-54427-7)), vol. 1, p. 892, col. 2 (earliest example dated 1944).
  229. ^ Mansfield, Harvey C., Manliness, op. cit., pp. 63–64.
  230. ^ Mansfield, Harvey C., Manliness, op. cit., p. 62.
  231. ^ Roald, Anne Sofie, Women in Islam, op. cit., p. 269.
  232. ^ Not absolutely but relatively so: Mansfield, Harvey C., Manliness, op. cit., p. 80 n. 51 ("successful ambition in women [i.e., "women holding office"] makes them more womanish in the sense of representing women's views").
  233. ^ Mansfield, Harvey C., Manliness, op. cit., p. 50 ("our science rather clumsily confirms the stereotype about manliness, the stereotype that stands stubbornly in the way of the gender-neutral society") and see pp. 43–49.
  234. ^ Mansfield, Harvey C., Manliness, op. cit., pp. 205–206.
  235. ^ Schüssler Fiorenza, Elisabeth, The Praxis of Coequal Discipleship, in Horsley, Richard A., ed., Paul and Empire: Religion and Power in Roman Imperial Society (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Trinity Press Intntl., 1997 (ISBN 1-56338-217-2)), pp. 238–239 (probably from Schüssler Fiorenza, Elisabeth, In Memory of Her (Crossroad Publishing, 1983) & edited) (editor Richard A. Horsley prof. classics & religion, Univ. of Mass., Boston), quoting Aristotle (Politics I.1254b) ("the male is by nature superior and the female inferior, the male ruler and the female subject").
  236. ^ Editorial (title unknown) ("Mrs. Woodhull offers herself in apparent good faith as a candidate, and perhaps she has a remote impression, or rather hope, that she may be elected, but it seems that she is rather in advance of her time. The public mind is not yet educated to the pitch of universal woman's rights" & "At present man, in his affection for and kindness toward the weaker sex, is disposed to accord her any reasonable number of privileges. Beyond that stage he pauses, because there seems to him to be something which is unnatural in permitting her to share the turmoil, the excitement, the risks of competition for the glory of governing."), in New York Herald, May 27, 1870, p. 6, as quoted in Gabriel, Mary, Notorious Victoria, op. cit., pp. 56–57 & n. [8].
  237. ^ Herzog, Don, Poisoning the Minds of the Lower Orders, op. cit., p. 440.
  238. ^ Mansfield, Harvey C., Manliness, op. cit., p. 131, citing Oscar Wilde (playwright, per p. 126), and Henry James (novelist, per p. 127).
  239. ^ a b Mansfield, Harvey C., Manliness, op. cit., p. 195, citing Jean-Jacques Rousseau, per pp. 194–195.
  240. ^ a b Eller, Cynthia, Living in the Lap of the Goddess, op. cit., p. 207.
  241. ^ Siegel, Deborah, Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild (N.Y.: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007 (ISBN 978-1-4039-8204-9)), p. 65 (author PhD & fellow, Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership).
  242. ^ "Holy Scripture inculcates for women a sphere higher than and apart from that of public life; because as women they find a full measure of duties, cares and responsibilities and are unwilling to bear additional burdens unsuited to their physical organization.", a "signed ... petition against female suffrage" (January, 1871), in Gabriel, Mary, Notorious Victoria, op. cit., p. 83 & n. [9], citing The Press—Philadelphia, January 14, 1871, p. 8.
  243. ^ Roald, Anne Sofie, Women in Islam, op. cit., p. [185].
  244. ^ Roald, Anne Sofie, Women in Islam, op. cit., pp. 186–187. "Koranic verse 4: 34 ... has been used to denounce female leadership" (relevant herein insofar as the female leadership is matriarchal), according to id., pp. 189–190 ("4: 34" spaced so in original), but the verse may apply to family life rather than to politics, per id., p. 190; the book, id., at pp. 189–190 & p. 189 n. 5, cites, respectively, Badawi, Jamal, Gender Equity in Islam: Basic Principles (Indianapolis: American Trust Publications, 1995), p. 38 & perhaps passim, and Roald, Anne Sofie, & Pernilla Ouis, Lyssna på männen: att leva i en patriarkalisk muslimsk kontext, in Kvinnovetenskaplig Tidskrift, pp. 91–108 (1997).
  245. ^ Roald, Anne Sofie, Women in Islam, op. cit., pp. 186–187 (hadith as translated). Another translation is, "a people which has a woman as a leader will not succeed." Id., p. 188. The 2001 author's paraphrase of the hadith, "the people who have a female leader will not succeed", is at id., p. [185].
  246. ^ Roald, Anne Sofie, Women in Islam, op. cit., pp. 186–189.
  247. ^ Roald, Anne Sofie, Women in Islam, op. cit., p. 190.
  248. ^ a b Roald, Anne Sofie, Women in Islam, op. cit., p. 196.
  249. ^ Roald, Anne Sofie, Women in Islam, op. cit., pp. 196–197.
  250. ^ Roald, Anne Sofie, Women in Islam, op. cit., pp. [185]–186.
  251. ^ Roald, Anne Sofie, Women in Islam, op. cit., p. 186 & ch. 8, passim.
  252. ^ (October 29, 2005) (trans.)Muslim Brotherhood on Muslim women in Islamic SocietyIkhwan web, , as accessed March 5, 2011, [§] The Woman's Right to Vote, Be Elected and Occupy Public and Governmental Posts., [sub§] Thirdly, Women's Holding of Public Office.
  253. ^ Roald, Anne Sofie, Women in Islam, op. cit., p. 198 (for study details, see id., ch. 3, e.g., quantity of 82 per p. 64).
  254. ^ Roald, Anne Sofie, Women in Islam, op. cit., p. 197, quoting The Muslim Brotherhood, The Role of Women in Islamic Society According to the Muslim Brotherhood (London: International Islamic Forum, 1994), 14.
  255. ^ The document stating it was not available at its official English-language website advanced search page, as accessed March 5, 2011 (search for "Role of Women in Islamic Society" without quotation marks yielding no results), but a document with similar relevant effect is (October 29, 2005) (trans.)Muslim Brotherhood on Muslim women in Islamic SocietyIkhwan web, , as accessed March 5, 2011 ("social circumstances and traditions" as justifying gradualism, per [§] A General Remark).
  256. ^ Roald, Anne Sofie, Women in Islam, op. cit., p. 34, citing, at p. 34 n. 44, Shafiq, Duriyya, al-Kitab al-abiyad lil-huquq al-mar'a al-misriyya (The White Paper on the Rights of the Egyptian Woman) (Cairo: n.p., 1953) (bibliographic information partly per Roald, Anne Sofie, Women in Islam, op. cit., p. 25 n. 27).
  257. ^ Rostami Povey, Elaheh, Feminist Contestations of Institutional Domains in Iran, in Feminist Review, no. 69, pp. 49 & 53 (Winter, 2001).
  258. ^ (Arab Insight (World Security Institute), January 8, 2008)Saudi Women's Rights: Stuck at a Red LightAl-Mohamed, Asmaa, , p. 46, as accessed December 28, 2010 (author online editor, Al Arabiya, Saudi Arabia, journalist, & women's rights activist).
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  260. ^ Hartman, Tova, Feminism Encounters Traditional Judaism: Resistance and Accommodation (Waltham, Mass.: Brandeis Univ. Press & Hanover: Univ. Press of New England, 1st ed. 2007 (ISBN 978-1-58465-659-3)), p. 105 (author lecturer, Bar Ilan Univ.), attributing the argument to Rav Kook, or Rabbi Abraham Isaac Hacohen Kook, "a significant spiritual leader of the ["early twentieth century"]", id., p. 101, citing, at id., pp. 101–102, Kook, Rav, Open Letter to the Honorable Committee of the "Mizrahi" Association (1919) ("In the Torah, in the Prophets and in the Writings, in the Halacha and in the Aggadah, we hear ... that the duty of fixed public service falls upon men.").
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  263. ^ Freeman, Marsha, Women, Law, Religion, and Politics in Israel, op. cit., p. 65 & n. 29 (the tribunals are discussed in the context of "the marital law regime in each religion", per id., p. 65, including Judaism, per ibid.)
  264. ^ Umanit, Irit, Violence Against Women, in Misra, Kalpana, & Melanie S. Rich, Jewish Feminism in Israel, op. cit., p. 133 (author activist & dir. women's crisis shelter).
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  266. ^ Tsomo, Karma Lekshe, Mahāprajāpatī's Legacy: The Buddhist Women's Movement: An Introduction, in Tsomo, Karma Lekshe, ed., Buddhist Women Across Cultures: Realizations (Albany: State Univ. of N.Y. Press, 1999 (ISBN 0-7914-4138-5)), p. 6 and see pp. 6–7 (author/editor instructor of Buddhism, Chaminade Univ., & Degree Fellow, East-West Ctr.).
  267. ^ a b Tsomo, Karma Lekshe, Mahāprajāpatī's Legacy, op. cit., p. 5.
  268. ^ Bacchetta, Paola, Hindu Nationalist Women: On the Use of the Feminine Symbolic to (Temporarily) Displace Male Authority, in Patton, Laurie L., ed., Jewels of Authority: Women and Textual Tradition in Hindu India (N.Y.: Oxford Univ. Press, 2002 (ISBN 0-19-513478-8)), p. 157 (author Bacchetta, PhD, jointly appointed in geography & women's studies, Univ. of Kentucky in Lexington, & editor dep't chair, religion, & assoc. prof., early Indian religions, both at Emory Univ.) (although India is majority Hindu, it is officially secular, per id., Hindu Nationalist Women, p. 157).
  269. ^ a b c d e Bacchetta, Paola, Hindu Nationalist Women, op. cit., p. 168.
  270. ^ Bacchetta, Paola, Hindu Nationalist Women, op. cit., p. 168 (the 2 being Uma Bharati and Sadhvi Rithambara, both associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)), all according to Bacchetta.
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  272. ^ de Abreu, Maria Zina Gonçalves, John Knox: Gynaecocracy, 'The Monstrous Empire of Women‍ '​, in Reformation & Renaissance Review: Journal of the Society for Reformation Studies (RRR) (ISSN 1462-2459), vol. 5, no. 2, p. 167 (2003).
  273. ^ a b (Project Gutenberg EBook #9660, HTML format, posted December 11, 2011)The First Blast of the Trumpet against the monstrous regiment of Women (apparently of eBook), Knox, John, et al.Schulze, Steve, Debra Storr, , as accessed July 9, 2012 (Arber, Edward, ed., The First Blast of the Trumpet against the monstrous regiment of Women. (English Scholar's Library ser., no. 2), 1558 (by ed. Arber (no. 2) August 15, 1878) (ed. Arber lecturer Eng. lit., Univ. Coll., London)) (ebook includes content by other than Knox, some contra) (HTML eBook not paginated) (not all of Knox's arguments are herein repeated or paraphrased except in the most general way) (Knox: "I am assured that God hath reueled to some in this our age, that it is more then a monstre in nature, that a woman shall reigne and haue empire aboue man." (italicization and boldfacing, if any, removed)).
  274. ^ Knox, John, The First Blast of the Trumpet against the monstrous regiment of Women, op. cit. (Knox: "To promote a woman to beare rule, superioritie, dominion or empire aboue any realme, nation, or citie, is repugnant to nature, contumelie to God, a thing most contrarious to his reueled will and approued ordinance, and finallie it is the subuersion of good order, of all equitie and iustice[.]").
  275. ^ Felch, Susan M., The Rhetoric of Biblical Authority: John Knox and the Question of Women, in The Sixteenth Century Journal: The Journal of Early Modern Studies, vol. 26, no. 4 (Winter, 1995), p. 806 & n. 3 (author of Calvin Coll.).
  276. ^ de Abreu, Maria Zina Gonçalves, John Knox, op. cit., p. 169 & n. 11.
  277. ^ de Abreu, Maria Zina Gonçalves, John Knox, op. cit., p. 169 & n. 15.
  278. ^ Brammall, Kathryn M., Monstrous Metamorphosis: Nature, Morality, and the Rhetoric of Monstrosity in Tudor England, in The Sixteenth Century Journal: The Journal of Early Modern Studies, vol. 27, no. 1 (Spring, 1996), p. 19 (author of Dalhousie Univ.).
  279. ^ a b Brammall, Kathryn M., Monstrous Metamorphosis, op. cit., p. 20.
  280. ^ Healey, Robert M., Waiting for Deborah: John Knox and Four Ruling Queens, in The Sixteenth Century Journal: The Journal of Early Moderrn Studies, vol. 25, no. 2 (Summer, 1994), p. 376 & possibly n. 29 (author of Univ. of Dubuque).
  281. ^ Ridley, Jasper, John Knox (N.Y.: Oxford Univ. Press, 1968), p. 267, as cited in Felch, Susan M., The Rhetoric of Biblical Authority, op. cit., p. 805 n. 1.
  282. ^ Reid, W. Stanford, Trumpeter of God: A Biography of John Knox (N.Y.: Scribner, 1974), p. 145, as cited in Felch, Susan M., The Rhetoric of Biblical Authority, op. cit., p. 805 n. 1.
  283. ^ Lee, Patricia-Ann, A Bodye Politique to Governe: Aylmer, Knox and the Debate on Queenship, in The Historian, vol. 52, issue 2 (February, 1990), p. 242 (n. 2 omitted) (author prof. history, Skidmore Coll.).
  284. ^ a b Richards, Judith M., "To Promote a Woman to Beare Rule", op. cit., p. 116 & nn. 45–46.
  285. ^ Laing, David, Preface (from extract), in Knox, John, The First Blast of the Trumpet against the monstrous regiment of Women, op. cit.
  286. ^ Lee, Patricia-Ann, A Bodye Politique to Governe: , op. cit., p. 250, p. 249 n. 26 citing Goodman, Christopher, How Superior Powers Ought to be Obeyd (N.Y.: reprint, 1931, originally 1558) (chap. on gynecocracy).
  287. ^ Richards, Judith M., "To Promote a Woman to Beare Rule", op. cit., p. 117 & n. 52.
  288. ^ Healey, Robert M., Waiting for Deborah, op. cit., p. 372 & p. 373 n. 7.
  289. ^ Healey, Robert M., Waiting for Deborah, op. cit., pp. 372–373 & n. 7.
  290. ^ Healey, Robert M., Waiting for Deborah, op. cit., p. 373 & n. 8.
  291. ^ Richards, Judith M., "To Promote a Woman to Beare Rule", op. cit., p. 115 & n. 43.
  292. ^ "There were occasionally women so endowed, that the singular good qualities which shone forth in them made it evident that they were raised up by Divine authority". Calvin, letter to William Cecil (on or after January 29, 1559 (probably 1560)), in Knox, John, The First Blast of the Trumpet against the monstrous regiment of Women, op. cit. (citing, at Preface, n. 1, for letter, Zurich Letters (2d ser.), p. 35) (Calvin reviser, Commentaries on Isaiah (sometime in 1551–1559) (approximate title)).
  293. ^ de Abreu, Maria Zina Gonçalves, John Knox, op. cit., p. 168 & n. 9 & pp. 170–171, e.g., citing Aylmer (AElmer), John, An Harborowe for Faithfull and Trewe Subiects agaynst the late blowne Blast, concerninge the Gouernment of Wemen wherin be confuted all such reasons as a straunger of late made in that behalfe, with a briefe exhortation to obedience (1559).
  294. ^ de Abreu, Maria Zina Gonçalves, John Knox, op. cit., p. 170.
  295. ^ Eller, Cynthia, Relativizing the Patriarchy, op. cit., p. 281 and see pp. 282 & 287.
  296. ^ a b c Eller, Cynthia, Relativizing the Patriarchy, op. cit., p. 281.
  297. ^ Eller, Cynthia, Relativizing the Patriarchy, op. cit., p. 282.
  298. ^ Eller, Cynthia, Relativizing the Patriarchy, op. cit., p. 291.
  299. ^ a b c Mansfield, Harvey C., Manliness, op. cit., pp. 73–74 & n. 37, citing Strauss, Leo, Socrates and Aristophanes (N.Y.: Basic Books, 1966), ch. 9, and Saxonhouse, Arlene W., Fear of Diversity (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1992), ch. 1.
  300. ^ Ruden, Sarah, Paul Among the People: The Apostle Reinterpreted and Reimagined in his Own Time (N.Y.: Pantheon Books, 1st ed. 2010 (ISBN 978-0-375-42501-1)), p. 79 (author research fellow, Yale Divinity School).
  301. ^ Suksang, Duangrudi, Overtaking Patriarchy: Corbett's and Dixie's Visions of Women, in Utopian Studies, vol. 4, no. 2 (1993), pp. 74–93 (available via JStor).
  302. ^ Hasan, Seemin, Feminism and Feminist Utopia in Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain's Sultana's Dream, in Kidwai, A.R., ed., Behind the Veil: Representation of Muslim Woman in Indian Writings in English 1950–2000 (APH Publishing Corp., 2007).
       ('s Dream.
  303. ^ Weinbaum, Batya, Sex-Role Reversal in the Thirties: Leslie F. Stone's 'The Conquest of Gola,‍ '​ in Science Fiction Studies, vol. 24, no. 3 (November, 1997), pp. 471–482 (available via JStor) ( alternative availability).
  304. ^ Valdes-Miyares, Ruben, Morgan's Queendom: The Other Arthurian Myth, in Alvarez Faedo, Maria Jose, ed., Avalon Revisited: Reworkings of the Arthurian Myth (Peter Lang International Academic Publishers, 2007).
  305. ^ (book summary)Bright Hub Education.
  306. ^ Fitting, Peter, Reconsiderations of the Separatist Paradigm in Recent Feminist Science Fiction, in Science Fiction Studies, vol. 19, no. 1 (March, 1992), pp. 32–48 (available via JStor).
  307. ^ (book review (reviewed September 27, 2004))Publishers Weekly.
  308. ^ (review)RT Book Reviews, in A Brother's PriceTraynor, Page, .
  309. ^ Stanley, O'Brien, Nicki L. Michalski, & Ruth J. H. Stanley, Are There Tea Parties on Mars? Business and Politics in Science Fiction Films, in Journal of Literature and Art Studies, vol. 2, no. 3 (March, 2012), pp. 382–396.
  310. ^ ( Gene Roddenberry's 'Genesis II' & 'Planet Earth‍ '​Bond, Jeff, .
  311. ^ Sharp, Sharon, Star Maidens: Gender and Science Fiction in the 1970s, in Science Fiction Film and Television, vol. 1, no. 2 (2008), pp. 275–287.
  312. ^ (blog)John Kenneth Muir's Reflections on Cult Movies and Classic TV (May 3, 2012), in The (Cult-TV) War on Men: Seven Female-Dominated Societies that Have it in for MalesMuir, John Kenneth, .
  313. ^ Coussement, Laura Nadine, The Other in Star Trek: A Comparison of The Original Series and The Next Generation (VDM Verlag Dr. Muller, 2011).


  1. ^ Feminist anthropology, an approach to anthropology that tries to reduces male bias in the field
  2. ^ Black matriarchy, the cultural phenomenon of many Black families being headed by mothers with fathers absent
  3. ^ Androcracy, form of government ruled by males, especially fathers
  4. ^ Queen Elizabeth I, queen regnant of England and Ireland in 1533–1603
  5. ^ Amazon feminism, feminism that emphasizes female physical prowess toward the goal of gender equality
  6. ^ Elamite civilization, an ancient civilization in part of what is now Iran
  7. ^ Sitones, a Germanic or Finnic people who lived in Northern Europe in the 1st century AD
  8. ^ North Vietnam, sovereign state until merged with South Vietnam in 1976
  9. ^ Patrilineal, belonging to the father's lineage, generally for inheritance
  10. ^ Confucianism, ethics and philosophy derived from Confucius
  11. ^ Gender role, set of norms for a gender in social relationships
  12. ^ Clan Mothers, elder matriarchs of certain Native American clans, who were typically in charge of appointing tribal chiefs
  13. ^ Anarcha-feminism, a philosophy combining anarchism and feminism
  14. ^ Extrasensory perception (ESP), perception sensed by the mind but not originating through recognized physical senses
  15. ^ Chauvinism, partisanship that is extreme and unreasoning and in favor of a group
  16. ^ NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which provides collective military defense for member nations
  17. ^ Original sin, in Christianity, a state of sin, or violation of God's will, due to Adam's rebellion in the Garden of Eden


See also

  • Gene Roddenberry's Planet Earth (TV pilot) (1974) features a matriarchal society called the Sisters of Ruth, where the men are drugged through their food, according to Jeff Bond.[310]
  • In the British/German television series, Star Maidens (1976), the planet Medusa has a "matriarchal structure" where "all of the women perform fulfilling, non-menial work, all are educated, childcare is a non-issue as children are cared for (offscreen) by men, and women possess technology that keeps male aggression in check", according to Sharon Sharp.[311]
  • In the Space: 1999 episode Devil's Planet (1977), Entra is a prison planet where the rulers and wardens are all women, and the prisoners are all men, who are "political dissidents who spoke against female rule."[312]
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Angel One (1988), the planet Angel One "has a matriarchal society because biologically women are the stronger sex (they are taller and physically stronger) and men are treated as second class citizens", according to Laura Nadine Coussement.[313]
  • The Red Dwarf episode Parallel Universe depicts a society where male and female gender roles are swapped with women taking powerful positions and men fighting for equality.
  • The American television series "Xena: Warrior Princess" featured a recurring group of "Amazons" who practiced a matriarchal culture, with female spiritual and political leaders governing a group of militaristic women who lived separately from men and expelled male children from the group soon after birth.
  • In the Raising Gazorpazorp episode of "Rick and Morty", a planet named Gazorpazorp is dominated by females.


  • In the film Ghosts of Mars, human society on Mars has a "ruling matriarchy", according to O'Brien Stanley, Nicki L. Michalski, and Ruth J. H. Stanley.[309]
  • In the 2015 space opera film Jupiter Ascending, all the Universes (particularly The Earth) were ruled by the "Matriarch of the House of Abrasax".


  • Elizabeth Burgoyne Corbett's New Amazonia: A Foretaste of the Future is an early feminist utopian novel (published 1889), which is matriarchal in that all political leadership roles in New Amazonia are required to be held by women, according to Duangrudi Suksang.[301]
  • Roquia Sakhawat Hussain's Sultana's Dream is an early feminist utopia (published 1905) based on advanced science and technology developed by women, set in a society, Ladyland, run by women, where "the power of males is taken away and given to females," and men are secluded and primarily attend to domestic duties, according to Seemin Hasan.[302]
  • In Robert Merle's 1974 novel Les hommes protégés (Published in US as The Virility Factor in 1977) an infectious disease affects only men with active spermatogenesis and wipes almost all of them out; only a minority survives in carefully guarded sites. Women gain all kind of control, primarily political, and consecutively build two types of matriarchy. At first, they establish a segregationist heterophobic society. By the end of the novel, heterosexual women conduct a revolution and establish a more balanced but still highly matriarchal society.
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley's book, The Ruins of Isis (1978), is, according to Batya Weinbaum, set within a "female supremacist world."[303]
  • In Marion Zimmer Bradley's book, The Mists of Avalon (1983), Avalon is an island with a matriarchal culture, according to Ruben Valdes-Miyares.[304]
  • In Speaker for the Dead (1986) and its sequels, the alien pequenino species in every forest are matriarchal.[305]
  • In Sheri S. Tepper's book, The Gate to Women's Country (1988), the only men who live in Women's Country are the "servitors," who are servants to the women, according to Peter Fitting.[306]
  • Short novel by Russian writer Alexander Bushkov "Anastasia" (Анастасия) (1989) describes a postapocalyptic world where a mutation made women in Siberia physically much stronger then men. Their country, Happy Empire, is a feudal society with reversed gender roles.
  • In L. E. Modesitt, Jr.'s Saga of Recluce series (1991–), Westwind is a matriarchal society.
  • Élisabeth Vonarburg's book, Chroniques du Pays des Mères (1992) (translated into English as In the Mothers' Land) is set in a matriarchal society where, due to a genetic mutation, women outnumber men by 70 to 1.
  • Melanie Rawn's Exiles Trilogy (1994–) is set in a matriarchal society.
  • In L. E. Modesitt, Jr.'s Corean Chronicles series (2002–), Madrien is a matriarchal society.
  • N. Lee Wood's book Master of None (2004) is set in a "closed matriarchal world where men have no legal rights", according to Publishers Weekly.[307]
  • Wen Spencer's book A Brother's Price (2005) is set in a world where, according to Page Traynor, "women are in charge," "boys are rare and valued but not free," and "boys are kept at home to do the cooking and child caring until the time they marry".[308]


  • Apparently as criticism, about 2,400 years ago, in 390 BC, Aristophanes wrote a play, Ecclesiazusae, about women gaining legislative power and governing Athens, Greece, on a limited principle of equality. In the play, according to Mansfield, Praxagora, a character, argues that women should rule because they are superior to men, not equal, and yet she declines to assert publicly her right to rule, although elected and although acting in office.[299] The play, Mansfield wrote, also suggests that women would rule by not allowing politics, in order to prevent disappointment, and that affirmative action would be applied to heterosexual relationships.[299] In the play, as Mansfield described it, written when Athens was a male-only democracy where women could not vote or rule, women were presented as unassertive and unrealistic, and thus not qualified to govern.[299] The play, according to Sarah Ruden, was a fable on the theme that women should stay home.[300]

Ancient theatre

In popular culture

Among criticisms is that a future matriarchy, according to Eller, as a reflection of spirituality, is conceived as timeless and ahistorical,[298] and thus may be unrealistic or even meaningless as a goal to secular feminists.

Feminist thealogy, according to Eller, conceptualized humanity as beginning with "female-ruled or equalitarian societies",[295] until displaced by patriarchies,[296] and that in the millennial future "'gynocentric,' life-loving values"[296] will return to prominence.[296] This, according to Eller, produces "a virtually infinite number of years of female equality or superiority coming both at the beginning and end of historical time."[297]


  • In [256] Some nations have specific bans. In Iran at times, according to Elaheh Rostami Povey, women have been forbidden to fill some political offices because of law or because of judgments made under the Islamic religion.[257] As to Saudi Arabia, according to Asmaa Al-Mohamed, "Saudi women ... are ... not allowed to enter parliament as anything more than advisors; they cannot vote, much less serve as representatives".[258] According to Steven Pinker, in a 2001–2007 Gallup poll of 35 nations having 90% of the world's Muslims, "substantial majorities of both sexes in all the major Muslim countries say that women should be allowed to vote without influence from men ... and to serve in the highest levels of government."[259]
  • In Judaism, among orthodox leaders, a position, beginning before Israel became a modern state, has been that for women to hold public office in Israel would threaten the state's existence, according to educator Tova Hartman,[260] who reports the view has "wide consensus".[261] When Israel ratified the international women's equality agreement known as CEDAW, according to Marsha Freeman, it reserved nonenforcement for any religious communities that forbid women from sitting on religious courts.[262] According to Freeman, "the tribunals that adjudicate marital issues are by religious law and by custom entirely male."[263] "'Men's superiority' is a fundamental tenet in Judaism", according to Irit Umanit.[264] According to Freeman, Likud party-led "governments have been less than hospitable to women's high-level participation."[265]
  • In Buddhism, according to Karma Lekshe Tsomo, some hold that "the Buddha allegedly hesitated to admit women to the Saṅgha ...."[266] "In certain Buddhist countries—Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, and Thailand—women are categorically denied admission to the Saṅgha, Buddhism's most fundamental institution", according to Tsomo.[267] Tsomo wrote, "throughout history, the support of the Saṅgha has been actively sought as a means of legitimation by those wishing to gain and maintain positions of political power in Buddhist countries."[267]
  • Among [269] the norm for such leadership being men.[271] but considers women only as exceptions,[270],Parliament and has trained two in [269] believes that women can be Hindu nationalist political leaders[269]
  • In Protestant Christianity, considered only historically, in 1558, John Knox (Maria Stuart's subject) wrote The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women.[272] According to Scalingi, the work is "perhaps the best known analysis of gynecocracy"[40] and Knox was "the most notorious"[40] writer on the subject.[40] According to an 1878 edition, Knox's objection to any women reigning and having "empire"[273] over men was theological[273] and it was against nature for women to bear rule, superiority, dominion, or empire above any realm, nation, or city.[274] Susan M. Felch said that Knox's argument was partly grounded on a statement of the apostle Paul against women teaching or usurping authority over men.[275] According to Maria Zina Gonçalves de Abreu, Knox argued that a woman being a national ruler was unnatural[276] and that women were unfit and ineligible for the post.[277] Kathryn M. Brammall said Knox "considered the rule of female monarchs to be anathema to good government"[278] and that Knox "also attacked those who obeyed or supported female leaders",[279] including men.[279] Robert M. Healey said that Knox objected to women's rule even if men accepted it.[280] On whether Knox personally endorsed what he wrote, according to Felch, Jasper Ridley, in 1968, argued that even Knox may not have personally believed his stated position but may have merely pandered to popular sentiment,[281] itself a point disputed by W. Stanford Reid.[282] On the popularity of Knox's views, Patricia-Ann Lee said Knox's "fierce attack on the legitimacy of female rule ... [was one in which] he said ... little that was unacceptable ... to most of his contemporaries",[283] although Judith M. Richards disagreed on whether the acceptance was quite so widespread.[284] According to David Laing's Preface to Knox's work, Knox's views were agreed with by some people at the time, the Preface saying, "[Knox's] views were in harmony with those of his colleagues ... [Goodman, Whittingham, and Gilby]".[285] Writing in agreement with Knox was Christopher Goodman, who, according to Lee, "considered the woman ruler to be a monster in nature, and used ... scriptural argument to prove that females were barred ... from any political power",[286] even if, according to Richards, the woman was "virtuous".[287] Some views included conditionality; while John Calvin said, according to Healey, "that government by a woman was a deviation from the original and proper order of nature, and therefore among the punishments humanity incurred for original sin",[288][17] nonetheless Calvin would not always question a woman's right to inherit rule of a realm or principality.[289] Heinrich Bullinger, according to Healey, "held that rule by a woman was contrary to God's law but cautioned against [always] using that reason to oppose such rule".[290] According to Richards, Bullinger said women were normally not to rule.[291] Around 1560, Calvin, in disagreeing with Knox, argued that the existence of the few women who were exceptions showed that theological ground existed for their exceptionalism.[292] Knox's view was much debated in Europe at the time,[293] the issue considered complicated by laws such as on inheritance[284] and since several women were already in office, including as Queens, according to de Abreu.[294] Knox's view is not said to be widely held in modern Protestantism among leadership or laity.

Some theologies and theocracies limit or forbid women from being in civil government or public leadership or forbid them from voting,[242] effectively criticizing and forbidding matriarchy. Within none of the following religions is the respective view necessarily universally held:


In religious thought

"Matriarchists", as typified by comic character Wonder Woman were criticized by Kathie Sarachild, Carol Hanisch, and some others.[241]

Pursuing a future matriarchy would tend to risk sacrificing feminists' position in present social arrangements, and many feminists are not willing to take that chance, according to Eller.[204] "Political feminists tend to regard discussions of what utopia would look like as a good way of setting themselves up for disappointment", according to Eller,[240] and argue that immediate political issues must get the highest priority.[240]

Other criticisms of superiority are that it is reverse sexism or discriminatory against men, it is opposed by most people including most feminists, women do not want such a position,[220] governing takes women away from family responsibilities, women are too likely to be unable to serve politically because of menstruation and pregnancy,[221] public affairs are too sordid for women[222] and would cost women their respect[223] and femininity (apparently including fertility),[224] superiority is not traditional,[225][226] women lack the political capacity and authority men have,[227] it is impractical because of a shortage of women with the ability to govern at that level of difficulty[223] as well as the desire and ability to wage war,[228][16] women are less aggressive, or less often so, than are men[229] and politics is aggressive,[230] women legislating would not serve men's interests[223][231][232] or would serve only petty interests,[223] it is contradicted by current science on genderal differences,[233] it is unnatural,[234][235][236][237] and, in the views of a playwright and a novelist, "women cannot govern on their own."[238] On the other hand, another view is that "women have 'empire' over men"[239] because of nature and "men ... are actually obeying" women.[239]

Prof. Christine Stansell, a feminist, wrote that, for feminists to achieve state power, women must democratically cooperate with men. "Women must take their place with a new generation of brothers in a struggle for the world's fortunes. Herland, whether of virtuous matrons or daring sisters, is not an option.... [T]he well-being and liberty of women cannot be separated from democracy's survival."[215] (Herland was feminist utopian fiction by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1911, featuring a community entirely of women except for three men who seek it out,[216] strong women in a matriarchal utopia[217] expected to last for generations,[218] although Charlotte Perkins Gilman was herself a feminist advocate of society being gender-integrated and of women's freedom.)[219]

Diversity within a proposed community can, according to Becki L. Ross, make it especially challenging to complete forming the community.[212] However, some advocacy includes diversity, in the views of Dworkin[213] and Farley.[214]

A criticism by Mansfield of choosing who governs according to gender or sex is that the best qualified people should be chosen, regardless of gender or sex.[210] On the other hand, Mansfield considered merit insufficient for office, because a legal right granted by a sovereign (e.g., a king), was more important than merit.[211]

Biology as a ground for holding either males or females superior over the other has been criticized as invalid, such as by Andrea Dworkin[207] and by Robin Morgan.[208] A claim that women have unique characteristics that prevent women's assimilation with men has been apparently rejected by Ti-Grace Atkinson.[209] On the other hand, not all advocates based their arguments on biology or essentialism.

"Demographic[ally]",[206] "feminist matriarchalists run the gamut"[206] but primarily are "in white, well-educated, middle-class circles";[206] many of the adherents are "religiously inclined"[206] while others are "quite secular".[206]

According to Eller, "a deep distrust of men's ability to adhere to"[204] future matriarchal requirements may invoke a need "to retain at least some degree of female hegemony to insure against a return to patriarchal control",[204] "feminists ... [having] the understanding that female dominance is better for society—and better for men—than the present world order",[205] as is equalitarianism. On the other hand, Eller continued, if men can be trusted to accept equality, probably most feminists seeking future matriarchy would accept an equalitarian model.[205]

On egalitarian matriarchy,[196] Luxembourg in 2003[197] and Texas in 2005,[198][199] with papers published.[200] Göttner-Abendroth argued that "matriarchies are all egalitarian at least in terms of gender—they have no gender hierarchy .... [, that, f]or many matriarchal societies, the social order is completely egalitarian at both local and regional levels",[201] that, "for our own path toward new egalitarian societies, we can gain ... insight from ... ["tested"] matriarchal patterns",[202] and that "matriarchies are not abstract utopias, constructed according to philosophical concepts that could never be implemented."[203]

Some fiction caricatured the current gender hierarchy by describing a matriarchal alternative without advocating for it. According to Karin Schönpflug, "Gerd Brantenberg's Egalia's Daughters is a caricature of powered gender relations which have been completely reversed, with the female sex on the top and the male sex a degraded, oppressed group";[192] "gender inequality is expressed through power inversion"[193] and "all gender roles are reversed and women rule over a class of intimidated, effeminate men".[194] "Egalia is not a typical example of gender inequality in the sense that a vision of a desirable matriarchy is created; Egalia is more a caricature of male hegemony by twisting gender hierarchy but not really offering a 'better world.'"[194][195]

  • According to Prof. Linda M. G. Zerilli, "an ancient matriarchy ... [was "in early second-wave feminism"] the lost object of women's freedom."[171] Prof. Cynthia Eller found widespread acceptance of matriarchal myth during feminism's second wave.[172] According to Kathryn Rountree, the belief in a prepatriarchal "Golden Age" of matriarchy may have been more specifically about a matrifocal society,[173] although this was believed more in the 1970s than in the 1990s–2000s and was criticized within feminism and within archaeology, anthropology, and theological study as lacking a scholarly basis,[174] and Prof. Harvey C. Mansfield wrote that "the evidence [is] ... of males ruling over all societies at almost all times".[175] Eller said that, other than a few separatist radical lesbian feminists, spiritual feminists would include "a place for men ... in which they can be happy and productive, if not necessarily powerful and in control"[176] and might have social power as well.[177]
  • [181].Los Angeles and in [180]
  • Elizabeth Gould Davis believed that a "matriarchal counterrevolution [replacing "a[n old] patriarchal revolution"] ... is the only hope for the survival of the human race."[182] She believed that "spiritual force",[183] "mental and spiritual gifts",[183] and "extrasensory perception"[183][14] will be more important and therefore that "woman will ... predominate",[183] and that it is "about ... ["woman" that] the next civilization will ... revolve",[183] as in the kind of past that she believed existed.[183] According to critic Prof. Ginette Castro, Elizabeth Gould Davis used the words matriarchy and gynocracy "interchangeably"[184] and proposed a discourse "rooted in the purest female chauvinism"[185][15] and seemed to support "a feminist counterattack stigmatizing the patriarchal present",[184] "giv[ing] ... in to a revenge-seeking form of feminism",[184] "build[ing] ... her case on the humiliation of men",[184] and "asserti[ng] ... a specifically feminine nature ... [as] morally superior."[184] Castro criticized Elizabeth Gould Davis' essentialism and assertion of superiority as "sexist"[184] and "treason".[184]
  • One organization that was named [189]
  • world".[190]
  • Adler reported, "if feminists have diverse views on the matriarchies of the past, they also are of several minds on the goals for the future. A woman in the coven of Ursa Maior told me, 'right now I am pushing for women's power in any way I can, but I don't know whether my ultimate aim is a society where all human beings are equal, regardless of the bodies they were born into, or whether I would rather see a society where women had institutional authority.'"[191]

Some such advocacies are informed by work on past matriarchy:

  • In her book Scapegoat: The Jews, Israel, and Women’s Liberation, Andrea Dworkin stated that she wanted women to have their own country, "Womenland,"[143] which, comparable to Israel, would serve as a "place of potential refuge".[143][144] In the Palestine Solidarity Review, Veronica A. Ouma reviewed the book and argued her view that while Dworkin "pays lip service to the egalitarian nature of ... [stateless] societies [without hierarchies], she envisions a state whereby women either impose gender equality or a state where females rule supreme above males."[145]
  • Starhawk, in The Fifth Sacred Thing (1993), fiction, wrote of "a utopia where women are leading societies but are doing so with the consent of men."[146]
  • [150][13] Between Chesler's 1972 and 2005 editions, Dale Spender wrote that Chesler "takes [as] a ... stand [that] .... [e]quality is a spurious goal, and of no use to women: the only way women can protect themselves is if they dominate particular institutions and can use them to serve women's interests. Reproduction is a case in point."[151] Spender wrote Chesler "remarks ... women will be superior".[152]
  • Monique Wittig authored, as fiction (not as fact), Les Guérillères,[153] with her description of an asserted "female State".[154] The work was described by Rohrlich as a "fictional counterpart" to "so-called Amazon societies".[155] Scholarly interpretations of the fictional work include that women win a war against men,[156][157] "reconcil[e]"[158] with "those men of good will who come to join them",[158] exercise feminist autonomy[159] through polyandry,[160] decide how to govern,[159] and rule the men.[161] The women confronting men[162] are, according to Tucker Farley, diverse and thus stronger and more united[163] and, continued Farley, permit a "few ... men, who are willing to accept a feminist society of primitive communism, ... to live."[164] Another interpretation is that the author created an "'open structure' of freedom".[165]
  • Mary Daly wrote of hag-ocracy, "the place we ["women traveling into feminist time/space"] govern",[166] and of reversing phallocratic rule[167] in the 1990s (i.e., when published).[168] She considered equal rights as tokenism that works against sisterhood, even as she supported abortion being legal and other reforms.[169] She considered her book female and anti-male.[170]

A minority of feminists, generally radical,[121][122] have argued that women should govern societies of women and men. In all of these advocacies, the governing women are not limited to mothers:

Feminist utopias are a form of advocacy. According to Tineke Willemsen, "a feminist utopia would ... be the description of a place where at least women would like to live."[141] Willemsen continues, among "type[s] of feminist utopias[,] ... [one] stem[s] from feminists who emphasize the differences between women and men. They tend to formulate their ideal world in terms of a society where women's positions are better than men's. There are various forms of matriarchy, or even a utopia that resembles the Greek myth of the Amazons.... [V]ery few modern utopias have been developed in which women are absolute autocrats."[142]

For radical feminists, the importance of matriarchy is that "veneration for the female principle ... somewhat lightens an oppressive system."[140]

In feminist literature, matriarchy and patriarchy are not conceived as simple mirrors of each other.[135] While matriarchy sometimes means "the political rule of women",[136] that meaning is often rejected, on the ground that matriarchy is not a mirroring of patriarchy.[137] Patriarchy is held to be about power over others while matriarchy is held to be about power from within,[135] Starhawk having written on that distinction[135][138] and Adler having argued that matriarchal power is not possessive and not controlling, but is harmonious with nature.[139]

Cultural feminism includes "matriarchal worship", according to Prof. James Penner.[134]

In first-wave feminist discourse, either Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Margaret Fuller (it is unclear who was first) introduced the concept of matriarchy[123] and the discourse was joined in by Matilda Joslyn Gage.[124] Victoria Woodhull, in 1871, called for men to open the U.S. government to women or a new constitution and government would be formed in a year;[125] and, on a basis of equality, she ran to be elected President in 1872.[126][127] Charlotte Perkins Gilman, in 1911 and 1914,[128] argued for "a woman-centered, or better mother-centered, world"[129] and described "'government by women'".[130] She argued that a government led by either sex must be assisted by the other,[131] both genders being "useful ... and should in our governments be alike used",[132] because men and women have different qualities.[133]

While matriarchy has mostly fallen out of use for the anthropological description of existing societies, it remains current as a concept in feminism.[121][122]

In feminist thought

Bamberger (1974) examines several matriarchal myths from South American cultures and concludes that portraying the women from this matriarchal period as evil often serves to restrain contemporary women.

South America

According to Adler, "there is plenty of evidence of ancient societies where women held greater power than in many societies today. For example, Jean Markale's studies of Celtic societies show that the power of women was reflected not only in myth and legend but in legal codes pertaining to marriage, divorce, property ownership, and the right to rule."[120]

Celtic myth and society

Robert Graves suggested that a myth displaced earlier myths that had to change when a major cultural change brought patriarchy to replace a matriarchy. According to this myth, in Greek mythology, Zeus is said to have swallowed his pregnant lover, the titan goddess Metis, who was carrying their daughter, Athena. The mother and child created havoc inside Zeus. Either Hermes or Hephaestus split Zeus's head, allowing Athena, in full battle armor, to burst forth from his forehead. Athena was thus described as being "born" from Zeus. The outcome pleased Zeus as it didn't fulfill the prophecy of Themis which (according to Aeschylus) predicted that Zeus will one day bear a son that would overthrow him.


A legendary matriarchy related by several writers was Amazon society. According to Phyllis Chesler, "in Amazon societies, women were ... mothers and their society's only political and religious leaders",[114] as well as the only warriors and hunters;[115] "queens were elected"[116] and apparently "any woman could aspire to and achieve full human expression."[117] Herodotus reported that the Sarmatians were descendants of Amazons and Scythians, and that their females observed their ancient maternal customs, "frequently hunting on horseback with their husbands; in war taking the field; and wearing the very same dress as the men". Moreover, said Herodotus, "no girl shall wed till she has killed a man in battle". Amazons came to play a role in Roman historiography. Julius Caesar spoke of the conquest of large parts of Asia by Semiramis and the Amazons. Although Strabo was sceptical about their historicity, the Amazons were taken as historical throughout late Antiquity.[118] Several Church Fathers spoke of the Amazons as a real people. Medieval authors continued a tradition of locating the Amazons in the North, Adam of Bremen placing them at the Baltic Sea and Paulus Diaconus in the heart of Germania.[119]



Spokespersons for various indigenous peoples at the United Nations and elsewhere have highlighted the central role of women in their societies, referring to them as matriarchies, or as matriarchal in character.[112][113]

In 1995, in Kenya, according to Emily Wax, Umoja, a village only for women from one tribe with about 36 residents, was established under a "matriarch".[110] Men of the same tribe established a village nearby from which to observe the women's village,[110] the men's leader objecting to the matriarch's questioning the culture[111] and men suing to close the women's village.[111] The village was still operational in 2005 when Wax reported on it.[110]

20th–21st centuries

Arising in the period ranging from the Iron Age to the Middle Ages, several early northwestern European mythologies from the Irish (e.g., Macha and Scáthach), the Brittonic (e.g., Rhiannon), and the Germanic (e.g., Grendel's mother and Nerthus) contain ambiguous episodes of primal female power which have been interpreted as folk evidence of a real potential for matriarchal attitudes in pre-Christian European Iron Age societies. Often transcribed from a retrospective, patriarchal, Romanised, and Catholic perspective, they hint at an earlier, culturally disturbing, era when female power could have predominated. The first-century–attested historic British figure of Boudicca indicates that Brittonnic society permitted explicit female autocracy or a form of gender equality in a form which contrasted strongly with the patriarchal structure of Mediterranean civilisation.

Iron Age to Middle Ages

Women were running

One common misconception among historians of the Bronze Age such as Stone and Eisler is the notion that the Semites were matriarchal while the Indo-Europeans practiced a patriarchal system. An example of this view is found in Stone's When God Was a Woman, wherein she attempts to make out a case that the worship of Yahweh was an Indo-European invention superimposed on an ancient matriarchal Semitic nation. Evidence from the Amorites and pre-Islamic Arabs, however, indicates that the primitive Semitic family was in fact patriarchal and patrilineal. Meanwhile, the Indo-Europeans were known to have practiced multiple succession systems, and there is much better evidence of matrilineal customs among the Indo-European Celts and Germans than among any ancient Semitic peoples.

Also according to Rohrlich, "in the early Sumerian city-states 'matriarchy seems to have left something more than a trace.'"[109]

According to Rohrlich, "many scholars are convinced that Crete was a matriarchy, ruled by a queen-priestess"[107] and the "Cretan civilization" was "matriarchal" before "1500 B.C.," when it was overrun and colonized.[108]

Bronze Age

[106] The original evidence recognized by Gimbutas, however, of Neolithic societies being more

"A Golden Age of matriarchy" was, according to Epstein, prominently presented by Charlene Spretnak and "encouraged" by Stone and Eisler,[104] but, at least for the Neolithic Age, has been denounced as feminist wishful thinking in The Inevitability of Patriarchy, Why Men Rule, Goddess Unmasked,[105] and The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory and is not emphasized in third-wave feminism. According to Eller, Gimbutas had a large part in constructing a myth of historical matriarchy by examining Eastern European cultures that she asserts, by and large, never really bore any resemblance in character to the alleged universal matriarchy suggested by Gimbutas and Graves. She asserts that in "actually documented primitive societies" of recent (historical) times, paternity is never ignored and that the sacred status of goddesses does not automatically increase female social status, and believes that this affirms that utopian matriarchy is simply an inversion of antifeminism.

Austrian writer Bertha Diener, also known as Helen Diner, wrote Mothers and Amazons (1930), which was the first work to focus on women's cultural history. Hers is regarded as a classic of feminist matriarchal study.[102] Her view is that in the past all human societies were matriarchal; then, at some point, most shifted to patriarchal and degenerated. The controversy was reinforced further by the publication of The White Goddess by Robert Graves (1948) and his later analysis of classical Greek mythology and the vestiges of earlier myths that had been rewritten after a profound change in the religion of Greek civilization that occurred within its very early historical times. From the 1950s, Marija Gimbutas developed a theory of an Old European culture in Neolithic Europe which had matriarchal traits, replaced by the patriarchal system of the Proto-Indo-Europeans with the spread of Indo-European languages beginning in the Bronze Age. According to Epstein, anthropologists in the 20th century said that "the goddess worship or matrilocality that evidently existed in many paleolithic societies was not necessarily associated with matriarchy in the sense of women's power over men. Many societies can be found that exhibit those qualities along with female subordination."[103] From the 1970s, these ideas were taken up by popular writers of second-wave feminism and expanded with the speculations of Margaret Murray on witchcraft, by the Goddess movement, and in feminist Wicca, as well as in works by Eisler, Elizabeth Gould Davis, and Merlin Stone.

Friedrich Engels, in 1884, claimed that, in the earliest stages of human social development, there was group marriage and that therefore paternity was disputable, whereas maternity was not, so that a family could be traced only through the female line, and claimed that this was connected with the dominance of women over men or a Mutterrecht, which notion Engels took from Bachofen, who claimed, based on his interpretations of myths, that myths reflected a memory of a time when women dominated over men.[97] Engels speculated that the domestication of animals increased wealth claimed by men. Engels said that men wanted control over women for use as laborers and because they wanted to pass on their wealth to their children, requiring monogamy. Engels did not explain how this could happen in a matriarchal society, but said that women's status declined until they became mere objects in the exchange trade between men and patriarchy was established, causing the global defeat of the female sex[98] and the rise of individualism,[99] competition, and dedication to achievement. According to Eller, Engels may have been influenced with respect to women's status by August Bebel,[100] according to whom this matriarchy resulted in communism while patriarchy did not.[101]

Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages

Kurt Derungs is a non-academic author advocating an "anthropology of landscape" based on allegedly matriarchal traces in toponymy and folklore.

The following excerpts from Lewis Morgan's Ancient Society will explain the use of the terms: "In a work of vast research, Bachofen has collected and discussed the evidence of female authority, mother-right, and of female rule, gynecocracy." "Common lands and joint tillage would lead to joint-tenant houses and communism in living; so that gyneocracy seems to require for its creation, descent in the female line. Women thus entrenched in large households, supplied from common stores, in which their own gens so largely predominated in numbers, would produce the phenomena of mother right and gyneocracy, which Bachofen has detected and traced with the aid of fragments of history and of tradition."

[96], as of 2000, "few scholars these days find ... [a "notion of a stage of primal matriarchy"] persuasive."Susan Mann According to historian [95] in pre-Hellenic societies.matriarchal religion looked at the evidence of [94]James Mellaart, and Walter Burkert, Arthur Evans (1861) impacted the way classicists such as Harrison, Myth, Religion, and Mother Right Many researchers studied the phenomenon of matriarchy afterward, but the basis was laid by the classics of sociology. The notion of a "woman-centered" society was developed by Bachofen, whose three-volume [93], in 1861. Several generations of ethnologists were inspired by his pseudo-evolutionary theory of archaic matriarchy. Following him and Mother Right: An Investigation of the Religious and Juridical Character of Matriarchy in the Ancient World The controversy surrounding prehistoric or "primal" matriarchy began in reaction to the book by Bachofen,

Earliest prehistory and undated

By chronology

In our society, women are the center of all things. Nature, we believe, has given women the ability to create; therefore it is only natural that women be in positions of power to protect this function....We traced our clans through women; a child born into the world assumed the clan membership of its mother. Our young women were expected to be physically strong....The young women received formal instruction in traditional planting....Since the Iroquois were absolutely dependent upon the crops they grew, whoever controlled this vital activity wielded great power within our communities. It was our belief that since women were the givers of life they naturally regulated the feeding of our people....In all countries, real wealth stems from the control of land and its resources. Our Iroquois philosophers knew this as well as we knew natural law. To us it made sense for women to control the land since they were far more sensitive to the rhythms of the Mother Earth. We did not own the land but were custodians of it. Our women decided any and all issues involving territory, including where a community was to be built and how land was to be used....In our political system, we mandated full equality. Our leaders were selected by a caucus of women before the appointments were subject to popular review....Our traditional governments are composed of an equal number of men and women. The men are chiefs and the women clan-mothers....As leaders, the women closely monitor the actions of the men and retain the right to veto any law they deem inappropriate....Our women not only hold the reigns of political and economic power, they also have the right to determine all issues involving the taking of human life. Declarations of war had to be approved by the women, while treaties of peace were subject to their deliberations.[90]

George-Kanentiio explains:

The League still exists. [91] The dates of this constitution's operation are unknown; the League was formed in approximately 1000–1450, but the constitution was oral until written in about 1880.[90] The

The Hopi (in what is now the Hopi Reservation in northeastern Arizona), according to Alice Schlegel, had as its "gender ideology ... one of female superiority, and it operated within a social actuality of sexual equality."[80] According to LeBow (based on Schlegel's work), in the Hopi, "gender roles ... are egalitarian .... [and] [n]either sex is inferior."[81][11] LeBow concluded that Hopi women "participate fully in ... political decision-making."[82][12] According to Schlegel, "the Hopi no longer live as they are described here"[83] and "the attitude of female superiority is fading".[83] Schlegel said the Hopi "were and still are matrilinial"[84] and "the household ... was matrilocal".[84] Schlegel explains why there was female superiority as that the Hopi believed in "life as the highest good ... [with] the female principle ... activated in women and in Mother Earth ... as its source"[85] and that the Hopi "were not in a state of continual war with equally matched neighbors"[86] and "had no standing army"[86] so that "the Hopi lacked the spur to masculine superiority"[86] and, within that, as that women were central to institutions of clan and household and predominated "within the economic and social systems (in contrast to male predominance within the political and ceremonial systems)",[86] the Clan Mother, for example, being empowered to overturn land distribution by men if she felt it was unfair,[85] since there was no "countervailing ... strongly centralized, male-centered political structure".[85]

Native Americans

According to William S. Turley, "the role of women in traditional Vietnamese culture was determined [partly] by ... indigenous customs bearing traces of matriarchy",[68] affecting "different social classes"[68] to "varying degrees".[68] According to Peter C. Phan, that "the first three persons leading insurrections against China were women ... suggest[s] ... that ancient Vietnam was a matriarchal society"[69] and "the ancient Vietnamese family system was most likely matriarchal, with women ruling over the clan or tribe"[70] until the Vietnamese "adopt[ed] ... the patriarchal system introduced by the Chinese",[70] although "this patriarchal system ... was not able to dislodge the Vietnamese women from their relatively high position in the family and society, especially among the peasants and the lower classes",[70] with modern "culture and legal codes ... [promoting more] rights and privileges" for women than in Chinese culture.[71] According to Chiricosta, the legend of Au Co is said to be evidence of "the presence of an original 'matriarchy' in North Vietnam and [it] led to the double kinship system, which developed there .... [and which] combined matrilineal and patrilineal patterns of family structure and assigned equal importance to both lines."[72][8][9] Chiricosta said that other scholars relied on "this 'matriarchal' aspect of the myth to differentiate Vietnamese society from the pervasive spread of Chinese Confucian patriarchy"[73][10] and that "resistance to China's colonization of Vietnam ... [combined with] the view that Vietnam was originally a matriarchy ... [led to viewing] women's struggles for liberation from (Chinese) patriarchy as a metaphor for the entire nation's struggle for Vietnamese independence."[74] According to Keith Weller Taylor, "the matriarchal flavor of the time is ... attested by the fact that Trung Trac's mother's tomb and spirit temple have survived, although nothing remains of her father",[75] and the "society of the Trung sisters" was "strongly matrilineal".[76] According to Donald M. Seekins, an indication of "the strength of matriarchal values"[77] was that a woman, Trưng Trắc, with her younger sister Trưng Nhị, raised an army of "over 80,000 soldiers .... [in which] many of her officers were women",[77] with which they defeated the Chinese.[77] According to Seekins, "in [the year] 40, Trung Trac was proclaimed queen, and a capital was built for her"[77] and modern Vietnam considers the Trung sisters to be heroines.[78] According to Karen G. Turner, in the 3rd century A.D., Lady Triệu "seem[ed] ... to personify the matriarchal culture that mitigated Confucianized patriarchal norms .... [although] she is also painted as something of a freak ... with her ... savage, violent streak."[79]


in Kerala the Nair communities are matrilineal. Descent and relationship are determined through the female line.

Manipur, in north-east India, is not at all a matriarchy. Though mothers there are in forefront of most of the social activism, the society has always been a patriarchal. Their women power is visible because of historical reason. Manipur was ruled by strong dynasties. The need for expansions of borders, crushing any outsider threats etc. engaged the men. And so women had to take charge of home-front.

In India, of communities recognized in the national Constitution as Scheduled Tribes, "some ... [are] matriarchal and matrilineal"[65] "and thus have been known to be more egalitarian."[66] According to interviewer Anuj Kumar, Manipur, India, "has a matriarchal society",[67] but this may not be a scholarly assessment.



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