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  1. #1
    Senior Member Synapse's Avatar
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    Default Patriarchy and Matriarchy

    I once started a topic about Why Women Need the Goddess. While that was about wanting to find confidence in the system as it stands for people, was a curious topic for discussion, the thread happened to get derailed or maybe it was relevant, turned to the talk of the role of Patriarchy and Matriarchy and consequently got locked for being a grudge match, a somewhat controversial thread. Had infpglobal still existed I might have transferred the conversations here. however as it stands I want to talk about the roles in society about feminism and masculinism in the context of matriarchy and patriarchy.

    Matriarchies

    It may or may not ever be proven that Matriarchal societies exist but they have been written in Mythologies in various different cultures. One myth is from the Aegean culture, in this myth the Minoan Great Goddess was worshiped but in a society where men and women were no better than the other. Matriarchal studies have said that it is typical in that kind of society that the man and women have equality.

    The Modern Goddess are too quick to assume that most cultures do worship a Mother Goddess and if they do then the culture must be Matriarchal. But there are some writers do believe that there have been traces that under the Olympian mythology there was a patriarchal society. One of the most famous legends of Matriarchy is the Amazon mythology. This was a place where there were only women and no men. This was the epitome of the Matriarchal society.

    These warriors were all women and they answered to only women. They ran their on communities and fought their own battles, the legend goes that they had a disdain for men. There is an argument as to whether or not these women were real. Dominant women were a rarity at this time in history. Historian Ronald Hutton has believed that there is no real connection between the worship of female Goddess and the social equality of the sexes. Matriarchy would be hard to live under if the two sexes were equal.

    Whether it is in Mythology or in modern day cultures, as much as there were a patriarchal society many believe that there was indeed a matriarchal society as well.
    Back in the old societies it was not to be that women would run the household and the have a place in society except being the wife of the man. Back when the societies were primitive, there were these rules that the patriarchal society had against the matriarchal society. Their rules were that they the patriarchs were against all women, against nature, animals and they were against the taboos about legitimate sex. The matriarchs fought back saying that men were not the rightful representatives of the planet and that they believed that Matriarchy should be restored and that in turn will bring bout happiness and peace to earth. They also thought that Matriarchy was the religion of what they called the feminine divine but the spirits can be either male or female. They believed that the men were the minorities in societies and that Satan controlled the minority of men and that the men were sent there to bring disaster to the world. The Matriarchal society believed that the patriarchs will bring violence such as murder, rape and discrimination and cruelty. They also believed that the patriarchs work through the government, religions and big business in order to ruin the planet. They believe patriarchy was a religion that was formed by men and they were aligning with the satanic forces. They also claim that Satan knew men were evil and that by placing them in power they could bring about the end of the matriarchs. They do believe that once Matriarchy is restored there will be peace and love spread around the world. Order will be restored and all will be right with the world.

    What is Patriarchy

    Patriarchy is best defined as control by men. The opposite is matriarchy which means women are in charge and the head of families.

    Much of patriarchy also has its roots in Christianity. Religions which believe the Bible or other religious text often follow it faithfully by its every word which puts the men in charge. The Bible which most Christians live by states boldly that women should be submissive to men. With that in mind and those beliefs instilled in cultures, women don't stand a chance at gaining strength in their gender and its potential in our world.

    Patriarchy is also found in family traditions like women taking the name of their husbands and children always carrying the father's last name. More women are choosing to keep their maiden names or hyphenate with their married name so they can retain their own identity. With reference of Mr. and Mrs. so-and-so, the man assumes the dominant role again and women lose.
    Is patriarchy in society a good or bad system?
    Would a matriarchy in society be a better or worse system?
    Would equality be the ideal goal between such systems?

    Analysis, discussion welcome.

  2. #2
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    I think that you have placed your finger on a very important consideration.

    I shall call a matriarchy "nurturing mother" and a patriarchy "strict father" because I think these phrases better capture our comprehension of the differences between these two frames for identifying a culture.

    I conclude that presently our (American) culture follows the strict father frame more closely than the nurturing mother frame. The strict father settles dispute via brute force whereas the nurturing mother follows a ‘let us reason together’ frame.

    Because our technology has placed into the hands of ordinary people great power we can no longer settle disputes with brute force because to do so we will certainly self-destruct.

    I would say that strict father is to force as nurturing mother is to reasoning together

  3. #3
    Crazy Diamond Billy's Avatar
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    Let us reason together, isnt that what Xerxes said to Leonidas in 300? :P
    Ground control to Major Tom

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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Nice topic.

    I think there is a greater distinction between each, for instance the way that an entirely female society has evolved in Herland based upon maternity and maternalism is pretty different from anything the world has known, its a work of fiction and imagination but I think its a better example than some of the historical research definitions.

    There probably where what I would describe as "incidental matriarchies" I've read a good book on The Amazons which suggested that the movement of populations, the communites left in the wake of war, could have given rise to mistaken beliefs of mono-sexual or female dominated tribes since hunting, gathering parties or war parties would generally have been exclusively male. There abscence, particularly if wiped out by war, would account for that mistaken belief.

    I think that the contrast between paternal and maternal is interesting, it is very revealing about each conception, its construction and content reveling also. I dont really believe in a stark, binary unconscious ideology produced by your sex, in appraising oppression and alternatives its possible that literary tools or constructs like this inevitably come into play but they can obscure as much as they illuminate after a certain point.

    Eric Fromm was cracked up about some writer researcher Bachofin or Batchofinch or something who supposed there was originally a feminine, matriarchial society which was usurped by men and replaced by patriarchy. I think that just sounds very like "the fall" in some origin myths from religions or dead cutures, I also think that its a bit like the original communism in Marxism or Golden Age in other ideologies.

  5. #5
    Senior Member LeafAndSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synapse View Post
    Is patriarchy in society a good or bad system?
    Would a matriarchy in society be a better or worse system?
    Would equality be the ideal goal between such systems?

    Analysis, discussion welcome.
    How about if we create another choice, not just patriarchy or matriarchy,
    but maybe called respectarchy or appreciationarchy?

    The two party system is irritating.

  6. #6
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    i grew up with a crazy asian mum... i have no doubts that women can be "strict fathers" too


  7. #7
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I think there is a greater distinction between each, for instance the way that an entirely female society has evolved in Herland based upon maternity and maternalism is pretty different from anything the world has known, its a work of fiction and imagination but I think its a better example than some of the historical research definitions.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  8. #8
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synapse View Post
    Is patriarchy in society a good or bad system?
    I have no issue with it, regardles of being male. Like it or not, someone has to be in charge, and the members of a mammalian family, be it a wolf pack or nuclear human family, are actually happy knowing who is in charge.

    I don't see any issue of men being considered the default heads of the household in many ways, but that does not mean that I think it is allowable or good to promote chauvinism. A theoretical example of a man "being in charge of things" is that relations between different households would be managed by the interaction between the two patriarchs. There would be standardization, and therefore consistency, and predictability.

    Why is this beneficial in a societal context? Consider the following analogy, when my wife takes her minivan to the dealership for service, they try to bullshit her and sell her alot of unecessary services/items. When I go to the dealership, despite knowing jack shit about cars, they talk nicely to me, don't screw around with trying to B.S. me, and schedule my car for service so it can be picked up when I need it. See the difference? Our society is a chauvinist society, so in many cases, women are by default at a disadvantage in dealing with men in many social contexts.

    Outside of our society being chauvinsit, my other issue with a "pure" implementation of patriarchism is that at this time, not all men accept the responsibility of being the head of the household. Many are sorry pieces of shit, frankly, and expect their wives/girlfriends/mothers to clean up after them, work, cook, take care of the kids and still have enough energy (and desire) to be sweet and sexy after Big Daddy is done drinking beer and watching football. Please. The benefits of a patriarchal society can only be relaized if all men in the society stepped up to the plate and delivered on fulfilling their patriarchal duties. In my opinion, if a man doesn't he shouldn't be entitled to patriarchal entitlements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Synapse View Post
    Would a matriarchy in society be a better or worse system?
    Most likely better in some ways, and worse in others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Synapse View Post
    Would equality be the ideal goal between such systems?
    Isn't equality a fundamentally desirable goal in any system? Seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Synapse View Post
    Analysis, discussion welcome.
    This is a really good series of questions you posed.

    Nowadays, despite our chauvinistic unofficial patriarchal society, there are a few realities to consider, checks and balances if you will.

    First, it is the the strength of a person's character and their will that will determine if they wear the britches in their family or not. There are plenty of households nowadays where the woman of the house makes more cash than the man of the house. So, the woman's liberation movement has caused a fair amount of equality be closing the gap on the financial earnings capabilities between men and women.

    Second, any Father who laments over not having one or more male children is a fool. The definition of success from a biological perspective is "did you reproduce, and pass your DNA onto the next generation?" Not "Did you reproduce and create a male offspring." I am the Father of two girls, and I am raising them the same as if they were two little boys. They are both assertive, opinionated, smart, and aware of their rights to be treated with respect and civility by everyone. As a matter of fact, both of my kids demand it, as that is the only construct of interpersoanl relations they have ever known. So, I hope I end up with two cool sons in law, but even if they are average, I don't have to worry about my grandkids, because I know that their Mothers will have their shit together, give them a stable and nurturing home, and teach them what they need to know to be independent and successful in life.

    Third, despite this being a "man's world" there are certain parts of it that have been manipulated to the benefit of women. I'll guarantee you that on average, women get less speeding tickets in their lifetimes than men of their same generation. Divorce laws in some states are completely archaic. My brother had to pay out the nose to go through the steps of separating from, supporting, and ultimately divorcing his ex-wife, despite her ruining him financially, and her being unfaithful countless times.

    So, despite the skew of things in all directions, the diversity of the character and will power of the men and women of the human race assists in some capacity in creating a system that is more balanced in the distribution of power between the sexes than would occur in either pure patriarchy or matriarchy, but nonethelss, our system has alot of work to do if it ever wishes to be a candidate for accomplishying the virtues of equality.

    In my household, my wife and I make decisions in a very fair manner. Anything that costs more than the average price of a trip to the grocery store (~$200) we consult with each other first before impulse buying. Regarding scheduling, we split holidays between her family and mine pretty evenly. Both of us contribute all of our paychecks to the family checking account. I put my money in her account as I am not good with managing administrivia, but when it comes to strategic planning or financial management of larger resources she defers to my analysis, but even still I giver her three options, and we choose the one that both of us are most comfortable with. When it comes to interacting with the neighbors, that's my turf, as she is an INFJ and socializes on her terms.

    When it comes to the kids, they have both been told that Daddy AND Mommy are both in charge. If one tells them to do something, the other will back the other parent up. We present a unified front, and that makes things alot easier to deal with when only one of us is around. But in all honesty, they give me a lot less grief than they give her. First because Daddy doesn't play, I don't give warnings, I go straight to punishment (loss of privileges, time out, penance via chores, etc.) for things they know are wrong to do, or for not doing as I command them. Second, I love hanging out with my kids, so I take them wherever I am going, and in the course of me getting my stuff done, listen to some tunes they like in the car, get a scoop of ice cream, and stop at playgrounds, so they know if they just keep their cool and behave like they know they should, that I will hook them up by letting them do things they like to do.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Halla, I think that male chauvinism, mysogyny and patriarchy are frequently confused with paternalism or more simple things like male breadwinners, I'm not sure its possible to use patriarchy in much more than a prejorative sense these days though.

    Some of the ways in which the word matriarchy is used would have surprised the first feminists to focus in on those concepts, its basically just the substitution of women for men, behaving like me, sometimes they are more "one of the guys" than the actual guys. I'm not even talking about being butch or anything just that they compete and compell in ways that the first theorists identified exclusively with maleness and would have described as being "male identified". This is part of the reason why some women deserted feminism in droves as unrepresentative of them.

    I'd suggest that patriarchy has had a bad impact on men too, some men wind kind of ultra manned and behave like real assholes as a result.

    That's why I suggested that Herland was more a depiction of Matriarchy, as the first theorists of the concept understood it, than the historical accounts of societies temporarily lacking men.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    i grew up with a crazy asian mum... i have no doubts that women can be "strict fathers" too
    LOL Word.

    This is for dads, but honestly it sounds more like what asian moms would say. High Expectations Asian Father

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