"I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion."
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A matriarch or clan-mother or 'chief' is a mother, or other female person in a family who autocratically rules a clan or kinship. A matriarchy is a society in which females, especially mothers, have the central roles of political leadership and moral authority. It is also sometimes called a gynocratic or gynocentric society. Although the Iroquois people continue to exist and they continue to present a society in which mothers exercise central moral and political roles, some anthropologists and authors hold that there are no known societies that are unambiguously matriarchal. There are also matrilinear, matrilocal, and avunculocal societies, especially among indigenous peoples of Asia and Africa, such as those of the Minangkabau, E De (Rhade), Mosuo, Berbers and Tuareg and, in Europe, for example, Sardinian people. Strongly matrilocal societies sometimes are referred to as matrifocal, and there is some debate concerning the terminological delineation between matrifocality and matriarchy. Even in patriarchical systems of male-preference primogeniture, there may occasionally be queens regnant, as in the case of Elizabeth I of England.
In 19th century Western scholarship, the hypothesis of matriarchy representing an early stage of human development—now mostly lost in prehistory, with the exception of some "primitive" societies—enjoyed popularity. The hypothesis survived into the 20th century and was notably advanced in the context of feminism and especially second wave feminism, but this hypothesis of matriarchy as having been an early stage of human development is mostly discredited today, most experts saying that it never existed (in terms of early human development).
Contemporary author Doug George-Kanentiio, in his chapter on the Iroquois family, subtitled, "Women are the Center of Iroquois Life," explains, "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.
This sounds very much like the eastern idea of an earth spirit, or gaea, which predominantly is referred to as female; furthermore, there are a number of examples of predominantly patriarchal societies that venerate and worship female dieties.
The Mosuo as a living matriarchal society
The Mosuo are a non-Chinese ethnic minority living within the boundaries of China. They are considered by Chinese anthropologists to be matriarchal, because they are still living in accordance with the patterns of matrilinearity and matrilocality.
Article en français: Les Mosuo une société matriarcale vivante
Excerpt of the french article:
It occupies the entire valley and is surrounded by high mountains, one of which is called Gun mu, "Mother Mountain", the protective Goddess of the Mosuo. All persons within each clan-house have the clan name of the eldest woman, the clan mother.
The names, as well as the common ownership of the house and the land, are exclusively inherited through the female line. At about thirteen years of age, after the ceremony of initiation, girls are considered to be full members of the clan and are given the key to their own rooms.
and now the darker side
Gynecocracy: A Narrative of the Adventures and Psychological Experiences of Julian Robinson is a Victorian pornographic novel in the form of an autobiography by the pseudonymous "Viscount Ladywood", in three volumes, published in 1893. Its psychological insights were praised by Magnus Hirschfeld.
The author recounts his punishment as a boy at the hands of the governness to whom he is sent, along with three female cousins, after having taken indecent liberties with a household maid. Forced to wear girls' clothing as his ordinary attire, Julian, as Julia, is subjected to frequent flagellations, as are his cousins, one of whom he later marries, submitting to her dominance through continued forced feminization and crossdressing.
with no connotation carried over from the previous article:
the reason i personally hate society is because it makes us fucking crazy, and any number of aspects of it will kill us if we let it
we know the ills of patriarchy, we already know that bush and perry are fucking assholes…my question to the women's work group, if their intent is truly to add to the whole…eventually, is what's your point? OR are you simply asking for a safe environment to formulate one?
I for one would be happy to help facilitate, or at the very least help organize, a public forum where those who identify as women get the majority of the time, say double, OR one where there are only women speakers.
if your gut reaction to that statement was to exclude me, simply because I have a penis or a y chromosome, then I hope you realize now how sexist you have become…
after today, if your stance is to continue to be exclusionary, on the basis of sex, which is illegal in most public contexts, then I for one am done. I will not ask again for the privilidge of being included. I have far more pressing matters to attend to than a single, centrist working group.
also, I would encourage you not to turn the diversity working group into the women's diversity working group, as its intent is to serve a far broader purpose
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one"
the free mind is a genderless mind
"We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back."
"I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of … brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive."
and…if I may be so bold:
"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all 'people' are created equal.' "
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by 'their gender' but by the content of their character."
"I have a dream today!"
"I have a dream that one day, down in 'Texas', with its vicious 'sexists', with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "cessesion" — one day right there in 'Texas' little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers."
I have a dream today, and you will not continue to diminish it; not through ignorance–whether willful or not–nor outright sexism.
With a view to outreach, V may remove this (I have a copy), at her discretion–and her's alone–once V, Sarah and Cassie have read it (either here or in printed form). As I will not be monitoring this thread, feel free to address it with me at the occupation. The same goes if there happens to be a response here that I should address.