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Author Topic: Matriarchal Societies  (Read 1902 times)

Miss

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Matriarchal Societies
« on: October 25, 2011, 02:05:52 pm »
So I came across a very controversial book today called "Conversations With God". I haven't read it, but a segment of information was brought up by a decently popular youtuber.

The book says that we all stemmed from matriarchal societies, and that patriarchy started to become dominant as men started planted "seeds of fear" to dissuade people from following this setup.

I couldn't really find any information backing up this author's claims, but I could just be looking into the wrong areas.

So what are everyone's opinions on this? Are there valid pieces of information on it that I could be linked to?

Fier

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Re: Matriarchal Societies
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2011, 02:58:13 pm »
Quote from: Miss;27451
Are there valid pieces of information on it that I could be linked to?

 
Not that I'm aware of. It's a widespread claim with no evidence to back it up as far as I know.

HeartShadow

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Re: Matriarchal Societies
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2011, 03:00:17 pm »
Quote from: Miss;27451
So I came across a very controversial book today called "Conversations With God". I haven't read it, but a segment of information was brought up by a decently popular youtuber.

The book says that we all stemmed from matriarchal societies, and that patriarchy started to become dominant as men started planted "seeds of fear" to dissuade people from following this setup.

I couldn't really find any information backing up this author's claims, but I could just be looking into the wrong areas.

So what are everyone's opinions on this? Are there valid pieces of information on it that I could be linked to?

 
It's bull.  It's popular bull, it's prevalent bull, it's widely believed bull - but it's bull.  There's NO proof ANYWHERE of this matriarchal society - much less the pure wonderful etc. that it supposedly was.

Miss

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Re: Matriarchal Societies
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2011, 03:09:53 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;27462
It's bull.  It's popular bull, it's prevalent bull, it's widely believed bull - but it's bull.  There's NO proof ANYWHERE of this matriarchal society - much less the pure wonderful etc. that it supposedly was.

 
I definitely took it with a huge truckload of slat, but I didn't want to brush it off too quickly.

This is the video I am referring to:

I've actually never heard of the notion of there being a matriarchal society until I saw this, and it definitely raised some flags.It's obviously a pleasant idea, but what has swayed people to believe it's fact? There has to be something to link it to plausibility for people to follow this. Or maybe I just have too positive view of my fellow humanity? ;)

Fier

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Re: Matriarchal Societies
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2011, 03:16:14 pm »
Quote from: Miss;27466
It's obviously a pleasant idea, but what has swayed people to believe it's fact? There has to be something to link it to plausibility for people to follow this.


Marija Gimutas was an anthropologist who collected data and built a case for matriarchal societies. But her work was dismissed by her peers.

catja6

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Re: Matriarchal Societies
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2011, 03:18:43 pm »
Quote from: Miss;27451
?

 
There's no evidence that a full-on matriarchy -- as in a gender-flipped patriarchy, a society that systematically privileged women and oppressed men -- ever existed.  There are matrilineal societies (descent traced through women) and matrifocal societies (where divine and human power is often conceived in majority-female terms), but again, no total oppressive gendered system equivalent to a patriarchy.

The matriarchal fantasy in popular anthropology/archaeology stems from Victorian cultural evolutionary attitudes:  the most completely "savage" and "primitive" society Victorian male scholars could imagine was one run by women, horrors!  So naturally that was the "earliest" form of civilization, until everyone grew up and got proper patriarchal monotheism.  And it WAS figured as "growing up" -- cultural evolution posited unilinear development of cultures in a manner analogous to children growing up; "savage" cultures are in their "infancy," "barbarian" cultures are "childlike," and "civilized" cultures are adults who owe it to the children of the world to guide them like a good parent (see: colonialism).  A matriarchal/matrifocal culture is obviously "immature," because like children, they're still attached to their mothers.

This attitude hung on in academia until roughly the 1960s, when early second-wave feminist scholars started critiquing the misogynist and colonialist premises of how AWFUL matrifocal, etc., societies were.  This led to a more critical examination of the theory of cultural evolution as a whole, and eventually led to it getting tossed out entirely.  However, cultural evolutionary attitudes and fantasies about primitive matriarchies still crop up in popular texts, especially Neopagan books.

Aster Breo

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Re: Matriarchal Societies
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2011, 03:29:13 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;27462
It's bull.  It's popular bull, it's prevalent bull, it's widely believed bull - but it's bull.  There's NO proof ANYWHERE of this matriarchal society - much less the pure wonderful etc. that it supposedly was.

 
What Shad said.

If you want to learn more about this issue, try Cynthia Eller's book, The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won't Give Women a Future.
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

Miss

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Re: Matriarchal Societies
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2011, 03:35:58 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;27462
It's bull.  It's popular bull, it's prevalent bull, it's widely believed bull - but it's bull.  There's NO proof ANYWHERE of this matriarchal society - much less the pure wonderful etc. that it supposedly was.

 
Quote from: Aster Breo;27470
What Shad said.

If you want to learn more about this issue, try Cynthia Eller's book, The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won't Give Women a Future.

 
Ooh, that's going on my book wishlist. Thanks!

Pain and Light

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Re: Matriarchal Societies
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2011, 12:35:18 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;27470
What Shad said.If you want to learn more about this issue, try Cynthia Eller's book, The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won't Give Women a Future.

 
Yeah. This book. I highly recommend also.

If you're interested, here is a short review that I wrote a few years back as a Dedicant of ADF:  http://asthefiretree.livejournal.com/#asthefiretree11257

Asch

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Re: Matriarchal Societies
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2011, 01:15:10 am »
Quote from: Pain and Light;27768
Yeah. This book. I highly recommend also.

If you're interested, here is a short review that I wrote a few years back as a Dedicant of ADF:  http://asthefiretree.livejournal.com/#asthefiretree11257

 
http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/showthread.php?97-Neo-Druid-Book-Reviews

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