What’s matriarchy? This is a complicated question that is being hotly debated among the historians, anthropologists, writers, feminists and the intelligentsia. Matriarchy can be described as a sort of social network in which the mother figure and girls have authority.
The term matriarchy is coined as the opposite of patriarchy, from Greek mater “mother” and archein “to rule”. Gynecocracy, can be used synonymously to signify matriarchy. Matriarchy can also be defined as a type of social organization where girls are the dominant sex, a female is the family head and title is traced through the female line. This system can also be called as androcracy. It can be also referred to as a system of government by females and another technical description credited to matriarchy refers it as a gynocentric type of society. Matriarchal animal societies include elephants, bees and killer whales.
The above discussion has helped us to understand the definition of matriarchy when analyzing the question “what’s matriarchy”? Now let us talk about the “sequence” of matriarchy.
Matriarchy is a mixture of two separate provisions, Matrilineality and Matrilocality. Matrilineality is ascribed to an arrangement where the lineage of these offspring is tracked in the mother’s side and matrtrilocality is described as a phenomenon in which the offspring of the mother lives in the mother’s house. This would be thought of as a clan with the extended family living there also. Back then, there was a type of union called as visiting union, where the husband came from out and lived with the wife for a brief time period and then they dwelt apart even though they continued to stay married.
The husband had a visiting status rather than lived eternally in the household. The children lived with the mother and the other generations of the families. In this setup the dad didn’t have an active part in raising the kids but he remained married to the spouse. We don’t find this kind of marriage anymore. These types of unions were largely practiced by people of the Ancient Pueblo, the Chaco Canyon, the Mosu of Southwestern China and the people of Minangkabau of the Western Sumatra.
These were ancient societies in which the “visiting marital alliance” existed and this sort of “visiting union” may still exist in some of the more primitive tribes. Societies with such”order” could be regarded as Matriarchal. Thus to understand the question”what’s matriarchy?” We will need to comprehend that the”order” of matriarchy as mentioned above. The concept of great ancient goddesses and the matriarchal societies that worshiped the ancient goddesses has been actively researched by many authors, historians, archaeologists and anthropologists.
Take into account
The question “what’s matriarchy?” Cannot be satisfactorily understood unless we unearth the myths and customs of the ancient goddesses and the ancient matriarchies attached to these ancient goddesses. The subject is growing as the “science of older goddesses” and worship of these goddesses from the ancient matriarchal societies which existed in the ancient times. Numerous archaeological expeditions have led to the discovery of various prehistoric finds. Interpretation of those prehistoric artefacts from a new perspective is adding appreciable interest to the whole topic of matriarchy. There are several societies even today that are matriarchal in nature.
These might be small societies living on horticulture but they are societies that are functional and that have long history attached to them. Example is the Nagovisi of Bougainvillea from the South Pacific, the Khasi of Meghalaya, India, and the Machinguenga of Peru. These present tribes and indigenous societies demonstrate strong matriarchal inclinations in a variety of facets of their social order. Works by distinguished researchers focussing on the Trobriand islanders and Australian aborigines revealed that there existed many connections in those societies between girls in fundamental functions and these interactions were considered no way less or jaded by those populations.
Many anthropologists studying the native populations found that girls were powerful, independent and being able separate but as appreciated as men’s one of these societies. These ancient and native societies never separated biological men and women in opposing categories and social and kin relationships determined the place of people in these societies. Further there are a high number of societies that exist today where women enjoy full sexual and economic control over themselves. To this group of matriarchies, or egalitarian societies, based on how we define them, many Pacific and Native American cultures could be inserted, such as Pueblo Indians (the Zuni, Laguna and Hopi), the pre-19th century Iroquois and Innu (Montaignais-Naskapi), the Vanatinai, and Hawaii under Queen Liliuokani. As we examine the question of “what’s matriarchy” and examples of existing matriarchal societies we will need to come up with a different perspective to the development and evolution of the hunter-gatherer societies.
Typical assumptions and myths has to be re-examined. Among them the prominent one being the premise that ancient societies developed around scarcity and in such societies operate and social interactions were segregated along the lines of sex. Further the myths such as the character of human beings portrayed as always selfish and individualistic has to be discarded.
Another significant myth that has to be completely busted revolves around the idea that in social organization there’s always an inequality based on gender and class. These assumptions and myths simply don’t fit well for the many of the present matriarchal tribes and native societies. Thus we can clearly state that the notion that societies evolved in the midst of scarcity could be a enormous social construct rather than a reality of human existence. Further separation of work and social life might not be a essential feature of economic production.
Moreover selfishness and acquisitiveness as human character might not be the dominant personalities of human beings and inequality based on gender and class isn’t necessary characteristic of human culture. There’s large part of intelligentsia which dismisses the entire notion of matriarchy. They assert that matriarchy never been in history. This sort of sweeping conclusion and universal rejection of the true probability of presence of an ancient matriarchal order indicates the normal male prejudice or Eurocentric prejudice which exists from tens of thousands of years. This is a normal linear thinking which only accepts a patriarchal form of society.
Let’s understand it
Western thinking is based on dichotomies, dualism and separable classes from the business of a society. It’s particular unpronounced assumptions about the human character and specifically about the male status and function in society. This view supports the claim that the man is likely to rule in any form of social arrangement and male dominance is but natural. The entire approach of this patriarchal society has been highly biased against the female gender.
In the majority of the so called mainstream patriarchal societies the role and actions of guys were given importance and the role of women and their actions were considered less significant. Even the exact activities that are performed by men if are consumed by girls they’re then framed as less significant. Moreover to bring this out biased stratification into available in just about all the mainstream patriarchal societies there are activities and roles that are exclusively attributed to men and are reserved for them. In this way there’s a clear demarcation of male supremacy over females.
In understanding the question “what’s matriarchy?” We will need to understand that all of the theories on the development of human culture are limited in western and number theory doesn’t pay for the infinite societies which existed before stretching to the ancient times and several of them that exist today. There’s sufficient evidence concerning archaeological finds that points towards the existence of matriarchal societies in the ancient times. Therefore any conclusion that says that there was no matriarchy due to weakness of the evidence, is logically incorrect.
The proof of silence isn’t a good proof, not in history. Another issue is that the wide assortment of theories that promote the universality of patriarchy are largely dependent on the Eurocentric and Western perspective of societies. The important point to notice is that we can’t bind the history of societies at a predetermined biased logic.
The simple truth is that societies throughout their development and evolution embrace a broad assortment of organizations and sex is one variable or variable within the framework of numerous possibilities of growth. In this respect a society could have evolved as a patriarchal or matriarchal form of organization based on the environmental and economic opportunities and constraints. Therefore making a sweeping conclusion of the occurrence of just patriarchy and then inventing a broad assortment of theories based on this premise doesn’t hold water.
The possibility of the development of matriarchy in the not too distant future in a global scale is becoming real. Consciously or unconsciously we’re producing structures for an emerging matriarchy in most contemporary societies. Further to know the question”what’s matriarchy?” In depth we will need to study these topics in detail. Like I mentioned before the history of societies is dominated with a linear thinking of male supremacy in societal structure. This mindset to pressure male dominance in all possible circumstances appears to be a reflection of over-cautiousness and an attempt to interpret the information in the least exceptional manner.
This thinking and approach should change as there needs to be other possible methods of thinking and interpretations about a given scenario. These alternative interpretations, perspectives and concepts can’t be suppressed or buried apart as non consequential. I find that the indigenous cultures and civilizations that existed around the world were more cultured and civilized than their barbaric cousins out of Europe. In reality these native cultures, of which many were sexually dichotomized nor oppressive to either gender. In many stratified native societies, the greatest positions in any area could be available to gender-or at least to two sexes, if a third sex was acknowledged. This usually made it possible for a person of either sex to adopt an intermediate sex and therefore gain access to otherwise inaccessible functions. Was this sort of freedom possible in the so called civilized societies of the medieval Europe? This is an excellent question to ponder upon if we study the subject”what’s matriarchy?”.