Re: Patriarchy and matriarchy

Ruby Rohrlich (rohrlich@GWIS2.CIRC.GWU.EDU)
Sun, 17 Mar 1996 11:35:17 -0500

and "patriarchy" are still being taught, alas. When I think of all the
effort many women and some men put into work that changes the old traditional
concepts. Thanks. Ruby Rohrlich
On Sun, 17 Mar 1996, Jim Moore wrote:

> On the subject on patriarchy and matriarchy, it has always seemed
> to me that neither word accurately describes the power dynamics in
> any culture, but there is an interesting difference in how the
> words are defined in common use.
> Matriarchy is held to a very specific definition, which of course
> allows us to point out that matriarchical societies don't, and
> didn't, exist. Meanwhile, patriarchy is given loads of leeway,
> which allows us to pretend that this is the way societies work.
> The ridiculous extremes seen in this differential definition can
> be seen by looking at the OED (who was it who said that quoting
> dictionary definitions is the last refuge of a scoundrel?) which
> includes the word "patriarchess: a female patriarch".
> That's a nonsense word if I've ever heard one.
> Jim Moore e-mail:
> or: