Re: What Matriarchy? (was Drugs etc.)
Wed, 17 Jul 1996 10:45:06 -0700

Ashley Branchfeather wrote:
> In article <4sgbjh$>,
> wrote:
> >In <4sdvg5$> (Al Billings)
> >writes:
> >
> >> There is NO evidence for their having ever been a matriarchy in any
> >>society in the world. Matrifocal, yes, but not Matriarchy. Perhaps you can
> >>give some sources that I never found when I studied Anthropology?
> >
> >Recently, in Russia, they have found graves with women who were burried
> >with weapons and men with the children. There have been many
> >discoveries in the last decade which would point to martiarchy. I
> >cannot quote studies, but they are out there. Maybe you need to update
> >your study information with the current events...
> In the absence of references (as Al requested), I don't believe you.

I also find the claims to be highly questionable. Matriarchy was a
system hypothesised throughout the 19th century. All of these works are
based on conjecture and inference rather than on actual studies. I would
be interested in any current anthropological works on the subject.

As for the evidence;what is presented seems intent on proving that male
solidarity was based on a domestic setting and that female solidarity
was based on warfare. While this might enhance an argument of a
matriarchial society, it does not validate the argument. Of course,
there are some serious logical and proximity errors in the implications
of this evidence as well.

The concept of female warriors in Russia is not uncommon. The existance
of female warriors does not support an argument that female solidarity
was built around warfare, which seems to be implied.

Then we have the male buried with a child. The implication seems to be
that this is evident of male solidarity at a domestic level. All this
burial would show is that the male died at the same time as the child.
On what evidence do we even support a claim that the male was the childs
father? Group burials are also not that uncommon in Russia.

Besides failing to provide a time reference for study, the wording of
the evidence is vague. It refers to female and male graves. Does this
mean that there are multiple gravesites with female warriors buried
beside the male? Or, does it mean there are graves of female warriors,
and graves containing a male and a child? In assuming the first, if the
female warrior is buried with the man, then we cannot use the argument
that the child is buried only with the man. We must assume then that
they are buried in seperate graves. It is obvious that the male and the
child died around the same time and location. This does not mean the
female also died at this time and location.

Even if we assume that they were buried at the same time and location,
isn't it possible that the man was crippled, ill, old, or for some other
reason unable to perform as a warrior?

Or perhaps the man was just unable to afford armor? On what basis do we
even assume the man and the woman are of the same class. How can we
compare male/female solidarity here if they are of different classes?
The fact that the woman might be of a higher social class than the male,
does not support a claim of a matriarchy.

Are we to assume that no graves of male warriors or females buried with
children are found in Russia?

I would have to agree that a cite might be helpful, but at this point I
would be content with something with a little more substance.