Re: What Matriarchy?
Fri, 19 Jul 1996 17:59:59 -0700

>>Matriarchy has been defined as any social system which utilizes matrilineal decent.

>I am not an anthropologist, but I am a Jew and therefore know that this is not correct.

My arguments were (1) that both definitions are in common use, so
arguing the validity of any one over the other seems pointless, (2) that
arguing matriarchy (matrilineal) vs patriarchy (patriarchate) or arguing
matriarchy (matriarchate) vs patriarchy (patrilineal) is basically
arguing apples and oranges, (3) that the common use of matriarchy in
social studies appears to be in reference to matriarchates, and, (4)
that matriarchy is not commonly used in anthropology (more through lack
of matriarchates in human cultures than by convention).

To support argument one:

Merriam Webster€s Collegiate Dictionary
Matriarchy - (1) a family, group, or state governed by a matriarch; (2)
a system of social organization in which decent or inheritance are
traced through the female line.

The American Heritage Dictionary
Matriarchy - (1) a social system in which decent is traced through the
mother€s side of the family; (2) a matriarchate.