Re: What Matriarchy? (was Drugs etc.)

Bryant (
24 Jul 1996 11:25:19 -0600

In article <4t3bt6$>,
sgf <> wrote:

>While to our knowledge there have
>been no societies in which women hold supreme political power, to suggest
>that in *most* cultures worldwide women had almost no power is almost
>laughable. As a general rule, the more complex the culture, the less
>power women have (there are always exceptions, of course).

'Sure are. So many exceptions that your statement deserves a serious
challenge. The complex North American culture, for instance, in which I live
affords women more rights and recourses than any South American hunter/gatherer
group I am familiar with. Mutilation, claustration, rape and murder are
the lot of millions of women in less complex cultures around the world.

The *relatively* simple herding life of the Masai, for instance, does
not protect Masai women from horrible genital mutilations to assure
their fidelity to husbands.

Interestingly for your argument, the women who are rebelling against the
practice of clitoridectomy are those who have, because of westernized
economies in eastern Africa, been economically liberated by their jobs
from a traditional subservience to men. No need for a man to survive
quickly = low tolerance for mutilating daughters.

Would any non-masochistic woman from the U.S. really, seriously want to
trade places with a Yanomamo wife?! Of course not.

Instead of presenting fantasies about improbable "matriarchies" of the past,
we should be clearing our own path ahead with the tools at hand. We do not
need imaginary Atlantasian models on which to base social gender equity!