Re: Patriarchy: Re: What Matriarchy?

Goddess in Training (
24 Jul 96 18:44:44 CDT wrote:
: Well, while there are tons of myths about matriarchy, I can find
: little reference to actual matriarchy societies...however, I know that
: they have existed and will exist.

How do you know this? Not suspect it, mind you, but actually *know* this?

: I DID find the following, on the net under the following url:
: a museum in the netherlands....
: dunno how accurate they are, but will check into some more for more
: concrete proof of matriarchy.

: ---------------------------------------------------------------
: Minangkabau matriarchy

: The society of the Minangkabau is ruled by the system of matriarchy,
: that means that they trace descent and inheritance through
: the female line.

This is matrilinear, not matriarchal. Matriarchy is not synonymous with
matrilinear, although some popular authors seem to think so.

Children belong to the family of the mother, they are
: not even seen as relatives of the father! He is not obliged to
: take care of his children, that is the task of the eldest brother of
: the wife. Every man is obliged in the first place to take care of
: the children of his sister(s).

So a male still helps provide for the children? That doesn't make it
either patriarchal or matriarchal. Who has the political power in this
sytem? The men or the women?

: When a Minangkabau man and woman marry, they do not form a family in
: our sense of the word. The woman keeps on living
: with her family, and when the pair gets children, they stay with her.
: Sometimes the husband lives with his wife in her family's
: house, sometimes he only visits his wife.

Again, forming a family in a different way from ours does not make it

: Matriarchy makes the women independent of the men.

The women may be independent of their husbands under this system, but it
doesn't sound like they are independent of *all* men, and they sound
distinctly dependent on their brothers.

There isn't any proof of a matriarchal society here, although it is a
matrilinear society. I always find it a bit humerous when people try to
claim that matrilineal societies are the same as matriarchal ones--if that
were true, Judaic culture would be matriarchal, since Judaism is
matrilinear. I don't think that anyone would want to argue for Judaism as
a matriarchal culture!

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Renee Rosen "Was I a witch?
Goddess in Training In the dark days, I heard
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