Re: Patriarchy: Re: What Matriarchy?
Thu, 25 Jul 1996 18:39:02 -0700

Al Billings wrote:

>:>: 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 isn't matriarchy. This is matrilineal descent. Two different things.

>: Perhaps you should look these terms up in a dictionary before you
>: claim such things.

> I think my Anthro degree will suffice. Thanks though.

Give me a break. Is this the only value of an anthropology degree? To
debate terms? I've sited anthropological sources where matriarchy
(matrilineal) was used and others have sited sources for matriarchy
(matriarchate). The above document was written on July 8, 1996. It uses
matriarchy (matrilineal). Are you saying that these references are not
authoritative? Are you telling us that the Museon is not a good source
for authoritative information? Or, are you asking that your proclaimed
degree should be given precedence over that of the entire department of
ethnology at the Museon? I've checked their credentials, mind sharing

Sorry. But, this is frustrating.

The fact is, both uses of the word, not only have been used, but are
still in use by anthropologists. I see no reason why you cannot have a
preference for one use over the other, I do and it is the same as yours.
But, is it really worth debating over. Most of all, can you really
ignore the references presented and still claim that your preference is
the only proper anthropological definition. Let's get on with this. I am
interested in hearing an anthropologists viewpoints on matriarchies, and
why (or why not) they exist (or don't exist) in humans (or vulcans or
romulans). Somthing, anything, substantial.