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  1. #31
    Well Kat that depends what we're defining as early tribal religion. I've looked into many african traditional religions which are the first religions and I found a wider variation from sky father creators, to the universe being created by a married couple of deities, to creation by a hermaphroditic deity. In native American religions, it is clear that the feminine is deeply important. However I found just many father deities as creatrixes. However you are right in that the grandmother spider deity is a common figure who appears in the mythologies of the Navajo, Zuni, and Pueblo peoples. I have also heard that in the mythology if the Australian Aborigines that the creator was a mother Goddess. The Koreans have one as well. It's a shame its harder to find more information on Korean Shamanism. I've been fascinated ever since I saw a filmed Shaman's rite. I have also heard of some south american religions where a Goddess seems to take primacy. In polynesian lore I found married mother and father deities as well legends where no one deity created the universe. The Hawaiians in particular had no creator deity. I will concede that since the growth of sedentary society is linked to war, that the importance, equality, and reverence of the Goddesses may have been diminished as people began worshipping male Gods of battle more fervently. I'm not saying that there ware no female war deities as mythology would prove me incredibly wrong, but as you said, the male sky deities tend to be linked to battle. I am not skeptical of a time when the great Goddess was afforded as much respect as her consort, but I am skeptical of the particular slant of the matriarchal prehistory theory because of what I know about some of these cultures. However, I have seen religions whose prime deity is a great Goddess so I will not doubt the existence of such religions in ancient times and that there are likely Goddess oriented religions that may have been lost to time as a result of certain events.

    As for your Questions tmso:

    I plan on fleshing out the society first then writing even though I have a sort of Game of Thrones (for lack of a better novel to compare it to) style plot. I don't want to give too much away as I have not planned out everything nor do I want to spoil it.

    Men have opportunities though if one looked at my notes on sex and courtship, one might assume men are no more than walking phallic organs. However men are allowed other opportunities. Most government positions however are off limits to them. There are loop holes, but everything has to be just so. The intellect of a man is not doubted, so much as his ability to channel his thoughts or to remain coherent in their expression. While men are not thought of as blithering idiots, they are considered impulsive. Part of a man's courtship of a woman is that he has to prove himself a valuable asset to not only his potential wife, but her family's elder crones.

    Quote Originally Posted by tmso View Post
    Ah, here's where I got the idea of an entire half of a species born transgendered.

    How would they be treated? That's a good question. I know that for me, as a woman, I do not find the idea offensive in the least, and I suspect that most women feel the same (but I could be completely wrong). As such, I would imagine that in your made up society, transgendered folks would enjoy more acceptance.

    As for third sex groups, this is a very complex issue, the handling of which I drew from historical sources such as the two spirit groups of Native American societies, a peculiar Indonesian tribe, and more contemporary studies with a dash of my own imagining. "Effeminate" men experience a sort of privilege that normal men do not. They are divided into two groups, one which is considered to be male, but to have the touch of a Goddess, and what our society would describe as heterosexual. They are considered men, but for the most part are afforded the same respect as a woman. They marry women, they can do what one might call "men's" work in this society, and their word outside of the bedroom carries the same weight as a woman, and unlike other men the value of said word increases at the same rate with age. However the second group of "effeminate" men which are what we would call homosexual are outright considered women (whether they think of themselves that way or not). The treatment of homosexuality is a very complex thing, and most men do not consider these persons viable sexual partners as they cannot become pregnant nor are they really interested. Furthermore a male engaging in homosexual acts who is not a part of this second division is often scorned because he is seen as denying his spouse her children(since everyone ends up married one way or another), specifically her potential female heirs. In another way, it is result of the man having the audacity to think he can take a woman's role. Remember, more "masculine" gay men in this society are not considered women. The other half of the group IS considered female and thus are not shunned for these activities. This society is both very strangely homophobic towards gay men and in some ways oddly accepting. One might think it would be as simple as allowing for an affair if a woman's husband is gay and was a part of an arranged marriage, however, this is considered adultery and thus frowned upon, and just about any man who can breed is married to a woman. I haven't gotten around to female third sex groups, but I'll probably be working that out soon. I imagine a female equivalent comprised of more masculine women would hold less stigma with the way this society treats lesbianism.
    Last edited by Riothamus; September 22nd, 2012 at 04:26 PM.

  2. #32
    Since I am working on a series with a Matriarchy society on a planet in a neighboring star system, I will share my areas of research.

    The Amazons is the icing on the cake.

    Queen Myrina aka Myrine is said to be a Queen of the Amazons who went to war against Atlantis and founded the city of Epherus, where the Temple of Artemis still stands.

    I can only speculate on my own that she might have originated from Lemuria, which is believed to have been a Matriarchy society that co-existed with Atlantis for 40,000 years.

    If you want to understand a culture, study their gods. Artemis of Epheeus is a good point of study as the goddess of the Amazons.

  3. #33
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fung Koo View Post
    The women of a matriarchal society might have entirely different observed "proclivities," all predominantly written into the brain through interaction with that society. If that society did not encourage the same things as ours does, where women are actually encouraged to be better at those things pretty much from the days they're born, we'd probably see different brain results that supported that society.
    Ah, very good point, Fung. I'd like to see some scientific study on this, because you do see that played out quite a bit in what I would call peer pressure (I don't know the jargon, but whatever it is that makes us want to be like the rest of our group). Whether that pressure be from parents, siblings, or other tribe members, what is expected of one, often ends up what becomes of one. Not all the time, of course, but often. And, as you said, the neurological pathways are then set in gray matter, so to speak.

  4. #34
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riothamus View Post
    As for third sex groups, this is a very complex issue, the handling of which I drew from historical sources such as the two spirit groups of Native American societies, a peculiar Indonesian tribe, and more contemporary studies with a dash of my own imagining. "Effeminate" men experience a sort of privilege that normal men do not. They are divided into two groups, one which is considered to be male, but to have the touch of a Goddess, and what our society would describe as heterosexual. They are considered men, but for the most part are afforded the same respect as a woman. They marry women, they can do what one might call "men's" work in this society, and their word outside of the bedroom carries the same weight as a woman, and unlike other men the value of said word increases at the same rate with age. However the second group of "effeminate" men which are what we would call homosexual are outright considered women (whether they think of themselves that way or not). The treatment of homosexuality is a very complex thing, and most men do not consider these persons viable sexual partners as they cannot become pregnant nor are they really interested. Furthermore a male engaging in homosexual acts who is not a part of this second division is often scorned because he is seen as denying his spouse her children(since everyone ends up married one way or another), specifically her potential female heirs. In another way, it is result of the man having the audacity to think he can take a woman's role. Remember, more "masculine" gay men in this society are not considered women. The other half of the group IS considered female and thus are not shunned for these activities. This society is both very strangely homophobic towards gay men and in some ways oddly accepting. One might think it would be as simple as allowing for an affair if a woman's husband is gay and was a part of an arranged marriage, however, this is considered adultery and thus frowned upon, and just about any man who can breed is married to a woman. I haven't gotten around to female third sex groups, but I'll probably be working that out soon. I imagine a female equivalent comprised of more masculine women would hold less stigma with the way this society treats lesbianism.
    Very interesting. Now, this is something you came up with based on those three sources, correct? In those sources that you drew on, did they exhibit the same characteristics or did you draw different parts from each one?

    I'm just wondering about the interaction between these third-sex men. From what I understand, the first set of third-sex men (effeminate men that could be transgendered, but can't do anything about it) want and do have sexual relations with women and therefore produce offspring. Whereas the second set of third-sex men are more or less standard male homosexuals, and because they don't produce offspring, they are shunned. Correct?

    That seems clear, and would set up a lot of character and story tension for characters that might be homosexuals trying to pass as the more favored of the third-sex group.

  5. #35
    I borrowed bits and pieces from each one then considered other elements of the society I had already put in place, and added a sprinkling of my imagination.

    The other half that one would consider homosexual is in a very awkward position. They carry many of the privileges of being considered female, but love and marriage are a mind numbing cluster f*** for them. Technically they could be married to a man because they are thought of as women, but they do not produce children, so more often than not they are excluded from a rather important institution that plays into family and political alliances. Any sexual encounters they do have are limited to largely random encounters with men who have not been married off. These affairs are promptly ended by force if necessary once the partner is married off. Their only other option is to This is a society where infertility is a sign of shame. They are not necessarily shamed for not being able to bare children, but the fact that they cannot pretty much screws up most chances they might have at attaining a steady romantic relationship. They are in many ways, despite their greater political clout, made second class citizens when compared to heterosexual third sex men, and yes, it would be a safe bet to say that some are deep within the closet because they want to have a chance at maintaining a relationship with someone they desire. So they may try to convince themselves they're confused or pass themselves off as the other sort. Their only real chance for a steady relationship is if they can attract another of their own kind since it is technically considered lesbian. Lesbianism does not carry the same stigma for certain complex reasons. This means their pool of acceptable sexual and romantic partners is extremely limited and their families will not or rather cannot marry them off, so the economic privileges of marriage are out of the question. Their heterosexual more advantaged brethren are clearly favored in many senses though no one really speaks of such things. This some times makes the heterosexual moon sons inclined to mock or look down on them.

    I repeat, it's a complex and nightmarish mess for some of these people.

  6. #36
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Modern Day Myth View Post
    the city of Epherus, where the Temple of Artemis still stands.

    ...

    Artemis of Epheeus is a good point of study as the goddess of the Amazons.
    Do you mean Ephesus? The Temple of Artemis and Ephesus are both in Selcuk, Turkey. There's considerable debate as to whether or not the area identified is actually the Temple or not, though.

    Ephesus is honestly the most amazing Roman ruin site I've ever been to.

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Fung Koo View Post
    Do you mean Ephesus? The Temple of Artemis and Ephesus are both in Selcuk, Turkey. There's considerable debate as to whether or not the area identified is actually the Temple or not, though.

    Ephesus is honestly the most amazing Roman ruin site I've ever been to.
    Actually the ruins at Ephesus are Greek.

  8. #38
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Greek, Cimmerian, Lydian, Persian, and Roman all told. Much of what's there now comes from the Roman period, when the population and the area of city was largest, and was the capital of Asia Minor. There's plenty of stuff from the earlier eras, too, in particular the Greeks.

  9. #39
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    The men weren't involved in raising children in many of the early cultures and in the later, bigger societies. The men were away. The men stayed together in groups, the men went off hunting, fishing, raiding, trading. As cultures advanced and slavery became widespread (including things like serfdom later on,) lower class men might have no contact with their children or be moved away from their children. The men were mobile, the women were less mobile because they had to do the childrearing. The men were involved in getting some food for the tribe, but the men were frequently not involved in childrearing. And since the men were often away -- not involved in food for the tribe on a day to day basis -- they were even less involved with childrearing.
    OK, but what does this say about the power arrangement? Is freedom of mobility a denotation of power in the kind of society you're describing here? Is it even "freedom"? Or necessity?

    This sounds more like two societies operating side by side, more or less independently, with some trade occurring between them. Even human exchange -- maybe the girls stay with the women, the boys at some point go off with the men -- does not necessarily denote power relationships here. It does almost sound like a precursor to slavery, but may simply have been a functional arrangement.

    But as a question of power arrangement, is this something that you're describing as patriarchal, matriarchal, neither, both, or something else altogether?

    This strikes me a bit as looking back at a very different past with the values we associate with power today. Questions of mobility and sharing the load of child rearing may not even have been thoughts that ever registered as important. It's entirely possible that women saw the males' travelling as a weakness. Maybe the males saw it as a punishment. Maybe they weren't allowed to stay. Staying still, in a society that is constantly on the move, would probably be a luxury, wouldn't it?

    So the women handled the local, communal areas and women often had quite a lot of power in those areas, with matrifocal communities being common with little regular male presence. But the large groups of men in the tribe went out and increased territory, increased the number of women available to them and controlled access to other communities. The women were also more easily coerced and controlled, because control their children and you controlled them. Whereas the men were often having more children with more women in multiple territories.
    This is really interesting. The men basically end up having ladies in all the different towns, right? So men move between these "wives" (breeding stations?) exchanging/trading the things they hunt for a place to crash, spread their seed, collect the boys, and move on (rinse, repeat).

    But the argument included here is that the limitation on mobility is mostly a result of the biological factor or childbirth, not necessarily force. What sort of control over the women are you imagining in this arrangement?

    When food is scarce, women are less able to get pregnant and bring a child to term and survive childbirth. (And when food was plentiful, children still died easily from accident and illness.)
    I'm looking at this more from the perspective of long term averages, though. A society that enjoys a lower child mortality rate over a period of time (say, at least two generations) might still be seeing 8 children die for every one that survives, but compared to the neighbouring tribe who are having 12 die for every surviving child, that's a huge advantage, and the effect of this would result in profound differences between the two societies.

    Even if the society with the better mortality rate bred children at the same rate (as if they had a rate of 12), then we'd be seeing effects like rapid population increase, cultural border expansion, resource-acquisition expansion... at least until they reach a maximum relative to the food source. The society could alternatively slow down on the baby making, enjoying the improved mortality rate, and use those extra resources for increased trade with the neighbours for luxury goods.

    Survivability overall would be much easier -- despite the fact we're still talking about large numbers of dead women and children by today's standards. The corresponding effect on social values would almost certainly be present, depending on which of the many routes that society might take in taking advantage of their stronger reproductive base.

    Taking your example above of the mobile male community, moving between different pockets of female territory and having "families" in each, if one of those communities breeds more successfully than the other, the differences are going to become noticeable fairly soon. The presence of the males in those predominantly female communities would have a much different tenor, depending on the health and success of those communities.

    One possible avenue where a matriarchy might come to exist would be a situation where a village of women enjoy considerable economic advantage, and therefore becomes a target for pillaging (scavenging). Eventually the need for a permanent defensive force results in a class of male warriors in service to the women. ...which sort of seems like what exists, and if the shoe fits...

    The argument is that lack of mobility and the requirement of caring for infants as well as finding food, etc., limited their opportunities, whereas men were able to expand and from that, take wider control, especially as societies became larger and more complicated.
    I think this is definitely part of it. But I'm not sure "opportunities" is exactly the right way to phrase it. More below...

    And from that, women became valued less, were ideologically viewed as property, particularly as land deals developed, and were seen as disposable.
    See, this is where I go "huh?!"

    Even the most brutal patriarchy ostensibly exists (according to its own ideology) to protect its women. Even nutbags like the Taliban come to the crazy decisions they make to protect their women. It's bizarre and often terrible, sure, but it's not an issue of women being disposable. If anything, it's the opposite.

    As for the notion of male opportunity... A counter viewpoint would suggest that a lot of the 'opportunities' available to men come from the relative disposability of males. In some respects, we can consider the mobility of early male societies as being an extension of the female base stations. Men were sent out to hunt, find food, defend territory, and generally run a near constant increased risk of death. When agriculture and urbanization come along, male mobility decreases but does not end -- we still have all sorts of dangerous trades being under the purview of men. Things like fishing, sailing, mining, and military roles, all have terribly high mortality rates throughout history. Males, throughout history, have been the disposable ones. And, correspondingly, have a higher mortality rate: "the fact that women live longer than men was observed at least as far back as 1750 and that, with relatively equal treatment, today males in all parts of the world experience greater mortality than females" (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_ex...ex_differences). That mortality is due, in large part, to the kinds of job men are normally in, and health differences stemming from being "out in the world" versus being "at home."

    The modern point of view is that women were forcibly kept out of such roles as the military by men. It's just as likely that women, quite intelligently, preferred the men to occupy these roles -- whether because of the biological imperative and inherent disposibility of men, or because women have some degree of control over this and see that it's a horrible, horrible sort of fate. Or it ended up that way for very good reasons once upon a time, but now it doesn't make sense any more.

    Modern government is largely an extension of the military (male) and it makes a sort of sense that it be under the male domain given that history. Even religion-derived governments (male) are effectively militaristic (male), and the purview of the military is largely the defence or expansion of trade (male). Perhaps it's male dominated because males can die in huge numbers and the world can go on... Because women are not disposable.

    The key determinant to an "archy" is the legal status of the genders in the society and those being unequal.
    In general, I think the notion of patriarchy is a classic Two Box system -- the bogeyman of second-wave feminism. We've built it in order to make sense of certain things, and it's important to know and useful, but in the process we've over applied it. Each patriarchal system is unique, and the response of each local culture to an overarching patriarchy (like the RC Church, for example) is likewise unique. Ideological patriarchies are different from functional patriarchies -- and I think functional patriarchy is largely a conclusion derived from a limited examination using a specific interpretive lens -- values we have today, like mobility, may have been totally inverted in some past cultures.



    (PS -- In case it's not clear, I'm playing devil's advocate and trying to introduce questions, just at places where I think a question might produce an imagined path to a different kind of society. Different interpretations of past cultures might show different ways of representing a real society in a more matriarchal kind of light.)

  10. #40
    Okay,

    Research into Lemuria will reveal how a matriarchy society differs from a patriarchy society with more attention paid to art, cosmetic design, being close to nature and animals, healing the sick, more community sharing, and more willingness to make friends than throw fists.

    And this is not to say women will not fight. They will. Besides the Amazons around Epherus and Aretias, tribes of seven foot Amazons existed in South Africa up until about two hundred years ago who could slice off a man's head with a mechette.

  11. #41
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fung Koo
    (PS -- In case it's not clear, I'm playing devil's advocate
    That's pretty much my assumption in all our conversations, which is why I'm not going to take you down like a wild puma on a deer over "boogeyman of second wave feminism."

    OK, but what does this say about the power arrangement? Is freedom of mobility a denotation of power in the kind of society you're describing here? Is it even "freedom"? Or necessity?
    I would imagine it was both. Once human populations started shifting to agriculture and staying put -- which had a number of advantages for humans -- it became necessary for most of the women to stay with the youngest children most of the time, (which meant that they were also going to be doing a lot of the work to watch over the crops,) making it even more necessary for men to roam outwards for more food sources, resources and trade, including acquiring assets by war. This necessity also gave men a number of freedoms and opportunities, as well as risks. One of those would be mating with women in more than one place, which would not then necessarily mean that the man then would work to help all his children. Matrifocal societies developed well on throughout history and cultures did sometime shape themselves to that, with men's lodges where the men stayed and boys went when they were old enough. Another system obviously was the multi-generational extended family, where the woman had a support system of relatives, her own or her mate's. How much power she had in that system depended on the culture that developed.

    But as a question of power arrangement, is this something that you're describing as patriarchal, matriarchal, neither, both, or something else altogether?
    It would depend on the culture that developed and the circumstances of the region. The larger the culture that developed and the larger its trade with other systems, the more patriarchal it tended to get. For instance, the matriarchal and/or goddess worshiping early cultures of Japan are believed to have been subjugated by invading and more patriarchal China. The current and long term matrifocal societies of the Caribbean stemmed from slavery there. It's a pattern that has persisted throughout our globe through most of our history. The men head out on the boats or the oil rigs, etc. and the women stay home with kids and work in the canneries, the textile factories, etc. (although there is crossover.) A woman might have been a servant and able to raise her kids in the home of her employer, but her husband is not employed by the same person and not there at all or most of the time. Before that, the woman would have been a serf and so on.

    Staying still, in a society that is constantly on the move, would probably be a luxury, wouldn't it?
    It was, that's why land ownership became very important. An entire mobile community might raid a place and then try to hold it, setting up a permanent camp. Then they would farm, raise structures and the bandit chief might declare himself a lord or a king. We know that women were in armies and part of army operations. We know that women participated in trade and craft making and businesses. We know that women ran farms, ran fortress siege defense and other defenses, that women would travel looking for better opportunities, re famine or disease. We know that women had opportunities for roles in male-dominated societies if they ran certain gauntlets or were in certain groups. We know sometimes women ruled or at least nominally ruled or ruled through the backdoor, depending on the cultural laws. But the need to care for small children, to nurse them as the easiest and most effective way, and being pregnant before that, was a major factor for women. It made them less mobile and also easier to constrain. That's why childcare issues are still big issues for feminism -- it's very easy to lock women out of areas you don't want them in through their children.

    This is really interesting. The men basically end up having ladies in all the different towns, right? So men move between these "wives" (breeding stations?) exchanging/trading the things they hunt for a place to crash, spread their seed, collect the boys, and move on (rinse, repeat).
    "A girl in every port." They didn't necessarily collect the boys. If you were say a peasant soldier in one of the Crusades, and you got an Arab woman pregnant, you just left with the army (or died.) The kid then might be considered an outcast, not because of a lack of father but because of taboos on ethnic blending. The kid then might have to roam away from the Arab culture as an adult to another culture. The peasant soldier was sent by his master because he was a serf, and on return, might find any family he had moved to another holding by his master or his woman taken up with another man. Or he might desert into a city, where if he could escape notice for a year, in some countries by law he'd become a serf no more and could start yet another family. And that still goes on today in a fashion. People did not marry (and in earl cultures probably didn't have marriage rites,) and if they did, say, in medieval times, it was not usually by a priest. Marriage was -- and still is -- a trade transaction. It's a business contract, and in many cultures for centuries, the business contract was not between the man and the woman, but between the man and whoever owned the woman, such as her family. And that also still goes on today.

    But the argument included here is that the limitation on mobility is mostly a result of the biological factor or childbirth, not necessarily force. What sort of control over the women are you imagining in this arrangement?
    I'm not imagining any arrangement; I'm talking about history. The limitation on mobility was due to a combo of change to settled agriculture, regional geographic circumstances, biological situation of childbirth and early care, and in many cultures, force, including law, religion and various forms of slavery. But there are also nomadic societies still and in those societies, the women and children are mobile, but the society may be matriarchally leaning or patriarchal, may have slavery or not, but they tend not to be matrifocal.

    Even if the society with the better mortality rate bred children at the same rate (as if they had a rate of 12), then we'd be seeing effects like rapid population increase, cultural border expansion, resource-acquisition expansion... at least until they reach a maximum relative to the food source. The society could alternatively slow down on the baby making,
    I'm not poo-pooing famine as a factor, but I will say that historically, I don't think there seems to be a correlation between famine and patriarchal cultures versus abundance cultures that are non-patriarchal. Patriarchal cultures developed in both. Both abundant and famine cultures had both war and trade as factors, though, and any culture with slavery, which might be either, is usually patriarchal. I also don't know how a society in the past would slow down on the baby-making. That's been relatively impossible for societies to do until very recently -- and with that control, there has been an increase in women's legal standing as actual humans and entry into sectors of trade. If women are able to control their fertility, then they usually develop a bigger say in the economy and the economy tends to improve and grow. We're seeing this in parts of Africa, for instance, and in India, etc. But though there were early birth control methods, mostly these were not easily available to women for most of history, as someone else noted. In abundance cultures, women were able to have more children to term. Of course, in a hypothetical culture, you could come up with a way for them to be able to slow baby-making, one way or another.

    What you do get in Earth history is this weird loop -- agriculture provides settlements which grow, women are less mobile, men roam out in trade and war (trade,) women are more disposable and less valuable in cultures, slavery develops and is part of trade, patriarchy spreads through trade and war, technology develops from trade (including birth control,) moving the societies away from a mainstay of agriculture, technology improves access to education, increases trade and cultural interactions, technology and improved access to education increase opportunities for women in trade and improves their legal standing as equal humans, societies become more egalitarian. At least some of the time. So the key shaper of things tends to be long-roaming trade and interaction.

    .which sort of seems like what exists,
    Exists where exactly?

    Even the most brutal patriarchy ostensibly exists (according to its own ideology) to protect its women.
    Well no, it does not exist to protect its women. Women are disposable in a patriarchy. They are property -- chattel as they're called in the Torah and the Christian Bible. Their legal standing ranges somewhere between slave and child, depending on the culture. Protecting women as ideology is protecting property, the same as you do with land, livestock, possessions. That would essentially make them valuable, as property, but women are easily replaced property. That's what mobility and trade provided. The important thing in many types of patriarchies is to make sure that they only produce offspring that are yours, which requires controlling and often isolating them through culture and law. So the other half of the ideology is keeping women from legal standing as humans and thus from being involved in trade and any political power. They can't handle it (not human or are children,) is given as the reason, and must be protected (not given legal standing, enslaved and/or limited.) The more people who can have trade power, the more you have to share -- this is part of prejudice of many kinds. In the long term, that sharing benefits your economy and produces more trade, but many humans are not worried about long term. Up until about the mid-1800's for instance, in Europe and North America, when a woman married, her property became her husband's. They legally became one person -- him -- and the woman could not buy and own property herself. She no longer had legal standing as a separate and equal human. I'm sure that the rationale was protection, but the reality was that it was simply seizing her goods, or more commonly the marriage was a business transaction between the woman's family and the man. Her husband could also beat her and rape her without it being illegal because legally, she's his to do with what he will. However, in those cultures at that time, if the husband killed the wife, even though she was his property, that became a problem because women did in many areas have the legal standing of children (minors.) But in other cultures, and earlier cultures, a man could kill his wife legally.

    Even in a matrifocal culture, this can be the case. The man returns and can kill, beat, rape, etc. the wife or mate and it may be legal under the law. The woman may have to turn over property to the man because it's the law, etc. It is the legal standing of a gender or group that effects things when we're talking about archies.

    A counter viewpoint would suggest that a lot of the 'opportunities' available to men come from the relative disposability of males.
    I would not argue that men are not disposable. The premise of slavery is that both sexes and children are disposable. And both sexes died at a high rate with short life spans whether they were settled or roamed. (There is, however, a correlation between your famine/abundance and life span obviously. In more abundant countries, people live longer on average and the wealthiest live the longest.) However, many cultures developed the legal primacy of men, which gives men rights as humans if they are not in a slave group in the culture. How many rights you have is key -- you may be able to do some things and not other things in the culture. Patriarchies reserve the top opportunities for acceptable males. A matriarchy would also reserve the top opportunities for acceptable females.

    Men were sent out to hunt, find food, defend territory, and generally run a near constant increased risk of death.
    They weren't sent out; they went out and it provided culturally forms of status and property rewards. However, the culture might require them to go out as a rite of passage, which is being sent out. The type of roaming and duration and whether males returned even if alive depended on the culture.

    When agriculture and urbanization come along, male mobility
    decreases but does not end
    Urbanization tends to increase mobility, not decrease it, because there's more trade and cultural interaction.

    we still have all sorts of dangerous trades being under the purview of men. Things like fishing, sailing, mining, and military roles, all have terribly high mortality rates throughout history.
    Well again, women were involved in fishing, mining, war action, trade caravans, factories with heavy machinery, etc., all the dangerous trades, including the trade that was dangerous up until relatively recently -- agriculture. Pearl diving -- women are good at that. Hard labor, field picking, etc., and they continue to be. But how much they were involved depended greatly on culture, circumstances, slavery, etc. And it doesn't change the fact that women did not do as much long-roaming trade because of childcare and because food sources became largely settled -- agriculture, and because they were limited in participating in many areas because of cultural laws. Again, both sexes are disposable. The reason women live longer -- and they do even if men don't roam and work in safe cubicles -- and females live longer in many species, they think is biological, due to mitochondrial mutations over time that effect how men age. Women may not be subject to the effects of such mutations or effected as much because of their reproductive cycle.

    The modern point of view is that women were forcibly kept out of such roles as the military by men. It's just as likely that women, quite intelligently, preferred the men to occupy these roles -- whether because of the biological imperative and inherent disposibility of men, or because women have some degree of control over this and see that it's a horrible, horrible sort of fate. Or it ended up that way for very good reasons once upon a time, but now it doesn't make sense any more.
    Historically, this would be bunk.

    Because women are not disposable.
    Several million horny young men in China right now who can't find wives would be an example that biological imperatives (women bear children and are needed in the population,) don't necessarily mesh with cultural ones (women are disposable and not desirable, especially if you're only allowed one child.) We have many long cultural traditions of killing female babies in large numbers. Culturally, people are not always rational actors and there is path dependence besides. The issue in a culture is a particular person's legal standing as a human in the culture. In patriarchal cultures women have no legal standing to a limited legal standing. It's not an either or, two box system. So you might, in fiction, have a matriarchal culture in which women get the top jobs, run the government and top areas of culture, etc., and men can own property and participate in trade but have no say in the government. Lots of ways to work it.

  12. #42
    Japan was implied to not actually have ORIGINALLY been matriarchal but had a period where it was ruled by queens as a result of a civil war between kings. Wikipedia may not be the best source, but it is quick....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_war_of_Wa

    Though historians do agree that the patriarchal system was re-instituted/truly introduced and reinforced by Chinese influence. It is also believed that the female shamans who definitely seem to have been of great importance to Japanese society and religion, was much greater than at present. To add the depressing nature of the history of Japan as it pertains to the welfare of women is that many of the shaman roles women had were reduced to the duties of shrine maidens whose position only continued to decline as history marched on. Many blame this on the introduction to the patriarchal nature of Confucianism which is not far fetched in the slightest considering how Chinese society turned out. This can be said of many Asian cultures though, including the Vietnamese who to this day worship a number of mother Goddesses who are among the most prominent deities in their culture, if not the most, the Koreans who while not matriarchal from what little I know of it's ancient history suffered a similar fate to that of Japan.

    However, aside from the bit about Japan, everything else Kat has said is unassailable according to the understanding of history and human culture I have. I'd also wager that any number of academics would agree with her. In fact, what she said for the most part sounds like a mirror of what several of my college professors had said. The sad truth is that these systems treat around half of the population as disposable property as opposed to people. This as Kat pointed out, has had tragic results which many people had not considered. It is for this reason I think such systems matriarchal or patriarchal should be gotten rid of and relegated to the pages of history as an unfortunate chapter in history compared to other acts of grave inhumanity such as the holocaust, the rape of Nanking, and forced relocation of the Native Americans.

    Also Modern Day Myth:
    All of what we know of Lemuria is purely hypothetical and shrouded in myth by everyone from UFO conspiracy theorists who lack a basic understanding of human history, people with racist agendas, and numerous other causes, delusions, theories etc. What we know of Lemuria is as certain as the mood swings of a bipolar person.
    Last edited by Riothamus; September 24th, 2012 at 11:05 PM.

  13. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Riothamus View Post
    Japan was implied to not actually have ORIGINALLY been matriarchal but had a period where it was ruled by queens as a result of a civil war between kings. Wikipedia may not be the best source, but it is quick....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_war_of_Wa

    Though historians do agree that the patriarchal system was re-instituted/truly introduced and reinforced by Chinese influence. It is also believed that the female shamans who definitely seem to have been of great importance to Japanese society and religion, much greater than at present. To add the depressing nature of the history of Japan as it pertains to the welfare of women is that many of the shaman roles women had were reduced to the duties of shrine maidens whose position only continued to decline as history marched on. Many blame introduction to the patriarchal nature of Confucianism which is not far fetched in the slightest considering how Chinese society turned out. This can be said of many Asian cultures though, including the Vietnamese who to this day worship a number of mother Goddesses who are among the most prominent deities in their culture, if not the most, the Koreans who while not matriarchal from what little I know of it's ancient history suffered a similar fate to that of Japan.

    However, aside from the bit about Japan, everything else Kat has said is unassailable according to the understanding of history and human culture I have. I'd also wager that any number of academics would agree with her. In fact, what she said for the most part sounds like a mirror of what several of my college professors had said. The sad truth is that these systems treat around half of the population as disposable property as opposed to people. This as Kat pointed out, has had tragic results which many people had not considered. It is for this reason I think such systems matriarchal or patriarchal should be gotten rid of and relegated to the pages of history as an unfortunate chapter in history compared to other acts of grave inhumanity such as the holocaust, the rape of Nanking, and forced relocation of the Native Americans.

    Also Modern Day Myth:
    All of what we know of Lemuria is purely hypothetical and shrouded in myth by everyone from UFO conspiracy theorists who lack a basic understanding of human history, people with racist agendas, and numerous other causes, delusions, theories etc. What we know of Lemuria is as certain as the mood swings of a bipolar person.
    Hardly.

    Numerous artifacts exist from the Temple of Artemis in Epherus.

    Artemis of Epherus is even mentioned in the old testament of the Bible.

    The ideas of a Matriarchy society associated with that culture have been used for Matriarchy societies on The Outer Limits from the 1990s as well as the Wonder Woman TV series from the 1970s.

    So, it is a good template I am sharing.

  14. #44
    Are you aware I was only talking about Lemuria in that last part?

  15. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Riothamus View Post
    Are you aware I was only talking about Lemuria in that last part?
    If you read my other posts carefully, you will realize Lemuria connects the dots between Queen Myrina, her war against Atlantis, her discovery of the city of Epherus, the Amazons worshiping Artemis as their goddess, and the parallel to everything the Greeks believed Artemis stood for as the ways of the people of Lemuria, which was used as the ways of the Amazons in Wonder Woman and The Outer Limits from the 1990s view of an Amazon society.

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