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  1. #46
    I think you're talking about this purely in the scope of fiction, but the way you address it makes me wonder if you actually believe it.

  2. #47
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    On Japan, I meant to say that the Japanese matriarchal/goddess worshiping believed to have possibly existed. There is an enormously varied number of religions in Asian cultures historically, which is only to be expected because it is large.

    I would like to see no matriarchies or patriarchies on Earth. However, using them and understanding them in fiction, historical or invented world, I don't think is a bad thing. I think Fung Koo's point that patriarchies are complicated is also very true. That's why there's a lot of debate in academia about the existence of matriarchies as well and what a matriarchy is supposed to be, because human systems can get very complex and we are often grasping historically at fragments, like the Japanese. You can have an iron clad rule and law in a society about these things and then there are open breakings of that law which are tolerated by the same society. The systems are ever changing.

  3. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Riothamus View Post
    I think you're talking about this purely in the scope of fiction, but the way you address it makes me wonder if you actually believe it.
    Common sense dictates there is more human history on Earth than our recorded history shows.

    I found a YouTube clip of someone reading Myrina's speech to her Amazon army as she led them into battle against Atlantis. This is the very same Myrina credited to have discovered Epherus in Turkey.

    Only one other nation existed with Atlantis and they both vanished together.

    40,000 year old human skeletons are evidence there is more history than 12,000 years of recorded history.

    So yes, I am willing to believe Atlantis and Lemuria both existed before recorded history.

    Your POV is like the old belief Earth is the only planet on the Universe that can support life 30 years ago. Recent discoveries prove that notion wrong.

    Look where Earth is positioned in our galaxy. Earth is a very young planet and our solar system is very young too.

    Ruling anything out these days makes as much sense as still believing the Earth is still flat.
    Last edited by Modern Day Myth; September 24th, 2012 at 11:47 PM.

  4. #49
    First of all, if you're at all referring to the supposed lost subcontinent in the Indian Ocean then there are some serious problems.The Amazons were related to Indo-Iranian groups such as the Sarmatians and Cimmerians who lived up around the Ukraine and Turkey meaning they were more than likely warriors who fought from Horseback with a bow and arrow in a similar fashion to the Scythians, Mongols, and various Turko-Mongol tribes. The supposed site of Lemuria is over half a continent away which means that the Amazons would have been darker skinned and more closely related to the Dravidian peoples which does not line up with historical artistic representations of them. Nor do the earliest renderings of Amazon armor. According to both obscure occult accounts and history, any Hypothetical Lemurian connection could not be possible. Furthermore, the Egyptians were the first to tell anyone of Atlantis. The tale of Atlantis was first introduced to to western thought by Plato in 330 B.C. long after the Atlantean civilization had disappeared 9,000 years prior according to legend leaving it's true nature to be obscured by the mists of time, mistranslation, and a changing collective conscience. Furthermore, Diodorus Siculus who first put the story of Myrina to paper was writing about a conflict that had to be a little over 9,000 years old predating written history as we know it. He was writing in 60-30 B.C. with little in the way of prior sources. We know how much trouble it can be to accurately determine the nature of certain historical events that have occurred more recently, so what makes you think such accounts could be so indisputable? Furthermore Diodorus starts with the Trojan War which we know now to have been a historical event which occured much later in history. There may be history before that point, but your argument has several gaping historical flaws in it. Furthermore, I looked up the vanilla legend of Myrina and found not a single reference to the Ephesus in it. I also looked through youtube and could not find this speech. The lack of information on Myrina herself in places I have searched make me to question your claims further. Another problem is that the only written accounts of the Amazons are from the Greeks who HATED them making their accounts suspect. About the only aspect of this that agrees with your argument is that the Goddess Artemis may in fact have come from a tribe in the region of modern day Turkey who may very well have been the Amazons. This historians do agree with. Such portrayals of female figures, divine or not, tended not to resemble the wild archer Goddess in Greek lore.

    So Modern... What say you of this?
    Last edited by Riothamus; September 26th, 2012 at 12:07 AM.

  5. #50

  6. #51
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Found this tidbit on Seychelles while I was looking for a holiday destination: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seychelles#Culture

    Living matriarchy!

  7. #52
    I need to have more information on the people of the Seychelles before I am certain of it's usefulness as a source of inspiration. I also desire to know more of the specifics of the non-Christian traditions of the Seychelles.

  8. #53
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Modern Day Myth View Post
    Epherus
    Just out of curiosity (and perhaps because I haven't checked out the links you posted), why do you keep calling it Epherus?

  9. #54
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    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."
    I think you mean the boobyman



    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.
    Correct -- what I'm pondering is the process whereby the force, laws, and religions came to believe in a patriarchal system. This has manifested in beliefs, in various places around the world, that today are (and historically have been) defended vehemently, often resulting in even worse negative consequences for women. So... how did that happen in all those various situations? And, do those processes give us any room for imagining different sorts of matriarchies that could have arisen instead?

    The reason I asked about a power arrangement is because you mention coercion and control, which suggests something quite different than a circumstantial, situational unempowerment, as opposed to an ideological patriarchal disempowerment.

    Exists where exactly?
    ...in my house?

    It is the legal standing of a gender or group that effects things when we're talking about archies.
    Absolutely. And my point is only that no two patriarchies have ever been identical, but often "Patriarchy" (capital P) is discussed as if it were all one thing, one unified front, and that all men believed it openly until the civil rights movement, and that even today most men remain practising or sympathizing patriarchs, believing it privately, and given half the chance would reassert dominance and resubjugate woman. And in some respects that may be true, but belief/ideology and practice are different.

    Urbanization tends to increase mobility, not decrease it, because there's more trade and cultural interaction.
    ...between a smaller number of people. Urbanization specialized roles in society, causing fewer and fewer people to occupy jobs once done by far greater numbers of people. More of human became less mobile, and a smaller proportion of humanity became more mobile. At least, that's been my understanding.

    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.)
    But in history there many more examples, say from religious history, some 2000 years ago rulers would slay all the male babies in a kingdom without blinking an eye. In Chinese and Mongolian dynasties, as another example, an entire army loyal to a given ruler would be slain when their leader died.

    There are different reasons for every example, but in China today you're missing the point -- the whole reason for promoting male babies is because reducing the number of women reduces the rate of population expansion. It was specifically intended to curb the biological imperative. This is, again, something wholly weird and unique if considered a patriarchy -- which I'm not sure it is.

  10. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Fung Koo View Post
    Just out of curiosity (and perhaps because I haven't checked out the links you posted), why do you keep calling it Epherus?
    Auto spell checker problems with my Android phone. My old Samsung Jack was getting too expensive to hold onto anymore. It is Ephesus.

    Here is a link to a travel link to Turkey connecting Queen Myrina and the Amazons as the pioneers and founders.

    http://www.travellinkturkey.com/aeolia-myrina.html

  11. #56
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fung Koo View Post
    The reason I asked about a power arrangement is because you mention coercion and control, which suggests something quite different than a circumstantial, situational unempowerment, as opposed to an ideological patriarchal disempowerment.
    Patriarchies don't exist without coercion and control, so I would imagine that matriarchies would also have some form of it as well. If you are trying to treat people unequally, with some being legally adult humans and others being legally not adult humans, it requires some coercion and control. While that is not always physical, it definitely needs to be there. One thing to take a look at, maybe, is societies where queens ruled. Placing women in the ruling role, even if the society itself is highly patriarchal, usually means some interesting social beliefs about women's status.

    Absolutely. And my point is only that no two patriarchies have ever been identical, but often "Patriarchy" (capital P) is discussed as if it were all one thing, one unified front,
    That's because they are then talking about a set of core beliefs, specifically that men, or at least some groups of men, are legally and socially (divinely, etc.) the adult humans and women (and certain groups of men usually,) are legally and socially not or not quite. A lot of those beliefs are ingrained and automatic because the men and women live in a patriarchal society that socializes them. Men have a lot of difficulty understanding how women experience the society, that it is fundamentally different and more dangerous than the way the men experience the society. And that is part of patriarchy. For instance, the tendency of a man to automatically get behind the wheel of a car when a man and woman are getting into a car together -- it's a learned behavior, for both sexes. Patriarchies are different from each other, but the main core -- men are supreme, women are important but/unimportant lesser beings -- is built into the society. The society can change and women can improve their status, but I am still not an equal being in my society, even legally, and am subject to coercion, control and violence based specifically on my gender. In the U.S., for instance, there are considerable efforts going on to roll back women's rights gained so far as equal citizens. In Japan, women get education, work, but there is still the social expectation (and pressure and coercion, etc.) that when they get married, they will drop out of the workforce to raise babies. (And Japan is dealing with the fact that increasingly women are bucking that stricture and the population has some decline numbers.) Women understand that what legal standing they have in most societies is tenuous and can be removed. And all or nearly all societies on the planet are patriarchal still. It's not a matter of men reasserting dominance -- men still have dominance in the societies and control most of the upper offices of society. Women have improved their status in some societies but the patriarchal systems remain.

    So for a matriarchy, it's the learned behavior that women are better in charge, even if men are sometimes in positions of power. They would still be largely unrepresented in positions of power in government, trade, education, and religion/philosophy. They might have considerable rights, but there would be ingrained assumptions about men that position them as different and lesser, assumptions that are laid on all individuals because they are part of the men group. Like, say, that men are obsessed with romance and the society does not value that, sees it as a male and thus less valuable trait to be avoided socially by females, or at least theoretically avoided and therefore female interest in romance is discounted as not really an interest in romance, etc. It's worth pointing out as well that males and females in an imaginary race/society don't necessarily have to be biologically, socially, emotionally, etc. like human males and females are perceived. You can even have males bear the children, and that's been done in stories of course.

    ...between a smaller number of people. Urbanization specialized roles in society, causing fewer and fewer people to occupy jobs once done by far greater numbers of people. More of human became less mobile, and a smaller proportion of humanity became more mobile. At least, that's been my understanding.
    Urbanization creates a large, diffuse population mobilizing and migrating to the cities. There, they interact with other cultures and social philosophies, so old socialized roles get broken down. We are more likely to see gender stratification of power and roles in more isolated rural areas than in cities where women would then often be taking on male jobs in the main, legal market and also in the black market, especially as there is more industrialization. People are harder to control and watch in a city, less religious, less effected by social pressures, and less able to dominate the whole territory. Individually, a woman may have more freedom in a city, but she may also have less control/status and far less resources. And the problem of having to care for young children remains the same, city or village. But a city is a mobile, fluid population with people moving in and out of it, and thus a nexus point of trade and cultural exchange, including ethnic blending, which happens far less in an isolated rural village. In cities, women were exposed to some of the effects of far-ranging trade and war that men roaming encountered, and women's rights in patriarchal societies tended to improve first in cities. At the same time, however, in a village, especially a matrifocal one, women would be more likely to be able to run things, if the society allowed it, or run it behind the scenes if it did not. Women might be able to do the same thing in neighborhoods in cities, but it was harder.

    But in history there many more examples, say from religious history, some 2000 years ago rulers would slay all the male babies in a kingdom without blinking an eye. In Chinese and Mongolian dynasties, as another example, an entire army loyal to a given ruler would be slain when their leader died.
    That wasn't because they were not valued, however. That's because they were valued and considered a threat. Because men were better and ruled, if you slew the men, you weakened the society of your enemy and protected yourself from them being able to make war on you in rebellion of your conquering. You established your male genetic line in its place. Women were useful in the same way that cattle are useful. They were property, to be used for breeding and labor and enslaved, and again property has value -- but not as equal human beings. Girl babies were killed because they were undesirable and not valued as human beings in the same way that males were. As you note, there is rhetoric and then there is practice. The rhetoric about how wonderful women are tends to be a form of social coercion and control on women as their place as beautiful breeding property.

    There are different reasons for every example, but in China today you're missing the point -- the whole reason for promoting male babies is because reducing the number of women reduces the rate of population expansion. It was specifically intended to curb the biological imperative. This is, again, something wholly weird and unique if considered a patriarchy -- which I'm not sure it is.
    No, the Chinese government did not plan it that way quite. The one baby law was to reduce the population in general, not the population of women. The unequalness is a huge problem for them, especially as Chinese culture and politics does not encourage ethnic blending. But culturally, China -- which was largely agricultural -- is a patriarchy. Their society believes that a male heir is absolutely necessary to run farms, take care of parents in their old age and extend their genetic line. If you don't have a male heir, you've failed. (China had extended families that were largely patrilinear -- the brides moved in with the husband's relatives.) Girls are useful for breeding and homecare, but largely a burden in the society and believed not to be able to make as much of a living for the family -- and are kept from doing so often. So when the government limited it to one baby with a few exceptions, the population skewed male because female babies were aborted (and quite possibly also killed.) Not all the time, but enough that there is a generation of Chinese males who are up a creek. Throughout ancient cultures, leaving infant girls out to die is pretty much a tradition. Girls are useful, but men are superior. Biologically, logically, this is not a good plan. But culturally, it's been the plan. Remember, one woman could have sixteen babies. You don't need that many women, or at least they didn't think they did.

    Interestingly enough, with the urbanization and industrialization of China, women's status has somewhat changed, and in communism, they became officially equal citizens. China is dealing with a two country issue -- a well off urban China where women are more valued (at least as much as male indentured workers,) and a poor rural China where women are still not, even though they are major workers for agriculture. But it's still believed the sons will earn more money. China is promoting the value of women in rural areas particularly, in order to try to rectify the gender ratio problem, but they are dealing with massive child and female trafficking issues. Changing patriarchies is slow.

    Comparatively, changing matriarchies may have been fast and may have been due mainly to war and the slave trade. So would matriarchies be less likely to war? We don't really know.

  12. #57
    Most feminists I know of, both famous and known only to local citizens do not believe matriarchy would be any less inclined to go to war if it rose up in a sedentary culture the way patriarchy has. I think tales of women warriors seem to suggest that the motives of war might be a little different, but given the universally inherent predatory nature of all politics, there would still be just as much war. Much of this is dependent on other factors as well.

    Kat is also right in saying that while urbanization was an initial factor in the oppression of the female populace, the city has now in a grand twist of irony, become a catalyst in the empowerment of women in many places. Of course, as many academics might say, this is dependent on a series of other factors that have come into play throughout human history.

    I also tend to prefer to write about humans as we know ourselves to be to avoid screwing up biology and to make conflicts and characters more relatable. I am well of the sea horse's peculiar reproduction methods and some of these stories but I am a person who likes his sciences hard and when no one is discussing supernatural intervention as part of the equation, I may very well become stuck trying to iron out the evolution of an entire species for years on end and I could not forgive the slightest screw up. I am already a HUGE nut about making sure my social sciences are sound and accurate, so one can imagine why it would ultimately be better for my mental health to write about humans.

    Another excellent point Kat has made is the fundamental truth of these elements in society when it comes to power groups and deference by one group to another. These things are learned. I am making some elements of the society I am imagining a flip to make certain points or see how men might be put in similar positions or react to them.However,this is one area I'm having a bit of trouble with. I am trying to discern what stereotypes about men to use against them or invent based on what some might call "commonly perceived male traits". One thing I have determined is that men are not considered stupid or without knowledge, but are perceived as impulsive and having difficulties channeling their thoughts,thus one of the reasons they need to be controlled.

  13. #58
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    That wasn't because they were not valued, however.
    If you limit the perspective only to the middle and upper classes, sure. At the core, patriarchies are typically a class system whereby only select members of society, men and women, participate in the ruling class. Women have a lower class ceiling than most men, true, and overall women fare worse, true. But men, like women, have been devalued, debased, used and abused throughout history by the ruling class -- arguably in many cases in extremely terrible ways, at the minimum on par with the treatment of women. There is a masculine virtue (read: ideology), however, of bravery and honour before abject horror -- no matter who it is inflicted by.

    I'm just saying -- history sure wasn't swell for most men, either. Most people, in general, got the poopy end of the stick.

    So would matriarchies be less likely to war? We don't really know.
    Not if teenage girls are any indication! As the correlate of the usual accusation levelled against the most prickish male, we can probably expect about the feature from girl-world as the immature-revving-your-engine-as-compensation phenomenon.

  14. #59
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fung Koo View Post
    If you limit the perspective only to the middle and upper classes, sure. At the core, patriarchies are typically a class system whereby only select members of society, men and women, participate in the ruling class. Women have a lower class ceiling than most men, true, and overall women fare worse, true. But men, like women, have been devalued, debased, used and abused throughout history by the ruling class -- arguably in many cases in extremely terrible ways, at the minimum on par with the treatment of women. There is a masculine virtue (read: ideology), however, of bravery and honour before abject horror -- no matter who it is inflicted by.
    1) That doesn't have anything with the specific issue that you brought up that I was addressing -- i.e. why the babies and enemy armies were killed versus why female infants were killed;

    2) I already addressed that numerous times when talking about slavery, serfs, how men were often removed from their families forcibly, how patriarchies are different systems but operating from core beliefs and this bit:

    specifically that men, or at least some groups of men, are legally and socially (divinely, etc.) the adult humans and women (and certain groups of men usually,) are legally and socially not or not quite.
    That some men are badly treated and not given legal human status does not change a patriarchal system. At the ruling level, the women are still property and the men -- the acceptable men -- are the rulers. Slavery of men, women and children was, as we've already discussed, a key factor in the spread of patriarchal systems, based on the core values that some men and all women are not full equal human beings. (Which is not to say that matriarchal systems wouldn't have slavery. Both are unequal systems.)

    But again, that's the point -- legal status, ability to run stuff and proportional representation in the ruling bodies, access to education and opportunity, social treatment based on the membership of groups such as ethnicity, religion, gender, etc. -- basic statistics -- effect how egalitarian societies end up being. Our history is not one of egalitarianism, although it is one in general of striving towards it slowly. And so issues of egalitarianism are issues that come up when we construct any fictional society.


    Not if teenage girls are any indication! As the correlate of the usual accusation levelled against the most prickish male, we can probably expect about the feature from girl-world as the immature-revving-your-engine-as-compensation phenomenon.
    Women are equally violent to men, but they are frequently socialized not to be. In a matriarchy, those learned behaviors might not be present. Which is the idea of the Amazons, essentially, whether or not they existed. We don't know that they did and we don't know what matriarchies may have actually existed and how they operated. We have very few examples to work with and fragmented evidence from ancient cultures. So a matriarchy may have frequently gone to war to increase territory, resources and trade, and certainly would have had to defend itself against encroachers. But if they attempted to use war in that way, they were certainly less successful at it than patriarchies which became the social form on the planet.

  15. #60
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    1) That doesn't have anything with the specific issue that you brought up that I was addressing -- i.e. why the babies and enemy armies were killed versus why female infants were killed;
    The issue was about a mismatch between biological imperative, culture, and policy, as a represented by modern China. My point is that the relative value of killing off men or women or boys or girls can go many ways, and the wholesale slaughter of males versus females isn't necessarily a question of patriarchal values or biological imperatives, but could be one or the other, some mix of the two, etc. The notion of "being valued as human beings" is what I'm reacting to -- neither men nor women below a certain class were valued as human beings at all. Soldiers were fodder, women were breeding factories, slaves are slaves... all of whom are pawns in the games of the ruling classes, men and women alike.

    But otherwise, I get what you're saying.

    But again, that's the point -- legal status, ability to run stuff and proportional representation in the ruling bodies, access to education and opportunity, social treatment based on the membership of groups such as ethnicity, religion, gender, etc. -- basic statistics -- effect how egalitarian societies end up being.
    ...assuming the definition of 'egalitarian' today is better than the definition from before.

    Our history is not one of egalitarianism, although it is one in general of striving towards it slowly.
    You know, I'm not sure I agree with this (at least as you've phrased it). Overall I think the general desire has always been to find the optimum middle ground with the highest level of happiness for everyone with an equal division of labour. The system always ends up becoming skewed, yes, but I'm not convinced that people today are more right-minded and egalitarian than in the past. The realities underlying the prevalent ideals change, and certain ideals become outmoded, others change, and others need to be chucked out. It's the realities of post-industrial society that allows the definition of 'egalitarian' that we use now to be valid today. But if you brought today's notion of egalitarianism up as a social goal in, say, pre-Elizabethan England, I don't think it would match the realities that operated at that time. Being egalitarian back then meant something different than it does now. So I think it's the "slow striving" I object to -- I think the general tendency is to always strive toward the most egalitarian result, but 'egalitarian' as defined with respect to the time you're looking at. As a concept, egalitarianism evolves slowly, and we always strive towards it.

    At least, that's what I think on days when I'm feeling marginally positive about humanity...

    And so issues of egalitarianism are issues that come up when we construct any fictional society.
    Yep.

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