Matriarchy - what it means for society
The idea of a matriarchy has always fascinated people, men as well as women. With women starting to dominate the professional world more and men falling behind in education it would seem that we’re on a sure path to becoming a matriarchal society unlike anything we’ve had before in all of recorded history. That truly is exciting.
As a follow up from my article on female supremacy I want to look into the idea of a matriarchal society and what’s behind this new buzz word. This isn’t just about female leaders since they’ve been around for a long time. Nor is it just another tribute to a small minority of powerful women that have by the way also existed throughout history. No, in a matriarchal community, it is the average woman who has significantly more influence, choice and power to control her environment than the average man.
What Exactly is a Matriarchy?
Originally, the term matriarchy was a wordplay on the term patriarchy and supposed to mean the opposite. Unfortunately now there is no universal definition of a matriarchy. Some academics think of it as any society that is not a patriarchy. Others believe it to be an egalitarian society where no gender has more power relatively to the other. And others yet think of a matriarchy as a hierarchy where women have authority over men and men take a subservient position. This last definition is the interesting one and it is that idea of a matriarchy that I want to explore.
In my article on female supremacy, I was very critical of a society that imposes it on the masses (regardless of which gender dominates). A matriarchy represents such a society and I want to look into this scenario more closely in case I was dismissing it too quickly.
Matriarchy and Female Supremacy
There is however a crucial difference between a female supremacist system and a matriarchal system. And this is that, by definition, the former takes the premise that women are inherently superior to men while the latter does not. A matriarchy says nothing about what gender is superior or even more valuable. It is only a description of the power distribution between the genders and the definitions of a matriarchy vary according to the areas of life where this power distribution is considered defining, and not why. Many women might not even want the power that's coming to them and they may not even be aware of it when it's there. Is it perhaps already there?
Matriarchy and Misandry
Misandry is the hatred of men (i.e. the opposite of misogyny). Here again, having a matriarchal society does not imply any kind of criticism of men or dislike of the male gender. Misandry as well as misogyny are pathological states that are best prevented or corrected. We need to be clear about that.
Western Society and Future Matriarchy
Given the massive and complex changes taking place in the western countries, it is hard to say exactly what will happen. One thing is certain though: Women are gaining power as a gender and men are losing it. That alone is unlikely to bring about a full blown matriarchy but it certainly will have matriarchal features. Here is a list of things that our future female dominated society might bring:
- Women will be marrying down more often than up. This is already happening today. More and more families have a female breadwinner and a male housekeeper. Likewise most couples will see the woman more educated than the man. This will be hard for both men and women to adapt to, but it seems to be an unstoppable trend.
- Advertising and media will be targeting women more. This is also already the case today but it will increase because women will have even greater buying power. This is not a new development because women have been making most spending decisions for decades. The result will be more products targeted at women such as cars, property and even traditionally men’s products such as hardware and technical gadgets. Especially luxury devices like high end home cinemas will be aimed at women.
- Employers will adapt more to women’s needs. They’ve already started making it easier for women to work and have children. One great idea is having a kindergarten on the company premises so mothers can be close to their children while at work. This will inevitably mean that men become marginalized from family life as well as from the professional world which has also already started. This trend is inevitable because companies will have no choice but to start implementing these measures since their competing for a mostly female work force.
- Politics will become more female centered. This is also not a new development but it will increase massively as the financial decisions are made more and more by women. This is not dependent on a majority of female politicians (more on that below).
- There are ever increasing numbers of women only gatherings and networking parties. There are even women only hotels, spas and lounges. This will become more common. Because women will dominate the higher paid work force, this will enable more women to help each other rise up the career ladder while at the same time ostracizing men from those networks. That will perpetuate women’s rise and men’s decline among medium to higher paid jobs. It probably won’t affect the very top elite as nothing ever seems to affect them (more on that below). There are countless institutions, organizations and websites for women and girls to help them get ahead. These won't just fold up and disappear once women are ahead but they'll be strengthened. You would expect that there would be equivalent means set up to help men succeed but for some reason society is highly reluctant to help men with anything.
- There will be more men who drop out of society altogether. More male criminals, male suicide and homelessness. Sadly this trend has also been well established for a while and, to our disgrace, society isn’t addressing it at all. As it increases, we will sooner or later have to deal with it (more on this below).
Female Leaders in a Matriarchy
The kind of matriarchy that we’re moving toward does not necessarily mean that most or all politicians will be women. In fact, I think that it could be just as much of a matriarchy even if nearly all politicians are male. The reason for this is that, in a voting democracy, the politicians have to follow public interest and corporations demands. If women control both of them, then politicians have no choice but to implement politics that serve women’s interests. We’re already seeing a lot of this today. It is not surprising that politicians never speak a word about men’s issues and men’s interests. Whenever any gender is mentioned in a situation that demands political action it is always exclusively for the benefit of women. I believe men have kind of handed that power over to women by unofficially saying “let female politicians talk about gender issues and male politicians stay out of it”.
So just as having female leaders never made a society less patriarchal, neither does having male leaders prevent it from being a matriarchy.
The Societal Elite in a Matriarchy
These are the people at the very top of the food chain. They’re a tiny minority with enormous influence and economic resources. There always has been an elite and it has always been quite isolated from issues that it often brings about. People, even today, are usually born into the elite. Only very few manage to climb into it from the bottom though it is possible. It is likely that the elite will remain mostly unchanged by the matriarchal revolution for that very reason. This means that our future matriarchy will probably still see more men than women in the very top positions of responsibility. But as soon as you look one step further down, there will be mostly or entirely women in the top managerial positions calling the shots.
Men in the Matriarchy
I mentioned in the section about the changes that will take place how men are becoming more ostracized both in family and public life as a whole. How this will be brought under control will be the question of the 21st century but solve it we must. Otherwise our pretty little matriarchy will fall apart from the inside. Remember, men are still those who maintain the infrastructure. They build our houses, harvest our food, supply us with energy, transport our goods and fight our wars. Even in a highly female dominated society, the armed forces will always remain almost entirely male. I cannot see this ever changing significantly. Women will not want to do those kind of jobs in masses but they will continue to want the comfort that they supply. This means that we have to take care of men sufficiently in order to keep them satisfied enough so they’ll keep working for society. Without that male work force, there won’t be a matriarchy – or any other society for that matter.
The longer we wait before addressing the male decline, the harder it
will be to fix. In the worst case scenario, there will be mass strikes,
riots and even civil war. I doubt it will get that bad but it is a possibility
and the public needs to know that current trends and developments are heading
in that direction. The time will come when society cannot afford to ignore
men’s suffering any longer and I’m sure it will be before things get out of
control. This is not about men losing power because the majority of men have always been quite powerless. It's about the loss of dignity, respect and hope.
How should we deal with this power shift?
This question can only really be addressed to us women because if it is women who have more power, then it is up to us to deal with it and use it responsibly. This also comprises a loss for us, because we can no longer expect men to rectify the problems in society because they no longer have the means or influence to do so. The eternal feminist battle cry “it’s a man’s world” will still be heard because men will still be at the top of society. But the realities will become too obvious to ignore, even by the most bigoted feminist.
How long until we have a matriarchy?
Well, one could make the case that we’re already living in such a matriarchy and we just don’t know it yet. If you look at all the points I made above, you could imagine it being an article about today’s society and it would only be exaggerated but not untrue. In fact, every single change I mentioned that we can expect from a future matriarchy has already begun and is well past the early stages. In some areas, power and influence is already mostly in the hands of women. Family life, for example, is almost entirely controlled by women. All the decisions about reproduction are for women to make at will. This fact alone is arguably enough to describe our society as a matriarchy (see the dictionary definition of a patriarchy). Women also raise society's children and thus have the greatest influence on the following generations.
Certainly the next few decades will bring some exciting and also concerning changes. I'm very interested in the outcome and I remain optimistic about the long term future. I'm sure that the human species will eventually find a healthy balance of power that most people can live with. If a matriarchy really brings that balance then I will look forward to it.
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