Matriarchal Politics The Vision of an Egalitarian Society (Part 2): Macrostructures by Heide Goettner-Abendroth


In a new matriarchal society, “bigger” is not necessarily “better.” The smaller units of society, responsible for engendering person-to-person and transparent politics, are given preference. They must not become so big that people cannot see through them, and cannot participate in their decisions, as is the case in so many of today’s national states and super-powers. But they must be big enough to safeguard their self-sufficiency by a subsistence economy, and the diversity of their handiwork, technologies and arts. The ideal dimension is that of the region.

The borders of a region are not random, like national borders are; rather they have developed out of the conditions of the landscape and out of cultural traditions. Regional borders are formed by the decisions of the people themselves who want to live together on the basis of common cultural and spiritual traditions; this avoids any war of culture or of religion. Often the landscape corresponds to these cultural borders, because natural borders can be formed by mountain ranges, rivers, big lakes, or the sea which bind and bound people into their regional places.

A new matriarchal society does not extend beyond its own region; it is a network of communities in villages and of neighborhoods in towns. These are mutually independent village republics and town republics, and as such, the principle of consensus limits the size of towns and cities.

These ideas are formulated in the modern Movement for Regionalism, which has been created out of the Communities Movement.


The two faces of society

Matriarchal societies view humanity as made up of two – men and women. (People who wish to live as the other gender are able to do so–this is a subject for another blog.) All traditional matriarchal societies have taken this basic fact into account, in that they maintain a social order based on complementary gender equality and perfect balance between the sexes. A modern matriarchal society will also be set up this way.

This means that in every realm of society women and men are equally represented. In matriarchal politics it is always a woman and a man together, as the chosen speakers for the clan, who represent it in the outside world. That is also true at the levels of village, town, and region: here too, the speakers for the village, town or the whole region are always a woman and a man. They act together, representing the double face of society.

This is true not only in politics, but for every aspect society: for economic functions just as for spiritual offices, as well as for special groups and guilds such as handicraft workers, technicians, artists and scientists. Each post is simultaneously represented by a woman and a man, and so, doubly filled. The female speakers are chosen solely by the women of the clan, the village, the town, the guild, and the male speakers are chosen solely by the men.


Culture and spirituality at the interregional level

 Regarding culture at the interregional level, spirituality again is the connecting power. Matriarchal spirituality is not institutionalized and is thus free, but it is not arbitrary. It has a binding foundation for all humankind: we are all part of Mother Earth and connected in the flow of life.

Although a matriarchal society, as a structure, cannot be constituted beyond the regional level, it can create friendly alliances with other regions. These interregional associations are of a purely spiritual kind, and are expressed symbolically. This means that people of neighboring regions might visit each other, giving gifts of friendship, sharing their cultures, and celebrating festivals together in order to learn from each other, without any manipulation to convince the other from one’s own way of life. In this way a free, horizontal network of sister regions can be created, completely distinct from today’s centralist, hierarchal state structures.

In the age of modern communications technologies, especially internet, these cultural and spiritual alliances are not limited to neighboring regions, but can link to other countries and even to other continents. In that way, a sister region in Europe can be associated with a sister region in South America or Africa or the Middle East, and they can share communication and cultural gifts via internet. In this way, interregional associations among matriarchal communities, towns and regions could arise worldwide.

Also see: Matriarchies Are Not Just a Reversal of Patriarchies: A Structural Analysis by Heide Goettner-Abendroth and Matriarchal Politics: The Vision of an Egalitarian Society (Part 1) by Heide Goettner-Abendroth

Dr. Heide Goettner-Abendroth is a mother and a grandmother. She earned her Ph.D. in philosophy of science at the University of Munich where she taught for ten years (1973-1983). She has published extensively on philosophy of science, in addition to various books on matriarchal society and culture, and is a founder of Modern Matriarchal Studies.  Her magnum opus: Matriarchal Societies. Studies on Indigenous Cultures across the Globe, (Lang 2012, New York) defines the topic and provides a world tour of examples of contemporary matriarchal cultures. She has been visiting professor at the University of Montreal in Canada, and the University of Innsbruck in Austria. In 1986, she founded the International ACADEMY HAGIA for Matriarchal Studies and Matriarchal Spirituality in Germany is its director. In 2003, 2005 and 2011 she organized three World Congresses on Matriarchal Studies in Europe and the U.S.A. In 2005, she was elected by the international initiative “1000 Peace Women Across the Globe” as a nominee for the Nobel Peace.



Categories: Activism, Egalitarian Matriarchy, Feminism, Feminism and Religion, General

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6 replies

  1. Bioregionalsim is also an ecological principle. The nation state is untenable. We need to find alternatives.


  2. I’m not quite sure how people who don’t easily fit into “male” or “female” categories would fit into these societies. Is there room for intersex people? What about trans people?


    • In traditional matriarchal societies, there is room for intersex and trans people, who might choose individually. This is respected. But the spiritual principle of two halfs of humanity is maintained, because it is a principle of balance. Balance needs two poles to be in peace. So we see here a difference between societal principles and individual choices.
      I think, this can give us good ideas for a modern version of matriarchal societies.



  3. Katharine, as I understand such societies and most Indigenous cultures, there is room for every variety: indeed those who are a bit different sometimes play special roles. There is no concept of being in a “wrong” body: every body is as they are, and just fine. Also generally there is no concept of being “disability” … every being is as they are: unique and with a particular contribution.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a wonderful vision! I look forward to future posts on this topic – in particular how we can make this a reality.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I would like to offer the following interview with Riane Eisler, which outlines a possible way to move towards a more equitable way to live:


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