Matriarchies Are Not Just a Reversal of Patriarchies: A Structural Analysis by Heide Goettner-Abendroth

Matriarchies are not just a reversal of patriarchies, with women ruling over men – as the usual misinterpretation would have it. Matriarchies are mother-centered societies. They are based on maternal values: care-taking, nurturing, mothering. This holds for everybody: for mothers and those who are not mothers, for women and men alike.

Matriarchal societies are consciously built upon maternal values and motherly work, and this is why they are much more realistic than patriarchies. They are, on principle, need-oriented. They aim to meet everyone’s needs with the greatest benefit. So, in matriarchies, mothering – which originates as a biological fact – is transformed into a cultural model. This model is much more appropriate to the human condition than the patriarchal conception of motherhood which is used to make women, and especially mothers, into slaves.

Within matriarchal cultures, equality means more than just a levelling of differences. Natural differences between the genders and the generations are respected and honoured, but they never serve to create hierarchies, as is common in patriarchy. The different genders and generations each have their own dignity, and through complementary areas of activity, they function in concert one other. More precisely, matriarchies are societies with complementary equality, where great care is taken to provide a balance. This applies to the balance between genders, among generations, and between humans and nature. Maternal values as ethical principles pervade all areas of a matriarchal society. This creates an attitude of care-taking, nurturing, and peacemaking. Continue reading “Matriarchies Are Not Just a Reversal of Patriarchies: A Structural Analysis by Heide Goettner-Abendroth”

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