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TV Tropes Monday: Matriarchy


Tweet of the Day: The Empress Asteroid ——-

Matriarchy, a society where women not simply rule, but hold the majority of positions of power is an old concept, botht in literature and in real life. To the ancients it served as a cautionary tale of what happens when women are given power. The sort of tale that revealed far more about the patriarchal power structures of the time rather than the realities of women as rulers. Other depictions of matriarchies don’t fair any different, from the simplistic gender switch to the idea of matriarchy as an utopia. Thus creating an original system that doesn’t fall afoul of death horse tropes is tricky to say the least.

  • A matriarchy is not a system where women are allowed to hold power. That is egalitarianism.
  • Even if a woman is the highest office holder in the land (be it President, Queen or Empress), that doesn’t mean it is a matriarchy unless the line of succession is done along female lines and men are excluded or are the exception to the rule.
  • A mono-gendered society might be considered a matriarchy if the members self-identify as female and do so in contrast to either egalitarian societies with significant male participation or an existing patriarchy.
  • A matriarchy should not be a society that exists simply because males are absent. That would imply that once males are introduced into the mix they would “naturally” rise to positions of power or simply seize power.
  • A matriarchy may not be solely defined by sexual characteristics or assigned genders, There is a difference between gender and gender identity.

All things to consider when building a matriarchy for your story. ——-

One comment on “TV Tropes Monday: Matriarchy

  1. “To the ancients it served as a cautionary tale of what happens when women are given power. The sort of tale that revealed far more about the patriarchal power structures of the time rather than the realities of women as rulers.”

    Great point! In China, women are almost completely excluding from holding any positions of power, in government, in business, and in the family. Often, the strongest matriarchs in Chinese history, Empress Wu and Empress Dowager Cixi, are held up as “bad” examples as to why women shouldn’t rule. Interestingly, though, both women were excellent rulers who held their kingdoms together against insurmountable odds.

    Like

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