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Becca C.
09-18-2012, 08:54 AM
I have a YA fantasy idea brewing in my head, about gypsy-esque pirates who live in clans lead by matriarch captains. I have no specific questions right now, as I'm still sketching out how this society is going to work, but that's kind of where I need help. I imagine a female-dominated society would work on a fundamentally different level than a patriarchy. Anyone with any kind of expertise in anthropology or anything? Anyone know any good books or resources about matriarchies?

Chasing the Horizon
09-18-2012, 09:12 AM
I've written about a lot of matriarchies (it's basically all I write) and would be happy to help you brainstorm some ideas. As I recall, from when I asked the same question a very long time ago, there's little anthropological evidence for matriarchies, so you have a lot of freedom with sort of making it work however you need it to work. But maybe someone will come along with some real examples.

As for books . . . are you looking for other fiction books which feature matriarchies, or only non-fiction?

Becca C.
09-18-2012, 09:15 AM
Any kind of book recs would be awesome! I want to make this world as detailed and layered as possible -- I don't want the society to be exactly like normal, but with a lady in charge. If women had been at the wheel since the dawn of this civilization, there would doubtless be some huge differences. So yeah, if there's any kind of book that has that element, I'd be super interested.

I'll definitely PM you when I have more concrete questions.

woozy
09-18-2012, 09:24 AM
I haven't read it but The Chalice and the Blade (http://www.amazon.com/Chalice-Blade-Our-History-Future/dp/0062502891/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1347945780&sr=1-1&keywords=the+chalice+and+the+blade)is supposed to be a classic.

Mclesh
09-18-2012, 10:00 AM
Becca, I took a cultural anthropology class a while back and we briefly discussed matriarchal societies. They're not all that common. Surprise! Lol. But they do exist. Here's a link to a matriarchal society in Mexico (http://articles.latimes.com/1995-03-31/news/mn-49349_1_economic-life). I even made a brief reference to it in a book. Hope this helps!

Joanna_Kaary
09-18-2012, 10:13 AM
The Mosuo culture in China... and I know there are some past and present matriarchal cultures from Africa but I can't remember any names. Just explore on Wikipedia and Google and I'm sure you'll find all kinds of interesting stuff.

I think in many ways modern American culture is becoming more and more matriarchal... not necessarily a bad thing in my opinion....

Chasing the Horizon
09-18-2012, 10:18 AM
Any kind of book recs would be awesome! I want to make this world as detailed and layered as possible -- I don't want the society to be exactly like normal, but with a lady in charge. If women had been at the wheel since the dawn of this civilization, there would doubtless be some huge differences. So yeah, if there's any kind of book that has that element, I'd be super interested.

I'll definitely PM you when I have more concrete questions.
A Brother's Price -- This is a romance in a lot of ways, but is really good.
God's War -- This one is awesome, and should be better-known.
The Labyrinth series by Pearl North -- This reads like YA, which is hurting my head, so I haven't actually gotten to the damn matriarchy description yet. Apparently they go more in-depth in the second book about that society.
Carnival by Elizabeth Bear -- This is on my TBR list, but definitely features a matriarchy. No idea how good it is.
Amberlight -- This just came up when I was googling looking for the titles of the other matriarchy books I've read and can't currently recall the names of. So no idea if it's any good, but it has a matriarchy.

There are some other older ones I've read, but they were truly horrible, so I'm not going to list them, lol. There are a couple more good ones, but I guess I'll have to wait until my family's awake and I can get to the rest of my books to look at their titles.

ETA: I second what others have said about typing "matriarchy" into Wikipedia and reading what comes up. They had some interesting descriptions of theoretical matriarchies, IIRC.

My problem with researching this has always been that, after reading for about 10 minutes, I throw the source across the room and shout "the Greek Amazons were more interesting!". I'm too personally obsessed with that myth to pay much attention to other inspirations, lol.

woozy
09-18-2012, 10:43 AM
Don't forget The Mists of Avalon. If it feels cliche and trite it's only because it damn near invented the genre.

EMaree
09-18-2012, 01:00 PM
There was a good discussion on this not so long ago in the 'Accidental Feminist Propaganda' (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=253148)thread.

Oldbrasscat
09-18-2012, 03:25 PM
Melanie Rawn did a series, I think it was called the Ruins of Ambrai, where she did a switcheroo with the gender roles. It's a kind of medieval setting, I think, with a slightly more modern feel, but she did a good job with picking out details from our society and turning them on their head.

GeorgeK
09-18-2012, 04:36 PM
I may not be remembering correctly but this reminds me of the Illyrian pirates that Rome ultimately crushed

anguswalker
09-18-2012, 06:23 PM
If women had been at the wheel since the dawn of this civilization, there would doubtless be some huge differences.
From what I remember of Social Anthropology at university patriarchal societies are actually a fairly recent development in terms of the totality of the development of human society (from about 2-3 million years ago) and their relative dominance is generally thought to have begun only once societies were well settled and agrarian (about 12,000 years ago).

Certainly in the archaeological record the only depictions of humans as objects of veneration prior to 10,000 years ago or so are carvings of the earth goddess, which would tend to suggest that it was females rather than males who were in a position to commune with the almighty and were thus in power. The evidence of prior female dominance in spiritual matters is everywhere you look in patriarchal societies- in the belief in witches, the dangerously magical power of menstrual blood (with its links to the cycles of the moon) and even the belief in the virgin mother in Christianity- a concept from deep in the heart of pagan times when woman was deemed potentially powerful enough to conceive and create without the input of men. Indeed creation has always been seen as the preserve of the female until the recent growth of the Abrahamic religions and it's still there in our psyches with concepts such as mother Earth.

There is also reasonably respectable scientific speculation that the male of the species could become genetically redundant. It is already technically feasible to produce male gametes from stem cells taken from women. It is also certainly the case that as human society develops to give more and more value to the interpersonal and communication skills at which women seem superior to men that men may soon become socially redundant.

One could argue in fact (and from memory a lot of anthropologists have) that the historically brief period of male dominance of society has been nothing more than a rearguard action against the fundamental dominance of the female in human society.

So there you go. Maybe not strictly fantasy at all, what you're writing.

dirtsider
09-18-2012, 06:36 PM
I recall something from a NatGeo series (the older version of Taboo, not the recent one) on a matriarcal culture in the Tibet/China area. I think it was on the topic of either marriage or coming of age, can't remember which.

EMaree
09-18-2012, 07:16 PM
From what I remember of Social Anthropology at university patriarchal societies are actually a fairly recent development in terms of the totality of the development of human society (from about 2-3 million years ago) and their relative dominance is generally thought to have begun only once societies were well settled and agrarian (about 12,000 years ago).

Yeah, I've definitely heard similar to this. Patriarchal societies have not been around since the dawn of civillisation, and plenty of cultures treated both sexes (reasonably) equally up until a relatively recent point in history.

(Disclaimer: My historical knowledge is lacking, especially compared to many other members of this AW.)

Amadan
09-18-2012, 07:24 PM
From what I remember of Social Anthropology at university patriarchal societies are actually a fairly recent development in terms of the totality of the development of human society (from about 2-3 million years ago) and their relative dominance is generally thought to have begun only once societies were well settled and agrarian (about 12,000 years ago).

This is a popular theory, but without much evidence.

Keep in mind that when we find 10,000-year-old female carvings, it's pure speculation that they were "earth goddesses" and objects of veneration, and it's even more speculative that this indicates paleolithic matriarchies.


There is also reasonably respectable scientific speculation that the male of the species could become genetically redundant. It is already technically feasible to produce male gametes from stem cells taken from women. It is also certainly the case that as human society develops to give more and more value to the interpersonal and communication skills at which women seem superior to men that men may soon become socially redundant.

Uh, what? There is no evidence that interpersonal and communication skills are linked to chromosomes.



One could argue in fact (and from memory a lot of anthropologists have) that the historically brief period of male dominance of society has been nothing more than a rearguard action against the fundamental dominance of the female in human society.

One could argue all kinds of things. Anthrolopology is worse than psychology when it comes to people picking up on half-understood crack theories and presenting them as if they've actually been scientifically vetted.


Getting back to the issue of matriarchal societies in fiction, one book that hasn't been mentioned is Sherri S. Tepper's The Gate To Women's Country, as well as the works of Suzette Haden Elgin. Both of them write about "stealth matriarchies" which exist within what are ostensibly patriarchies. I wouldn't say either of them are particularly subtle (they kind of fall into the MZB cliche of "Women=wise and spiritually connected and empathic and good, Men = bad murderous penises"), but their takes are interesting.

anguswalker
09-18-2012, 07:56 PM
half-understood crack theories
Now now. Of course it is speculation that ancient statues of fecund women were objects of veneration, since the carvers unaccountably omitted to enclose explanatory leaflets when they buried them. It does seem reasonable speculation though. There is certainly no evidence that I know of that pre-agrarian societies were patriarchal in their social structures.

The OP was not asking about matriarchal societies in fiction btw but about experience/knowledge of matriarchal societies in reality.
My dad spent 17 years amongst the Tsimihety in Madagascar, and though their society wasn't exclusively matriarchal it was a lot less patriarchal than we have got used to over the last 2,000 years in Europe, the Middle East and societies with their historical roots there. Occult/spiritual knowledge was certainly seen there as being more the preserve of women than of men. There was also a mythic history of great queens.

Amadan
09-18-2012, 08:33 PM
Now now. Of course it is speculation that ancient statues of fecund women were objects of veneration, since the carvers unaccountably omitted to enclose explanatory leaflets when they buried them. It does seem reasonable speculation though.


Sure, but people have a habit of extrapolating from there to "Paleothic society was a global matriarchy ruled by priestesses of the Earth Goddess and patriarchy and warfare and humans using physical strength to dominate the weak only happened when we invented agriculture." Which I find risible, to say the least.

Lots of really oppressive, patrarchal societies have venerated goddesses. So the presence of "goddess" figures hardly suggests a matriarchy.

woozy
09-18-2012, 08:44 PM
There's a difference between *archy and *-dominated. There have been plenty of matriarchies that were male dominated. (Although I've never heard of a female-dominated patriarchy.)

Medievalist
09-18-2012, 08:52 PM
There's a difference between matrilineal (tracing lineage and/or inheritance through the female line, as Jews do even today), matrifocal (women/mothers are the center of the culture and society in terms of emphasis but they are not automatically in power in terms of law) and matriarchal. This is a matrifocal (http://articles.latimes.com/1995-03-31/news/mn-49349_1_economic-life) culture. Women who are the focus of commerce and culture within a society do not mean that the society is matriarchal; the culture emphasizes women but does not remove power from men. Technically, it is matrifocal.

Matriarchy like patriarchy emphasizes one sex having power and control to rule the other sex.

The idea that early Neolithic cultures were matriarchal is not supported at all by the evidence. It's a myth (http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/e/eller-myth.html). The idea of a universal goddess religion is not supported by scholarship—and don't get me started about Gimbutas; I know a hell of a lot more about her research than anyone else who didn't also have her on a dissertation committee.

The Neo Pagan wishful thinking about early Celtic cultures as matriarchies and goddess-centric, and pre-modern witchcraft is wishful thinking. It is not at all historically accurate.

Siri Kirpal
09-18-2012, 09:56 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

As a former anthropology major, I can tell you that in matrilineal cultures (not necessarily matriarchies, but it's a start), the dominant male in a child's life isn't the father, but the mother's brother. That's not true of Jews, but it is true of most other matrilineal societies.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Medievalist
09-18-2012, 10:02 PM
As a former anthropology major, I can tell you that in matrilineal cultures (not necessarily matriarchies, but it's a start), the dominant male in a child's life isn't the father, but the mother's brother. That's not true of Jews, but it is true of most other matrilineal societies.

The emphasis on a sister's son is one of the prevailing markers for I.E. cultures as well, in part because the maternal line is way easier to trace.

Chasing the Horizon
09-19-2012, 01:26 AM
Don't forget The Mists of Avalon. If it feels cliche and trite it's only because it damn near invented the genre.
Oh, yeah. *smacks forehead* My mom still loves those books, though I think some of their edginess has been dulled by time.

Medi already posted the definitions of matriarchy/matrifocal etc. I'm not 100% sure if you want a matriarchy or a matrifocal society from the OP. You can have a matrifocal society arise naturally without needing huge amounts of explanation, but matriarchies require a little more tinkering.

sciencewarrior
09-19-2012, 02:09 AM
I can easily imagine a society of seafaring merchants/troubadours led by matriarchs, but the idea of pirates sounds odd to me.

When I think of matriarchy, the first thing that comes to mind is "more sex, less violence." Warrior societies are naturally dominated by men, who are taller, stronger, and more dangerous overall in a pre-industrial world. You would have to find a way to level the field (magic, power suits) or make them indispensable in some other way (only women can navigate, or tame kraken, or resist a siren's song.)

mayqueen
09-19-2012, 02:53 AM
What Medievalist said.

I'm a sociologist by training. There's some overlap with anthropology. There have been very few -- if any -- matriarchal societies. There are a number of varying explanations for this. I think, to make your world believable, you might want to research explanations for contemporary forms of patriarchy.

There are many, many, many examples of matrifocal cultures which appear matriarchal, but really aren't.

Becca C.
09-19-2012, 03:02 AM
It's definitely matriarchal, not just matrifocal. Women are definitely in charge. Men are very much respected and play important roles in the clans, though.


Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

As a former anthropology major, I can tell you that in matrilineal cultures (not necessarily matriarchies, but it's a start), the dominant male in a child's life isn't the father, but the mother's brother. That's not true of Jews, but it is true of most other matrilineal societies.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

That's very interesting and helpful! It makes sense for my culture, too, where it takes a village to raise a future captain.

Thanks for all the recs, guys. I'll Wikipedia the crap out of this.

Medievalist
09-19-2012, 03:05 AM
I'll Wikipedia the crap out of this.

Please don't. Seriously. Wikipedia often equates with crap—and I say this as a Wikipedia Editor.

Go to your local public library or college library.

Get a couple of textbooks. Look at the bibliographies there.

Stacia Kane
09-19-2012, 03:30 AM
Lots of really oppressive, patrarchal societies have venerated goddesses. So the presence of "goddess" figures hardly suggests a matriarchy.



The idea that early Neolithic cultures were matriarchal is not supported at all by the evidence. It's a myth (http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/e/eller-myth.html). The idea of a universal goddess religion is not supported by scholarship—and don't get me started about Gimbutas; I know a hell of a lot more about her research than anyone else who didn't also have her on a dissertation committee.

The Neo Pagan wishful thinking about early Celtic cultures as matriarchies and goddess-centric, and pre-modern witchcraft is wishful thinking. It is not at all historically accurate.


In my Pagan research I found a book--sorry, I can't recall the title, but it was a "scholarly" book as opposed to a "how-to" type book--that basically said that while, yes, there was some opposition to Christianity, there were also many women for whom the idea that they could join a nunnery and thus remain celibate was a relief and a pleasure. It actually gave them a choice. Point being that these "matriarchal" societies weren't Utopias For Ladies, the way some Pagan "histories" would lead us to believe, and there was plenty of subjugation of women taking place even under Goddess-worshiping or God-and-Goddess worshiping societies.

I of course have not the education to say if this was totally true, but I believe it's very plausible.

Filigree
09-19-2012, 03:32 AM
Yes. Wiki will only lead you to the same old badly researched pablum. To see recent developments in anthropology, you need to hit a college or big-city library, then be prepared to pay for inter-library loans if you're serious. The information is out there, but it's not as neatly-packaged as Wiki makes it seem.

woozy
09-19-2012, 03:41 AM
[quote]
I'll Wikipedia the crap out of this.

Please don't. Seriously. Wikipedia often equates with crap—and I say this as a Wikipedia Editor.
[/qoute]
As it's fiction you can write what you want.
Wikipediaing the crap out of it will give you a good idea of what you can get away with.
But if you want your society to have depth or to reflect interesting points and observations, I'd do a "real" research.

Also as no-one actually "knows" anything. What most research will yeild is theories and ideas rather than "facts". There really aren't any "facts" to know. But there are a *lot* of theories and integrating and coming up with your own and borrowing the points from theories that you like, will make you work all that much richer.

Amadan
09-19-2012, 03:44 AM
Also as no-one actually "knows" anything. What most research will yeild is theories and ideas rather than "facts". There really aren't any "facts" to know. But there are a *lot* of theories and integrating and coming up with your own and borrowing the points from theories that you like, will make you work all that much richer.

Unless you're arguing epistomology, this is nonsense. There are plenty of historical facts that we know. There are also things that aren't known for certain, and theories with various degrees of support and plausibility.

Medievalist
09-19-2012, 03:49 AM
Also as no-one actually "knows" anything. What most research will yeild is theories and ideas rather than "facts". There really aren't any "facts" to know. But there are a *lot* of theories and integrating and coming up with your own and borrowing the points from theories that you like, will make you work all that much richer.

Speak for yourself dude.

I know a hell of a lot about Neolithic and later Indo-European cultures, and Near Eastern Cultures.

I know how they lived, what they ate, what illnesses they had, how they cooked, how they buried their dead, how they created their tools and clothing.

That means I also know a lot about their social customs and religions.

Once we enter bronze age and later, we have even more data—including their own words.

Words I can read.

woozy
09-19-2012, 04:40 AM
Unless you're arguing epistomology, this is nonsense.

Speak for yourself dude.

I know a hell of a lot about Neolithic and later Indo-European cultures, and Near Eastern Cultures.

Fair enough.

Statement rescinded.

Maybe I do mean epistomology but I'm not entirely sure what that means in this case. I meant about theories. "All matriarchal societies had this in common", "Patriarchal societies become appealling and stable when that such an ecomony at that population density occured". "Matriarchal societies allowed for the emergence of zebba and thus allowed yagga technologies". "For a patriachal society to flowish the somethin philosophy had to be adapted. Without this philosphy every thing would fall apart."

My point being that if she makes up a completely fictional matriachal society without any research at all, I don't think that there is any "fact" that anyone can point to and say "that couldn't happen" (unless it was something really stupid and obvious like iron tools in a stone age society.) But there are plenty of "theories" that people can point to and say "I don't buy it because". I don't think Wikipedia can really give you a good grounding in the theories and how strongly and widely they are accepted. For that I'd go to the library and doing so would make the story richer.


That's what I meant and even then I may be completely wrong.

My apologies. I stand corrected.
-----added----
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Defined narrowly, epistemology is the study of knowledge and justified belief. .... Understood more broadly, epistemology is about issues having to do with the creation and dissemination of knowledge in particular areas of inquiry. This article will provide a systematic overview of the problems that the questions above raise and focus in some depth on issues relating to the structure and the limits of knowledge and justification.


That
====
my head.

Maybe I *did* mean epistomology. Maybe I didn't. If the society is completely fictional it need not conform to any matriarchal society in actuality. "how they lived, what they ate, what illnesses they had, how they cooked, how they buried their dead, how they created their tools and clothing a lot about their social customs and religions" won't matter as this is a different society. What *does* matter is what is *significant* about what they did and *how* it applies to their being or not being matriarchal and therefore what traits can we predict and believe a matriarchal society will have and which it will not have and which it *can not* have and which it *must* have. It was my impression (and if I was wrong I was wrong) that there was very little universal academic agreement.

that's all I meant. If I'm still wrong, I apologize.

Orianna2000
09-19-2012, 05:14 AM
Here's an interesting book with a matriarchal society: The Shore of Women (http://www.amazon.com/Shore-Women-Pamela-Sargent/dp/1932100369/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1348016157&sr=1-1&keywords=women%27s+shore) by Pamela Sargent. As I recall, it's vaguely sci-fi, about a future world where, long ago, all the men were cast out of the cities and forced to live primitive lives outside, like cavemen, while the women in the cities have advanced technology. There are scattered temples where the men come to worship and receive erotic "blessings" from the goddesses who live in the cities. Every so often, the women drug a man and steal his sperm so they can reproduce. All male offspring are put outside, given to their fathers as soon as they reach a certain age. The story is about a young woman who is banished outside the city and forced to join forces with a man to survive.

Another one is Nomansland (http://www.amazon.com/Nomansland-Lesley-Hauge/dp/B005DIALQ2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1348016581&sr=1-1&keywords=nomansland) by Lesley Hauge. It's YA, about a future society where women are separated from the men. They use the remnants of a sperm bank to get pregnant, believing that they're keeping their genetic line "pure" by not breeding with the mutant men who live outside their compound.

Both are interesting books with societies governed by women. In both cases, all men are exiled and thought of as sub-human, which may not be quite what you're looking for, but they're still worth a read.

woozy
09-19-2012, 06:00 AM
Then there's The Gate to Women's Country by Sheri Tepper. Where men and women live seperately but on fesitival days "the gates are opened". Boys are raised with their mothers until adolesence and then they have a "tour of duty" to live in Men's country until maturity were they can chose which society to live in. (they'd be second class citizen's without authority in women's country but well respected and loved and they'd make their mothers sooooo happy. In Men's country, however, they get to laugh at each other's farts and hit each over on the head.)

Siri Kirpal
09-19-2012, 06:12 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Even some extreme patriarchies can have some matriarchal elements. I'm thinking of Turkistan, where one of the more violent tribes (I'm forgetting which) had a saying, "Keep your gun by your side, and your money with your wife." Which suggests to me that warring societies tend to have a matriarchal undercurrent when the men are away...and they usually are.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

fadeaccompli
09-19-2012, 06:41 AM
I can easily imagine a society of seafaring merchants/troubadours led by matriarchs, but the idea of pirates sounds odd to me.

When I think of matriarchy, the first thing that comes to mind is "more sex, less violence." Warrior societies are naturally dominated by men, who are taller, stronger, and more dangerous overall in a pre-industrial world. You would have to find a way to level the field (magic, power suits) or make them indispensable in some other way (only women can navigate, or tame kraken, or resist a siren's song.)

Hm. Well, yes and no. I can think of several approaches to a warrior society where you end up with a matriarchal culture.

1) Men engage in combat readily! As such, they often end up with injuries and in a weakened state--with enemies around--while healing. Or they die. Cultivating the protection of "peaceful" women who are willing to protect a man during that time is vital to staying alive, and as such, women end up with most of the power. (Add a cultural taboo against hurting women to make this even stronger.)

2) Men and women both engage in combat! For setting reasons--ranged weapons that don't require a lot of upper body strength, magic, less gender dimorphism in the species, egalitarian division of duties--this means men and women both fight and are distinguished for fighting equally. Meanwhile, women are favored within the culture for other reasons. (See: patriarchy in any modern society where being able to punch another person harder does not lead to social promotion anyway.)

3) Men engage in combat readily! And thus die in large numbers, often young. Women stay at home or behind the front lines, acting as commanding officers, running the supply lines, teaching the children, writing the literature, and otherwise keeping the culture alive. Men are seen as an important resource but somewhat fungible, as with child-bearing women in patriarchal cultures.

4) Men and women both engage in combat! Men tend to do so a bit more, women tend to do so a bit less. However, the culture lends a great deal of importance to women for other reasons entirely, so being a good warrior is much like being a good farmer; great for gaining money, a source of some personal pride, but not the sort of thing that gets you put in charge of anything. (After all, you want a ship's captain who's a good leader, not just good at stabbing. Stabbing has limited motivational power.)

5) Men and/or women engage in combat! But strictly with outsiders: there's a serious taboo against committing violence against anyone inside their culture. Thus, it's more like being good at import/export business than a serious consideration in who gets to be in charge.

Anyway, that's what I come up with off the top of my head for reasons why a warrior-focused culture might still be a matriarchy, in a relatively low-tech fantasy setting. Adjust to taste.

kuwisdelu
09-19-2012, 06:55 AM
There's a difference between matrilineal (tracing lineage and/or inheritance through the female line, as Jews do even today), matrifocal (women/mothers are the center of the culture and society in terms of emphasis but they are not automatically in power in terms of law) and matriarchal. This is a matrifocal (http://articles.latimes.com/1995-03-31/news/mn-49349_1_economic-life) culture. Women who are the focus of commerce and culture within a society do not mean that the society is matriarchal; the culture emphasizes women but does not remove power from men. Technically, it is matrifocal.

Matriarchy like patriarchy emphasizes one sex having power and control to rule the other sex.

Thanks for explaining. Lots of Indian tribes are matrilineal and matrifocal, but I can't think of any that are really matriarchal.

Zashi
09-29-2012, 10:48 AM
I have a YA fantasy idea brewing in my head, about gypsy-esque pirates who live in clans lead by matriarch captains. I have no specific questions right now, as I'm still sketching out how this society is going to work, but that's kind of where I need help. I imagine a female-dominated society would work on a fundamentally different level than a patriarchy. Anyone with any kind of expertise in anthropology or anything? Anyone know any good books or resources about matriarchies?

I know I am mega-late to this conversation but I thought you should know that "gypsy" is a racial slur for Romani people. I'm not Romani or anything but I would highly recommend reading up about it here (http://gypsyappropriations.blogspot.com.au/2011/04/g-word-vs-invisible-minority.html).

BDSEmpire
09-29-2012, 10:02 PM
How serious is your book? Here's a funny little story by Jody Lynn Nye from the "Chicks in Chainmail" anthology. It features a matriarchy dealing with a particularly unfresh feeling.

http://www.baenebooks.com/chapters/1439133018/1439133018__11.htm