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…

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