No spoilers, promise.

That was the first time in a lifetime of near-constant consumption of cinema that I’ve been sitting in a packed, darkened movie theatre, watching some massive, bombastic blockbuster action movie, sensing the excitement, the rapt gaze of a predominantly male audience, and thought to myself… 

This movie isn’t just tipping its hat to women so we won’t feel excluded. This movie is *for women*. 

Fury Road features some of the most fierce and violent and brutal and vivid and compelling imagery I’ve watched in any movie, ever, and it also just happens to be one the most warmly and thoroughly feminist films I’ve ever seen, from any genre.

Miller made this for us.

When that realization hit me, I cried.

Unprecedented. What a lovely day.

How to Write a Matriarchy

I don’t see a lot of matriarchies in fiction and that saddens me. It also saddens me when people say there is a matriarchy BECAUSE. Hence, this post.

Free/easy to access birth control. Number freaking one, guys. If women have reproductive freedom, they aren’t tied down for years at a time caring for their children, who really can’t be left alone until they’re eight or nine. That’s eight or nine years stuck in one place. Unwanted pregnancies also tie girls to abusive or unloving relationships. Easy access to birth control would alter society’s view on virginity and promiscuity as well. No one will know how much sex you’ve had if you can control the most negative side effect.  

Different emphasis on childcare. Women are equated with motherhood and all that entails, especially childcare. Women are necessary to feed the baby until it’s weaned, but they are not necessary to teach their child to walk, talk, or play baseball. If, for example, cultural norms stated children had to be raised by their grandparents or by a group instead of by individuals, then women are free to do other things. Like run the government. And mothers aren’t even necessary for feeding the baby, because there are wet nurses and (if your society is sufficiently advanced) formula.

Matrilineal inheritance. Western culture’s basic unit is the married couple and their children. Families are patrilineal – the married woman takes her husband’s surname and their children also take his surname. This has led to problems. Men want to know their inheritance is going to their biological children, which discourages female promiscuity and glorifies virginity. What if your culture was matrilineal? Women pass property to their children and they will always know which ones are theirs, making the father irrelevant or at least less important. If he suspects the child isn’t theirs, there might not be much he can do, since all the goods go to the kid solely because it’s hers. Matrilineal inheritance would also allow male promiscuity because any woman he would potentially impregnate needs not enter his family. Matrilineal inheritance might also result in the woman being seen as the center or focus of the family (the paterfamilias, as it were), as it is through her that inheritance runs.

Family structure. As I just stated, the basic unit is the married couple and children. As a woman, you’re either married or a spinster. If society were communal, then perhaps single women would not be as strange. There’s always something to do in a group other than churn out children, like doing something that will earn the group money. Also, if the marriage is not as important as the community, then members would theoretically have more freedom to terminate it, allowing women – and men – to leave abusive or unfulfilling relationships.

Religious justification. It always helps to have some spiritual backup. If you can justify female superiority in a few early religions, then you have the basis for a powerful belief in the natural role of women as leaders in the era your story is set in. You should probably draft a few mythical/legendary women/goddesses who rule the heavens, dispense justice, or do whatever role you’ve prescribed women in your society. You should also make a few tales detailing what happened when men tried to take over – or what happens when men take the lead. Think of a reverse Pandora’s Box or reverse Eve eating the apple.  

One last note. Matriarchy does not equal utopia. There will be plenty of societal problems you need to address. I postulated a communal system could result in a matriarchy. Divorce might not be a big deal, but leaving the community would be. A matrilineal system in a matriarchy could result in rampant sexual activity in both sexes, which would in turn pass STDs to children. It may also involve the devaluation of men, since titles come from women. The MRAs of today might actually have a point in your matriarchy. Do not assume a world ruled by women will be utopic. Women are just as violent, just as power-hungry, just as greedy, and just as inclined to prejudice as men, especially if they’ve been told from birth that they deserve it. Also, all these topics (excepting perhaps religious justification) have led to egalitarian rather than matriarchal societies in our world. Doesn’t mean that it will in yours. Have fun with this!

mother nature: the ultimate SJW

Whenever sexist MRA douchebros start citing sketchy evopsych logic as a reason why women are fundamentally different to men and cultural/social gender roles are a fixed, binary necessity “because it’s just how nature works” I want to laugh and laugh and laugh, because actual nature is not even remotely in the business of supporting their misogynistic bullshit, and it’s beautiful.

I mean, seriously: pretty much all the most intelligent mammals, like orca, dolphins, elephants, hyenas, pigs, baboons and gibbons are matriarchal; of the brightest primates, only gorillas and chimpanzees are patriarchal - though patriarchal chimps are still less intelligent than matriarchal bonobos - and while orangutans are mostly solitary, their primary social bonds are between mothers and their offspring

And for anyone who thinks, despite the overwhelming historical evidence to the contrary, that the idea of nonbinary gender is something modern feminists and SJWs invented overnight because reasons and which has no other basis in biology, well: the freemartins, maned lionesses, female insects with penises, pregnant male seahorses and mammalian female pseudo-penises of the animal kingdom - not to mention the wide array of biological differences underpinning human concepts of gender - beg to differ. And that’s just for starters.  

Basically, gender and sexuality are fascinatingly diverse whichever way you look at them, and once you throw in the fact that humans are clearly capable of consciously altering our own cultures, the idea that we’re predeterministically slaved to a single sexist system is rendered even more absurd than ever.

Separating marriage from child rearing: The Mosuo of China.

By Jonathan Harrison, PhD

In the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces of China lives a small ethnic group called the Mosuo. Among the Mosuo, romantic and family life are separated into different spheres by design. Children are usually raised in the home of their maternal grandmother with the help of their mother. She may maintain a long-term, monogamous romantic relationship with the father but, unlike in the West, this is considered separate from her role as a mother.

The role of the biological father is discretionary.  There is no word in their language, in fact, for husband or father.  A father is allowed, but not required to provide financial support and he is usually permitted to visit the mother and their child(ren) only at night. They call it “Axia” or “Walking Marriage.” The children’s primary male role models are usually their uncles, who remain under the authority of the children’s grandmother as they live under her roof.

From the Mosuo point of view, separating marriage from the raising of children ensures that the vagaries of romance do not disrupt the happiness and health of the child and its mother. Nor can the father wield power over the mother by threatening to withdraw from the marriage. Meanwhile, because the family of origin is never eclipsed by a procreative family, the Mosuo system reduces the likelihood that elders will be abandoned by their families when they need support in old age.

“Think about it,” writes an expert at Mosuo Project.

Divorce is a non-issue…there are no questions over child custody (the child belongs to the mother’s family), splitting of property (property is never shared), etc. If a parent dies, there is still a large extended family to provide care.

This way of organizing families is an excellent refutation of the hegemonic view that children need the biological father to live under their roof (and by implication, to be their patriarch). You can learn more about the Mosuo in the documentaries The Women’s Kingdom and The Mosuo Sisters.

Image: A 78-year-old grandmother with her family (from Gender Across Borders).

Dr. Jonathan Harrison earned a PhD in Sociology from the University of Leicester, UK. His research interests include the Holocaust, comparative religion, racism, and the history of African Americans in Florida. He teaches at Florida Gulf Coast University and Hodges University. 

9

Freestyle Friday: FemDom

  1. The possibly one of the most social viverrids (which really isn’t saying much), lady binturongs (Arctictis binturong) are the dominant partner when paired up, in both size and attitude.[x]
  2. Spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) are the first mammal that comes to mind, their female favoring hierarchy that starts straight out of the womb and ambiguous external genitalia are common knowledge.  [x]
  3. The pint sized dwarf mongoose (Helogale parvula) society is similar to their meerkat cousins. The dominant female of the group of anywhere from 12-15 is the one that calls the shots and has exclusive breeding rights.[x]
  4. Another famously matriarchial mammal, the female African elephant (Loxodonta africana) lives in a cow led and nearly cow only herd, young male offspring don’t tend to stick around once they can fend for themselves. [x]
  5. The New Mexico whiptail (Cnemidophorus neomexicanus) takes it one step further, getting rid of males altogether. The reproduce via parthenogenesis, so it’s always ladies night. Despite not needing males, they need a bit of hot lesbian lizard on lizard mock mating (as seen here) to stimulate egg production. [x]
  6. Aggressively defending her territory, the polyandrous pheasant tailed jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) leaves the tending of eggs to her mates.  [x
  7. Far more vividly colored than the green males, the red and blue of the eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus) hen is both a “hello boys I am here” signal and “watch out ladies this is my nest” warning they will violently enforce. Cocks blend into the forest’s colors since they forage far and wide for food, while hens stay at home pampered and happily accept food offerings from sugar daddies that might not be their offspring’s father when hubby is out. Wiki says that they are polygynandrous, though males are less than pleased when they see other males at her doorstep [x]
  8. The female emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) has no time for caring for her eggs, which is the male’s job.  She is the one who woos her mate with sweet moves and deep baritone booming, and fights rival females for them. After laying, she struts off into the sunset to find another man to seduce.
  9. European honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens. Eusocial animals are stuff of legends, you can’t get much better than a queen. A huge chunk of arthropod species have larger and longer lived females compared to males, far more than mammals. [x]

This is a teeny tiny minuscule list, species chosen mostly had to do with picture quality/consistency!

I’m a woman in America and I have never been oppressed. 

I have been belittled and ridiculed, but never has it been by a man.

I have been belittled and ridiculed by the women in my life. Female teachers, female peers, my own mother. 

The best teacher I’ve ever met, who was the most supportive, was a man.

The friends who always have my back? Men.

My dad protected me from my mothers wrath.

Men are clearly not the problem.

  • Junior Physics Major:Women are already starting to destroy men's inalienable rights by making themselves the household heads, and policy leaders.
  • Junior Sociology Major:What? Matriarchies aren't even a real thing in American society.
  • Junior Physics Major:Matriarchies aren't fake–My Little Pony is matriarchal.

La Chancla


No matter how fast we ran

we never escaped

the chancla

in the yarda,

en la casa,

por la manaña,

por la noche,

we never escaped

the “vas a ver” swing

or the “para que se te quite”

sting.


Even en la madrugada

con lagañas en las pestañas

we never outran the sonido

of the cachetada

from the leather

against butt cheek.


We never escaped it

because as fast as we ran

the chancla would soar

especially

on Domingo

cuando no limpiamos

well enough

cuando peliamos con primos

y hermanas

cuando quebramos los platos

en la cosina.


“Tremendo!”

“Tremenda!”

“Como friegan!” blasted like a siren

on both lados of la frontera

from Los Angeles

to Latino America

la chancla always crossed

sin documentos

an apestoso tool

of chingadasos y pain

por andar de traviesos

con friends.


When least expected

la chancla stalked us

en la esquina

donde señoras vendian

tantos tamaños,

and our mamas would try them on

look at us and demand

“me quedan bonitos, verdad.”

We would nod in agreement

knowing soon they would silence

the risas from our bocas

por andar de “mendigos.”


They followed us en el mercadito

con una seleccion de tantos colores

and the perfect fit nunca faltaba

y nuestra abuela se los probaba

mirando al espejo, decia,

“hay, si, estos, que lindos,  

me los llevo.”


And we shook when she smiled

with our hand over our heart

we pledged allegiance to our madres,

allegiance to the symbol of obedece o sufre,

la arma en la casa

que olia nuestros pecados

and put them on display

for the vecinos to hear our

“yo no fui!” cries

cuando siempre lo fuimos

y mama gritaba

“donde esta mi chancla?!”


Y la chancla siempre estaba.

Siempre despertaba.

Siempre salia debajo la cama

y encontraba nuestras nalgas

as we always surrendered

and confessed our crimes

to las mujeres who raised us

on the love of la chancla.


By Eric Eztli (frommyblood.tumblr.com)