How Thedas’ Matriarchal Society Would Actually Work

And why it would be plausible to be different in Tevinter.

Hoo boy, I had a fun time discussing this with my friends the other day. Which this isn’t the final post for this, just one I had to get out less I forget this discussion entirely.

So as we all know Thedas is supposed be a matriarch society with emphasis of it in the Andrastian faith, BUT Bioware does a pretty shitty job doing that/showing it. So let’s begin from the beginning.

Andraste was the woman to unite all of Thedas against Tevinter’s harsh rule. She is worshipped and held in high regard in Thedas and especially in Andrastism. This is where the matriarchy and matriarchal ideals come from. This automatically holds women in higher regard in society, especially as warriors and leaders.

Women and their families would deeply seek to have first born daughters, much like Andraste who only gave birth to daughters. A family with mostly sons would likely give the woman legal cause to leave and disown her husband. A family with a first born son would, on an unspoken level, be seen as less influential and prosperous among society. Not to say men couldn’t be successful or rise, it is just harder for them and they may be questioned in places of power (see King Markus Pentaghast) This would mean that in situations like Calian/Anora, Calian would be heavily scrutinized as being the reason for Ferelden lacking an heir. Regardless of the high acclaim of his family and the Theirin line.

Speaking of Cailan, we know he slept around on Anora. This would bring him even more vitriol, as we know Maferath slept with a woman outside of Andraste and Maferath (and any metaphor for Maferath) tends to be looked down at. Since it was Maferath who betrayed Andraste to Magister Hessarian. In reality, Celene wouldn’t have even given Cailan’s offer a second look, because she would not seek to wrong the Queen of Ferelden. For an action like that would be seen as an attack on Ferelden, an insult to their Queen (Leading Woman) is an insult to their country. A good canon example of this is actually King Calenhad and Thedas during his time, a majority of the leaders and those of high acclaim were women, while when Calenhad cheated on his wife he was shunned from the throne by all of Ferelden.

Which it is due to the actions of Maferath and Hessarian, that men would be at a disadvantage. For it was those two men who brought Andraste down and men, out of greed and jealously, that drew the Maker’s ire and made him turn away his gaze.

Meanwhile, things are different in Tevinter and they have more of a patriarchal society with the Black Divine, and a majority of men in the Magisterium. As well as gender being an issue for them. One reason is obviously spite, because it is Andraste who caused their empire to fall. However, it also goes back to the time of Andraste. In their stories it is played up on how Hessarian was repentant, it was him who gave Andraste mercy in her time of anguish. He who showed compassion to the Maker’s lady. He who after Andraste’s death spread hers and the Maker’s word to Tevinter, who gave her a voice once more. This, coupled with the actions of his wife, Lady Vasilia (Thedas’ version of Lady Macbeth), is what sealed the Tevinter patriarchy. Lady Vasilia being the one who convinced her husband to burn Andraste slowly and publicly upon a pyre, telling him to refuse her mercy. In essence, Tevinter would have basis to blame the fall of Andraste and the Maker’s anger on Lady Vasilia, who wished suffering on Andraste. Again while her husband was the one to raise his voice for Andraste. All of which would fit Tevinter’s twisted version/interpretation of the Chant of Light and why their Divine is a man (unlike the southern Divine who represents Andraste, their Black Divine represents Hessarian).

So yeah, that’s pretty much how it should be for Thedas with the canon lore in place and how we play it for our Tabletop, even though Bioware doesn’t show/see it this way.


Can you describe the origins of Patriarchy?

Maria Mies, author of Patriarchy & Accumulation on a World Scale, interviewed by Jeanny Gering. For further elaboration by Mies on the subject read her work: “The Social Origins of the Sexual Division of Labor”.

“The second problem arises from the transformation of the meaning of arché from “origin” to meaning “rule, domination”. First, a “right to rule” is deduced from the fact of origin. This could mean either the power of the body of the mother, of the female (e.g., Mühlmann 1984), or mother-power (Canetti 1986), or “mother-right” as well (Bachofen 1978). But in this case there is no “rule”. Or possibly what is meant is that the maternal power, which by nature is necessary for nurturing, protecting, and accompanying new life until it is able to take care of itself, is replaced by a father’s “right to rule”. Either the father “rules” and assumes the power of the mother while she is giving birth, or the “father” makes his claim to the power because he himself is the one giving birth. This would mean a kind of “father’s power”. However, since fathers are not able to give birth and thus are not by nature “powerful” in this sense, we still have the problem of explaining which non-maternal birth and non-maternal ruling power we are talking about here. 

Things are just as difficult when we look at the word “pater”. In the discussion on patriarchy it is often not taken into account that – as far as we know – the word father did not even exist in pre-patriarchal society, and when it finally appears with patriarchy, it does not mean any of the things we usually associate with it. When the concept of father appeared in history, it did not mean the physical father who takes care of his children. The concept of father was from the beginning an abstract institutional one instead, a concept of hierarchy, rule and domination (e.g. von Braun 1990). The father appears from the beginning in connection with the concept of domination, the lawful ruler, God, something superhuman (see Freud 1974). The father concept thus did not necessarily mean physical fatherhood, and it did not originate in the sensual culture of matriarchies. Only with this in mind can we understand that the concept of father is a purely utopian concept, in the sense that the “rule” of the “father” is: a) possible; b) desirable; c) so all comprehensive that it could even include the maternal, real origin, the birth event; and/or d) no longer needs the maternal, because it has completely “replaced” it. 

This way patriarchy is basically the expression of a social utopia which states that it is the father and not the mother, in the abstract institutional form of “fatherhood”, i.e., as a supposed God or his “law”, or even a “natural law”, who creates life, or who ideally one day will be able to do so. So patriarchy is in the end an unimaginable, incomprehensible, almost inexpressible claim totally unattached to and abstracted from the concrete conditions of earthly existence, going far beyond anything as banal as some sort of “birth envy”. Its goal is nothing less than the transformation of the birth-giving female body into an all-producing and universally reproducible thing, to replace the birth-giving body with a non-bodily, non-female machinery and claim this machinery to be the goal and end of human history. The same is true for Mother Nature and the earth herself. “

- excerpt from Loosing Faith in Progress: Capitalist Patriarchy as an Alchemical System” by Claudia von Werlhof

Part 2 here.


PATRIARCHAL tactics 101:

always making it your responsibility to earn his trust; always being on the defensive position.  EXIT strategy: just, stop play to his games.  

Give up the exceptions that happiness is achievable through proving your value to him. 

Possessiveness 101

How to deal with manipulators?

How to Deal with a Narcissist?


Vocabulary of Change: Angela Davis & Tim Wise in Conversation


ALL sexism, racism, feminist activists and ARTivists

  • we have to water flow together (female power)

within yang energy flow patterns to succeed:

collectively, mutually, united = MATRIARCHY the opposite of the “p’ word

It's so hard listening to rap music now that I've realized it's only filled with misogynistic rants against black women and internalized racism. I had to cut off nearly every rapper. Including the ones from the 90s because lets be honest, men been rapping about hating and dogging out women. Especially black women. That's why I can't wait for matriarchy and so whole heartedly stand on it. I don't hate men but I do know most of the world's problems wouldn't be if men's ego's and pride wasn't so fragile. The future is woman. Fuck the patriarchy.