OR CAN WE ACCEPT MANY?
Upon a recent reading, I would like to respond with some thoughtful feedback on your new church which aims to promote Matriarchy within the Celtic-Native American cultures.
PREPOSITION: Anyone who is interested or serious about legitimate Matriarchy.
BEATA: All forms of Matriarchy are legitimate, even those which your post labels as "Feminist-Patriarchy". In short, there is no one "Pure" form of Matriarchy, and any group that purports to claim their version of Matriarchy as more legitimate as someone else's without understanding what Matriarchy entails within a multi-cultural framework will only alienate themselves from the broader Modern Matriarchy Movement, and sets themselves up for failure.
PREPOSITION: In our modern world many people have lost sight of what Matriarchal society is. Most think it to be the female dominating the male, but nothing could be further from the truth. When we think of feminine and masculine energies and attitudes we find that masculine energy tends to be dominating and aggressive in nature while feminine energy tends to be consultive and passive in nature. From this it is easy to see the difference between Matriarchal society and Patriarchal society.
BEATA: This is an inaccurate assumption that is filled with gender stereotypes. A Matriarchal society is just as much about the expression of female power and authority which is very active and prominent as the term "Matriarchy" implies, the Rule of the Mothers from the beginning. Although you may interpret Matriarchy in the manner in which seems to correspond to your cultural beliefs, it does not mean that all Matriarchal cultures operate according to this paradigm, nor should they.
PREPOSITION: Another miss perception is that women must rule in and found Matriarchal systems. The idea that Matriarchy means that women suppress men is nothing more than Feminist-Patriarchy, it is in no way Matriarchy.
BEATA: There are forms of Matriarchy that are Amazonian in character. Again, this is part of the multi-cultural and diverse aspects that exists among different social groups. In the earliest of human civilizations before the advent of the growth of patriarchy, women did rule, were at the center and top in the social order in many cultures. Men may have had some leadership roles, but their power and legitimacy was conferred by women.
PREPOSITION: The Iroquois are a prime example of the Gender Check and Balance System, within their system only men are allowed to hold office and only women are allowed to vote, in essence women, as the voters, poses a great deal of power.
BEATA: This is inaccurate as well. The Iroquois had separate assemblies in which women and men were elected as clan leaders. The women held veto power and could depose a Sachem which was the head tribal chief. Also the women owned the land and houses and could dismiss their husbands at will. The Iroquois Federation did engage in war to resolve conflicts with other Native American tribes, and when the Europeans began to colonize the United States, these inter-tribal conflicts increased which were related to economics and trade.
PREPOSITION: A Matriarchal Culture is most easily defined by a society based on mutual respect of all its members and a leadership system that bases it's decisions on the needs of the people over dogmatic principles. Lineage is measured based upon matriarchal lines, and all
people share equal responsibility regardless of gender.
BEATA: There is much more to a Matriarchal culture than what you have described. There are cultures which contain elements of Matriarchy and yet are not really Matriarchal societies. For example, matrilineal descent in which the lineage is traced through the mother. Such a characteristic does not mean the social group is Matriarchal, it also depends on other features of the systems of social organization within the group. Overall, you have expressed some noble aims for the establishment of a Matriarchal community, but again such communities will always be diverse in nature and one has to take into consideration the historical legacy of patriarchy and its effect on the present ways of thinking and being of both women and men as well as on the macro social institutions in which people interact.
February 15, 2006