Prior to 12K years ago, all societies were egalitarian and non-stratified. The advent of patriarchy is the first time that we saw classes and stratification. Patriarchy is a stratified society beyond just men and women. It’s the appropriate term.
Some Men Find Our Egalitarian History Highly Disturbing
Based on the comments I’ve gotten, it’s profoundly upsetting to some of them
“But before twelve-thousand years ago, humans basically were egalitarian (Knauft 1991). They lived in what might be called societies of equals, with minimal political centralization, and no social classes.”
There are no matriarchies and never really have been — there are matrilineal societies, but that’s a different thing. I’ve already written about this extensively so I’m going to link to that.
Patriarchy Demands Constant Ranking and Stratification Of All Kinds
Not just between men and women
The two basic human types are male and female. The way the relationship between women and men is structured is thus a basic model for human relations. Consequently, a dominator-dominated way of relating to other human beings is internalized from birth by every child brought up in a traditional, male-dominated family.31
In the case of racism, this model of human relations is generalized from members of a different sex to members of a different race.
Eisler, Riane. The Chalice and the Blade. HarperOne. Kindle Edition.
Understanding Our Domination-based Society Allows Us To Move Toward A Partnership-based One
We can’t go somewhere new until we understand where we are
“You do what you are told to by the people above you, or you suffer the consequences. But hierarchies of domination aren’t the only kind of hierarchies or the only kind of leadership. Nor are they the only way to be in relationship with others. The establishment of some kind of pecking order is not necessary in order for society to function.
Business is one of the main forefronts for partnership-oriented shifts in our culture today because it leads to greater agility and responsiveness, which in turn, contributes to the bottom line.”
In slower moving and less complex business environments the old hierarchical model that depended mostly on only a few people at the top for leadership simply doesn’t work anymore. In today’s more volatile, uncertain and ambiguous business battlefield, decentralized controls and leadership through networks of people at all levels is imperative for success.
A Society Based In Partnership Instead of Domination
What would the opposite of a dominance hierarchy look like?
I’m about to write a story about Denmark and how they are the happiest country on earth because they actively teach empathy and non-hierarchy to their children. Are the Scandinavian countries perfect? Of course not, but we’ve got 10–12 K years of patriarchy to dismantle in most places in the world, so it will take time and they are still doing better than we are.
All modern hunter-gatherer societies who have not been corrupted by their warmongering neighbors or by colonialism are still to this day peaceful and egalitarian.
The title of this article is click-bait because all matrifocul societies are not about anyone ruling anyone else, but about cooperation and egalitarianism, even if they have particular roles for men and women — but it’s still interesting to read about some of the non-patriarchal societies in the world.