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ANAHITA Home

ANAHITA  January 2000

ANAHITA January 2000

Subject:

Re: matriarchy?

From:

Sherrill Nilson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 3 Jan 2000 11:45:35 -0700

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Thank you, Shiela, for a grounded response.  I too think the search for
matriarchy is a red herring--in fact searching FOR something is an entirely
different thing than is looking at what is found in the light of differing
parameters and gender relationships as a way of understanding human behavior
and human relationships.  We can almost always find what we are looking FOR, it
is when we are not really looking for specifics but looking for patterns in the
available data while doing our best to identify and admit to our own prejudices
that we find the most valuable information.
 Sherrill Nilson

[log in to unmask] wrote:

> Quoting from myself, coyly:
>
> << I don't think the search for a Matriarchy is a very rewarding line of
> endeavor. >>
>
>     A coincidence: I just bought Sheila Rowbotham's new collection, _Threads
> Through Time_ & found her 1979 essay, "The Trouble with Patriarchy".
>     She is marvelous as always, of course; but it is difficult to deliver a
> quote from the matrix of her argument.
>     Noting Marx's insistence on regarding "every historically developed
> social form as in fluid motion" <....> "...'patriarchy' offers no such
> prospect. <....> A word which fails to convey movement is not much help...."
>
>     This then is a problem if we are trying to find matriarchies: we are
> looking for fixed systems when no human system is fixed.  We are looking for
> a hypothetical society structured exactly like "patriarchy", but with women
> in men's roles.
>
>     Rowbotham proposes, "If we could develop a historical concept of
> sex-gender relationships, this would encompass changing patterns of male
> control & its congruence or incongruence with various aspects of women's
> power <....>without submerging the experiences of women in those of men, or
> vice versa."
>
>     I think that is what we have been trying to do; so the search for
> matriarchies probably is a red herring.
> Sheila Shiki y Michaels
>
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> Diotima's address: http://www.uky.edu/AS/Classics/gender.html

--
Sherrill Nilson
25 Estrella de la Maņana
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
[log in to unmask]
505 466 0453
fax 466 1903

If I can't laugh at myself, someone else is usually happy to do it for me.

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