Gynocentrism & Matriarchal Societies: Past and Present

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Much of the modern world is, without a doubt, governed by men. While gender equality has improved in many parts of the world, there is still much progress to be made in this realm.

Considering that patriarchy is so normalized today, it may be a bit tough to wrap our heads around the idea that perhaps, at one point in time, women ruled the Earth. It might even seem like a far-fetched concept that’s perpetuated by feminists or idealists.

Whether or not a matriarchy (also known as “gynocentrism”, which literally translates to “female centered”) is a fantasy or reality is still up for debate. However, there is much to explore about this fascinating subject.

The Gynocratic Age

In 1972, Gloria Steinem, a popular feminist author, publicized the concept of the matriarchy, which gained notoriety in the years that followed. While the validity of this theory is still questioned today, it has sparked discussion about the possibility and viability of gynocratic societies.

During a time period known as the Gynocratic Age, women were allegedly worshipped and praised for their ability to give birth. Childbirth was a great mystery at the time, and men, not realizing that they actually played a role in it, held the belief that women “bore fruit like trees, when they were ripe.”

The Gynocratic Age allegedly lasted from around 2 million years ago to 3000 BCE. At that point, it is said that a great transformation occurred, perhaps due to a cataclysm or a groundbreaking discovery, and sparked patriarchy.

The Fall of Matriarchal Societies

As mentioned above, women were praised and worshipped for their ability to give birth. However, it is said that once men discovered their role in women’s ability to conceive children, they began to covet their power. This was the catalyst for the Gynocratic Age’s demise.

Evidence

Archaeologists and other researchers have uncovered much evidence that supports the theory that gynocratic societies once existed:

An 8,000-year-old sculpture discovered in the fall of 2016 depicts some sort of goddess. Some speculate the figurine depicts a fertility goddess, while others believe her plump figure represents a woman of social prominence. Literature such as the Bible (the Virgin Mary) and Homer’s The Odyssey highlight the importance of women in society. The Book of Enoch, a Biblical text that is omitted from the standard Christian Bible, also features more stories of women than other Biblical texts. Scholar Lotte Motz observed that women appear just as frequently as men in ancient artwork.

Skeptics point out that just because women are depicted as goddesses in artwork and literature doesn’t necessarily mean they were equal or more powerful than men. With no written historical records, we can’t be 100-percent sure as to the authenticity of a truly gynocratic society.

Other Gynocentrism Theories

Although Steinem is credited with bringing the theory of the matriarchy to prominence, she was not the first person to position such an argument.

Gynocentrism has been discussed throughout the ages. Female writers Lucrezia Marinella and Modesta Pozzo are credited with exploring gynocentric concepts in their work, namely “sexual feudalism,” which can be traced back to the Middle Ages.

Johann Jakob Bachofen, a Swiss anthropologist, also explored matriarchal societies throughout his work in the 19th century. He often cites the Greek goddesses Aphrodite and Demeter, who held significant power in ancient Greece, as evidence of women’s prominent role in that culture.

Robert Graves, an English poet and writer, was also fascinated with matriarchy in Greek culture. He attributes societal pressure to the eventual downfall of gynocentrism.

Modern Matriarchal Societies

Several matriarchal societies exist today all over the world.

  • The Mosuo tribe of China is referred to as the “Kingdom of Women” throughout the country. Unlike most parts of China and the world, the Mosuo women are in charge of everything from finances to land and home ownership.
  • Indonesia’s Minangkabau also places women at the forefront of society. When a man marries a woman, he is the one to move into her family’s home, and women pass inheritances such as land and homes onto their daughters like fathers do with sons in much of the world.
  • Similar, the women of Costa Rica’s Bribri tribe are the ones who can inherit land. They also enjoy the right to prepare cacao, which is used in various sacred rituals.
  • The United Kingdom’s monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has ruled the nation since 1952.

Are these and other modern matriarchal societies representative of a more women-centric past, or are they an indication that matriarchy is on the rise once more?

Society has experienced some pretty dramatic changes throughout history. Only time will tell if matriarchy becomes the norm once more.

Want more like this article?
Don’t miss Ancient Civilizations on Gaia to journey through humanity’s suppressed origins and examine the secret code left behind by our ancestors.



The Tall, Red-Headed Demi-Gods From Orion

Humans through millennia have gazed into the night’s sky at Orion’s three outstanding stars. Among them was the Greek poet Homer who made mention of the constellation in the Odyssey;. the writers of the Old Testament referenced Orion in two of its books, Job and Amos; and the Egyptian mathematician Ptolemy, who cataloged Orion in his astronomical studies.

Named after the Greek hunter, the constellation of Orion is one of the most famous of all constellations, with nearly every ancient civilization forming an affinity to it from the Middle East to Africa and across the Americas. It is even said that the ancient Egyptians and Mayans used the three stars of Orion’s belt as a guide for positioning the pyramids, to mimic what they had seen in the heavens above. 

And modern-day researchers, including Freddy Silva, are putting together the pieces embedded in the myths of the ancient world, asserting that the “gods” descended from the belt of Orion, came to Earth, and became our ancestors.

Many have questioned the origins of humans on Earth, as there seems to be no definitive starting point, but several researchers, such as Graham Hancock, Freddy Silva, and others, have concluded that mainstream science is way off the mark.

Silva cites several interesting sites and cultures that point to extraterrestrial origins of the human race, and his evidence is worldwide. The gods, Silva suggests, may have been more literal than mythical. A god, he says, “was considered any being who had control over the laws of nature… a god is a force of nature.” The gods who descended from Orion and came to planet Earth were human-like, but not quite human.

Much of this mystery has to do with the great flood occurring around 12,000 years ago that is written about in the oldest literature of myriad cultures. Following the flood, the gods seem to have moved on from this world, leaving their children behind to procreate with human women. The offspring were known as Nephila, translating to “the children of Orion.” 

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