A Summary of How We Moved from Matrilineal to Patriarchy

This was a comment I wrote on a post in regards to the following question: “Now this may be a point of contention, but I ask you if the matriarchy was so great how come it lead to the patriarchy? In my eyes at least it is clear that no one gender was meant to stand over the other. We have two for a reason to help one another.”

This is a subject I have been studying in depth for about 6-8 years now, and I felt it was important to outline not often found history and pull in some science as to why patriarchy spread so far and wide.  There is soooo much more I could have written about this – but it is a good start.  Also, you can listen to a video I did about 5 years ago here on the subject

If you want the historical aspect of how we moved from a Matrilineal to Patriarchy organizational pattern of society, this is a create summary.  Here are a few starting points:

  • Creation of Patriarchy by Gerda Lerner is an amazing book.  I combine her knowledge with…
  • Sex at Dawn and
  • Sheldrake’s studies about Morphic Resonance to give you the following summary
  • I will state that this might sound like I am making a case for matriarchy – and I am not.  I am simply providing much needed history that I have learned and accumulated that shows as best as we can know what happened…so we have a better idea on how to move into the new.
  • Important to Note: Matrilineal is NOT the same as matriarchy.  Cultures in prehistory were predominately matrilineal – meaning organized via the mother line.  They were cooperative with a circular way of living.  Compare this to matriarchal where the Queen rules in similar fashion to a patriarchal King, using unhealthy masculine energy of domination, intimidation and invoking fear in order to control, manipulate and rule.

Gerda mentions several theories that anthropologists have – but the overall theme is something like this (my highly simplified version): As we moved away from nomadic tribes into agriculture and the wealth it created, the need for children increased.  Both to work the fields and to pass the created wealth onto. Women were the bottle neck, and so tribes still run by women were the ones to negotiate the trading of women to other tribes.  As this was happening, there was also another cause in the fact that more land was needed.  So, surrounding tribes were conquered.  At first, everyone would be killed.  Eventually and unfortunately tho, the conquering tribe realized they could kill just the men, rape the women which was psychological warfare on both the women and surviving children.  Eventually, the conquerers learned they could also keep the men as slaves – figuring out how to subjugate them to the psychological damage as well – and slavery was born.

There are different theories on how the trading of women was eventually passed or taken over by men, that led to the idea of marriage and heritage per patriarchal line -the important thing to note in any theory tho is that this was a MUTUAL shift and a 50/50 responsibility.  It wasn’t men forcing women and wasn’t women beating up on men and men retaliating.  They did it as the tribes changed from nomadic to agriculture, and not just agriculture – for most tribes by this point were practicing selective agriculture in harmony with the land about them – but the type of agriculture practiced today.  Destruction and/or taking over of land for planting of crops:

* one being that women were too busy having children, having them too often to be healthy and thus dying,  etc. and thus men had to take over.   (important to note that Native wisdom always had women spreading out births of children 4-5+ years AND they would never populate an area with more people than an area could handle…so the new agricultural cultures were completely different than just a few generations before)

* Another theory says that with men home more instead of hunting, and with women busy with the babies and kids, it was a natural shift for men to take over the gathering/field duties and eventually this other duty.

* Some suggest that men were disgruntle because of matrilineal.  Not sure if this is much of a theory tho.  Any theory of this is based on the idea that women would rule like men do now – in the unhealthy aspect of masculine power (again this is Matriarchy – not matrilineal).  We cannot take current patterns and put them on past cultures that would have no idea about the horrible practices we have now – for they didn’t have them then.  There is no evidence in these matrilineal tribes that women ruled like this.  Current evidence also points to the fact that as women learn to return to feminine ideas of leadership – that women lead from a collaborative, inclusive, nurturing point.  Those that lead otherwise are simply repeating the pattern of unhealthy masculine leadership (since women are also full of masculine energy).  This is easy to do when you take into account how suppressed knowledge of feminine principles have been – coupled with feminine equating to “evil”, “dark”, sinful, bad, etc. – PLUS one takes into account morphic resonance.

To me, the idea men were disgruntle is projecting current times into ancient history…and doesn’t match up with what the authors of Sex at Dawn demonstrate in their book.  They take the reader into current matrilineal villages and show how the tribes work.  Men get a LOT of sex, so do women and everyone is generally happy because of all the oxytocin. It depends on the tribe as to how, but women in general are well supported with their babies, everyone is auntie and uncle and don’t care so much about their direct line – they all take care of each other.    There isn’t private property and ownership in these tribes…not in our current ideas of it at least.

So to me, this idea or theory that men were disgruntle because of matriarchy doesn’t fit the biological and substantial sexual evolutionary evidence as to why the shift happened.

Now, one thing that baffled Gerda and other anthropologists about how widespread patriarchy became around the word in a rather short amount of time (2000+ years) – even when there still wasn’t contact between people groups.  This can be explained with Rupert Sheldrake’s work on Morphic Resonance: https://www.sheldrake.org/research/morphic-resonance and https://www.sheldrake.org/research/morphic-resonance/introduction.  In short there was a little bird in England in early 1900s that had a funny habit of drinking the cream off the home-delivered milk.  These birds were not migratory – yet in subsequent years, these same birds in different European countries were found doing the same thing.  This was not survival of the fittest because the birds in England didn’t populate other countries.  Something else was happening in what Rupert calls the energy memory of the species that got sent across the invisible world of energy to other members of the species and stored in the energy field that is passed on generation to generation.  When WWII broke out and home milk delivery was stopped for several years and then reintroduced, the birds again started up their habit.

This interesting info to me suggests how and why humanity became not just patriarchally led world-wide – but how powerful habitual patterns are and explains how humans have been able to perpetuate horrible acts of terror on each other, including slavery.  It is a learned negative pattern…and unfortunately for us, negative patterns tend to have more powerful energy behind them than positive patterns – like empathy.

All that to say is that if we want to change to a more collaborative form of living – one where we move out of gender roles (again I would debate that prehistorical matriarchal tribes were NOT gender based in the first place and probably more collaborative than we look back from our point of view and give them credit for), we have to BREAK THE PATTERNS…patterns that have been going on for 6000+ years and have a lot of energy behind them.  It’s like trying to stop a car from rolling into the SF Bay from one of the large large hills at the bottom of the hill instead of at the top.  It is not impossible – but it will take a LOT Of us breaking the pattern in the morphic resonance field and establishing a new one.

I for one am all about breaking gender roles personally.  As I have done my own healing work and learned my own skills and gifts, I have realized I am not the submissive, passive female my culture, religion, marriage, family taught me to be – and why I never fit.  I am a leader, and when I step up in lead in the balanced energy of the feminine/masculine, I see major shifts in the people around me – for the better.  And, there is so much momentum in that old pattern it has and is still taking me a lot of energy to break it and establish a new one.  I keep falling back into the old pattern, especially in regards to the dating life.  I mean our culture tells women it is not sexy for a woman to be a leader, that it emasculates a man and that we have to take a back seat to their needs.  However, I know the few times in my really unhealthy marriage that when I stepped up and lead – things smoothed out and there was a bit of healthy movement.  Then I would fall back into the old pattern.  So this leaves me to ask this question of me and others: is it more important to follow some predefined list of rules of the genders we have been told (the pattern), or for each couple/soul to find their own strengths/talents/skills and gifts and engage them when in relationship for the betterment of all involved?

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