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Writing a Matriarchal Society in Fiction?

Discussion in 'Original Fiction Discussion' started by Arthellion, Jan 30, 2020.

  1. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~

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    One example of this seems to be Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series....but even then there are complaints about his female characters.

    How would you write a Matriarchal Society in fiction? What effect would this have on a story?
     
  2. Silirt

    Silirt Death Eater DLP Supporter

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    I guess write a different species where sexual division of labor worked differently while it was in its early stages. The females of the species could have had shorter pregnancies and be able to just miscarry if their lives were in danger and they needed to run, so they wouldn't have to hide in caves for eighty percent of their lives. Infant mortality could have some reason for being lower, like the species being more resistant against diseases. If spiders ever evolved a society and didn't undergo drastic changes to their physiology between now and then, I expect their society would be relatively matriarchal.
     
  3. Shouldabeenadog

    Shouldabeenadog Unspeakable

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    Another example would be Heralds of Valdemar for a functioning matriarchy. Thoughts that's muddled due to magic horses.
     
  4. Clerith

    Clerith Ahegao Emperor ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    R. A. Salvatore's The Dark Elf trilogy comes to mind - the way the Drow society is written.

    Not only are females physically stronger, the race's goddess is female and sexist. That bleeds down to the culture, and females are raised as rulers and males as servants from birth. The highest caste, priestesses, is also exclusive to females.

    So we have divine mandate, physical superiority, exclusive magics, and strong cultural division since birth. One or two of those alone would be enough for a realistic matriarchal society, I think.
     
  5. Tylendel

    Tylendel Slug Club Member

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    I would either study mythology (Amazon) or historical matriarchal society, such as the Haudenosaunee, to know what a society lead by women would look like.

    As for the effect on the story, it depends on how it is use:

    1. World building: immersion.

    2. Political reasons: I would close the fic unless it is way above average.
     
  6. Paladin

    Paladin DA Member

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    So I'm going to poke my nose in, here, because I'm working on some original stuff featuring a couple different takes.

    In the nomadic, plain-dwelling horse culture I'm working on, women hold political power because it's from women that descent is traced. A woman marries, typically outside of her tribe or clan, and her brothers will go with her. This helps keep some of the wealth the family has collected, in the form of horses and livestock, together, and also brings an extra lance or three to the woman's new tribe. Once a pregnancy shows, the woman will typically take a step back from the raiding of enemy tribes, and with her brothers there, the new tribe doesn't lose a lot of strength in a raiding party. Plus, with her brothers there, the children will have uncles to help teach, raise ,and provide for them.

    The other one is closer to the divine mandate that Clerith mentions in his post about the Drow. I've got a Holy Roman Empire analogue, founded by a goddess that seemingly sprang forth from a river (same river that lends it's name to the tribe and then the Reich,) and after her being put into an eternal slumber, the priesthood is all female. Political power is very much in the hands of men, because of the military nature of the Reich and constantly fighting itself, external enemies, or some combination thereof, but with women as priestesses, confessors, and a significant portion of the political assembly, as well as sometimes holding regencies for the Grand Counts and Dukes, these women aren't afraid to put on a breastplate and lead a castle siege.
     
  7. 9th Doctor

    9th Doctor Groundskeeper

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    L. E. Modesitt has a couple of books with a fully matriarchal society. The society is introduced is something like the third published book (chronologically something like 4th out of close to 30).

    It is set in a fantasy society, and the guards of Westwind end up controlling the easiest mountain pass in the area, slaughtering bandits and gradually any lord that attempts to bring his army up to challenge them.

    They manage to change the face of the continent. I’m trying not to spoil multiple books, but it’s kinda difficult.
     
  8. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    A Brother's Price was an interesting take on a matriarchal society, where the birthrate for males was something like 10% that of females. As a result, families would be groups of sisters with a shared husband who would be delegated to housework. Female soldiers, female merchants, female farmers, but the men would be basically cloistered away as child raising homemakers.
     
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