A while ago when I wrote about my understanding of what patriarchy is as a system, Mr Bish asked me what I thought matriarchy would look like. It’s interesting that replacing patriarchy with matriarchy seems like an obvious choice. It’s similar to the idea that wanting to take down capitalism means you must be a communist. The idea that there are only two options is in many ways part of the problem.
I’m not interested in the idea of replacing male dominance with female dominance. This is because I don’t think ‘male’ is the biggest problem here – dominance is the problem. Assuming that a group of people are automatically better than another group of people is the problem. It doesn’t matter much to me who the default people who should be in charge are, I’m not going to agree.
No system is ever going to be perfect. My ideals around politics involve including as many people and as many views as possible. I think we need people whose job it is to speak for the land, the water, the unborn future generations and so forth. I believe in holding power at the lowest levels possible and with as much participation as possible. I believe in cooperation and working towards consensus wherever possible. I am deeply averse to work-shy scroungers living off the rest of us – and by this I mean rich people.
I’d like ways of doing things that aren’t so gender oriented. Call something a matriarchy and you’ve brought gender straight back into the equation. As someone who doesn’t really identify with gender I get pretty tired of the way gender is part of politics. The assumption that being born with a penis and being comfortable with that is the major qualifier for being in charge is nonsense. As one of my psychology lecturers said, many years ago, it wasn’t literally the case in the past, that you had to whack your dick out on the way into parliament, but it might as well have been.
The most useful measures of people are the hardest to take. We’d benefit a lot more from being led by people who know what they’re doing. People who understand stuff. Also people with wisdom, compassion, listening skills, long term thinking, imagination and problem solving skills. As a species we’ve become unreasonably attached to whatever we can measure most easily. Having the culture defined by a gender, or the dominance of a gender makes as much sense as putting the tallest people in charge, or the ones who have proven they can stuff the most eggs up their bottoms. Just because you can count it, doesn’t make it good!
Compassion and wisdom are hard to measure. Unlike other kinds of expertise, we don’t even have exams for them. Compassion is not a female trait and wisdom is not a male trait, and any human system that doesn’t involve compassion and wisdom is going to be problematic.