Russell Means

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Comments on Patriarchy vis-à-vis Matriarchy

Hau Mitaku Oyapi (Hello My Relatives),

A few comments on Patriarchy, vis-à-vis, Matriarchy: Many People believe Matriarchy is the flip side of the coin of Patriarchy (therefore inducing the Patriarchs with fear) in reality, matriarchy is a balanced society. Matriarchy is a highly complex society that would take a book to explain.

I am going to attempt a simple explanation as a way of introduction. But before I can do that, I have to explain why I, a male, am attempting to explain Matriarchy. Matriarchy was the rule of human existence for eons and that is why it is a complex society. The vast majority of Indigenous People of the world are still Matriarchal. For each exception there exists, it only goes to prove the rule. My People, Lakota, also known as Sioux Indians, are Matriarchal. I was raised in a Matriarchal home, and when I married, I married into Matriarchal homes. I know my history and I know my People, therefore I can speak about the values and complexity of Matriarchy.

Matriarchy is a balanced society. Now listen very carefully, and please attempt to grasp the big picture. In our Matriarchal society, all the sexes celebrate our strengths. We are a society completely devoted to not harming another living being's feelings; be it an insect, a tree, our Grandmother, the Earth, or anyone that lives. We understand that all life comes from one Mother and it is our duty to respect our relatives. Another simple explanation is: try to imagine raising a child without the word no, which is another manifestation of Matriarchy. Imagine a society building a structure wherein you do not put anyone in a position to say no. Try to understand how these Matriarchal societies built clan systems that prevent incest at every level and provides for instant conflict resolution.

Women live longer than men can endure more pain and therefore have more endurance than men. It is a natural law to build your clan system based upon the lineage of women. Added to those obvious strengths, the female human being is the only creature in all of life that is purified naturally after every 28 days. Every woman knows that when they live in close proximity with one another, their purification cycles synchronize. When they live in a small village, therefore, they are not only in synch with one another; their purification cycle gets in rhythm with the universe, which is manifested through the full moon. When the holy roman catholic empire conquered the barbarians to the north, one way they instilled Patriarchy was through the creation of Halloween. In other words, when the women honored their purification by removing themselves from their homes and collectively enjoying themselves for four or so days, the men were left with not only their duties, but all those of the women. So the romans with the sword in one hand and their medievil bible in the other hand (those medievil teachings have not changed) would tell the men of the villages that their women were out practicing witchcraft and brewing up evil spells that made them subservient. The rest is his-story.

Now the obvious. Patriarchy is a fear based society where man rules alone. Therefore it is unbalanced. Patriarchy reared its ugly head over 6000 years ago at the same time as the marketplace became his tool. Patriarchy and the marketplace cannot exist without one another.The marketplace engenders greed which engenders empire. When one takes a close look at the histories of all Patriarchal empires, you will find that they make the same mistakes over and over and over and over again. From the ming dynasty to kublai khan to the egyptians, the greeks, the romans, the sun never sets on the english empire, the soviet union, and now the torture ridden empire of america. Nothing has changed for patriarchy, before jesus christ, or after jesus christ, before muhammed or after muhammed, before buddha or after buddha, et al.

Patriarchs fear everything. What does the Patriarch fear the most? It is the Woman. That is why for over 6000 years he has demonized, dehumanized, dominated, terrorized and controlled women. In Patriarchy is there anything the Patriarch does not fear??!

My ancestor Luther Standing Bear wrote circa 1900:"when a man fears the forest, he will want to control the forest, and what he can’t control, he will want to destroy."