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Does it make Sense for a Patriarchal system to exclusively have Female rulers?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Erebus, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. Erebus

    Erebus Minstrel

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    This country has a long line of female rulers going back since its inception. Due to a divine connection with the goddess, only queens can inherit the throne, and rules as both leader of the nation and the country's religion. Any girls born to her will be in line to inherit the throne, with sons never inheriting. As head of the faith, she rules with "absolute authority". However, this does not translate into political power. She does not rule directly, but chooses a regent to rule in her stead. This is largely ceremonial, as the regent is elected by the government with the queen simply legitimizing his rule.

    The regent handles governmental affairs, enforcing the law, etc. While the queen is the reigning monarch, her powers are limited to religious and cultural affairs. Society is matrilineal, but Men are still considered the breadwinners in society, and dominate in all matters that run the country. According to the creation myth, a regent tried to usurp the position of the queen and size the throne for himself. His reign met with disaster however, with economic turmoil, invasions, etc. This is interpreted by history as the goddess punishing society due to the usurper ' actions. Eventually, order was restored and the revolutionary was overthrown. Since then, the Satu quo has remained in place.

    Does this setup make any sense?
     
  2. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    If your world has female rulers, it is by definition a matriarchy, not a patriarchy.
     
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Makes sense to me. I don't see why you can't set things up this way.
     
  4. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Ireth is correct. The "-archy" part means ruler or rule by. A patriarchy is rule by men. Period. Oligarchy means rule by the rich. Monarchy means rule by one. And so on.

    Now, you can construct your society however you please. There are examples of figureheads you can look to for inspiration; e.g., the "do-nothing" kings of the later Merovingians. Just avoid the terms matriarchy and patriarchy and you'll avoid confusing or annoying readers who expect the words to mean something in particular.
     
    Night Gardener and Sheilawisz like this.
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    But the OP said the women are figureheads and real power is held by men. That’s a patriarchy, imo. Look to who holds political power and who makes the rules.
     
  6. Corwynn

    Corwynn Troubadour

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    True, it would depend on how much power the queen and regent actually have. Is all the real power in the hands of the regent, or does the queen have veto power? The queen may not have secular power, but her spiritual power could count for a lot if the society is very religious. Also, could women theoretically become politicians if they wanted to, or are they excluded from government by law? Can women vote? All of these will play a factor in how patriarchal the system really is, but officially, on its surface, it is still a matriarchal system, since women and only women are the rulers.

    This doesn't mean that the society can't still have a patriarchal culture. Judging by the description, the society was truly matriarchal in the past, but has undergone cultural change since then, which shifted social power to the men, with the remaining matriarchal aspects being holdovers from the past.
     
    Night Gardener likes this.
  7. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I agree with where you're going here. I think you have a take a broad view of the society, though. It's hard to base the analysis on any one person, even a queen. Was England a matriarchal society when Queen Elizabeth was on the throne for 40+ years in the late 1500s/early 1600s? I think it is clear it was not, even though Elizabeth had real power.
     
  8. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Why not simply avoid the terms and thus avoid any confusion resulting from their use. The arrangement described in the OP can certainly work. No need to label it.
     
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