The year of our Lordesse 2018 proved historically traumatic (#MeToo reckonings, all things Trump), triumphant (midterm victories), and transformative for America, particularly American women — with an unprecedented number now assuming their rightful place as leaders, tastemakers, and decision-makers across art, commerce, politics, and culture.
What is a matriarchy?
The dictionary definition is "a system of society or government ruled by a woman or women". Our definition is a little different: It's a world where women are rising up to positions of power to lead, create, innovate and effect change; one where women are collaborating and helping each other be heard; one where we decide what we want to do with our bodies, and where we have real conversations about feminism, intersectionality, sexuality, gender, class, money, ambition, corruption and more. This is what we want 2019 and beyond to look like.
Are there any matriarchies in the modern world?
There are a handful, but some anthropologists disagree, since the strict meaning of a matriarchy means that no men are in charge — of anything. What's more common is a matrilineal society, where inheritance and titles are exclusively passed onto female descendants. There are current examples of matrilineal societies all around the world, from Native Americans, to tribes in Africa, Asia, and Oceania.
Do matriarchies exist in nature?
Although rare, there are indeed animals who live in matriarchies, where females dominate and exert power without apology. Take killer whales, elephants, bees, lions, and bonobos.
What is Matriarchy Rising?
Call 2018 what you want, but from the record number of women elected to Congress in the midterms to the women who stepped up to replace men ousted during the #MeToo reckoning, there are so many reasons to be optimistic about progress and social revolution: the present is female, and women are making history.
Refinery29 is celebrating 29 women actively reshaping America in their image — and yours. Because the patriarchy as we know it is over. We're also re-imagining a world built by women, diving into the lives of millennial women in the Mosuo tribe in China, and taking a look at what happens at an ad agency when the top male executives are replaced by women. Welcome to Matriarchy Rising.