War, Matriarchy and Cultural Aggressiveness

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War, Matriarchy and Cultural Aggressiveness

Postby Grognard » Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:43 am

Okay, start with my biases and areas of interest.
Military history, with the necessary adds into economic and cultural history that cause and limit wars.
I am born into and thus most familiar with British Colonial culture,
I have been reading, and enjoying, the comic and noticed a trope showing

There seems to be a general belief amongst feminists and the ilk that matriarchies are less warlike than patriarchies.
Since the utopias described tend to be worldwide, I am fortunate that the easiest example for me was worldwide, the British Empire.
This empire had two major periods of aggressive expansion and dominance, the Elizabethan and the Victorian.
During both of these the ruler was indeed a queen.
Also prevalent was the Madonna-and-Whore cultural effect.
Naturally, the Alpha female during these periods was the ultimate Madonna.

Female rulers in history are much less likely to go to war themselves, and far more likely to send males out to fight for them.
A successful general /admiral/conquistador is a threat to male rulers, but an alpha female simply rewards such with sex/marriage with herself / her daughters / female relatives.
Male rulers tend to fight for specific goals, usually the means to make war (sometimes just for glory).
Female fight for dominance, and their societies fight far more wars, expand more aggressively, and lower the status of newly captive females far more.
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Re: War, Matriarchy and Cultural Aggressiveness

Postby crayzz » Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:19 pm

I do not intend to be mean but that OP is an unstructured mess.

The only clear point was this: "... the easiest example for me was worldwide, the British Empire. This empire had two major periods of aggressive expansion and dominance, the Elizabethan and the Victorian. During both of these the ruler was indeed a queen," which massively (imo) overestimates the influence of a single individual. Human governments, even monarchies and dictatorships, have many many inputs that affect their overall output.
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Re: War, Matriarchy and Cultural Aggressiveness

Postby Satinavian » Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:19 pm

Yes, female rulers are not the same as matriarchies. Especcially in every culture where female rulers are exceptions and have to prove their strength to get/keep the throne, sometimes having to kill family members, often fighting uprisings, sometimes having to go to war just to prove to be not a timid woman afraid of war.
(Successful) female rulers in patriarchal cultures are not average women or average humans for that matter. They need even more ambition, strength and agressiveness than male rulers.
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Re: War, Matriarchy and Cultural Aggressiveness

Postby Nepene » Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:27 am

From wikipedia, there are no pure matriarchies so it's a moot question. There have been societies with female rulers or where women held significant social or political power, but no societies where women had full power.

There have been no shortage of female rulers who have lead their countries to war of course. Margaret Thatcher, Mary the first, Golda Meir, Queen Isabella of Spain, and Indira Gandhi, all of them engaged in wars. The feminist idea that more female rulers would mean less war seems unlikely. Women can lust for power and dominance just as easily as men.
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Re: War, Matriarchy and Cultural Aggressiveness

Postby Tem » Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:57 am

See, it is very simple: In a matriarchy (which neither the Elizabethan nor the Victorian age were), women have control over how many children they have. There may be some idiots, but in general, women do not choose to have more children than they can feed.

There are many excuses for wars, but they are mainly started because of need (or greed) for resources.

Soldiers do not spring from the ground, actually. They are born by mothers. Mothers who are, if not heavily indoctrinated, less than thrilled to see their children die in a war.

We never had the opportunity to look at an actual matriarchy (or even equal society) that was at the technological level and/or large enough to start a war with industrialized nations. So we may not know for sure. However, there are many factors hinting at the fact that a matriarchy would not start expansion wars.

The nazis used women as breeding factories for new soldiers. A woman with feminist consciousness would be even less happy about this than the indoctrinated women (who, in many countries, still protested against this.)´

If you want to see a country that is actually ruled by a woman who can be said to have some influence, and where women are not completely oppressed, look at Germany. Germany does not send soldiers in large numbers into regions where they might die, because German citizens would not approve of this. Germany also cannot afford waste soldiers' lives because in Germany, only about 1,5 children per woman are born. This is the result of a certain degree of freedom (women have access to contraception and abortion) in combination with individual lack of resources, because the government is too stupid to implement measures to ensure that women's careers don't suffer from having children and/or couples can actually financially afford to have more than one child. Which proves my point about resources on at least an individual level.
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Re: War, Matriarchy and Cultural Aggressiveness

Postby Satinavian » Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:53 am

Tem wrote:See, it is very simple: In a matriarchy (which neither the Elizabethan nor the Victorian age were), women have control over how many children they have. There may be some idiots, but in general, women do not choose to have more children than they can feed.
Except in many early cultures which held women in higher esteem (even without being a full matriarchy), the social status of a woman depended heavily on her children. Furthermore, in most early cultures children had to care for their parents in cases of old age.

I would not assume, a matriarchy means significantly lower birth rate. In fact, birth rate seems more heavily correlated to other factors than to the standing of women. Birth rates fluctuate a lot with desasters and living conditions and there seems to be a link to life expectancy on the long run. And of course working options to avoid children while still having sex have an influence. And politics, from pension system, family+career balance to enforced one-chil policy. But i see only superficial connection between birth rate and gender equality. But this is difficult to investigate as countries with wildly differing levels of equality also tend to have wildly differing numbers for all the other factors.

2012 we had fertility rates of 2.06 in Turkey and 1.92 in Iran. Which is both below what is needed to keep the current population number and roughly the same as in France.
We never had the opportunity to look at an actual matriarchy (or even equal society) that was at the technological level and/or large enough to start a war with industrialized nations. So we may not know for sure. However, there are many factors hinting at the fact that a matriarchy would not start expansion wars.

Really ?

What kind of hints beyond a vague hunch that mothers have more problems with lost soldiers than fathers and therefore would avoid deadly conflict ? It's a widespread opinion featuring prominently in fictional matriarchal utopias, but there is not even a hint of scientific evidence.

Yes, we don't have any well documented matriachies to prove it. That doesn't absolve of the neccessity to prove it.

If you want to see a country that is actually ruled by a woman who can be said to have some influence, and where women are not completely oppressed, look at Germany. Germany does not send soldiers in large numbers into regions where they might die, because German citizens would not approve of this. Germany also cannot afford waste soldiers' lives because in Germany, only about 1,5 children per woman are born. This is the result of a certain degree of freedom (women have access to contraception and abortion) in combination with individual lack of resources, because the government is too stupid to implement measures to ensure that women's careers don't suffer from having children and/or couples can actually financially afford to have more than one child. Which proves my point about resources on at least an individual level.
You do know, that Angela Merkel actually wanted to participate in the Irak war ? And that Germanys unwillingness to go to war is deeply rooted in World War experience and decades of expectations to be used as cannon fodder against other Germans in case of a war during the cold war aera ? Especcially West Germany was hardly a beacon of equality in comparison to the rest of Europe during this time while still being pretty pacifist. And Eastern Germany, (slightly) more willing to go to war due to being a totalitarian soviet sattelite had more gender equality.
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