REMAINING CENTERED IN SELF APPRECIATION WITHOUT ARROGANCE
Many of us have been raised to be humble and self-effacing while others may have been raised to be more arrogant or even hateful towards others. Here in the USA, we have a wide variety of cultures and different peoples who have emigrated from all parts of the world as well as those Native Peoples and those now referred to a Mexican Americans who have been here along in what is considered to be modern times. This brings a richness and deliciousness of diversity that would take many lifetimes to explore and enjoy. It also brings with it misunderstandings and miscommunications based upon a lack of understanding of communication styles. But a central idea of focus among the great majority of people in the world currently continues to be patriarchy, or a male-focused philosophy or lifestyle.
This kind of thinking is what has placed male-centered thinking and violence in the world. Those of us who are female or tend to think in female terms may feel we must be self-sacrificing and humble; and among those who feel that way include some who feel even they must control and/or even punish those who do not agree, another male-dominated way of being. (They some how feel they have been given this right to control and punish!) All of this illustrates how our world continues to be, in essence, a patriarchy, which has been defined by the Merriam-Webster online dictionary as “1: social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family, the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line; broadly: control by men of a disproportionately large share of power2: a society or institution organized according to the principles or practices of patriarchy.” And thus, those who are male and male-focused, “rule,” while those of us who are female or female-identified, are expected to stay under control of more male dominated thinking kinds of people. It is my contention that at least here in the USA, either an individual man or an individual woman can fit into either category depending on their behavior. The behavior that defines maleness is usually agreed to be that of competitiveness, aggression and domination over others, and even violence. Female behavior is often defined as that of being passive, receptive, and non-violent. And thus we have the male-identified woman “ruling” over both other women and men. However, it is also my contention as well as that of many other scholars, that patriarchy is now being challenged severely, with the emergence of a new, more egalitarian view. In short, it is the emergence of matriarchy.
Matriarchy has been defined by the same source as in the preceding paragraph as: “1: a family, group, or state governed by a matriarch 2: a system of social organization in which descent and inheritance are traced through the female line.” Examining these two definitions, one can see why some would react to having a “rulership” that was either a patriarchy or matriarchy, evoking anger, resentment and hostility in many. However, there has emerged a very different view of the definition of matriarchy. Matriarchy is now not just defined according to a definition of patriarchy, with substitution of words like female for male, but in an entirely different way. There are many sources of this emerging from the studies of anthropology, archeology and other studies that have been long buried so this is not a recent innovation. The book, The Great Comic Mother, among many other books, discusses the definition of matriarchy in the following excerpt: “We do not intend the term ‘matriarchy’ to suggest ‘patriarchy in reverse,’ with women in charge of an otherwise intact hierarchic-dominance system. ‘Matriarchy,’ in our usage and reference, indicates an entirely different orientation of consciousness around which entirely different patterns of personal, social, cultural, and spiritual relationships could—and did—occur. Some anthropological writers prefer ‘matrifocal community’; Marija Gimbutas suggests the term’matristic,’ to indicate the ‘more balanced and more or less egalitarian’ communities of the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods. We think these terms are better, more accurate, and less distorted by usage. The word ‘matrifocal,’ ‘matristic,’ and ‘matriarchal’ should all be taken to mean a communality based on blood and spirit ties uniting all living things within the body and spirit of the Great Mother.
The word, communality, is perhaps foreign on many levels to our society today, in which many seek to aggressively rule and “be on top” in many different ways. We honor and revere competition as if it was a “God-like” quality. The new way of living is about community or as stated above, “communality” to share and provide for each other, men, women and children. This opens the door for a new era to emerge, a time which has been predicated by many ancient cultures. This new era, sometimes referred to as the Golden Era, has also been discussed has having occurred already in ancient times. But that is a topic for further discussion.
In this article, I wish to point out that remaining centered in one’s self-appreciation is difficult because we live in a very difficult time. This continues to be a time when we try to do each other in. We want to keep up with the Joneses but now in this recession we are learning we can’t do that any more. Unfortunately instead, many are sinking into hopelessness, despair, depression. Why not try another option and learn from it all to make our lives better. Why not realize the foolishness of a patriarchy. Instead of competing and dominating each other, why not share and love each other in an egalitarian way. Competition can be preserved for playtime, much like playing board games instead of being raised to a “God-like” state of celebrity and wealth that we give to our most competitive people today, such as the top sports celebrities, and the Movie and TV Stars.
In a matriarchy we are all celebrities. We will find, hopefully, more avenues available to support each other in developing ourselves in ways that have yet been known. Ways that have been buried from centuries of Patriarchy.
 Sjoo, Monica & Mor, Barbara. The Great Cosmic Mother, pp. 433,434.