(Drawing by Minty Sainsbury)

Shifting Towards A Matriarchy

Do matriarchal structures more commonly arise where social factors dominate a community’s interrelations?

In a small, sub-Dunbar community of moderate intelligence wherein everyone knows one another, it would seem unlikely to me that situations might arise in which power should stem entirely from physical strength. Physical strength is more likely to be put to use by the hive intelligence of the group.

However, as we humans threw off our Dunbar number shackles, growing beyond small hunter-gatherer bands, by coordinating through large-scale fictions like religion, the organisation of communities, by necessity, had to become more 1-dimensional.

It’s my feeling that there’s an inherent interplay between community size and limits of social connectivity that favours matriarchal / patriarchal societies.

It seems intuitive to me that larger, poorly interconnected communities are more likely to default to power structures based on violence and physical strength.

As our world becomes more effectively connected, despite the growing pains we’re going through as it happens, I think that a natural shift back towards matriarchal societies will occur. I hope so anyway.

Science Storyteller, Environmentalist, Teacher, Normal Guy // MChem (Oxon) // co-founder of AimHi

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