Modern matriarchies and revolutionary aviacracies' most significant impact will be the family institution's restoration as our social fabric's main link. The family has long been one of our communities' most unifying social values. It has probably played a significant role in the very survival of our people at the cultural level. However, in recent decades, the family institution has experienced a deterioration that is closer to agony than any resurrection.
The nuclear family model has been a fundamental foundation for Western societies' past economic development, especially in North America. In the second half of the last century, the North American overconsumption model found an extremely fertile land by multiplying single-family homes. It continues even today, taking advantage of our families dismantling into uniparental households. But this growth-based economy has reached its viability limit today. Fortunately, there is another model of the family that will facilitate the gradual transformation of our economy.
Matriarchies present a proven family model, quite different from our traditional family, which ensured these societies' stability for centuries, even millennia. It is the matrilocal and matrilineal family clan model. Matrilocality means that a mother's children's principal residence place remains the same as that of their mother, for individuals' lives. Matrilineality means that mothers pass down names, property titles, and inheritances to daughters.
Matriarchy family clans usually group between 10 and 100 people. The family clan is a potent symbol to which children identify themselves all their lives. As they all live in the same place for most of their lives, the bonds that unite family clan members last a lifetime. However, matrilocal family clan members do retain a high level of freedom and privacy. For example, at the architectural level, a typical matrilocal family clan residence resembles a large motel equipped with several community spaces.
Every adult has a room with an outside door and thus keeping privacy. Each family clan member also benefits from the community life of their large extended family. This enlargement takes shape horizontally, living in the same place as one’s brothers, sisters, and cousins. We must also emphasize the matrilocal family's vertical dimension, as it usually includes 4 or 5 generations under the same roof.
The fundamental difference with our traditional family is the role level granted to the children's biological father in the family universe. Being a parent is not considered a right in a matriarchy, awarded because of a genetic affiliation. Instead, it is a naturally fulfilled responsibility by the mother of the child and her siblings. The child's mother's extended family clan shares this parental responsibility.1 Children's maternal uncles and aunts and their grandmothers, and other maternal line members play an active daily role in their education. Kin living in the same residence makes this involvement more straightforward and natural.
The large matrilocal family clan is an ideal environment for children's development. They have the opportunity to interact daily with several adults. Because many generations gather under the same roof, we usually find 4 or 5 adults for each child. They also do not have to fear the breakup of their family unit, as is today with our Western families. The children are safe, thanks to the exceptional stability of the matrilocal family clan.
The mother is not isolated since she can rely on the daily support of her extended family clan. Mother's loneliness is much too often the case in our Western nuclear families. In a matrilocal family clan, the mother can count on her family clan if she must be away for a long time. The child will continue to be surrounded by other adults in the family clan who are relatives. The child's vast entourage preservation helps absorb the mother's absence shock more carefully.
From the matrilocal family's child's point of view, the biological mother's specific identity ends up not having importance any more2 . All men and women of the matrilineal lineage fulfill the roles usually assigned to fathers and mothers in Western societies.
In a matriarchy, the fair sharing of parental responsibilities within a large group makes parenting seen as regular and widespread. It is not at all a "sacrifice" that brings additional responsibilities and calls for special recognition. All family's men and women are, each in their way, every family's children's fathers and mothers!
Our patriarchist society has given disproportionate importance to the father-child relationship for centuries, particularly since the middle of the twentieth century. For the child, the paternal figure's role may very well be the responsibility of other men in the family clan, with absolutely no shortcomings from the child's point of view. From the biological father's point of view, the emotional bond developed with a child of whom one takes the responsibility is equally valid and rewarding, whatever the link shared with him 3 .
Incidentally, the chaos and improvisation that usually follows the nuclear families' separation have allowed many men to realize this. Many separated fathers know that a man can develop an emotional responsibility entirely equivalent to a child he is not the biological father. Even if not direct in a matrilocal family clan, the blood link is still present since it usually concerns the sister's child or the sister's daughter's child.
A matrilocal family clan structure expects every man to be present and responsible within his clan. Moreover, according to the family clan composition, they must fill the paternal figure role for their sisters' children, nieces, or even aunts. Thus among the Minangkabau of South-East Asia, a man attracts his community's respect by following these guidelines:4
- Raise your nephews and nieces so that they become worthy representatives of your matrilocal family clan; #And make sure that your offspring lacks nothing.
The biological father is thus usually faded from the family universe in a matriarchy. The possibility for him to play a crucial role is, of course, not excluded. But he has no rights over the children of whom he is the parent. It has more to do with his help to the mother and her family clan. If appropriate and desired, you may look at it as a privilege granted to him by the child's mother and family clan.
In known matriarchies, cases of father-mother cohabitation are relatively rare. But they are, of course, possible. For example, it is easy to imagine that some couples will get along very well until delivery. Then, if they want to, the child's biological father could come live temporarily in the family clan of the mother. He will be able to help her take care of the newborn and recover from childbirth. At some point, it may happen that the mother will no longer be comfortable with the father's presence in her family clan's environment. Or that he will no longer feel belonging there. He will then have to leave peacefully, usually to return to live in his family clan. Nothing will prevent him from getting along with the child's mother or playing a role with the child afterward.
And if ever the father and the mother get along so well that they want to continue to live together, nobody will stop them. For example, they could leave their respective matrilocal family clan and contract marriage freely. With its practical experience of thousands of years of excellent and harmonious functioning, the matriarchy offers a base family environment that is suitable for most of the population. Its intent is not to force community members to limit themselves to this way of life.
It is essential to note that the matrilocal family clan model offers men and women who compose it complete sexual freedom. Among Iroquois, sexual activity was considered a therapeutic practice and even essential for maintaining social cohesion 5 . That is a fundamental aspect that distinguishes the matrilocal family from the nuclear family. Moreover, matriarchies' experience shows that this total sexual freedom guarantees families' stability while allowing their members emancipation.
In known matriarchies, this sexual freedom fundamentally modifies the intimate relation patterns between women and men. Although very few research data exist on the matter, matriarchies seem to offer a radically more secure environment for women regarding their intimate relations with men6 .
Our communities are still laying the family foundations on the parents' couple, usually exclusive sexual partners. Nowadays, that is a sure bet for families' failing crises, tragedies, and improvised breakup solutions. Marriage was once a safe bet for families in Quebec's Canadian Province, a past Catholic French bastion. However, most young couples have now abandoned marriage as a legal framework for the family.7 .
It is time to offer an alternative to the Marriage institution, which excludes the parents' couples' reference, to restore families' solid and lasting legal foundation. Therefore, we propose the establishment of a new basic legal regime for families: matriage. Here is a general definition:
- Matriage is the institution by which mothers and their children, women, and men, united by matrilineal descent or adoption within existing matriage, live together and form a family.
- Matriage is the default legal scheme that binds all members of a matrilineal lineage residing in the same home.
- At any time, it is possible to leave a matriage by residing elsewhere than in the permanent matriage members' residence.
- Note: The residence criterion is reasonably well defined legally. It will probably need to be somewhat adjusted to conform to the concept of "matriage".
- Adherence to an existing matriage is done simply by electing domicile to the permanent matriage members' residence, subject to their unanimous approval.
Over time in our societies, the word family will refer to matriages and their related matrilocal family clans. Just like the word currently relates to marriages and their nuclear families, even though dysfunctional or dismantled.
This matriage regime will go back over the basic concepts of marriage. Thus the matriage members' obligations (that is to say of a matrilocal family clan) will be practically the same as those of the spouses in the current regime:
- Choose together their family residence;
- Note: for most matrilocal familie clans, this obligation will be the responsibility of the first generations. One of the matrilocal family clan benefits is ensuring that its members and all future generations' mothers' offspring have the same residence.
- Contribute to household expenses according to their respective means;
- Owe each other respect, fidelity, help, and assistance;
- Note: the duty of fidelity has, of course, no sexual connotation within the matrilocal family clan.
- Share liability of debts contracted for the family's collective needs.
Matriage will offer the income splitting possibility among all the family members when filing their tax returns. Although disputed by many when it comes to couples, this measure of household income splitting will have the great advantage of strengthening economic ties within matrilocal families.
This matriage settlement will be the default regime as soon as at least one mother lives in the same place as her child. Or if members of a sibling, for example, a brother and a sister, will live in the same place. Every citizen will have the opportunity to enter another cohabitation family form (such as marriage or common-law relationship), including, of course, choosing to live alone. Once the matrilocal family clan is well established in society's habits, other matriarchy practices will progressively set in place. Property titles will transfer from generation to generation through matrilineal lineage thanks to mothers' family name propagation.
Originale quote: « Dans la société hopi, toutes les femmes de la même génération que la mère biologique, dont ses soeurs biologiques bien sûr, sont des "mères" pour les enfants. Les enfants appellent toutes ces femmes "notre mère", itangu. » (p. 102)
Françoise Perriot, Sagesse des indiens d'Amérique
Chou Wah Shan, Tisese: A Documentary on Three Mosuo Women
Ying E Chi, 2001 (visited May 12th, 2019)
Originale quote: « Un consensus assez clair s’est développé quant au fait que le lien biologique n’est ni nécessaire ni suffisant pour faire d’un individu un parent. » (p. 5)
Françoise-RomaineOuellette, Qu’est-ce qu’un père? Qu’est-ce qu’une mère?
INRS-Culture et société, 1999 (visited June 21st, 2018)
Peggy Reeves Sanday, Women at the Center : Life in a Modern Matriarchy
Cornell University Press, 2003
Barbara Alice Mann, Iroquoian Women : The Gantowisas
Peter Lang Publishing, 2004
Alice Pearl Sedziafa, Eric Y. Tenkorang, Adobea Y. Owusu, Kinship and Intimate Partner Violence Against Married Women in Ghana: A Qualitative Exploration
Journal of Interpersonal Violence, January 10, 2016, (visited 2022-04-03)
« En 2011, il est en effet plus fréquent de vivre en union libre que d’être marié avec son conjoint chez les femmes âgées de moins de 35 ans et chez les hommes de moins de 40 ans. » (p.101)
Le bilan démographique du Québec, Édition 2012%%%Gouvernement du Québec, Institut de la statistique du Québec, 2012 (visited June 22nd, 2018)