These days, a Twitter post continues to appear in powerless stories on social media: “Patriarchal men are the greatest threat to our species and the entire planet,” writes author Fabian Hart. But otherwise no one seems to know better and does not want to analyze man.
So why not imagine matriarchy as Austrian author Tanja Raich does in the edited anthology Das Paradies ist frau?
(20 invitations to a world where women call shooting. No and but, Zurich 2022. 256 pages, € 22.)
It combines texts by twenty authors, including Mithu Sanyal, Kübra Gümüsay, but also Philipp Winkler and Feridun Zaimuglu.
All of these essays try to focus on matriarchy, classify it scientifically, or ironize it into a comic or a drama.
To the trans man Linus Giese, this world is called “Queertopia”. He does not want a matriarchy in which men should keep their mouths shut. The consensus of the texts is: matriarchy is not a negative of patriarchy, but a world without hierarchy.
A world without hierarchy
Anyone who now thinks this is left-liberal fantasy should first read the scientific essays by Sanyal, Emilia Roig, Barbara Rieger and biologist Gertraud Klemm. It is unclear whether there has ever been a matriarchy – especially since ethnology and biology have long suffered from the fact that “the scientific horizon (…) is always as narrow as the observer’s field of vision”.
However, there are cultures and species in the human and animal kingdom that function at least matrilineally, successfully and above all: without violence. Seen in this way, matriarchy is merely a utopia for majority society, but not for minorities like Minangkabau in Indonesia.
Their “custom” – customary law – should be understood as the basis for the world’s first democracy, as it was about the ethics of consensus and not majority rule. “When values such as representation – and respect and associated balance – are at the heart of a society (…), living together is actually more ethical, without its members – women, men and all genders. others – who should be better people “, writes Mithu Sanyal.
Hatred ultimately does not serve the cause
“Paradise is female” begins with Sanyal’s magnificent cultural-scientific classification – and concludes with activist Emilia Roig. It shows what needs to change in our social system so that men no longer suffer from the “complexes of superiority” and utopia becomes a reality.
The writing of Sanyal and Roig is among the best in this anthology. They are clear in their structure and language and are not subject to any ideology of the better sex. The issue of moral superiority is masterfully overlooked, even torpedoed – even where women want power, it’s no better.
In a bombastic essay, artist Sophia Süssmilch writes about the pressure and pain of contradictory love for a matriarchal mother, Kübra Gümüsay shows how even women are shattered by the lust for power and destroy themselves.
But it would be hypocritical not to portray stereotypical masculinity as despised when more than ten women write about patriarchy, especially in a world threatened by a single man, where the lust for power is more than a mere accompaniment of masculinity.
Masculinity is not a category for Schachinger
“Hatred for the testicles unites immeasurably,” writes Sophia Süssmilch. Only Mareike Fallwickl lives with dystopian revenge.
Hatred does not serve the cause at all, the authors know that. The testicles are allowed if they behave: “Here, however, the woman knows: the people of great depravity were almost without exception men,” writes Feridun Zaimoglu in “The Motherland”, where “stupidity itself is unforgivable.”
Zaimoglu’s narrator sends a letter from the homeland to a friend from the “Little Boys Republic” from which he fled.
He finds peace in the new and peaceful world: “I am happy in my new country.” Tonio Schachinger, on the other hand, describes how he grew up among women and never worried about his masculinity. Masculinity was simply not a category for him.
The thought experiments in this volume require a non-patriarchal world. It does not need to be matriarchal, simply without hierarchy. Doesn’t the title contradict this idea? “20 invitations to a world ruled by women.” Of course it would be time. A world dominated by female stereotypes like empathy, the ability to bond and not violence, such a world actually looks like paradise.