Wednesday, August 10, 2016

LEO: GROWING UP IN A MATRIARCHAL HOME, Part One

[Note from Thomas Lavalle: This guest post came to me as an email from a regular reader, who shares fond memories of coming of age in a no-nonsense matriarchal clan headed his mother and her sister. In Part Two, Leo describes how the torch of female authority was passed from his mother to his older sister and how she began to exercise dominion over him at an early age.]

I am a 58-year-old man who believes strongly that women were born to rule. I was fortunate to grow up in a household ruled by women. In fact, the women's authority in what I will call our matriarchal clan (which includes the family of my wife’s sister) was absolute and unquestionable. My mother and her sister both ruled their homes under the philosophy and precepts of a strong matriarchy.

You need to understand that I'm talking about the ’60s and ’70s when women needed to ask their husband's permission to work outside the home. But not in our family! On the contrary, my mother and aunt were the ones who worked outside the home while their husbands remained at home doing all the household chores.

Although concepts such as female supremacy and female superiority were not used in those days—or at least were not a topic of discussion anywhere that I ever saw—the women in our family could be accurately described as staunch female supremacists who exercised over their men an indisputable authority. A stern look from either of these two
sisters was enough for their husbands to shut their mouths instantly and humbly bow their heads. Such was the respect and, yes, fear that my father and my uncle had for their ruling wives.

Some people may think that fear has no place in a healthy relationship. But, with all due respect for others’ opinions, I have to say that I have seen that a good dose of fear reinforces the respect and obedience that a husband should always have for his wife. In fact, I am convinced that a wife who truly loves her husband is a wife who does not spare the rod, the leather belt, slapping, etc., in order to educate her husband and make him a better man. In our family, the men were grateful for any such
physical correction, since they knew, as all males should instinctively know, that the proper position of a man before a woman is one of absolute subordination.

I had a happy childhood in this matriarchal environment. My mother patiently guided and educated me and very early in life I learned to respect and obey her. During those early years, as I recall, her punishments were limited to half a dozen spankings to correct the natural rebelliousness or tendency to be naughty that boys have. In light of this, I thought it completely natural to see my father obeying my mother, just like I had to do, and to see her correcting and even berating him for any negligence or sign of laziness.

As I grew older, however, I began to see that the domination my mother exercised over my father went way beyond mere scoldings. I must have been around 12 or 13 when I secretly listened outside my parents’ bedroom one evening and overheard my Dad begging Mom not to beat him again. Her response was to order him, in no uncertain terms, to
shut up (actually she used stronger language).

Then came the punishment, which I also overheard and which must have lasted about 15 minutes. Believe me, I trembled as I listened to the obvious thrashing my mother was giving my father. But, to my surprise, when he finally finished moaning, he began thanking her for the physical correction she’d just given him!

I also must confess that what I overheard that night behind closed doors caused me some arousal—and also made me feel deeply proud of my beloved mother.

Over the next several years, certainly by the time I was 15, I had eavesdropped on many such beatings of my father by my mother. She had also begun to assert her authority openly in front of all the family. More than a few times, in fact, I witnessed Mom silencing Dad with a hard slap for speaking disrespectfully or thoughtlessly. One of the many lessons that I began to learn, from those days onward, was that silence, humility and obedience are virtues that males need to cultivate. When the women of the family were speaking, Dad and I knew to remain in absolute silence.

(End Part One)

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