Wednesday, September 21, 2016

DEBRA’S SON: ‘THERE ARE A LOT MORE MATRIARCHAL FAMILIES THAN MANY PEOPLE THINK…’

[Note from Thomas Lavalle: “Debra’s Son,” another regular reader of this blog, shares his reminiscences of growing up in a matriarchal, Goddess-worshipping home.]

I enjoyed Leo’s description of his matriarchal family because my own was somewhat similar. I’m a male, a little younger than Leo, but I also grew up in the ‘60s and ‘70s. I truly believe there were a lot more families like ours around in those years than many people think, perhaps due in part to the countercultural influences of the time.

In my case, my parents were originally sort of lapsed hippies before they met, for want of a better way of describing them. My mom then got involved in a sort of radical feminism of the sex-positive type, and combined it with her own take on Goddess worship. These two main concepts informed the way she saw the world and the way she ran her household. My dad loved and adored her, and he went along earnestly on her journey. They are still together, in fact, and she’s still very much in charge.

I’m the oldest of three children. One boy (myself) and two girls, one two years younger than I and one four years younger. We didn’t have much of an extended family, but mom had a couple of like-minded female friends who also had obedient husbands and children, and we’d all get together for parties, etc.

Our house was led by my mom from as far back as I remember, so a house where females were privileged was normal to me. My dad was attentive, affectionate, and totally obedient to my mom, but I never thought of him as weak or wimpy. He was very intelligent, strong, had good character, and was a great helpmeet to mom. He was a tax accountant who worked from home (mom insisted, so that he could do a lot of the child care), while she was in real estate and went on business trips occasionally.



Mom never preached female supremacy per se, but she had a sizable library of matriarchal works, like Bachofen’s Mother Right, Gould-Davis’s The First Sex and Diner’s Mother’s and Amazons, to name only three. She also had fictional works that promoted female superiority, and even sci-fi movies with such themes. They were never forced on us, but we all were encouraged to read or at least thumb through them, or watch them, and we did, including dad.

There was also a definite feminine atmosphere in the home. By that I mean there were art works depicting strong or vibrant women like reproductions of paintings by Klimt or small versions of sculptures like “Standing Woman” by Lachaise. The lighting and color schemes throughout the house were soft pastels, even in my room, and there was plush furniture and a lot of throw pillows. Mom didn’t allow anything very masculine, but I honestly never felt deprived. My toys were mostly learning toys or chemistry sets or something like that. Certainly no war toys, Goddess forbid.

I tended automatically to take my behavioral cues from dad while the girls took theirs from mom. That means I helped dad do all the household chores and take care of the younger kids while I wasn’t in school or on weekends. It was dad’s and my responsibility to make all the beds, do the laundry, including special hand-washing if necessary, run errands and grocery shop, pick up after the girls if they dropped their clothes on the floor, fix all meals and bring snacks from the kitchen if we were told to, etc.

LOL, the girls used to run me ragged. If they wanted something, they’d just snap their fingers and point, and I’d run to get it. They learned early that men and boys were nothing to be afraid of or deferred to. I remember my youngest sister used to make me stand still and hold my hands behind by back. Then she’d playfully slap my face, with one of her hands, then the other, back and forth, sometimes slapping a little harder and harder to see if I was tough enough to take it.


The funny thing is I never felt like I was at any disadvantage. Dad and I made that house run and we took pride in that. The fact that we catered to and obeyed the females in our lives just seemed perfectly natural, like the way
things ought to be. Of course, I can see now that mom’s teaching and the atmosphere of our home had a lot to do with that. Still, I’m very happy with the way I grew up, and I’m still close to my parents and sisters.

Mom and the girls rarely did any chores unless dad or I was sick. If they had to do them because we got behind or were goofing off too much, we got punished. For whatever reason, mom didn’t believe in corporal punishment, however. Her favorite mode of discipline was down time. That means, if we disobeyed twice, or we did something more serious only once and didn’t have a good excuse, mom would send us to our room and to bed—for the rest of the day and night, even if it wasn’t even noon yet. We had to stay in bed and the room had to stay dark the whole time. If we were going to act like babies, we’d be treated like babies, she said. Dad and I were both subject to this.

I remember a number of times when he had disobeyed, or he’d be a little too argumentative, Mom would suddenly say, “Okay, that’s enough. It’s nap time, Jim. You’ll see us in the morning.” Then she’d point to the bedroom. He’d go, sullen and sorry, but he’d go. The girls’ discipline, however, was different, and much less frequent. They’d lose privileges, or maybe be grounded if it was something really serious, but they never had to stay in their rooms like dad and I did.

The relationship between dad and mom was loving and affectionate, but I don’t think they had intercourse. I eavesdropped one time and, from what I heard, mom let him perform cunnilingus on her, but that was it. She cuckolded him pretty regularly, too. The boyfriends she had were intelligent and gentlemanly, and she’d invite them to the house and sometimes they’d stay over while dad slept in a spare room. It might seem strange but to the rest of us this all seemed perfectly within mom’s right. It was and is inconceivable, of course, that dad would ever be allowed to be with another woman. I truly believe he’s been chaste since virtually the beginning of their marriage.

Having said all the above, I can honestly say I feel nothing but tremendous pride in both my parents. They live they way they want to and they raised three fine successful kids, if I do say so myself. Anyway, I’m sorry this took so long, but as I said, there are more of us out there than is thought, so I just wanted to tell my particular history. Glad of course to answer any questions, but mainly I want to thank you for such a great blog, Thomas.

*

[The following comment from Debra’s son appears after Part 3 of Leo’s posting   http://thomaslavalle.blogspot.com/2016/09/leo-growing-up-in-matriarchal-home-part.html:]

I can certainly relate to the importance of female birthdays. My mom practiced a form of goddess worship, and in addition to birthdays, she also celebrated the menarche. When my sisters experienced this, she’d celebrate with a private party for them. Only females were allowed to attend. For my mom, it was an important event on the path to womanhood.

Mom’s policy on authority was to give my sisters as much as they proved they could handle. My dad and I were the only males in the house, and the only time we were allowed to disobey my sisters was when they’d want to do something unsafe, or something against mom’s prior rules, etc. When they were adolescents and teens, they used their authority mainly for their own convenience, such as wanting snacks, or their rooms cleaned or special items laundered, errands run, etc. When they became young adults they were more interested in how dad and I were behaving and what we were doing during our free time, and whether we were taking care of the house, keeping the bills and insurances paid, and performing other duties mom required of us. In other words, giving mom a break by helping her monitor us.


—Debra’s son

7 comments:

  1. Great post! I like the fact that it was about a normal family.And not about "whips and chains" femdom

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  2. Thanks Bob

    Nobody in my family ever feared Mom, not the girls, not Dad or myself. We respected her, we were even in awe of her, but there was no fear. She was cheerful and had a fun personality, yet her authority emanated from her in a serene way, by the way she carried herself and by the way she expected to be obeyed as a matter of course. We all felt secure, valued, and loved. Even though Dad and I had extra duties and were held to a strict standard, Mom made it seem like a privilege for us to serve the feminine. She made us feel lucky to be living in a stable household not governed by testosterone fueled contingencies ranging from zero sum competition to gratuitous violence.

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  3. It's a wonderful post. Would love to hear some small incidents from your daily life in those days. Thank you.

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  4. Thank you for sharing details about your family. I hope that you are willing to post more

    Im curious as to how other women and girls in the neighborhood reacted to your family.At the very least, they musthave known that your Mother "wore the pants" in the family. Did the neighborhood women approve? Did any of them decide to change their own family power structure?

    Are you or your Sisters now married? If so, are any of you in Wife Led Marraiges? And as for yourself, if you are in a WLM, was it because you met a woman like your Mother? Who already beleivesd in Female Supremacy? Or did your Wife "Convert" to the idea of Female Supremacy, after meeting your Mother and/or Sisters? Did they convince your girlfriend/wife to embrace female supremacy? Or was your girlfriend/wife just impressed at how your Mother ran Her family?

    Ive always been interested in how women embrace the idea of a wife led marriage. Ive often overheard women at my local wine bar, brag about how they have their husbands do all of the housework.And overheard them tell their female friends that they should do the same. These aren't "femdom" types of women.But the young college educated professional women of today, seem much more assertive and dominant than their mothers were.And judging from the conversations that ive overheard at resturaunts and wine bars[A lot of these women have "Girls Nights Out" witht hier female friends] a lotof the local women are completely in charge of their husbands.Even if they don't call it or consider it to be a "Female supremacist marriage". Its often one , by any other name

    Whenever I stop by a friend's house to see a friend or couple that I know, it always seems like the wife or girlfriend is relaxing, watching tv, out with her female friends, or sitting around with her female friends at home.Whereas the husband or boyfriend always seems to be doing housework, .Or serving his wife's female friends, wine and refreshments,ect

    Im a carpenter.And I actualy once helped a co-worker turn his basement into a "Woman cave" for his Wife.Where she could relax and hang out with her female friends.We even built a bar.Since my friend is also a part time bartender, he says that he serves as an unpaid,/ameutur bartender to his wife and her girlfriends, when they hang out in her basement

    I used to socialize with my male friends by helping them fix up their houses , by doing sheetrocking, carpentry and masonary projects. I still do that. .But more and more, when I stop by their houses, I find myself helping them do housework and laundry

    It seems like more and more couples are living in "Wife Led Marriages". And I have to wonder if much of this is due to women seeing other women live this way. After all, if a woman does all of the housework at her house, but visits a friend who has her husband do all of the housework and wait on her hand and foot, I imagine that this might look appealing tot he woman in the old fashioned patriarchal marriage.And that she might be tempted to get her own lazy husband off of the couch.and into the kitchen,ect

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  5. I am curious as to whether you still have to serve as a servant to your sisters? Even though you are now an adult? Do you still live with them? Or do you ever come over and help their husbands with housework,ect?

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  6. Ive been to many weddings.And ive notced that all of the brides have ditched the old "love and obey" vow.None that I know of, have gone as far as making their husbands vow to "love and obey". But I have to wonder if that will happen morein the future

    With many of the couples that I know, the women basicly did not allow their husbands-to-be, to have a bachelor/stag party .But these same women, made a point of having their own bachelorette/hen party. With the bride and her girlfriends going to male revues featuring male strippers. While their husbands to be, stayed at home doing housework

    Many women seemed to be using this ritual to make clear who was going to be the boss in the marriage

    Im curious as to whether, you, your Sisters or any of your female relatives or friends, had a "female supremacist " wedding? Or if your weddings differed in any way, from the old fashioned patriarchal weddings. Or whether any of your honeymoons , wedding receptions/dinneror pre wedding celebrations[Bachelorrete parties,ect] emphasized female supremacy at all?

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  7. Hi Bob

    Thanks a lot for your questions. When I was growing up, we lived in an area where the houses were mostly several hundred feet apart. The neighbors knew all of us by sight and name, but we weren't close friends with any of them. I always got the impression they looked askance at us more because we were "pagan" than because we were matriarchal. I'm not sure how much they knew about us really. They weren't hostile or anything, but they preferred to keep their distance and that was fine with my mom. We had few close friends but they were really good ones and we never felt we lacked anything socially.

    My two sisters are both married now. Although the older one had a rocky start, she's most like our mom and she's definitely in charge of her marriage. The younger one is less overtly dominant, but from what I've seen she gets her way in her marriage. I certainly wouldn't call her submissive.

    I'm also married and have been for five years. We have a three year old son and just found out there's a daughter on the way! My wife is a millennial, and when I met her on the internet she was already a believer in gynarchy, a term she uses. We corresponded for a long time before we met in person and things got serious. You're so right regarding how much more assertive and dominant younger women tend to be. My wife is like my mother in many ways, but with a lot less "baggage" in the sense of having had to fight fewer battles emotionally as well as socially with patriarchy. Patriarchy is still here of course, but for my wife, at least the option of a gynarchic lifestyle was almost a "given" compared to my mother's generation, or even mine. Because of her struggles, I still refer to myself online as Debra's son to honor my mother, and my wife is fine with that. My ultimate allegiance is to my wife, and except for a couple of issues earlier in my relationship, my wife and my mother get along quite well.

    I have to say I'm definitely familiar with the "Woman Cave" concept(kudos to you btw for using your skills to help your coworker convert his basement). My wife has something similar and calls it "The Sanctuary." We live in an older house and the previous owner remodeled half of the second floor into a small apartment. There are stairs going up the side of the house, and my wife and her friends can enter it directly from there. I agree that women seeing other women in WLMs can have an influence. My wife has a couple friends who are real "believers" but most are just fun loving young women who are open to new things. When they see how I interact with my wife, they want to talk to me as much as to her. They seem puzzled as to what I get out of it, but when I explain it and they see how well things work over time, they tell my wife, "Where did you find him?".

    Thanks again for your comments and questions, Bob. I'll be writing more of my life's journey with Thomas's permission in future entries.

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