From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

lead and body edits[edit]

I'm redoing the article, to solve a few problems, such as that the lead should be a summary of the body but had (until my last edit) content not in the body. While discussing subjects allied with matriarchy is appropriate where they overlap or contrast, they should otherwise not be in the article, and I plan to move or delete content that is on other than matriarchy and not about comparison. I plan to look at the content on genderally equal treatment where it is not considered by a source as a form of matriarchy; where it is that, then it is probably within scope because of the sourcing being on matriarchy, but otherwise it probably does not belong. I plan to consider whether some of the content is well enough written and formatted or overlinked and to format citations for consistency. While in the past I had added content mainly to some sections, I typically left the rest of the article as other editors had written it; and responded to concerns largely on the basis of my work on the article, when other portions had other content to which I may not have paid enough attention. This seems to have led to misunderstanding (partly my fault) best resolved with fresh editing. This probably won't take me more than a week or two, and I'll probably do it not all at once but in stages, including overlapping stages. Nick Levinson (talk) 16:55, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

I've done a variety of edits to the article.
  • Where I clarified that (sometimes) occupations are not matriarchies even if women predominate, I gave as an example prostitution but not midwifery because I could imagine that the latter, in that historically it was a system of health care provided by women without men (not so much in modern times when midwives are likelier to be attached to hospitals and supervised by men), may have been characterized in some sources as historically matriarchal, but prostitution is reputedly so often controlled by pimps who are almost always men even if assisted by women as middle managers that an argument that prostitution is matriarchal is much less likely to be raised in sources and such a claim is much more likely to be disputed by academics than is a midwifery claim.
  • To support moving a link from the See Also section into the body, I treated Ruby Rohrlich as a feminist anthropologist in accord with her self-statement at Rohrlich, Ruby, Feminist Anthropologist Annointed Foremther!, in Women & Therapy, vol. 17, issue 3–4 (1995), (First page preview), as accessed November 1, 2013 (doi:10.1300/J015v17n03_13), p. 391.
  • I deleted the following, which probably should be moved, with editing, into articles indicated therein, or to the talk pages associated with those articles, but it would have to be divided according to each article and I may not know enough to do so for each of the cultures listed so I may simply post to talk pages with those articles: "There are also matrilinear, matrilocal, and avunculocal societies, especially among indigenous peoples of the Americas, Asia, and Africa,<ref>Other than avunculocality: [ Goettner-Abendroth, Heide, trans. Jutta Ried & Karen P. Smith, Modern Matriarchal Studies. Definitions, Scope and Topicality (Societies of Peace, ca. or ante 2005)], as accessed October 27, 2013.</ref> such as those of the Minangkabau, E De (Rhade), Mosuo, Berbers, and Tuareg, and, in Europe, e.g., traditionally among Sardinian people.<ref>[ La Famiglia e La Donna in Sardegna Annotazioni di Studio, vol. 71, no. 3 (2005)], pp. 487–498 (article) (dissem.).</ref><ref>[ Sardegna matriarcale] (in Italian).</ref>"
  • I described certain relevant words as beginning with matri- (or matro- is possible), but not matr-, in accordance with Partridge, Eric, Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English (New York: Greenwich House (of Arlington House), [printing designated as "a"?] 1966/1983 (ISBN 0-517-414252)), p. 914, col. 1. The element gyn- is in id., at p. 900, cols. 1–2.
  • Much of the chronological history included content that seemed to be there only because sources were written in past centuries. That looks like a too-flimsy ground for organizing this article. Instead, I reserved the chronological history sections for societies and phenomena occurring in the indicated time periods and I moved other content to other sections.
  • The Amazons almost have to be included because it is widely believed that, whether the society was real or mythical, women ran that society, but this article's content is weak in making the connection. Any addition of sourcing to that effect would be helpful.
  • The myth of Athena and Zeus seems relevant only because Robert Graves suggested it is. That's adequate, but the statement of the myth itself is unclear as to its relevance. If anyone can clarify it in a way that is consistent with what Graves wrote or per another source, please do.
  • On matrifocality, a citation was to "pp. 9416", which is ambivalent. Either that was for a single page only or it was for a sequence of pages starting at the stated page. I chose to interpret it as the latter as the more cautious choice and so I added "ff." The citation is now to Smith, R.T., Matrifocality, in Smelser & Baltes, eds., International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2002), vol. 14, p. 9416 & ff. It might be possible to search inside the volume at but it was taking too long to open on two days, so I gave up, I couldn't search in it in Google Books, and a library online offsite search only yielded a snippet and a page range of pp. 9416–9418, but I have not confirmed that p. 9418 itself supports the content, so, if someone knows, please clarify the citation.
The Trưng Sisters, from the Vietnamese viewpoint if not from the Chinese side, looks interesting as an example of a possible matriarchy, one of the sisters being a queen who led a mostly-women army against the Chinese and founded a kingdom, provided that's either true as history or told in sourceable mythology. I don't know if I'll have the time to research this; but anyone who has sourcing is free to edit accordingly.
Otherwise, what's left to do is to reformat ref elements, mainly for consistency, and I plan to do over the next week or two.
Nick Levinson (talk) 17:22, 14 November 2013 (UTC) (Corrected wording & italicization markup & parentheticized: 17:33, 14 November 2013 (UTC)) (In my last edit, also corrected lack of quotation marks: 17:38, 14 November 2013 (UTC))
My error: The edit with respect to p. 9416 was a prospective edit, but it is now done, and the reformatted ref element does not (because it should not) have an ampersand before the "ff." Nick Levinson (talk) 16:39, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Done regarding this article, including the reformatting of ref elements. Nick Levinson (talk) 18:26, 23 November 2013 (UTC)


@Dougweller:, The lead is not exempt from citations nor from the verifiability policy. This is a common misconception. The parts which were tagged have been officially challenged and per WP:MINREF and WP:LEADCITE should be cited with an inline citation or they should be removed. Tutelary (talk) 10:16, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

((u|Tutelary}} It also says that requires editorial consensus. Also see Wikipedia:Tag bombing which is of course an essay, not a guideline, but is relevant. Are you actually saying that all' the tags were appropriate? Dougweller (talk) 10:36, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Most likely playing devil's advocate --Drowninginlimbo (talk) 11:18, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
So are you saying instead of tagging, I should just remove them instead? Per WP:LEADCITE, The verifiability policy advises that material that is challenged or likely to be challenged, and quotations, should be supported by an inline citation. Adding a tag to it means it's been challenged, and all that I am asking for is an inline citation for the sentences tagged. The topic is interesting to me, but the lead is plagued with weasel words and other sentences needing clarification or sources. Tutelary (talk) 11:30, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
I am saying that material that is sourced in the body of the text doesn't need tagging. Could you clarify whether you are defending just your tags or the IP's tags as well - or are those actually yours?
Let's look at your tags. "Several theologies[who?]" is one. They are named in the section "In religious thought". Why would you tag that? The lead is a summary, it doesn't have to list all of them but they are named and discussed and sourced in detail. "Some[clarification needed] older myths " - what are you asking for here? Myths are discussed in the article, and you didn't explain what you wanted here at the talk page. "Several modern feminists[who?]" - are you telling me that they aren't named in the article? Looks to me as though they are. "Most[who?] anthropologists hold that there are no known societies that are unambiguously matriarchal, but some authors believe that exceptions are possible, some of them in the past." Now this one is a bit odd as you didn't tag "some authors" although you tagged "Several modern feminists". Why is that? Are you actually disputing the fact that most anthropologists believe there are no unambiguously matriarchal societies? And finally, "this hypothesis is mostly discredited today.[citation needed]". It's got a citation, why does it need a second one? I'm wondering if you've actually read the article as the tags suggest that you added them without carefully considering the content of the article. Dougweller (talk) 12:49, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
All I'm trying to enforce is the need for inline citations per Verifiability policy. Per WP:LEADCITE, the need for inline citations is not generally the same for each and every article. I am not disputing any of the content, as it does seem to be reliably sourced. Though the lead may need one or none inline citations on one article, but 8 on the other due to its controversial nature. I believe that is very much true here and am humbly requesting a few to clarify the lead and its readers. People don't often read the entire article in itself. Tutelary (talk) 12:59, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
I thin though that you are misinterpreting our policy here. Still, from what you've said the solution is definitely not to tag it but to fix what you see as the problem, as you aren't actually disputing any content. Dougweller (talk) 15:28, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
I think I'm not. Anything in the lead is not exempt from the verification policy. If it's in the lead, then it can need a source. Tutelary (talk) 20:05, 16 May 2014 (UTC) If it's contentious or likely to be challenged and there is no source in the article. But how about asking at WP:RSN or WP:LEAD? Of course, I guess you could source it yourself as you agree the sources are there. Dougweller (talk) 21:05, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Large amounts of weasel words in the article[edit]

I've noticed a lot of cases of weasel words. Another editor told me that a lot of the so-called "weasel words" are backed up by other inline citations inside the article, but to the reader, shouldn't there be inline citations for all the sections where there are weasel words? I have some examples which I will lay out (I will add more:

  1. "For this usage, some scholars now prefer the term matrifocal to matriarchal." It is not accompanied by an inline citation, while the next sentence implies that the one of the scholars (David Moynihan), endorses the aforementioned position, yet that sentence is sourced to an article about African-American families.
  2. "The authors of the classics did not think that gyneocracy meant 'female government' in politics.They were aware of the fact that the sexual structure of government had no relation to domestic rule and to roles of both sexes." More weasel words. Who wrote, "the classics"?
  3. "Anthropologists have begun to use the term matrifocality. There is some debate concerning the terminological delineation between matrifocality and matriarchy." This covers the same type of content as 1, but is different in scope. What anthropologists like to use matrifocality? Is it generally accepted? Is it barely used at all, and is entering the common lexicon? Plus, the "debate" concerning the difference between matrifocality and matriarchy is not sourced with an inline citation.
  4. "Most academics exclude egalitarian nonpatriarchal systems from matriarchies more strictly defined." What academics?
  5. "A few people consider any non-patriarchal system to be matriarchal, thus including genderally equalitarian systems, but most academics exclude them from matriarchies strictly defined." Same as 4, but no sources.
  6. "Research indicated that sexual intercourse occurred from early ages and pregnancy only occurred much later, seemingly unrelated to the sexual activity." No source as to what this "research" is.
  7. "Evidence from the Amorites and pre-Islamic Arabs, however, indicates that the primitive Semitic family was in fact patriarchal and patrilineal. Meanwhile, the Indo-Europeans were known to have practiced multiple succession systems, and there is much better evidence of matrilineal customs among the Indo-European Celts and Germans than among any ancient Semitic peoples." Unfortunately, there is no citing of this supposed evidence.

I will begin removing these, @Nick Levinson: has already reverted one of my edits that removed 5, so I am asking him now, where are the sources for number 5 in the main body? 4 is the closest I've gotten to a reference in the main body, so I will start removing content that uses weasel words. Grognard 123chess456 (talk) 02:40, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Also, on a side note, I see a lot of sentences that say "some people", then don't specify who the person is, but have an inline citation that backs up that statement. That's kind of less important then the one I've specified above, though. Grognard 123chess456 (talk) 03:09, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Item 5 (which I was asked about) is sourced in the next sentence, which is in the same paragraph, and a similar point is sourced in the paragraph beginning "The Matriarchal Studies school ...."
Item 1: I added a Citation Needed tag; the statement was rewritten from an earlier version, the first appearance of which I have not traced, but that probably does not matter. A source would be appropriate or the statement should be deleted. Elsewhere in the article there is content about confusion or overlap between the two terms and that may suffice. (I assume Daniel, not David, Moynihan was meant in the post above.)
Item 2: That statement was already tagged last November as needing a citation. If those authors are the authors cited earlier in the paragraph, the statement should say so, for clarity.
Item 3: Both statements were similarly tagged for citations last November.
Item 4: Few academics include egalitarian systems as being within matriarchies; at least one is cited. That most other academics exclude them doesn't seem to me to be in serious doubt. I suppose we could add a list of names but I wonder if that wouldn't belabor what I think is obvious. This isn't quite the case of adding a citation to support that the sky is blue, but it seems close. What do other editors think? If someone wants to add a slew of citations, or even just one, please do.
Item 6: That statement was already tagged as needing a citation since last November.
Item 7 refers to a statement within a section already tagged as needing citations since last October.
If that is the limit of the assertion of the presence of weasel words, then we probably should delete the Weasel template as redundant. If citations are supplied and it turns out that the sources support the wording, then the Weasel tag is inappropriate anyway, but if the sources are crisper and the rewriting for Wikipedia was weaselish, then the article should be edited to reflect sourcing, but right now the concern is for finding sources or deleting unsourced content, the rewriting to come after sources are found or to be unnecessary if the content is to be deleted as unsourced. That weasel wording applies to the rewrite in Wikipedia and not to what a source itself says is based on this: "Weasel words are words and phrases aimed at creating an impression that something specific and meaningful has been said, when in fact only a vague or ambiguous claim has been communicated. A common form of weasel wording is through vague attribution, where a statement is dressed with authority, yet has no substantial basis."
On the side note above, if attributions are needed, they should be added from the sources. Feel free.
Thanks. Nick Levinson (talk) 23:16, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
I deleted the Weasel template, per the above. Any desired edits can still go forward. Nick Levinson (talk) 21:23, 20 December 2014 (UTC)


As has been discussed before, matrifocality is not any kind of alternative or competitor to the concept of matriarchy. Matrifocality means that family structure is built around a core of women and their adult daughters and minor children, with men largely transient (only temporarily affiliated to families). It does not mean that women have the preponderance of power in the overall society, and therefore it is not synonymous with matriarchality or anything approaching the ordinary definition of matriarchality. AnonMoos (talk) 02:54, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Some cultures have been described as matriarchal because matriarchal is often used in a popular very general sense when matrifocal may be the more precise description for some of those cultures. An example from the article: "According to Kathryn Rountree, the belief in a prepatriarchal 'Golden Age' of matriarchy may have been more specifically about a matrifocal society". In general, it's helpful to distinguish the two terms in this article, because that clarifies matters for nonexpert readers, and doing so only with a hatnote would pretty much not allow enough room for an adequate explanation. Nick Levinson (talk) 20:55, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Matriarchy. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

YesY Archived sources have been checked to be working

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 03:45, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

The new link was wrong and I searched the newspaper's website but did not find the originally-cited source by a subject keyword search, so I replaced the citation altogether. Then, on that basis, I changed the parameter above. Nick Levinson (talk) 18:17, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

edit from Leacock article[edit]

I deleted a statement based on an article by Leacock when I couldn't figure out what the statement was supposed to say and what the article said relevant to that section. As a result, the section became empty and I deleted it. However, I found only the abstract and haven't looked in JStor, which may or may not have the full article. If anyone can reconstruct what should have been in that section, please do. Nick Levinson (talk) 19:38, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

I found the originals but it's not worthwhile to re-add any of this content.
The only revision in between wasn't relevant.
Nick Levinson (talk) 01:33, 4 October 2015 (UTC) (Corrected URL: 01:41, 4 October 2015 (UTC))

Main introductory line and description[edit]

Edited to reflect equal introduction to the Patriarchy page because all in all the terms all encompassing-ly reflect opposite of each other and mean nothing more

(This post was by an editor at IP address (talk). Nick Levinson (talk) 03:43, 18 February 2016 (UTC))

For future reference, while it is often convenient to think of terms such as these as parallel, often they are only superficially parallel, because the underlying sources differ enough to make them not so. In this case, the editing was pretty much okay, not because of parallelism but because of general consistency with the body, where the sourcing appears. Nick Levinson (talk) 03:43, 18 February 2016 (UTC)