Had humanity been a woman-dominated society for centuries as opposed to a male-dominated one, what would our culture look like?
In reality, gender only dictates our reproductive roles. That does not mean our role as a mother versus a father but our role as who has the egg and who has the sperm. However, a lot of our stereotypes about gender are probably more a result of nurture than nature, and not just from our families, but also from our culture.
If we removed the cultural limitations dictating how women should behave in terms of submission, influence and usefulness, I think women would shine into a contrasting role so different from culture as we know it, that it would feel like embarking upon another world altogether.
The softer parts of the female stereotype would definitely be influenced. I don’t think women would talk quietly or deal with conflicting personalities with passive aggression had we ruled the world first. Everything you could possibly learn in charm school would probably not exist at all.
Mating habits would probably be influenced. In the natural world of animals, in most species, the men dress up to entice the women, not the other way around like humans do. So there’s a good chance that women would be walking around wearing plaid black pants and a blue polka dot shirt with crocks, and it would be considered normal to where she would not get her picture featured in the “people of Walmart” page.
Could you imagine seeing women walk around with no shirt? Wait. Could you imagine seeing men walking around with pedicured feet and women walking around like their yellow-toed feet are about to snatch dinner from a lake?
The workplace too would also be influenced, drastically. An Amazonian Utopia would most likely have flexible hours, some form of daycare or child care expense coverage as a benefit just as important as health insurance, and, facetiously speaking, a dress code of yoga pants and flip-flops. Sitting in a conference meeting with a baby hooked to a boob flagrantly open would be so normal, it wouldn’t be a distraction.
Have you noticed everything is designed for small families? Look at the size of the pots and pans you purchase. Can you cook for a family of five or more with those? The standard dishwasher, our vehicles, the sofa, the size of most houses and apartments… all are designed to cater to a family of four. I think in an Amazonian Utopia, the standard for a family size would be much greater. I think that because our bodies (despite the best arguments coming from our minds) want to reproduce on hormonal, Darwinian levels.
The other reason I think the family unit would be greater is that birth control would be different. I think if women chose not to have certain children the way men do, there would be more wanted babies and less unwanted babies.
According to a study in 2004 by Lawrence B. Finer at Guttmacher, the top reasons women have abortions include the following:
- Having a baby would dramatically change my life
- Would interfere with education
- Would interfere with job/employment/career
- Have other children or dependents
- Can’t afford a baby now
- Don’t want to be a single mother
These reasons all imply a desire to have children in a world that makes it too difficult to do so. The fact is, the very natural act of having children interferes with our ability to succeed in this world as defined by male culture. An Amazonian Utopia wouldn’t have these issues where children would be so life-changing and interfere with personal success. The economy would be biased toward making families an affordable decision, and nobody would care if the mother was married or single.
On the other hand, when men are asked why they don’t want to have children, the answers are different. Sylvia L of DinkLife asked men who were not fathers why they didn’t want to have children, and just about every answer could be summarized as “freedom.” They want down time. They don’t want the responsibility. They don’t want to invest time or money into children.
Another step further into it, in her recently published book, Why Dads Leave: Insights & Resources for When Partners Become Parents, Meryn Callander explains that the reason men leave their families is simply because they feel abandoned, because mothers bond with their babies and the men are, well, ignored.
I think in an Amazonian Utopia, women would be using birth control methods for the same reasons men do in our society. Could you imagine a world where a woman decided not to have a baby just because she didn’t want to?
I think what we would see in an Amazonian Utopia is the right to motherhood would be conserved. The fact of the matter is we are the ones carrying these babies. There’s nothing cultural that can change that nature, but our culture dictates how difficult the process is, and currently, it’s very difficult to have children.
I hope to see the culture shift to more of an Amazonian Utopia where our reproductive roles are not a punishment but a natural part of life. Motherhood shouldn’t be an expectation of women, nor should it be considered a burden to society.