Considering the large number of male-dominated societies in existence, it is understandable that fiction is open to the idea of the women occasionally wielding the power. Lady Land extends the idea to an extreme level.
In a Lady Land, the most common feature is that the population is predominately female. Males in this country may be considered inferior, or in extreme cases be immediately forced to death, expulsion or usage as a Sex Slave. This may create problems in that most of the time, this leaves said society with no obvious method of reproducing. There's a very good chance that this issue will be brought up in-story.
On the other hand, absence of male figures may lead to the opposite effect—any men the denizens of Lady Land find will be promptly worshiped as Gods because men are kind of useful when you don't have any around. In this case, the setting can often come off as a thinly veiled fantasy piece, particularly since the women in question often conform to conventional notions of attractiveness despite not having any context to be aware of it.
This is a common portrayal of Amazon societies, dating back to the original Amazons of Greek mythology. The Greeks used these stories to "demonstrate" why women should Stay in the Kitchen and not be allowed any power at all. This is oddly an easy construction regardless of whether the women in question are murderous or desperate, as in either case, the women are still centering their lives around men instead of trying to think of something else to do with their time. Some stories Take a Third Option and explore how a culture is affected without the influence of men by giving the characters living therein other motivations.
If there are no men at all, then this becomes a One-Gender Race. This is almost always also an example of a Matriarchy of some sort. For when the cast is improbably female with or without an explanation in the setting, see Improbably Female Cast. Contrast No Woman's Land. See also Persecution Flip.
If done by a female writer, has a chance of being an Author Tract of how women are better off without men. This genre is known as "lesbian utopia", as it appeals to a group of people without any significant attraction or attachment to men. A Discredited Trope these days, mostly thanks to mainstream media inspiring a lack of interest.
Not to be confused with the electric variety.
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Spoofed by Slayers Next. To enter the town of Femille, all of the male characters (yes, even Zelgadis) need to disguise themselves as women. In the end, it turns out that there are more men living in the town than expected, including the princess.
A common Fanon view of the Joketsuzoku from Ranma ½ is precisely this, based on the treatment of Mousse by Shampoo and Cologne, and by the fact that the one time we saw their village it was during a women's-only tournament. You might wonder why a genuinely misandrist society would have not executed an obsessed Stalker with a Crush out of hand over his harassment of a woman who unambiguously and repeatedly rejects his advances in no uncertain terms. The term "Chinese Amazon" shouldn't be taken so literally, as it's more of Cultural Translation, and the name means something closer to "village of female warriors". Mousse is treated poorly mainly because he's an idiot.
One Piece has the island of Amazon Lily, home of the Kuja tribe, which consists entirely of women trained in the ways of the warrior and where men are forbidden. While it is stated that women of the island leave and return pregnant (and always give birth to daughters), the population at large knows so little about men that it takes the eldest one in a group to even identify naked Luffy as male. In a semi-example, there is also the Momoiro Island, home to the Kamabakka Kingdom, where everybody is a transvestite.
Girls Bravo: Seiren, a hidden moon where there are nine girls for every guy. And of course, the guy who is allergic to girls ends up there, and promptly runs away (the series' resident Kuno wannabe, however, is promptly kicked off of the moon when he ends up there).
GUN×SWORD has Misshogi, where men are forbidden and all the women wear bathing suits (the founder is a bathing-suit designer, and the name of the town is a homonym on mizugi). It's ultimately revealed this is the result of the founder reacting to her breakup way worse than usual.
Made even worse to the fact that her boyfriend didn't break up with her, he just didn't like her new swimsuit design.
The Koorime race in YuYu Hakusho, who are of the One-Gender Race, man-hating variety (with the known exceptions of Yukina and her mother). The reason they tried killing Hiei via dropping him off their floating isle is simply because he's male.
Nagasarete Airantou is about an island with no men. When the male protagonist of the series accidentally winds up on the island, all the girls are so excited to have a male around that they do things like have tournaments to try to win the right to become his bride.
Ooku: the Inner Chambers has Tokugawa Japan mutate into this after decades of ravages by an endemic Red-faced Pox that attacks only men. With a gender ratio of 1:4 in favor of women, men who make it to adulthood are barred from any remotely dangerous or strenuous occupations as "precious seed-bearers" while women have taken over all positions of authority.
One chapter of Franken Fran has Fran visiting an island that Professor Madaraki once helped out. It's a society of women who reproduce via parthogenesis; a few miles away is an island of men who do the same thing. Fran discovers a majority of both sides want to reunite and arranges for them to do so... whereupon jealousy takes over (of the "You slept with my sister?!?" variety) and both sides exterminate each other to the last person. There's a bright spot, however - their hermaphrodite children survive.
The manga Renai Idenshi XX follows a similar premise to Y: The Last Man in that it takes place in a future where all men were killed by a gender-specific contagion Twenty Minutes into the Future. Fast forward a few decades and humanity has to make do with "Project Eden," which (officially) aims to maintain civilization and societal norms entirely with females.
Queen's Blade can come off this way; while it's partially due to natural story slanting, females are expected to be warriors to the point where not only can only a woman rule the land entire, but becoming Queen is done by winning a once every four years battle royal tournament that is women only.
However, it's made clear that this doesn't apply evenly throughout their world; the local Japan equivalent, while technically under a child empress, is ruled in truth by the male ministers.
In Starstruck, Galatia-9 ends in Omega 3, where life resembles that of the legendary Amazons. They fight hulking stupid male creatures (origin unknown) called Dromes.
In Y: The Last Man, every male mammal on Earth (save two, or so it seems at first) die, leaving the entire world to the women. It's subverted in that society is no more or less screwed up than it was before, barring the simple effects of around half the populace suddenly up and dying, though one female character notes that since that applies to mammals, not just humans, the biosphere may be screwed up when the next generation of the shorter-lived mammals is supposed to take its place in the food chain.
Themyscira in the Wonder Woman comic books is the home of the Amazons and their princess, the titular character. Whether men are even allowed on the island is a question that is answered in different ways over the years. (The typical answer is "No, unless Wonder Woman invites them"; however, unlike the page image they will usually let a drowned, starving man into their hospital before deporting him). Also, there are occasional jokes about what the Amazons do for fun on an island inhabited only by women...
At least one version said Themyscira was almost a female Valhalla, only instead of soldiers who fell in battle, it was populated by women who fell to domestic violence.
With the New 52 reboot, Themyscira has become more like the original Greek version of the Amazons - as in, homicidally violent towards men, who are only used as breeding stock or chattel for trade.
Cirin's Upper Felda (and later on, most of Estarcion) in Cerebus. Matriarchal fascism, enforced with an iron fist! Swift death to any man who dares resist! Really damned creepy butch super-soldier women in masks meting out fatal justice!
Small Favors had no men in it. At all. Yes, it was an (adorable!) all-girl porn comic, but even the non-porn scenes outdoors had an all-female cast of background characters. No men are even referred to. The story apparently takes place in a lesbian-separatist utopia. There's a bit where Nibbil, dressed as a pirate, refers to her descent from a line of distinctly female badasses:
Nibbil: Bring mugs of grog and the finest meat pies or my sword will dance on yer bones! And women! Fine women I do demand! Lusty wenches with fire in their eyes and nipples hard as my mother's black soul!
In a solo story, Marvel Comics mutant teleporter Nightcrawler ends up going to another dimension populated entirely by beautiful intellectual warrior-women who make any male who shows up their deity ("As you noticed, we're all female here, and we do need to keep the population up ..." "Surely you know about the sociological need for religion among primitive cultures?"). He ends up leaving, since he has more important things to do than get nosebleeds over this.
In the french comic Anibal 5, women from all over the world gather in the south pole, lure by pheromones created by a female magician. Once all women reach their destination, they will form the nation of "Clitoria".
The society in the "Futurequest" parts of ElfQuest (The Rebels and Jink) is a milder example, more or less modern Western sexism inverted in that you are more likely to see women than men in high ranks, from being in charge of the most prominent car race, or of research facilities, or being the head of the state (that spans very nearly the entire solar system). The most blatant example might be a male "starfleet" captain who caused a PR desaster being told to fix things and, "You're always claiming to be the equal of any female officer — prove it!". There's also deliberate flipping of stereotypes in some places, like a woman glued to the screen watching a car race while the man she lives with calls it silly and prepares to cook dinner.
Dan Clowes' Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron has women (from a cult run by a perpetually naked man) revolting against men, attacking them in the streets. The women corner the main character and humiliate him.
The planet Femax in the Marvel Transformers Generation 1 comic is like this; men are apparently genetically inferior and so have to scratch out a living in the barren regions of the planet, while the women live in a concealed paradise. Their leader ends up falling for Cloudburst when he proves himself the equal of any woman.
One part in a longer arc of Mandrake The Magician featured an amazon island where women ruled and men were docile housekeepers. After being captured, Mandrake attempts to regain their freedom by hypnotising one of the docile males into regaining his male dominance (which, curiously enough, involves making his man-skirt look like a pair of shorts). The man leads his fellow men in a revolt, overthrows the queen and establishes a "proper" male-controlled society... until the men go on a hunt and gets chased up a tree by a smug-looking boar. Amazon society returns to its stable old ways immediately, and Mandrake instead has to threaten to magically make the queen ugly to secure freedom.
Sin City has the neighborhood Old Town, which is run by gun-toting prostitutes. While their clients are usually men, those men know their places. If they step out of line, then God help them.
The village of the Warrior Women in With Strings Attached. The men are scrawny or dandified, and the women swagger around. When the four and the Hunter show up, they are pushed around (well, they let themselves be pushed around) and called “man-beasts.”
However, after Ringo defeats the warrior Mung in three seconds, the queen of the Warrior Woman immediately throws herself at him, calling him “Lord.”
Xenophilia posits that Equestria is one of these; it's not as bad as it used to be, but stallions are in very much the same situation women were here on Earth when mainstream acceptance of equality between the sexes was still a relatively new phenomenon, except that females outnumber males about three to one.
Believe it or not, this is justified by quite solid science. Real-life herd grazers like horses are quite definitely not anything like the stereotypical portrayal of an Alpha Male and his meek, compliant harem; as someone put it on the Science Marches On page on this very wiki, the male's actual role is "basically a mobile sperm bank".
Soviet-era Polish sci-fi film Sex Mission has two men wake up from cryostasis and find themselves in an all-female world. Reproduction is by parthenogenesis, and males are remembered only as tyrants and rapists... massive historical revisionism has everyone fully believing that Einstein, Nicolas Copernicus and other luminaries were all female. (Even Marie Skłodowska-Curie.)
Despite the title, Abbott and Costello Go To Mars, the comic duo (plus a few extras) end up on Venus, complete with the requisite all-female society, including the Queen and cabinet. The men are treated as interesting curiosities, but in the end are rejected in favor of mere holograms of the former beefcake King!
The Last Man on Planet Earth (that's not entirely true) where a woman scientist successfully clones a man. It is revealed that many of the female ruling classes are "closet heteros".
In Ghosts of Mars the human society on Mars is explicitly stated to be a matriarchy, and women are primarily seen in powerful positions. Doesn't stop the men from acting like machos, though.
In Without Men a small town in Mexico becomes this when all the men get recruited for war(except for the priest and one women's son who gets away by disgusing himself as a girl) so the women have to learn to take care of themselves, the mayor's wife(played by Eva Longoria) becomes their leader of sorts.
The all-female Lubby-Dubby tribe from the Lost World of Aphrodisia in Carry On Up the Jungle.
Pamela Sargent's The Shore of Women
R. A. Salvatore's Drizzt Do'Urden novels feature the matriarchal drow elves, as described under Tabletop Games below.
Several examples in the Star Trek Novel Verse. First, there’s the Pak'shree homeworld. Pak'shree are born neuter, become male at puberty (and spend their adolescence having sex and competing to do so), before becoming female at maturity. All Pak’shree in authority are thus female by default. As male and immature are synonymous, Pak'shree often have trouble relating to males of other races without sounding (unintentionally) sexist. The inhabited worlds of the Cygnet system are also examples of Lady Land.
Cygnet XIV, the Cygneti homeworld, was historically (22nd century) blatantly sexist towards males, with intellect and authority only ever considered feminine traits. This causes problems for male humans in the Star Trek: Enterprise Relaunch. Holor Sethe in the Star Trek: Titan series demonstrates that in some ways it hasn't changed too much by the 24th century.
Interestingly, and perhaps wisely, the all-female Klingon warriors of the qawHaq'hoch established their headquarters on Cygnet IV in the Star Trek: Voyager Relaunch. It makes sense; Klingons are patriarchal, so usually Klingon females operating without any males would be seen as odd; Cygnet might well be the nearest system to Klingon space where no-one would blink to see an all-female quasi-political organization.
Then there’s the Megarite homeworld of Megara, where the ruling matriarchs are considered to be the more sophisticated of the species. They spend their lives sitting on beaches, doing little else, and consider travel to be "beneath" a female. The males are relegated to the distasteful realm of offworld trade and diplomacy, though many of them seem to enjoy it, being considerably more raucous and spontaneous than the somewhat stuffy females. Of course, there are exceptions, those Megarites who reject the traditional system. The young female Spring Rain On Still Water (in Star Trek: Ex Machina) prefers the more adventurous male life, and has been condemned by her matriarchs for "lowering" herself.
The trope is amusingly played with by Sheri S. Tepper in Six Moon Dance. Due to their frustration at the treatment of women on Earth, the founding mothers on their newly adopted planet of Newholme create an artificial scarcity of female babies, and a dominant ideology that females are the stronger sex and males are the weaker. This results in the women being in power and are regarded as more valuable than men. The women twist biology and psychology into an unsettling dogma that allows them to rule the population. The absurdity of this ideology (i.e men must wear veils so they won't incite lust in the women; men aren't seen in public and only work at home, because home is where they "belong") holds a mirror up to irrational and controlling nature of sexism in the real world.
Spoofed in Terry Pratchett's Interesting Times. Rincewind is stuck on an island and is found by a tribe of lovely Amazons who have lost all their men to a highly specific plague and require him to repopulate their tribe. Sadly, Rincewind is magically "rescued" before he can obtain his greatest fantasy (potatoes).
Herland is the first work of fiction to take this premise at its serious roots- the male characters who have heard of the titular society make several assumptions about what it might be like, concluding that they'd soon be running the place with their superior rugged masculinity. They are naturally incorrect and are captured, but fortunately the women are deeply curious about male/female culture, having only heard about it through legend and keep the men around to discuss it. On comparison, the outside world compares poorly to the sexuality-less eugenicist Mary Suetopia, and one of the male characters refuses to take his girlfriend out to see it since he doesn't want to disappoint her.
Joanna Russ's polemical SF novel The Female Man has examples of various types of Lady Land, one where women and men are constantly at war, and a far-future one where men have been wiped out; at one point it's implied that the latter is a result of the former. She gets round the reproduction/relationship problem with gene-splicing tech and lesbianism. The plot is frequently pushed aside by the author talking, at length about how men are oppressive, and how women need to become "Female Men" to be treated as equals.
In E. E. “Doc” Smith's novel Second Stage Lensman, the planet Lyrane II was ruled by women, who could be accurately described as highly telepathic Amazons. Their "males", by comparison, were almost dwarfish, subnormal in intelligence, and notably irrationally violent; their constant fighting among themselves (to the death, naturally) was seen as a form of "natural selection" by the ruling females. The "Persons" (as the Lyranian women referred to themselves) used the surviving males for breeding purposes (roughly one male to thirty "persons")- and then the last one "calmly blasted the male's mind and went about her business". The "persons" were quite capable of killing with mental force- well, except when the intended target was a Second Stage Lensman like Kimball Kinnison, that is. The fact that exactly none of the Lyranian "persons" was capable of even tolerating, let alone working with, a male of any species of Civilization for more than about three picoseconds (without at least trying to fry his brain) required the promotion of Clarissa MacDougall to Lensman (the first woman to be one) in order to perform an important mission there. The Lyranians defined MacDougall as a "near-person", most obviously because while she (a) not only shared their mental prowess, but actually exceeded it (even before she became an "L2" in "Children of the Lens"), she also (b) did not regard males as nothing but animals and (c) did not share their unconcern about public nudity.
More Unfortunate Implications: the Lyranian woman cared nothing for their physical appearance. Their hair in particular was a filthy mess; they let it grow any old way, and roughly chopped off bits that got in the way. On the other hand, Human Tellurian women found Lyranian culture just as despicable as men did.
John Wyndham wrote a Lady Land story, Consider Her Ways, where the all-female society is based on the society of ants, with predictably dire consequences. Unlike Russ, he doesn't seem to have heard of lesbians.
David Brin's Glory Season takes place on a planet settled by separatist feminists who have been genetically engineered to have a different reproductive cycle than other humans. On this planet, if a woman conceives a child during the winter, she gives birth to a genetically identical clone of herself; if she conceives during the summer, she gives birth to a child who has genes from both parents. "Clans" of cloned women are the dominant forces in society, while males and non-clone females are marginalized. Interestingly enough, the author avoids portraying the planet as exclusively either a utopia or a dystopia, instead showing both good and bad aspects of the society and its members.
Robert Jordan has an absolute field day with this in the Wheel of Time books. Almost everywhere else, to varying degrees, women are the ones in charge. Andor has many villages with Mayor/Town Council and Wisdom/Women's Circle dynamic, which are theoretically (theoretically, mind you) equal in power. In the Borderlands, it's often half-joked that "a woman's rights are what she says they are." The town of Far Madding has basically Renaissance attitudes gender-reversed (men are inherently inferior). Too many other examples to list. Most of this is accompanied by a degree of female chauvinism that (like the real life male equivalent) often borders, and crosses into, absolute absurdity.
Funnily enough, though, Far Madding is just about the only place in the series where all this chauvinism-flipping actually bears fruit in role changes, rather than just making standard-issue housewives mouthy and arrogant.
Within the context of magic, this turns out to be justified - the male well of magical energy was actually poisoned by the Dark One in the last conflict between him and the Dragon. Men who wield magic are mentally and physically corrupted by the use of the magic. Before Rand and Nynaeve destroy the taint on Saidin by pitting its destructive force against that of the corrupted city Shadar Logoth, the only ways to save those male wizards were to neuter their power or place them in anti-magic zones called Steddings, but those drove them to suicide and culled magic from the general population. The Red Ajah, the sorority among Aes Sedai devoted to hunting down male Channelers, almost collapsed when they discovered how they'd brought the distribution of magical talent down from 10% of the population to several thousand people.
An all-female Lost Colony is discovered in Poul Anderson's novel Virgin Planet (the obvious alternative to virginity was hardly mentionable in a 1959 mainstream-SF novel). A secretive cabal held the technology for artificial impregnation (and the political power resulting from this monopoly), and they were not pleased about the prospect of reestablishing contact with men. Most of the locals are under the impression that "men" were super-human godlike beings, based on their distorted accounts of the initial colonization era. These misunderstandings cause problems for the man who re-discovers the planet — the first women who find him initially mistake him for an alien monster.
In the Warworld novel Blood Vengeance, a hidden society of "Amazons" lives in an isolated valley and is largely regarded as legend. They reproduce by having a pact with several nomad tribes who, every few years, return to a meeting ground and mate with the women warriors; male children are given to the tribes (or "to the earth"— i.e., killed), and females are kept and raised by the women. The pact also, of course, includes vows of absolute secrecy about the whole arrangement.
The backstory of Larry Niven's immortals in A World Out Of Time is that, not needing each other for reproduction, and biologically arrested before hitting puberty, Boys and Girls formed two entirely separate and occasionally warring societies (both implied to be screwed up equally, but in different ways). When Earth's climate radically shifted, the Boys occupied the only remaining livable land in Antarctica, while the Girls, being situated closer to the equator, died off.
Houston, Houston, Do You Read?, a James Tiptree Jr. (real name Alice Sheldon) short story where a group of men accidentally travel forward in time to an all-female Earth. It doesn't end well for them.
In her "Your Faces, My Sisters, Your Faces Full Of Light!" a delusional woman imagines she lives in a future where men have been wiped out and therefore everything is utopian. She has escaped the mental institution and is wandering about a big city. It doesn't end well for her, either.
This is Akasha's goal in the third book in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, The Queen of the Damned. She gets around the procreation problem by leaving one man for every hundred women. Notably, she's not so much a feminist as a psychopath trying to justify world domination.
The Republic of Diana in Slow Train to Arcturus is one of these, with subjugated males. Not the worst-off of the deliberately created habitats of hats found there, but they have problems.
English writer Edmund Cooper wrote Five to Twelve which is the future proportion of men to women, follows a male activist trying to get rights for men - turns out his sperm can only produce male children. And "Who Needs Men?" aka "Gender Genocide" men got wiped out except for some enclaves up in Scotland (parthenogenesis is used for reproduction) A female security officer is captured by an outlaw male and well Rape Is Love right?
The novel Egalia's Daughters: A Satire of the Sexes, a novel set in The Sixties on an alternate earth where the gender roles have been swapped throughout their entire human history. The main character is a boy who wants to become a sailor (a job that is, naturally, barred to men) and bemoans the fact that he'll have to start wearing the male equivalent of a bra.
Jack Chalker's Soul Rider series takes place on a future half-failed colony world divided between the chaotic "flux" and Lady Land "anchors", which preserved technology and civilization by turning them into Women's Mysteries. The plot of one of the books revolves around a conspiracy by a group of disgruntled men to subvert several anchors and turn them (and the fluxlands between them) into a No Woman's Land instead. And his Well World series has the Olympians, a matriarchal society of transhumans that evolved, ironically enough, out of a failed attempt to create a society based entirely on male harem fantasies (The ten-female-to-one-male birth ratio proved to be a bad idea in retrospect.)
Hani society in C. J. Cherryh's Chanur Saga novels may not look like this at first glance, with its pampered and honored house lords for whom the women do all the work...until one realizes that it's patterned rather after that of real life lions and siring children and fighting for territory in apparently ritualized combat is about all that males are considered good for while the females take care of everything else, including most of the actual politics. Daughters are brought up in the household, sons who come of age are banished to fend for themselves so they don't threaten their father's position. And of course males aren't allowed into space because of their ostensibly fragile minds and hair-trigger tempers... (To be fair, it's hinted quite strongly that these attitudes are primarily a matter of tradition and upbringing and that Hani males aren't at the mercy of their biology. But that's the prevailing social dogma.)
The Pelbar communities in Paul O. Williams' post-apocalyptic novels are highly matriarchal.
In Harry Harrison's West of Eden trilogy, the Yilane females control almost every aspect of their society, with emphasis on the political, militaristic, and scientific. Males are primarily artisans, poets, and other creative talents, and are kept segregated in camps on the beaches where mating and birthing take place.
The Dryads in David Eddings' Belgariad are a female-only race who reproduce with captive men. Also, the extinct Marags were a matriarchal society in which women naturally outnumbered men by a significant margin.
A piece that could very well be the Trope Namer is the short story Sultana's Dream by Indian author Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, in which a woman kept in seclusion visits a magical Utopia for women called, you guessed it, Lady Land, where traditional Indian gender roles are reversed (men are kept in seclusion and do domestic work), which results in solar powered flying cars and world peace.
In Animorphs, one of the alien species, the Helmacrons, are female dominated, with the males serving as slaves. By the end of their first appearance, the animorphs have convinced the male Helmacrons to stand up for their rights, leading to a civil war.
Notably, there's no feminist or anti-feminist message here—both genders are totally psychotic. Arguably also serves as an aversion to Insect Gender Bender, since the Helmacrons seem to resemble bugs (including by being less than an inch tall).
In Everworld, the Amazons are shown among the series' many mythological elements. They apparently have a habit of attacking and conquering other nations, including Egypt (which was political unstable for variousreasons). Feminist April seems to like them, and Christopher was beginning to get cozy with their queen...until Senna points out that according to the mythology, they murder male babies and sell weaker daughters into slavery. Whether or not this is true isn't shown, but they did apparently execute a man for fathering twin sons with one of them and were not generally portrayed as nice people.
Children of Mother Earth is a Dutch trilogy of young adult novels written by Thea Beckman set in a world After the End (world war 3 in this case), the only fertile country left is Greenland and it's run by Women because "men want power". It's pretty much an Author Tract on how women are better, but not a bad post-apocalyptic society to live in.
The book World Without Men (published in 1958, revised in 1972 under the title Alph) by Charles Eric Maine concerns a male Human Popsicle child thawed into a world without men.
Tanith Lee plays with this in East of Midnight, in which a charming rogue unwittingly travels from a male-dominated world to a parallel female-dominated one, in which he happens to resemble the consort of the (female) Moon King. It also happens that the man he resembles is marked for execution.
In Ecotopia, the titular society's government is dominated by women.
In Xanth, the harpies (who as it is are about three-fourths female) went through a phase like this, after a spell made all the males die out. Since harpies are half-human and half-vulture, they survived by mating with humans and vultures in alternate generations, but apparently such unions could only produce daughters for some reason. Eventually one male harpy is discovered to be trapped in the Brain Coral's stasis, and when released manages to fix the problem.
In If I Pay Thee Not in Gold by Mercedes Lackey and Piers Anthony, the women of Mazonia are the ones with magic (of conjuration) and so are in charge, with men as slaves or treated as second-class citizens if they've been set free.
The Ursula K. Le Guin short story The Matter of Seggri takes place on a planet where, due to unexplained genetic circumstances, there are sixteen adult women for every adult man. The result is a society in which women run everything, and men are made to live isolated from wider society in "castles". They're seen primarily as sources of sex and entertainment, and mentally unfit for education or participation in society.
A later story in the same anthology, Solitude features a planet after a huge population crash. There is very little civilization at all, but the women live in semi-villages called "auntrings" and the men live as scattered hermits (both stories are in an anthology called The Birthday of the World).
A Lady Land also appears in a 19c protofeminist Chinese classic Flowers in the Mirror (Jing Hua Yuan) by Li Ru Zhen.
Jane Yolen's Great Alta Saga trilogy revolves around this. Women live separately from men in small groups, and men are used only for the purpose of reproduction.
In the second The Heroes of Olympus novel we discover that amazon.com is run by actual amazons. They like men - in their place - which seems to be providing manual labor for the company. We never find out how the men feel about it but for at least some being sex-objects to beautiful, buff amazons might seem like a pretty sweet deal.
David Patenude's Epitaph Road, a society where the male population was decimated by an intentially released plague called Elisha's Bear. Men live on the fringes of society, have only the jobs women allow, and mostly only interact with the main female population to breed.
The Hypolitan people in The Icemark Chronicles are basically this. Women are considered superior to men, and men only seem to gain status by association with a powerful woman. The southern Hypolitan in the third book take it Up to Eleven; their men are used as Cannon Fodder, are literally slaves to their wives, and can be killed at any moment for insubordination or as a Human Sacrifice.
In Poul Anderson's Time Patrol story "Gibraltar Falls", Feliz is from an era of a Matriarchy. She has to struggle to view men as equals — just as men from other eras struggle with the women in the Patrol.
A Brother's Price takes place in a world where few males are conceived and even fewer survive to adulthood. That, combined with the complete subversion of STD Immunity, shapes human society. When men are seen outside the home, they're always veiled to avoid inciting women, and escorted by armed sisters or wives. "Husband raids" - abductions - are not legal anymore, but that doesn't mean they don't happen.
The country of Alessandretta in Orlando Furioso. It is supposedly descended from wives of the Greek heroes who spent twenty years away at the Trojan War, who on their return decided they had in fact better off without their wayward husbands. Its exact location is deliberately vague, but it seems to be on the south coast of modern Turkey.
In the A Wizard in Rhyme fantasy novel series a land of Amazons is introduced where it's fine for males to come 'visit' in order to ensure production of more Amazons but only for a limited time (a week I think), stay just a day too long and the male is hunted and killed by the Amazons. The Amazons suffer horribly (so to speak) when the main protagonist and another young male in love independently around the same time seek to pass through the land as a man who refuses to mate and stay true to his loved one is considered a prize so rare that such a man can stay within its borders as long as desired and have virtually anything within reason he desires.
In the Earths Children series, it is widely believed that a child is conceived when the spirits of its parents combine. A man-hating side character took this theory and ran with it, believing that a society entirely composed of female would have exclusively female children; men are barred from their village, and all male children are killed at birth. Ayla is the only one who seems to notice that the only women there who get pregnant are the ones who sneak out for covert liaisons with male lovers...
In Andre Norton's Warlock novels the Wyvern cities are all female. All females can dream, and males can't.
In Storm Over Warlock, Shann Lantee, and to a lesser extent Ragnar Thorvald, demonstrate that human males can, which makes them acceptable.
In Ordeal In Otherwhere, Charis Nordholm is brought to deal with them as a woman. The last woman had been driven mad by their psychic contact, but Charis is taken in and trained. The males of the race, however, receive off-world assistance that lets them nullfiy the Power, leading to many issues. At the end, Thorvald appoints her to deal with the Wyvern cities on the basis of his broad emergency powers and the obvious need to appease them.
In Forerunner Foray, Ziantha scorns Riss Lantee's claim to have been Wyvern-trained: everyone knows they don't deal with males.
In Robert A. Heinlein's Space Cadet the intelligent species on Venus is a matriarchy and discussion of males strictly taboo. When the titular cadets are marooned near one tribe, Oscar Jensen, a Venusian native, refers to his colleagues as female when speaking to them.
Live Action TV
The Outer Limitsrevival episode "Lithia." In the year 2055, the world is populated only by women. Almost all of the men were killed years earlier in a war, and the plot starts with a male soldier being awakened from cryogenic suspension. He adjusts to the society, but is unsettled by the fact that power must be churned manually through a mill when there's a power plant a relatively short distance away. His attempts to "solve" this problem escalate until someone gets killed, at which point he's frozen again after we get the Cruel Twist Ending—he's not the only man in storage- the leaders of this society found several, and tried reintroducing them to the population with disastrous results every time. The ending doesn't reflect particularly well on either gender, since while the male soldiers may be over-aggressive, the female leadership wasn't helping matters by just unleashing them at random and hoping that this time things would be different.
Actually, the end of the episode seems to imply that they expected nothing other than men to cause trouble.
The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Angel One" had a society where women were not only in charge of everything, but naturally physically stronger than the men, while the men (who all seem effiminate by earth standards) dress mainly for sex appeal and are the cooks, secretaries, servants, etc.
The Two Ronnies serial "The Worm That Turned". Diana Dors rules Britain, men are forced to wear dresses, and the rules keeping men in their place are upheld by mini-skirted Gestapo.
The Alternate Universe in the Red Dwarf episode "Parallel Universe", in which all the characters are Gender Flipped and Dave Lister ends up pregnant by Deb Lister. Although Deb says the universe isn't dominated by women; at least not since the 1960s when masculinists started burning their jockstraps.
An episode of Buck Rogers had this. All men were slaves and kept docile through the use of a drug in their food. An enemy civilization realized this and planned on invading. Buck somehow secretly managed to prevent the drug from being put in the food anymore and so when the invasion happened all of the "docile" males rose up and protected their female owners.
This troper remembers a TV movie based on an unsold series idea by Gene Roddenberry that used that plot. Post-apocalypse Earth, and a hero from the past now living in a technologically-advanced enclave. The plot summary above is accurate if limited. (Troper does not remember a Buck Rogers episode with that plot.)
The Roddenberry series was called Genesis II about an organization trying to rebuild human civilization after the apocalypse. The Female dominated culture was one of several the organization was trying to influence. Interestingly the Aesop was not 'Female Dominance Bad' but that the men didn't need to be drugged into compliance but if treated with respect and kindness would happily submit to their female masters. Broken Aesop?
The first troper is remembering the Confederacy of Ruth from Roddenberry's 1974 film Planet Earth, which was actually a kind of sequel to his Genesis II. The idea of a female-dominated society where men were pets led about on leashes was first seen in the Genesis II episode "Poodle Shop".
An episode of Sliders, "Love Gods," sees most of the men in the world having been killed via germ warfare. Women generally take over society, while the surviving men (at least those with a healthy sperm count) are kept in compounds. The men are to impregnate the best possible women in order to rebuild the population, especially before another country does so. (The men that succeed the most are afforded many luxuries.) Naturally, when our heroes get there, the male characters are instantly mobbed and taken into custody.
Amusingly (or Fridge Logic-ally), it's apparent that the female-run government is utterly incompetent. Since a single male ejaculation contains millions of sperm, repopulation would be most effective if sperm was collected, diluted, and passed out to all fertile women. Instead, the men are expected to have romantic one-night stands with one woman per night. The standard for a woman to be selected (by female officials) is apparently attractiveness — women complain about being rejected for being "not pretty enough". Corruption and abuse of authority are rampant, there are riots by frustrated would-be mothers, and the general impression is that women can't organize anything more complex than a bake sale, never mind a recovery program. Maybe the smart women died along with the men?
On that world artificial insemination technology was never developed so they had to reproduce the old fashioned way. Arturo even mentions he could help them figure it out if they bothered to listen to him instead of using him as a breeder.
Another episode, "The Weaker Sex", takes place on a parallel world where women took over and became the dominant sex. All politicians, professionals, athletes, etc. are female and men are relegated to being house husbands or secretaries. Women are also INCREDIBLY sexist toward men (Quinn gets a job based solely on his looks, which the boss keeps commenting on, and Rembrandt has what turns out to be a one-night stand with a woman he thought really liked him.) Arturo tries to improve the system by running for mayor He thinks he's lost and slides only to find that there was an error and he did win.
The Doctor Who serial The Happiness Patrol gives this trope a nod when two male guards complain to each other about the female guards getting better assignments and weaponry. (All the positions of authority in their society are held by women, too.)
As quoted above, one of the provinces in the alternate universe of the short-lived Otherworld is ruled by women, with men relegated to semi-literate slavery.
In one episode of Boy Meets World, Mr. Feeny gives Corey's class an assignment to plan out their future. Topanga envisions a future that involves moving all men underground and using them solely for breeding stock.
An episode of The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. brought Brisco and Professor Wickwire (and eventually Lord Bowler too) to "No Man's Land," a ghost town that was colonized by disaffected women who felt that they were entitled to the same American Dream as men (instead of "watch my man get successful and have a small army of babies"). For the most part they're okay with the idea of men, they'd just rather keep to themselves until men are ready to play on their terms; except for one particular hardass who's perfectly willing to throw Professor Wickwire and a gravely injured Brisco out of town just because the sign says "No Man's Land" and the person who needs medical attention has the wrong wedding tackle (fortunately for Brisco, she gets overruled).
The Hak'tyl in Stargate SG-1. To avoid death at the hands of the Goa'uld Moloch, a group of female warriors have set up a separate society where they can raise baby girls they manage to smuggle out of the temple. While the older women do not necessarily have any hatred for men (their leader, Ishta, develops a bit of a relationship with Teal'c), most of the younger girls have never even seen a man.
The rock band D.A.D.'s song "Girl Nation" references this trope for humorous effect.
Forgotten Realms also gives use Rashemen, a barbarian society ruled by a group women called the Gray Witches. Somewhat subverted in that all "manly" activities (fighting, drinking, wrestling grizzly bears, etc.) is still done by men, they just happen to hold women in awe because women can use magic. There are male mages in Rashemen, the vremyonni, but they're cloistered away making magical items. The boys who decline to become vremyonni when they come of age are sworn to secrecy and exiled.
Eh, not exactly. Rashemi don't hold women in awe, they hold the Witches in awe, who just happen to be female. And who generally do little in society aside from vetoing possible rulers and reviewing what they do occasionally. Rashemen is still ruled nominally by a king known as the Iron Lord, who, as you can tell from the name, is a man. It should be noted on the other hand that the three main gods of Rashemen are female. But they also worship a menagerie of demi-god nature spirits that are often masculine in aspect. Like Okku the Bear God, or the Wood Man. In all other respects aside from women predominantly being the mages, the Rashemi are very much a aversion of this trope.
Talislanta RPG has a society/race which fills that trope to T: dominating and noticable stronger women are ruling class and weak, timid, fragile men are left to harem and housewife lifestyle.
In the Warband Game Necromunda, a spin-off to Warhammer 40,000, House Escher is basically built on this trope. Some genetic defect means that males born to the House are either stillborn, or physically and/or mentally deficient (usually both). As a result, the women run everything, including the gangs. They tend to look down on males from outside of their House, due to the fact their own are so innately pathetic, and clash fiercely with the "machismo-poisoned" House Goliath.
The feminist orbital colony Margaret in Transhuman Space. Given the transhumanism of the setting, they have to be flexible about the definition of "female". Given the equality of the setting, many people aren't sure why they bother.
In BIONICLE, on the industrial island of Xia only females have access to the power. Males can't leave the island and are forced to work in the factories.
Although it contains a few necessary items for the hero, the town of Amazones in Crystalis will kick the player out unless he uses magic to take on a female appearance.
In StarTropics, a long fetch quest is necessary to obtain a spell to disguise the hero as a woman so that he can seek help from the leader of Shecola.
Mass Effect has several examples: The Asari are a One-Gender Race of women and the few men on their planets are all aliens. On Tuchanka, the female Krogan got fed up with all the Blood Knight shit of the males and formed their own all-female clans. Since they are just as big and strong as the males and there are only very few remaining fertile females in the entire species, all of the male clans want to be on their good side or they simply won't get any more chances to breed new sons for their own clans. And even if one clan would try to capture females, the female clans would just have to ask all the other male clans to get them back. And then there are also the Salarians who similar to insects consist of a small number of female matriarchs and much larger numbers of male drones. While only a very small minority, politics is the exclusive domain of women.
In Overlord, the Heaven's Peak Abyss is literally a hellish vision of this - the women (who have aquired Glowing Eyes of Doom and Waif-Fu skills from the powers of the hellish dimension) are all holed up in a marble-halled mansion filled with beautiful and expensive things, while the men - who are apparently unable to stand upright, and thus crawl around on the ground - are put to work as cleaners, gardeners, and occasionally footstools. Being who you are, however, your response to this setup is, of course, to kick down their doors, beat them into submission, and then carry them back to your castle as servants.
Final Fantasy IV has a much softer version of this trope in Troia; the governing Epopts are all female, the soldiers are ladies, and the sole male you find in the castle (barring Edward) is a nurse of all things. However, the Troians seem to have no bias against men, as evidenced by their warm reception of your (at that point) all-male party.
The Viera from Final Fantasy XII live in segregated societies. The males live seperately from the females. Although no male Viera has ever been seen in-series, there are constant references by the females and Word Of God says they exist.
In Knights Of Xentar, the protagonist and his buddy has to breach a barrier keeping men out (by using a special twig and two magical berries - Does This Remind You of Anything??) to enter a women-only kingdom and fetch an old friend. On the other hand, the women aren't that bothered by the sudden arrival of two men - as this is a h-game, there are plenty of opportunities for... random encounters. The queen comments that the whole idea turned out worse than planned, and fears that within twenty years or so, she'll face an uprising by some very frustrated women.
Dragon Quest IV has Femiscyra Castle, which aside from a male priest is mostly inhabited by women.
The Tarka from Sword of the Stars have a mild take on this trope. Tarka society is ridiculously structured by human standards with an incredibly complex pecking order and status level, but generally all 'intellectual' parts of said society, like those concerned with science, teaching, higher engineering and politics, are all but barred to Tarka males. This is because of deep-rooted prejudice that males, due to their male sex hormones, are too emotional and irrational to do well in these sectors. Despite this, Tarka females cannot hope to possess the sheer charisma of a Changed male (a male that has reached full sexual maturity; an event that only happens to about 1 in 1000 male Tarka), and thus Changed males are given the overall leadership positions in Tarka society... Though not without having a few females around to prod him into making 'correct' decisions.
In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the town of Tel Mora is ruled by a man-hating female Telvanni elder who only allows women to live there. However, no one else is particularly misogynistic and a male protagonist is free to wander around and speak to people, although the elder won't give you any Fetch Quests. And when you have to persuade the Telvannis to name you Hortator (as part of the main quest) she's easily the most (or 2nd most) sensible and names you directly just as long as you're being very respectful. (However, trying to win her over the Kirk way does not work...)
In Skies of Arcadia, one of the discoveries is the Ixa'ness village, a society of warrior women. In the GCN director's cut, you can fight a team of 3 of the Ixa'ness Demons.
In Sins of a Solar Empire, the Advent power structure is based on psychic prowess. Women are better at concentrating or something, so they get to be tacticians and starship crew.
In the H-GameMeet and Fuck: Star Mission, the Human male has been nearly driven to extinction by "a succession of wars". Men are state property and Human Resources, used solely for breeding. Their rarity has lead to their classification as a protected life-form.
In Earth 2150 and its sequels, the Lunar Corporation is a matriarchal society, after the females took power following a coup against the ineffectual LC board of directors. In the game, all units are piloted by women. It is assumed that their military is entirely composed of women. The exception is Fang, but he's a USC defector.
The Aeon in Supreme Commander is largely (though not entirely) made up of women. Only Avatar Marxon and UEF convert General Arnold are male, and both die before the expansion.
Diablo II has an Amazon character, but their description in the manual averts this. The Amazons only allow women to be warriors, but it's because they live in a jungle environment, where the female body is better suited for combat. Men are allowed every right and privilege women are, and can fill all other social roles - they're even allowed into the priesthood, despite the central deity being female. The only difference between male and female social standing is that men aren't allowed in the military.
Might and Magic Book One: Secret of the Inner Sanctum has a town, Portsmith, that is dominated by females. No explanation is given, but it probably has something to do with all males being drained of half their hitpoints on every intersection and the town being ruled by a Succubus Queen. The only male, Zam, is hidden away behind a Bookcase Passage. The local residents are quite happy to see visitors, however.
The Gerudo's Fortress in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is inhabited solely by women, and there is only one male born to their tribe every hundred years, around the time the game takes place in the man happens to be Ganondorf.
Dragon's Dogma has two different thief fortresses: one is all male, and the other is all female. If you walk through the female thief fortress with even one male party member (or if you are male), they usually attack. The males, on the other hand, don't outwardly attack unless provoked.
Being a game mainly about lesbians, almost all the main Embric of Wulfhammer's Castle male cast are idiots, perverts, and\or villains. If they're not at least one of those, they're actually women.
In The Wotch, the villainous D.O.L.L.Y. attempted to set up such by transforming men into women, though whether they intended to transform all men into women or just enough of them to use the threat of girlification to hold the rest in check was never entirely clear.
The Drow in Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic are a female-ruled society where the male-female dynamics are completely flipped—captured men are often kept as sex slaves and Wolf (a high ranking and very attractive male) basically slept his way into his post. He finds nothing shameful about this. In fact, he uses it to taunt high elves who try to mock his masculinity.
Skifander (Girl Genius) is implied to be such, as they are ruled by a queen, worship a goddess, and a female warrior has discussed how she is allowed to teach her fighting techniques to one other besides her daughters. However, the only Skifandese we've met so far has not treated males any differently than females.
The Amazons in Chasing the Sunset are blue-skinned former humans given the ability of parthenogenesis by a helpful spirit. Appropriately, they live in a walled-off section of the continent named No Man's Land.
Drowtales simultaneously plays straight and deconstructs D&D's drow (see Tabletop Games, above). On the one hand the drow in this worldsetting have almost exclusively female leaders, but that doesn't stop them from being violent, racist, manipulative and murderous, but on the other they're not that much worse than real life empires, and the rarely seen light elves are patriarchal and just as bad.
The ridiculous porn comic The Naked Earth features a future dystopia where all men were transformed into monsters by a plague. Women reproduce with biotech, and also wear no clothes and have lots of sex.
Just to point out how ridiculous, the "wears no clothes" bit does extend to soldiers baring everything but their heads, hands and feet. In cold, hostile environments where monsters abound.
Yamara uses the Drow as a way to comment on institutionalized male-centric sexism:
Mother Clerd: This is my lovely young son Freznip and my promising daughter Voor.
Amazoness! is set in Themiskyra, city of the Amazons. Men are barred from entering the city on pain of death (with one... unique exception) and procreation seems to happen via an arrangement with a neighbouring tribe.
The Vulpine race in Terinu skirts the edges of this. They have a monotheistic Goddess based religion, noble inheritance goes through the female line and All There in the Manual explains that female head of the household is considered the Holy Den Mother's representative in the household, and has final approval over any junior household members' choices for marriage. On the other hand they supposedly have functional equality of the sexes outside those restrictions.
Girls Only, a speculative fiction webcomic where a school founded by straw feminists has a seriously unbalanced ratio of girls to boys, and where the boys are treated like slaves, including as sex-slaves. The main male protagonists manage to avoid this by being the school's yaoi boys.
In The Law of Purple, Myranian culture is extremely sexist in favor of the women, who can scramble a person's mind and/or memories through skin-to-skin contact. Myranian men lack these powers and are more often than not viewed merely as sex objects and breeding stock. We do see two Myranian women with much more moderate attitudes, but the Myranian with the most screentime, Shi Shi, is on record as saying that "Men's heads need to be empty so they can stay safe and inside!" in complete earnestness. (This is why she's so antagonistic toward Lette—as far as she's concerned, Blue is her toy, and she doesn't feel like sharing.)
In Draconia Chronicles a fantasy webcomic about warring nations of Dragon and Tiger people, both dominated by the respective females of the species. In a case of Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism while the females of the species are anthropomorphic, the males are feral with normal male tigers and huge dragons. The males of the Dragons abandoned the females for not stopping the war with the tigers, leaving the females to reproduce using an "elixir" and becoming an entirely female society. While the male Tigers are present, they are protected in sanctuaries for reproduction and such while the humanoid females take care of military fights and the like.
Outsider has the Loroi, an apparently matriarchial race of Blue Skinned Space Babes with telepathic powers. Females naturally outnumber males 8 to 1, and the principle social function of the males is reproduction. The males are presumably seen as too valuable to risk in warfare, hence all their soldiers and military personnel are female.
The skunk society in Tasakeru is completely matriarchal, to the point of being a Gender Flipped equivalent of radical Islam.
Danish artist Humon certainly explores this trope a lot - her Barbarian Women cartoons are near-perfect examples. The idea of dominant woman and submissive male is a recurring theme in her work, but done with a certain charm and wit.
Hercules The Animated Series had an interesting version when Hercules visits the land of the Amazons. Men do live there, but they act incredibly feminine, wear aprons and basically do all the stereotypical woman jobs.
Themyscira, Wonder Woman's home, in Justice League. The fact that the League saved the inhabitants from Hades didn't save Wonder Woman from being banished for bringing men into their midst. Oddly, the men she was kicked out for bringing in were honored as heroes, as they enforced the rules more out of tradition and fear of the gods than genuine dislike, at least in that instance.
Flash even tries to stand up against this, however Batman calms him down and points out it is just as hard or even harder for them to enforce the rule.
In "The Late Phillip J. Fry", Fry, the Professor, and Bender end up far in the future in a technologically advanced society that consists entirely of women. They offer to fix the boys' time machine so they can get back to the right time period...AFTER they have a fertility banquet to honor their visitors since "even very old and stupid males are prized."
Bender, being the odd one out, cuts their visit short.
However, in Friendship Is Magic's (2010) setting, Equestria is home to civilized ponies of both male and female persuasion. Lauren Faust explicitly says the guys are all working voluntarily for pay. IRL< horses do, in fact, behave in a matriarchal fashion
One episode of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) saw the gang visit a world where this was the norm. Women ran the place, while men were subjugated and forced to do menial labor. Of course by the end of the episode, the two genders had reconciled. Interestingly, the leader of the women and the leader of the men were implied to be a married couple.
In an episode of The Fairly OddParents, Timmy's wish ends up dividing Earth in two, with all men in one half and women in the other. The men's half quickly descends into drunken loutishness, while the women fashion a society based on the Roman Republic. Both groups feel a strange void in their lives, but when Timmy tries to bring them back together, they have a war.
Similarly, but on a smaller scale and subverted in an episode of The Simpsons where Springfield Elementary is divided into a boys half and a girls half. The boys half is a hell hole, but the girls half doesn't teach math.
In Gandahar women are in power, ruled by Queen Ambisextra.
Codename: Kids Next Door: "Operation F.U.T.U.R.E" takes place in a Bad Future where girls rule from a moving castle and have ray guns that make things girly (turning boys into girls, footballs into Rainbow Monkeys, etc.), and the only boys still alive are a small rebel group including an old Numbuh 4.
Superjail!: One could argue that Ultraprison is this, aside from having a Transman detention officer.
The 1950's B-Movie version is also spoofed in the sci-fi comedies by Steve Lovett; Babes From Outer Space, 20,000 Babes Beneath The Sea, Atomic Cavegirls of Island Zero, and Attack of the Zombie Moonmaids.
During the second wave of feminism, this did in fact become Truth in Television in a few lesbian-separatist communes. Some of them are still around, though the populations are aging, and the advances of feminism have tempered the urge to flee society for those who might have been thus inclined in the past.
The Michigan Womyn's Music Festival establishes an all-female enclave for the duration of the festival. There were some serious rumbles over who was oppressing whom when they banned transwomen from the festival.
Some universities have Women's Centers that permit only female membership or have women-only "safe spaces". (These days they usually say a woman is anybody who chooses to identify herself as one.)
The Amazons themselves may have been inspired by the more egalitarian Scythian culture along the north shore of the Black Sea. Many burials of females include armor and weapons.
In an aversion of the earlier aforementioned Greeks, the Spartans of all the city-states were the most surprisingly, free. Women could divorce at will, and could own property in their own name, among many other things. In fact, they were more or less running Sparta while the men were away fighting (often!). No one Greek city-state was the same as another. Queen Gorgo (wife of Leonidas) responded to a question from a woman in Attica along the lines of why Spartan women were the only women in the world who could rule men, she replied "Because we are the only women who are mothers of men".
In an interesting case, the samurai women in Japan, though in a more "traditional" role, were indeed better educated than most other women in East Asia at the time, as one of their chief roles was to teach their children. They were also trained in combat (granted, on more-or-less outdated weapons) and some women were renowned as equal in skill to many male samurai. The training was of course because aside from education, samurai women were to protect the home when the men were away (and provide backup when they were not).
The weapons were more-or-less outdated, but they were also more practical for their role as home defense than what the men used. Women tended to train on naginata, a pole weapon with decent reach and designed to be utilized in several different positions. They also had knives and, in some cases, short swords. All of these would be relatively easy to wield in more confined spaces in comparison to anything above the length of a katana (samurai kept short swords on them partially for engagements in confined spaces, after all). Think of it as the difference in usefulness of a shotgun and pistol vs. a rifle. The shotgun can be fired easily and quickly and still have a chance of hitting the target at a short range. You have to aim a pistol, but it can be used in close-quarters due to tiny size. A rifle is most useful at longer ranges where aim is crucial and a short-range weapon cannot easily be used.
Also accounting has long been a traditionally female activity and largely remains so for domestic purposes. While it is often the husband who earns the households income, it is he who receives an allowance from his wife, instead of the wife being given a budget for groceries and household items.
Hive Insects, like bees, ants and wasps only have males to mate with the queen and then die.
Hyenas live in matriarchal packs, as do with Meerkats and Naked Rats.
The Atlantic magazine seems to think this is happening already, having published an article titled "the End of Men" in their Summer 2010 issue.
Aristasia is a role-playing community/book-series founded on the idea of a world in which there are two genders, both female (one blonde, one brunette), time moves geographically (as in one area of Aristasia is in the 1920s, whereas its neighbors might be in the 1880s), and Femininity itself is one of the fundamental forces of the universe. The creator of the community has a very small retreat for women only that on occasion gets mentioned in the press. Frequently portrayed as Lady Land.
Traditional family structures in Jeju, Korea may also qualify, for the exact opposite reason. Women, rather than men, were responsible for the then-menial, low-class job of free diving for conchs, pearls, and abalone. The income from this meant that women essentially became the primary breadwinners on periphery islands where farming was entirely impractical (such as Jeju and Mara...not that Mara), and thus led to a reversal of traditional social roles compared to the mainland.
Some species of lizards, such as the New Mexico Whiptail, are parthenogenic. The reproduce asexually, effectively cloning themselves. Needless to say, these lizards are all female.
A now defunct micronation located within the Czech Republic called the Other World Kingdom was this, based entirely around the Fem Dom style of BDSM. The other wiki has an article on it here.
In 1919, Mabel Barltrop (known as Octavia) founded the Panacea Society, composed entirely of women and dedicated to world peace and preparation for the Second Coming. In those days, the Anglican Church did not ordain women. Octavia's church did. Panaceans believed that God was mother as well as father and that while Jesus was God's son, Octavia was God's daughter. Octavia was not only concerned with holy matters, but with maintaining proper etiquette and gracious living. Truly a Lady Land.
A generational version has happened in the past after wars. After World War I and World War II, some remote villages lost so many of their marriage-age male population to battle that the very few men returning were a valuable commodity indeed - even if they were missing an arm or a leg.
Paraguay after the War of the Triple Alliance even more so: The Pope even allowed polygamy for a while, because 90% of the male population (an inverse Decimation if you will) got themselves killed.
Some have claimed that the y chromosome has slowly become less common over the decades.
The Na (also called the Mosuo) are a small ethnic group in China that have a semi matriarchal culture. From the other wiki: "They have aspects of a matriarchal culture: women are often the head of the house, inheritance is through the female line, and women make business decisions. However, unlike a true matriarchy, political power tends to be in the hands of males."