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Needs Help: Matriarchy In Name Only get usage counts

 51 johnnye, Wed, 21st Nov '12 4:00:43 AM from Brighton, UK Relationship Status: If it's you, it's okay
I deleted The Princess Diaries example because it didn't seem like the inversion it claimed to be, but seeing this discussion I'll check what other people think, especially because I'm only broadly familiar with the work.

Genovia is explicitly stated to be a patriarchy where no woman could rule without a husband. However, it had been ruled by a widow for a long time, who then trained a single woman (Mia) as her successor, and when said single woman announced that she would rule without a husband, no one seemed to mind much.

The heroine doesn't ascend to the throne because there's any system of female primogeniture, but because she happens to be the former Prince's only child and the next in line to the throne. The widow who's been ruling in the interim, the former Prince's mother and seemingly only living member of the royal family, was merely a Regent until they found an heir. As for the heroine herself, of course she's allowed to rule alone, she's the monarch in her own right.

Basically, it's Heir Club for Men. The two women are each able to rule only because there are no men available. And since as far as I recall it's not even an absolute monarchy, the fact that there's a woman on the throne doesn't affect whether it's a patriarchy or not (I'm not sure it necessarily would even if it were an absolute monarchy).

edited 21st Nov '12 4:04:40 AM by johnnye

Zaldrīzes buzdari iksos daor, so Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus.
I don't think "a society is described as being ruled by <insert group here>, but the rulers are never shown" is particularly compelling.

That would imply it's somehow wrong for a writer to describe the political structure of a society without having the characters meet the ruling class.

Do we have an actual trope here with any examples?

I'd say less than half the current examples were good. Are there enough?

edited 26th Nov '12 11:31:33 AM by abloke

 
It doesn't look like it. I say drop the trope, most of the listed examples aren't actually examples.

edited 22nd Dec '12 2:27:50 PM by Therapsid

 
Does it have at least three examples?

Because I thought that was enough.

 57 Madrugada, Sat, 22nd Dec '12 2:55:04 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Three is the absolute bare minimum. If this were launching fresh from YKTTW, I would say it needs a long hard look at whether it was really a recurring pattern (a trope) if it could only gather three good examples in nearly two months.

edited 22nd Dec '12 2:57:12 PM by Madrugada

'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 58 Another Duck, Sat, 22nd Dec '12 6:42:02 PM from Stockholm Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
If you think the examples aren't any good, they should be deleted whether we keep the page or not. Which examples are no good, and why?
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[up][up]So then why does the Three Rules of Three exist in the first place?

 60 Septimus Heap, Sun, 23rd Dec '12 2:35:18 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Puʻu ʻŌʻō
Because TROT is the bare minimum. You'll notice that I never launched a trope with that few examples.

 61 Madrugada, Sun, 23rd Dec '12 5:42:55 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
The Rule of Three exists to give us a lower threshold. If you can't find three examples, it almost certainly isn't a trope. It's not a magic wand, though; if all you can find is three examples, out of all fiction, then asking "Is this really a trope, a recurring pattern, a convention of storytelling?" is a very good idea.

'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 62 Another Duck, Sun, 23rd Dec '12 6:03:53 AM from Stockholm Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Speaking of that, this isn't a convention of storytelling. It's about a mistake or inconsistency in writing, for whatever reason.

There's been a lot of opinions, and more than enough time for everyone to say their piece, so I think a crowner might be a good idea. Something like:

  • Cut.
  • Toss back to YKTTW to see if a proper and good trope can be made out of this.
  • Redefine as Trivia (or other non-trope).
  • Do nothing.

Anything else?

edited 23rd Dec '12 6:10:04 AM by AnotherDuck

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Seems good.

I've been through the examples, trying to find valid ones; I thought I'd list all of them, as over half don't work from what I understand. I'm not familiar with any of these, by the way.

  • The Wheel of Time: Says the societies are supposed to be female-dominated, but are still sexist. Doesn't explain how or to which sex(es).
  • Dragon Riders Of Pern: The ruling females have a species trait which makes them less effective warriors (not a gender trait), take time off because they're fertile (to breed, presumably), and hand over their authority to their mates during whatever Threadfall is. It's not particularly feminist, but I'm not sure how any of this means it can't be matriarchy. The point about humans is a bit hazy; might need some more information.
  • Chanur Novels: Looks like a valid inversion (or at least, the idea backwards).
  • Nobody's Princess: I think the point of this one is that a matriarchy wouldn't have a woman encouraging men to become warriors. I could be wrong.
  • Traveller: Presumably, the "domination of separate roles" mirrors traditional gender roles somehow. Seems to be one of the "supposed to be gender-equal" (not even claiming to be matriarchal) societies mentioned in the description.
  • Exalted: Seems valid.
  • Mass Effect: I can understand why this might rile some people, but it doesn't seem necessarily un-matriarchal.
  • Master of Orion: Seems valid.
  • Quest for Glory: This looks like the same scenario as the Chanur Novels example, presented the opposite way. Which is correct?
  • Homestuck: In-universe reference.

Am I missing something?

edited 24th Dec '12 1:41:51 AM by abloke

 
 64 Madrugada, Mon, 24th Dec '12 4:20:00 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
* Dragon Riders Of Pern: The ruling females have a species trait which makes them less effective warriors (not a gender trait), take time off because they're fertile (to breed, presumably), and hand over their authority to their mates during whatever Threadfall is. It's not particularly feminist, but I'm not sure how any of this means it can't be matriarchy. The point about humans is a bit hazy; might need some more information.

Pern is a bad example: it isn't a Matriarchy even in name. The Dragon and Dragon hierarchy includes Gold dragons, which are sometimes called "queens", and which do not breathe fire to fight Thread because eating the mineral that causes fire breathing also renders them sterile, and they're needed for breeding more dragons. So it's not that they can't breathe fire, it's that the humans don't allow them to. The dragon hierarchy was artificially constructed and imposed from outside, by the humans.

On the human side it's still not a good example: Gold Riders are always women, yes, but they are not the rulers of the society, nor are they presented as such, except for one (Moreta), who is, within the books, often treated by other characters as "uppity" for taking an active role in non-weyr-related society. The titles reflect this: the male head of the Weyr is the "Weyrleader", the female leader is the "Weyrwoman". Given those names, which one would you presume to be the higher authority? The Weyrwoman is in charge of the day-to-day operation of the Weyrs, while the (always male) rider of the (usually) Bronze dragon that is the Gold's mate is the warleader of the Weyr.

edited 24th Dec '12 4:28:46 AM by Madrugada

'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
Thanks for clearing that up. It did confuse me; it looked, to me, as if someone had taken offence to a portrayal of what was supposed to be a matriarchy. So, it looks like it's not a good example for a different reason to the one I thought of.

Out of the others, are any of them valid? There are those two which seem to be as far as I know. There's also that inversion, but there's another example which presents what appears to be the same concept as a straight example.
 
 66 Madrugada, Mon, 24th Dec '12 7:08:33 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
I don't know any of the others well enough to comment.
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
I wouldn't mind cutting this whole thing but for now I'll say that I added the Nobody's Princess example because while royal women have the political power they don't have the social respect. They're still viewed as being un-important just for being women.

 68 Ghilz, Mon, 24th Dec '12 12:33:24 PM from The Moon. Or Canada. Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Fight It Out!
[up][up][up][up]

  • Quest for Glory: Not an example. The ruler is a king. His council who deals with the day to day is entirely female, yes, but the King, who is always male, has the final word on anything. It's a plot point that the King's word is ultimately the final one on what goes on in Tarna.
  • Mass Effect: Debatable. Not helped by the fact there's no sexual dimorphism in Salarians. In the end, we do see they are ruled by a female, yes. But Salarian society structure is never plot relevant enough for us to see it in any detail. So its mostly a case of All There in the Manual due to The Law of Conservation of Detail. The Complaining about females being kept on the planet mostly has to do with the fact that said manual explains the gender ratio of Salarians is 1 female to 5 males.

edited 24th Dec '12 12:37:44 PM by Ghilz

 69 Another Duck, Mon, 24th Dec '12 12:48:18 PM from Stockholm Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
[up][up]I'm not sure I understand that example. Where does it say it's a matriarchy in the first place, and why isn't it actually one?
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 70 Ghilz, Mon, 24th Dec '12 12:58:02 PM from The Moon. Or Canada. Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Fight It Out!
nvm

edited 24th Dec '12 12:58:32 PM by Ghilz

The book says that because she's the daughter, in their kingdom she will inherit the crown. It is actually a matriarchy but the old woman the family talks to doesn't care about the politics, she just considers the sons more important because they're male. I don't know if that's what this is supposed to be about but I wouldn't mind just cutting the whole page.

 72 johnnye, Thu, 3rd Jan '13 4:49:14 AM from Brighton, UK Relationship Status: If it's you, it's okay
This is the problem with this trope. There's multiple levels of subjectivity, and it ends up that only people familiar with the work can even discuss whether it's an example, let alone agree.

  1. What counts as a matriarchy?
  2. Does the work claim Tropistan is a matriarchy? Openly, or by implication, or just by appearance?
  3. Is Tropistan a matriarchy?
  4. Is this dissonance deliberate, or an authorial mistake?

Some of the examples seem to be "Tropistan looks a bit like a matriarchy, though is never described as such, and it isn't one." Complaining About Works Not Fitting Into The Ideological Pigeonhole You Put Them In?
Zaldrīzes buzdari iksos daor, so Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus.
 73 Spark 9, Thu, 3rd Jan '13 7:42:55 AM from Castle Wulfenbach Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
Perhaps we should strike all examples except where either the work itself or Word of God explicitly says it is a matriarchy. Because indeed, "a society that has some elements of a matriarchy but not others" is not a trope.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
 74 Septimus Heap, Thu, 3rd Jan '13 7:44:08 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Puʻu ʻŌʻō
I agree with Spark 9. If it isn't called a matriarchy, it shouldn't be an example.

Sharknado Warning
Agreed. It would curb all the example where someone gets excited and assumes that because the author wrote "X is ruled by a woman / Only women can have (Insert Important Job Y Here)" and writes that as an example despite the example not being a matriarchy...

Page Action: Matriarchy In Name Only
10th Jan '13 1:22:44 AM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
At issue:
Matriarchy In Name Only suffers from an insufficiently clear definition and was becoming "complaining about social structures you don't like".
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