We’ll answer that below, but first, for you non NCFM members you donâ€™t know what you are missing by not being plugged into our Yahoo discussion group, a group populated by long standing menâ€™s rights activists with an incredible depth of knowledge. But, you have to be a memberâ€¦
Hereâ€™s an example. Over the past two weeks discussion has focused on two or three aspects one of which has to do with lexicon and the power of individual words.
Tim Goldich, President of our Chicago chapter and author of Loving Men Respecting Women the Future of Gender Politics suggested substituting Matriarchy with â€śMatrisensusâ€ť. I went to the dictionary, extracted a meaning, and emailed backâ€¦
â€śSensus” has the following definitions:
- It is a music album by Cristina Branco which was released on May 27, 2003.
- It is a Latin term for Divinitas which means sense of being divine.
- It is literally known as common sense.
â€śMatriâ€ť means â€śmotherâ€ť.
Therefore, I take â€śmatrisensusâ€ť to mean, Cristina Broncoâ€™s mother of an album released in 2003 is sensibly divine. Or, I donâ€™t see the relevance in this discussion and my wordsmithy skills suck. Please forward a definition you think all here should understand, including me.
And, he didâ€¦
Hey Harry, thanks for asking!
As I wrote before, the term “matrisensus” was coined by David Shackleton. Many of you are familiar with him. He’s a Canadian dude who, for many years,Â edited the journalÂ Everyman. He also edited my book. He is, in myÂ view, a very wise man. The following is my (our) opinion on the matter.
The “sensus” in matri-sensus is short for consensus.
David came up with the term matrisensus to replace matriarchy, becauseÂ he (and I) believe matriarchy to be a misnomer term that has been screwing us for decades.Â Here’s why:
The term matri-archy implies a hier-archy of women to match the patri-archy–the hier-archy of men. But, essentially, there is no hierarchy of women. There is no admiralty of motherhood, no sexual-powerÂ senate, no president of chivalry power, no feminism CEOs. So, when people look for this so called “Matriarchy,” when people look for an equal-opposite to matchÂ Patriarchy, most likely they will see nothing–(except a paltry few female senators and CEOs and that’s it).Â They will then conclude that, on the one hand there is Patriarchy and on the other hand there is essentially nothing–men have the power and therefore, in the name of “fairness,”Â power must be taken from men and given to women. For this reason, we believe that the term matriarchy tends to have a veryÂ misleading effect that is screwing us (and not in the way we like to be screwed).
So, Shackleton came up with the term “matrisensus.” Definition–the consensus of women: the female collective: The Sisterhood. While Man plies power through the formation of hierarchies, Woman plies power through relative solidarity (i.e., feminism, sexual power, shaming, motherhood, Moral Authority, banding together, forming women’s groups, networking, marching, protesting, and so on). This is why when you insult one woman, you insult all women, and all women endeavor to scratch your eyes out (by contrast, when you insult one man, all other man leave the insulted man to twist in the wind).
An example of the matrisensus in action is female sexual power. As I’m sure everyone on this list well knows, the sexual “commodity” has value only to the extent that sex is withheld. If sex were freely given away, sex would not have theÂ high value that it hasÂ (andÂ prostitutes would be out of business). But here’s the thing, for sexual withholding to effectively drive up the “price,” a very large percentage (a consensus) of the female population has to play along.Â It’s what you might callÂ the Sexual Cartel. And it is enforced by what Warren Farrell refers to as the “Female Mafia” (women who keep other women “in line” byÂ labelingÂ ”promiscuous” womenÂ ”sluts” and ostracizing them and so on). Here’s how a woman describes it:
â€śI could live without penetration, which loomed like Hell itself with its threat of ostracization from The Group,â€ť says Nancy Friday, recalling The Rules from before The Rules was written. â€śI applied my competitive spirit to outdistancing everyone in the Nice Girl Rules, which said No Competition and No Sex; try as I may, I cannot recall anyone ever saying The Rules out loud or suggesting that breaking the antisex rules would automatically eliminate you from The Group. But they existed more strictly than any perimeters Iâ€™ve known since.â€ť
One could refer to the above as matriarchy, and no one would be injured, but Shackleton and IÂ feel that the term matrisensus more accurately and clearly conveys the nature of female power and how it works. As we figure it, the more clearly our culture is able to seeÂ the true magnitude of female power, the less obsessed our culture will be with increasing female power (at the expense of male power).
Sorry to sound like a text book, but I’m a technical writer by trade so, well . . . Anyway, that is our view on the matter.
Obviously, Mr. Goldich has a much better grasp of such things than I. â€śBroncoâ€™s mother of an album released in 2003 is sensibly divineâ€ť, while arguably correct, doesnâ€™t seem to capture the essence of our groups conversation. Mr. Goldich graciously concluded our exchange with, â€śMatrisensus is better for some things, Bronco’s mother of an album is better for other things–It All Balances Out.â€ť
Special thanks to Canadian Dude David Shackelton without whom this would not be plausible.
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