I find it so interesting when myths portray a more matriarchal society because most of the myths I am accustomed to are much more patriarchal, for example Hesiod’s Theogeny, the Genesis, etc. In the chinese mythology we see the “great mother” giving power to the weak and the famous Yin and Yang that demonstrated female/male equality. The mention of gods are much less talked about. Similarly, the Mesopotamian Enuma Elish provides us with the portrayal of Tiamat, goddess appraised by gods. I wonder if we can truly say, however, that this is concrete evidence of a matriarchal society? As we know, oral transmission tends to emphasize certain aspects of myth, depending on the transmitter. Could this idea of matriarchy simply be the result of our society wanting to put more emphasis on feminism?


2 thoughts on “Matriarchy in chinese/mesopotamian myth

  1. This thought has crossed my mind a lot while reading these myths. Truthfully I believe that for some reason we are trying to put more of an emphasis on feminism. I know speaking for myself; I would like to believe that there was a time when women were treated equal or superior to men. However, it seems more likely that these female figures fit better into the story than a male. For example, Nu Kwa is being viewed as the “savior of the universe”. This seems to provide a more motherly figure to the world. Wouldn’t this seem funny if a male was portrayed as motherly?

  2. I do agree with what you had to say. I’ve been very curious about the chinese mythology and it’s apparent matriarchal society. However, when you look at chinese culture in the past, it sucked being a woman. Women were generally treated badly. Fathers chose their daughters husbands (in many other cultures as well). Girls were actually often killed because a family wanted a son. Not only was it for male being better then female purposes, but China was over populated, and girls being the one who reproduces, and gived birth were eliminated.

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