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Old 10-10-2019, 11:17 AM   #11
Michele
 
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Default Re: Magical Matriarchies [Fantasy]

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
What would be the impact of sexual disparities in magical populations? What would you do with such a setting? What would you add to the settings?
I think you might do whatever you want. You wouldn't be forced to have a female magocracy. After all, in the Middle Ages the archetypal magic user was the witch - a female. That was a subversive, antagonist "power", but the real power was traditionally in the hand of noblemen. So, if magic is real and mostly used by women, you might very well have a set up not very much unlike the Middle Ages, save that the witches have real power. And the inquisitors, witch hunters, witch-killing paladins etc. are totally dedicated to eradicate them, in order to save the established traditional order. Some of the witches might opt for a (very) low profile, others might want payback. Some might even go for covert subversion tactics, by secretly helping non-witch women.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: Magical Matriarchies [Fantasy]

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I think you might do whatever you want. You wouldn't be forced to have a female magocracy. After all, in the Middle Ages the archetypal magic user was the witch - a female. That was a subversive, antagonist "power", but the real power was traditionally in the hand of noblemen. So, if magic is real and mostly used by women, you might very well have a set up not very much unlike the Middle Ages, save that the witches have real power. And the inquisitors, witch hunters, witch-killing paladins etc. are totally dedicated to eradicate them, in order to save the established traditional order. Some of the witches might opt for a (very) low profile, others might want payback. Some might even go for covert subversion tactics, by secretly helping non-witch women.
You might even hold that the women of the nobility practice arts as their husbands practice arms and that a key part of being a successful noble is keeping a powerful magical trait in your distaff line. This would work particularly well for a ritual magic setting where D&D style combat magic is rare to non-existent and most magic is intelligence style work (information handling and covert killings) or strategic in nature (like meddling with the weather) - this then allows for a relatively non-divergent setting.
As for witches well, even assuming that they are not the traditional "person who has made a bad deal with an infernal power" why would a commoner woman practising magic in such a regime be any more appropriate than a commoner man bearing arms?
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: Magical Matriarchies [Fantasy]

It would depend a bit on how high the fantasy went.

If magic runs the world, travel, communication, war. Then you have a very serious matriarchy, and with diminished male ability at the primary technology of the age, it's a validated sexual empowerment, which can be much nastier. Think about how women were regarded based on their physique in historical periods where might made right. You'd have a society where the world runs on an ability men rarely can attain. It could even be illegal for men to practice the great art, likely a lot of dogma about how magic requires a creative energy and willingness to endure pain that the male mind isn't capable of.

If Magic is moderately influential, practiced by elites but legal within the law you end up with magical guilds that empower women and become magnets for women who feel disenfranchised weather or not they're mages. The'd likely have female bodyguards and female administrators, not necessarily out of any sense of female empowerment but because those applicants for the work are passionate about working for the magic guild.

If magic is rare or illegal in the setting you'd end up with a very European view of witchcraft, likely persecuted by whichever aspect of society most represents the patriarchy of the setting.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:14 PM   #14
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It could be a way for common women to marry into the nobility. Perhaps nuns provide training to, and select members from, magically gifted women, giving the Church substantial magical assets. Commoners could go to an abbey to receive training, magical and social, leave to marry a nobleman or wealthy commoner, and return to take vows after their husbands die (as could a noblewoman).

The question them becomes of magically gifted men. Would the priesthood or mones be the inevitable destination of such men? If so, that would give even more magical power to the Church. With priests, monks, and nuns being mages, and any female mages outside the Church being Church-trained, they would probably have more power than any secular authority.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:51 PM   #15
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Default Re: Magical Matriarchies [Fantasy]

When dealing with the term Matriarchy what do you mean?

A) A society were women rule in the same way men have generally ruled in past human societies with men as an oppressed group denied basic human rights and treated as secondary and semi-worthless. Something like Ancient Greece in the time of Plato.

B) A society were women have equal rights with men and are just as likely to throw their weight around as anyone else.

C) A Society were women have real power and authority.

All of these have been used to mean matriarchy. Many societies were woman were clearly second class citizens at best have been called matriarchies by outsiders. Because ancient nomadic Central Asian tribes people needed to have their women be fairly autonomous as a matter of survival, the Ancient Greeks thought the women ruled. The Greek viewpoint was wildly sexist and the basis for the mythic Amazons. As late as the early 1960's many British conservatives held that American women were out of control and had established a matriarchy in the USA. This was generally offered up as a joke, but a commonplace joke that got nods of agreement, mock or otherwise.

Neither ancient Central Asia nor 1950's America was a feminist utopia, but they were called matriarchies for political reasons.

Could you define what you mean by Matriarchu?
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:53 PM   #16
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Default Re: Magical Matriarchies [Fantasy]

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When dealing with the term Matriarchy what do you mean?

A) A society were women rule in the same way men have generally ruled in past human societies with men as an oppressed group denied basic human rights and treated as secondary and semi-worthless. Something like the way women were treated in Ancient Greece in the time of Plato.

B) A society were women have equal rights with men and are just as likely to throw their weight around as anyone else.

C) A Society were women have real power and authority.

All of these have been used to mean matriarchy. Many societies were woman were clearly second class citizens at best have been called matriarchies by outsiders. Because ancient nomadic Central Asian tribes people needed to have their women be fairly autonomous as a matter of survival, the Ancient Greeks thought the women ruled. The Greek viewpoint was wildly sexist and the basis for the mythic Amazons. As late as the early 1960's many British conservatives held that American women were out of control and had established a matriarchy in the USA. This was generally offered up as a joke, but a commonplace joke that got nods of agreement, mock or otherwise.

Neither ancient Central Asia nor 1950's America was a feminist utopia, but they were called matriarchies for political reasons.

Could you define what you mean by Matriarchy?
I corrected two mistakes.
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Old 10-10-2019, 03:05 PM   #17
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Default Re: Magical Matriarchies [Fantasy]

The general consequence is that magicians will be predominantly female. What broader social effects this has depends on the social status of magicians, which can reasonably range from 'slaves' to 'ruling nobility', and the degree to which magicians care about the status of non-magicians (the age at which magical aptitude can be detected has fairly important effects, as someone who only became a magic student at 15 will probably feel more affinity for the common people than someone who started at 5).
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Old 10-10-2019, 03:10 PM   #18
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Default Re: Magical Matriarchies [Fantasy]

I mean that magical society is a matriarchy. Of course, the larger society could diverge.
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Old 10-10-2019, 03:29 PM   #19
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Default Re: Magical Matriarchies [Fantasy]

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I mean that magical society is a matriarchy. Of course, the larger society could diverge.
If magical talent is random in the society, there's a fair chance that magicians don't care that much about gender, as siring or bearing children is not particularly relevant to the propagation of the magical society.
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Old 10-10-2019, 04:17 PM   #20
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Default Re: Magical Matriarchies [Fantasy]

In a modern Western or Western-like society. Powerful magic users being predominately women, with a significant protion of men, would give the female mages high-status and wealth. But probably not more than other powerful professionals.

If the setting is more like 17th century Europe, then women would probably face severe restrictions on learning magic. These would be enshrined in civil and canon law as well as in custom. Men with magical gifts would probably be sent to universities to study.

I could see a late Victorian setting with young women trying to get into university magic programs. The struggle would be similar to the struggle of women to get into Oxford and Cambridge, only with more burnings at the stake.

Unless the broader society is defined, you can't get an answer.
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