Matriarchal Societies in Fiction

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Matriarchal Societies in Fiction

Novels set in women-ruled societies

Ever wonder what the world be like if females were the dominant sex? By dominant, I mean if women held the marjority of political offices, were CEO's, and dominated the science and technology fields. I'm sure you have. We all have. A few authors have even gone as far as to write about it! Here are a few books set in matriarchal societies.

Y: The Last Man 
Y: The Last Man 
by Brian K. Vaughan is a 10-volume graphic novel series. Suddenly, all living creatures with a Y-chromosome die, leaving the females as the only survivors. Well, almost all males...Yorick, a quirky, wannabe escape artist and his monkey, Ampersand, seem to be the only two male survivors. In the first volume, Yorick escapes being sold into slavery, gets locked up in the underground bunker of the White House, witnesses Republican wives attempt to take over the government, and nearly gets killed by a man-hating gang called the Amazons. Although the main character is male, Y: The Last Man is a fun and exciting series that will have you laughing and pondering the big questions as well.

The Female Man
Four women from different points in time and space come together and what the reader experiences is a declaration of female frustration. Jeannine is waiting for her knight in shining armor. Joanna (the author!) just wants to be herself without being judged as "un-feminine". Janet is from the future where men have died out and only women remain. She is seen as the "rebel" in this novel and the character most comfortable in her own skin. Jael appears to be from a different universe where the males and females are segregated. She is the most aggressive of the four and is not afraid to be violent. Point of views blend and alternate, leaving the reader confused in the beginning, but with increasing clarity as the story progresses. For this book, it works. It also comes with a side of humor. 

The Cleft
Women came first! The Cleft by Doris Lessing is a story about the first humans, the Clefts. An all-female society that gave birth (to females only) through parthenogenesis (virgin birth). They were a very peaceful and simple society until one day a male is born. Not knowing what to do, they decided to leave it out for the eagles to eat. However, the Clefts give birth to more monsters and each time, the monster child is left to die. This goes on for quite some time until one of the Clefts discover that the males aren't dying, but surviving, and the Clefts' society begins to unravel. This is a story told through the eyes of male Roman historian. 

The Gate to Women's Country 
Set in a world where women and men are segregated and only come together to procreate. When a boy turns five, he his sent to live in the Warrior's Country and when he turns fifteen, he must make the decision to stay in Warrior's Country and abandon his mother and sisters or go back to Women's Country to live as a servant and eunuch. The Gate to Women's Country by Sherri S. Tepper  follows a woman, Stavia, as she grieves for the son she had to give up. Stavia reminisces over the moments that led up to this emotional event as well and recalls the historical events that created the world she lives in today. This novel focuses on the emotional side of a dystopian society. There are a lot of strong female characters with various layers that the author does not leave untouched.

Although set in an all-female society, Nomansland by Lesley Hauge takes a different turn than the previous books mentioned. The novel is set in a dystopian future where the men are considered the enemy, the females live in a militarized society where friendships are forbidden, and any fashion trends (long hair, make up, painted nails) are looked down upon. The main character, Keller, who is training to be a tracker and defender, stumbles upon a home that is filled with objects from the past that causes her to question the world she lives in now. It is interesting to think of a unisex society (to be honest, an all-female society) being completely militarized. It's one of the great things about the scifi/fantasy genre.

Books that almost made the list, but I didn't have time to read them:
Daughters of the North by Sarah Hall
A Door Into Ocean (e-audio) by Joan Slonczewski

If you know of any other books set in matriarchal societies, please let us know. Did you know you could request a book for the library to purchase? It's amazing. Just click the link below.
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