Did Women Once Rule?

August 31, 2014

There have been many stories about matriarchal societies but the ones that stand out are the ones that have their origin in myths and folklore about the Amazons. They were said to be the most powerful women in the world and they excluded men from their society; they even went to war against them.

And now there is a town in Brazil called Noiva do Cordeiro, which translates to “Bride of the Lamb.” Most of the residents are women between the ages of 20 to 35, and they are known for being beautiful and looking for husbands.

It seems that boys are sent away after they reach 18 and the married men work far away in the cities and are only home on weekends. The rest of the men are all cousins. The women dream of falling in love and getting married but they love their town and they don’t want to leave to find a husband.

They also don’t seem to want to bring men into their town. It seems that back in the 1890s, they had been a community of single women and single mothers and then, in the 1940s, a male pastor moved into their town and imposed strict puritanical rules. It took his death in 1995 to get out from under his thumb and the women decided they would never again allow men to dictate their lives.

So now they live in a harmonious town that one resident describes this way: “There are lots of things that women do better than men. Our town is prettier, more organized and far more harmonious than if men were in charge. When problems or disputes arise, we resolve them in a woman’s way, trying to find consensus rather than conflict.”

I think the thing that I don’t understand is that if this tyrannical pastor moved into their town in the 1890s, when the community was first established, I could understand why the women would let him dominate them. However, his reign of terror didn’t start until the 1940s and, by that time, women had become aware of their own strengths.

Why did it take his death, fifty years later, for these women to decide they would never again allow men to dictate their lives? Considering this town was run by women, there were certainly enough of them to run him out of town or at least boycott his services. So, why didn’t they?

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