Have there ever been any true matriarchal societies?

I would say the Bolobedu people of South Africa, who for a couple centuries have had a hereditary queendom..

Doesn’t the Brazilian women-only town count? 600 women and only some male kids, and once the men hit age eighteen they must leave. Women in control of essentially all the decisions.

  1. Queen (Rani) Laxmibai ruled Jhansi from August 1857 to January 1858. She was the face of First Indian War of Independence against the British East India Company.

She led her army against the British, on a horse, with a sword with her son (baby) strapped to her back. She lost - and was killed.

  1. Rani Durgavati 1500s fought the Mughals
    Rani Durgavati - Wikipedia

  2. Razia Sultan - Probably the only Woman Ruler, Islam has ever seen
    Razia Sultana - Wikipedia

The political environment in the immediate vicinity of these rulers was women dominated, but whether the entire society was matriarchal is probably not true.

He’s rejecting them because holding significant power doesn’t make a society matriarchal.

That’s an interesting question. Back in the 1970s, there were some lesbian utopian communities that got started in the Ozarks of Arkansas and Missouri some of which are still around. I don’t know if I’d count those as a matriarchal society given the limited scope of their power. And as far as Brazil goes, the story about that town might be a hoax.

What makes a society patriarchal then? A society where women hold no power whatsoever under any circumstances? Extreme definitions lead us to null answers. The nature of the wielded power demanded is following patriarchal concepts of lines of power. So again, the question becomes self defeating. A society might exist that is functioning perfectly well, but if there isn’t a traditional patriarchal power structure occupied by women instead of men, it seems it cant be a matriarchy.

@Czarcasm seems to be at least partially accepting the Haudenosaunee, who do indeed have a different type of power structure:

So, what percentage of ‘men in charge’ would be enough to disqualify a society? One percent? One single man?

Problem with the Brazilian women-only town is that it doesn’t actually exist.

Outside of a John Saxon TV movie, I don’t think the OP is going to be satisfied with any example submitted.

Perhaps we can compare it to the standards for a patriarchal society? Certainly it would take more than just one woman or just one percent of women in political power to change a society from patriarchal to matriarchal.

Aye. There’s the rub.
What does it mean for a society to be patriarchal?
The word itself means “power (rule) from the father”. And was originally used to describe only that; where the power was literally passed down from father to son (and sometimes to daughter).
But, it had come to mean any political system where men predominantly (or solely) wield power.

When you tack on the word “society”, we seem to be talking about more than just political power. When the US is described as a patriarchal society, it is generally agreed that the fact that men also dominate the economic and domestic realms is included in the discussion.

You’ve stated that you wish to confine the topic to the political arena. Fine.
What constitutes patriarchy in your mind?
How is matriarchy related to/ different from patriarchy. Is it the exact opposite?
What does it mean to be the opposite?
Is a matriarchy anything that isn’t a patriarchy? Is there some middle ground between the two? What would that(them) be called?

Every time you get stung by a wasp, you can thank a matriarchal society.

That is a pretty good example, in my opinion.

I am not writing a dissertation.

Patriarchy: A system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.

Matriarchy: A system of society or government in which women hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.

That’s a neat trick.

Bit of a brain fart-that second “women” should be “men”, of course.