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Some critical remarks on Katarina Leppänens comments on the field of modern matriarchal research in her dissertation:  Rethinking Civilisation in a European Feminist Context, History, Nature Women in Elin Wägner´s Väckarklocka, for not observing accurate scientifical rigor.

 

Leppänen pursue a peculiarly selfcontradictory and contraproductive enterprise in her dissertation, aiming to re-evaluate the contributions by Elin Wägner and her contemporary so - called  "feminist matriarchalists" to the ecofeminist discussion in the 1920s and 30s, similar to the one of Cynthia Eller, regarding the (consciously strategic?) way of neglecting to specify what kind of "matriarchy" their targets of so called "feminist matriarchalists" are accused of promoting.

 

A comfortable carriage, as it facilitates the use of the shaming technique: damn if you do and damn if you don´t; as we shall se further down, in Leppänen´s case being used to shame the prominent scholar Heide Göttner Abendroth for, at the one hand, the supposed promoting of the idea of a prehistoric matriarchy (of women´s rule or what?) as  a "historic fact" and, at the other, for not being able to accept such "historic fact" of matriarchal rule of women, but getting "chocked" and "obsessed" and "annoyed" thereby.

 

And when it comes to some of these so called "feminist matriarchalist" as for example Heide Göttner Abendroth and / or Marija Gimbutas and others like even the Nigerian socialanthropologist Ifi Amadiume (scroll down!)  it is obvious that neither of their slanderers hold on to truth, but let themselves go producing whatever "facts" they like, no matter what.

 

Quoting Leppänen on page 66:

 

"While becoming acquainted with theories of matriarchy and research on such, two declarations recur with surprising frequency.

 

Firstly the resigned researcher advocate of matriarchy as a historic fact, state that the field is neglected in academia, their work a losing battle.

 

Heide Göttner Abendroth of The Hagia Akademie und Coven für kritiske Matriarkatsforschung und matriarkalische Künste in Niederbayern, Germany, writes that the subject of matriarchy itself cannot be considered to be unserious, but the research can of course be more or less seriously carried out.

 

(The fact that KL not even care for labelling Hagia International Academy correctly, is also representative for the highly arrogant and non-scientifical attitude)

 

Secondly, a disclaimer from the serious researcher, distancing her or himself from matriarchal theories, recurs.

 

Cynthia Eller argue to the introductory chapter of ”The Myth of Prehistory; Why an invented Past Won´t Give Women a Future (2000)”, that the idéas of matriarchy does feminism more harm than good, even if she understands it´s strong mythical power.

 

As long as the existence of matriarchal socities cannot be proved as a historic fact, any reference to it damage the credibility of feminism as a whole, she continues.

 

The book then goes on to investigate feminist and non-feminist research that promotes matriarchy in order to discredit it.

 

Representant a third position, Beate Wagner-Hasel ends her balanced and scientifically correct survey of mathriarchal theories as a critic of rationality, by pointing out that she will not advocate matriarchy as a fact, but that she argues for a social - historic evaluation of the material"

 

The only thing you have to do, to convince yourself of what kind of veracity Leppänen hold on to, in her describing HGA as an incapacitated and querolous good- for-nothing charlatan at the same low level as the derogative bully Cynthia Eller, who has elbowed her way forth to a wellpayed chair in the male stream establishment by pouring out idle bollocks about the so-called "feminist matriarchalists", is to go to HGA:s homepage of HAGIA International Academy in order to find a devoted and professional scholar beyond comparison, mastering a huge selfindependant and selfsufficiant project worth a Nobel prize, whatever your opinion then might be of the scientific accuracy of her findings. Which furthermore lies far beyond Leppänen´s area of academic competence as an idea historian to decide, the same applying for Wagner Hasel´s and Eller´s cases, neither of them possesing the legitimacy of the multidisciplinary approach and relevant methodology, required for the task.

 

As Leppänen at the one hand laments over the lack of a clear definition among the so called "matriarchalists", and at the other, dismisses the only one who (beyond the anthropologist Peggy Reeves Sanday, but she is not even mentioned)  has come up with such a definition; namely Heide Göttner Abendroth´s scientific carriage as incorrect, in comparison with the only one recommended; Beate Wagner-Hasel, one must ask if she really has read the literature to which she refers; namely Das Matriarchat 1988 by HGA, or if she perhaps didn´t understand it correctly as its written in German, or if the definition of the concept of "matriarchy" presented therein by HGA as well as of Peggy Reeves Sanday, doesn´t get Leppänen´s approaval and then why.

 

One is almost prone to suspect that neither Leppänen nor Cyntia Eller (or perhaps not even Beate Wagner Hasel, although she understands German?) have read the works of HGA as well themselves (do they read German?) but probably just have listened to the routinely derogative dismissals communicated by the children´s game; "The Thelephone" amongst their academic colleges - this kind of highly unserious manner which of course is to regard as a severe damage against science itself, as Charlene Spretnak has pointed out in her article The Anatomy of Backlash ( which begins with the sentence: "Anyone who assumes that material published under her own name will stand as an inviolable record of her positions might well consider the case of Marija Gimbutas".)

 

As the definition of the concept of "matriarchy" by HGA and / or of Peggy Reeves Sanday, could have been of great help in structuring the complex web of ideas in Elin Wägner´s picturing a fully realistic ecofeminist alternative to the colonialistic, war - and violence- centered patriarchy, Leppänen omits the possibility of offering Wägner the restitution from the derogatory stamp of being a "naive and romanticising utopian"  she really would have deserved, delivered by her country fellows of "culture men" such as the Nobel prize winner Harry Martinsson when taking over her chair nr XV in the Swedish Academy after her death 1949, as well as by Conny Svensson, the  author of the chapter on Elin Wägner in what has for the past two decades been the standard handbook of Swedish literature. (Scroll down for more information!)

 

Instead Leppänen focuses on the work: Neubegrundung de Psychologie von Mann und Weib of Mathilde Vaerting (1884-1977) and writes:

 

" (Die Neubegrundung...) is a "blazing confrontation with the maledominated world and i derogatory view of women"..." in wich she proposes an alternative understanding of sexual differences as being solely based on power relations - nothing separates men from women. In a sense Vaerting´s theory can be understood as gender indifferent. It is not for woman against men. ( contrary to who / whom?) -  the target is monosexual dominance or supremecy, and its tendency to surpress the other sex. In its context, however the book is strongly feminist (contrary to who / whom and why?)  as Vaerting argues that domination creates subordinaed and inferior women through its political power." (???)

 

The text is full of questionable statements, allusions and obscurities regarding cause and effects and if so called "monosexual dominance" is to be considered as an inevitable  human universal, and  what then the options for balanced egalitarian relations between the sexes might be.

 

No wonder that Elin Wägner didn´t find Vaertings ideas much to trust, as she writes:

 

"She assumes that men and women are exactly the same and change as they ruling or ruled over. I don´t think one can build a whole way of thinking on that theory" (...) I was fascinated by her but i could not stop at her standpoint",

 

Neither do Heide Göttner Abendroth, commenting Vaerting´s ideas in Das Matriarchat 1988, (but omits them in the English edition 2012) and has got good reason for that, as there aren´t much logic neither evidence, with which to prove them, why it is of total irrelevance to accuse HGA of being "offensed and chocked" by the so called "radical" idea  that "women oppress when they hold power", and of having  been "annoyed" over "Vaertings thesis that women dominated and ruled in matriarchy in the same manner as men did", which is against her "conviction" that "matriarchy stands for non-supremacist and non-dominating order."

 

Now all of a sudden, it turns out that Leppänen is very well aware of HGA having quite another definition of "matriarchy" than mirroring patriarchy as a "women´s rule", so why hasn´t she come up with that before, when it quite obviously has the potential to underpin the ideas that Wägner represents?

 

And now who is talking about matriarchy as a fact? And why is it so important to stress her opinion of HGA as full of  emotionally loaden rejections against the idea of women´s domination and ruling in matriarchy, if there never has been one, which is what she herself has shown that male stream science has come up with so far, as HGA:s own and the remaining research in the field of modern matriarchal studies as well. Here they are; the convenient double messages, mentioned above.

 

And why this derogatory adressing; talking about "conviction" as if she: the former teacher in philosophy of science, interpretation and methodology at the university in München, was a gullible undergraduate without the slightest clue of how to pursue correct science, when fact is quite the contrary, not at least acknowledged by the numerous influx of contemporary scholars and indigenous inhabitants in matriarchies on the congresses directed by HAGIA International Academy under the leadership of HGA, and a steadingly growing interest for her books, nowadays being translated into both English, French and Italian.

Leppänen mix things up due to her lack of ability to think in system orientated cathegories. Of course women are able to dominate men on an individual level and do so, in systems where domination are the "natural" way of relating to one another, even if their options looks otherwise than the dominators as the 2nd class cathegory of "the others". That you need not be Einsteing to realize.

 

But the existence of "matriarchal" systems according to the definition of HGA (and Peggy Reeves Sanday) elutriated by applying inductive method, not at least to their own ethnographical studies of contemporary indigenous matriarchal societies, are built on the complete contrary principle from bottom up by the mothers raising their children to cooperate on equal terms, not because of being of higher moral standards than men, but because of having learnt from thousands and thousands of years of experiences that that was / is the only way to guarantee the survival of their group / society and its safety and wellfare - principles that permeate every kind of relation and women and men alike, even if they are gendered in a binary terms (which is not equal to biologism or essentialism, as these principles and organisation features represents cultural phenomenon that eventually has arisen out of nature) .

 

Basic logic, as well as fundamental evolutionary and zoological findings, tells that this probably must have been the course of prehistory, whilst nowhere among the mammals its the "father´s" task to raise the offspring and teach it how to survive. And with patriarchies in the lead of  the cultural evolution, it would have been put to an end  long ago, that is for sure, what we can conclude from what´s been up since they arose some thousands of years ago.

 

This kind of theorizing on a systemtheoretical basis is not dependant on a biological binary thinking regarding the sexes, but offers instead an altenative to the dogma in male stream humanity and social science that relations between the sexes as well as between people in common inevitably relates upon hierarchical domination - and as such of the men in the top of the hierarchy. That´s their only way of imagine a structure of a more developed "civilisation" in human history, and I can show many examples of that, found in my investigations on the net the last months.

 

Thus to conclude; I find it both unlogically contradictory and contraproductive on the behalf of the re-establishment of Elin Wägner as an intellectual scholar and philospher of science, - if though a self-taught one - to put HGA:s theorizing about the phenomenon of "matriarchy" in a questionable light, as both of them pursue the same kind of "matriarchy", and there is no substantial relevance in the dismissals of HGA:s extensive and comprehensive research in the field, carried out in dialogic interchange with the contemporary indigenous matriarchs themselves, taking their experiences, thoughts and history-telling into account, as have been manifested in the 1:rst nd 2nd World Congress in Modern Mariarchal Studies, arranged  by HGA.

 

So yes; of course HGA writes about matriarchies as about "historical facts", as long as she has got the relevant and reliable references needed therefore and they might be juxtaposed to the elaborated definition, elutriated by inductive method in her extensive theoretical as well as ethnographical investigations, in the same way as historical facts normally are, or at least should be derived in the qualitative process of hermeneutic research.

 

You may pity Beate Wagner Hasel, as well as Cynhia Eller for not having read HGA:s and other modern matriarchal scholars writings, as it would liberate them both from the need of fighting against strawdolls. But there aren´t any legitimate reasons why Beate Wagner Hasel not having taken part of the large amount of socio- historical documentations produced thereby, as well as multidisciplinary complemented with mythological and economical documentations not only delivered by HGA but also by Peggy Reeves Sanday, Veronica Bennholdt -Thomsen, West African ethnographs and historians like Sheik Anta Diop, Ifi Amadiume and Wilhelmina Donko, Gregory Bateson, Audrey Richards, Karla O. Poewe as well as hundreds of others. ( See the reference list in the latest edition of HGA:s "Matriarchal Societies" 2012 in the English translation) The writings of Wagner Hasel, to whichLeppänen refers, critisizing the "Altertumswissenschaft" are themselves totally out of date, seen in the light of the contemporary discourses and as old as from 1992, as is the edition of HGA:s Das Matriarchat 1988. So who knows: perhaps Beate Wagner Hasel nowadays has begun to focus what´s going on in the modern matriarchal studies of today, instead of what Bachofen and his followers in the 20th were up to during the 1800s and and the 1920s and of what ideological reason. Anyhow she has ceased deliver since 1998, whilst HGA has continued to publish new books up until 2014

 

I suppose the scholars in the establisments aren´t allowed to express anything else than derogatory bollocks about the dissidents of the Male Stream Sanctuary. And that all of them are told to stick to the outdated ideas of Beate Wagner Hasels Rationalitätskritik und Weiblichkeitskontruktionen zur Matriarchatdiskussion im Altertumswissenshaft from 1992, not the slightest up to date with the contemporary discourse of MMS, nor compatible with the course of Wägner´s or Braidotti´s highly rational ecocriticism or the chaos - theories about self organising systems.

 

Regarding this disadvantageous circumstances Leppänen anyhow deserves credit for her great effort to elevate the ideas pursued by the women´s movements of the first half of the last century and their very interesting initiative to create an own new WORD ORDER in the WOWO-organisation, cheered by the inspiring and empowering idea of our ancestral mothers having created a sustainable and endurable peaceful and egalitarian society in our prehistoric past.

 

The only thing that´s so hard to understand and accept, is why this idea seems to arouse so much contempt, fear and even hatred, and what it has done to deserve being encountered with so much desinformation and denial, suspicion and belitteling ridicule and contempt, even from feminists themselves, and especially so amongst the feminists of the third wave generation.

 

Why?

 

What is this all about, if not he same old story of Daddys Girl Pallas Athena, born out of Zeus head, in order to help him and Orestes  keeping the wretched Erinyes on arm´s length?

 

Whatever it is meant to be - even a child can see that science is it not.

 

NEXT ONE IN TURN TO GET TRANSMUTED INTO IMPOSSIBILITY OF RECOGNITION:

 

The nigerian anthropologist Ifi Amadiume; herself born in a matriarchal community (igbo) and an ardent promotor of its existence as efficiently balancing negative male domination tendencies:

 

BIOGRAPHY

 

Born in Kaduna to Igbo parents, Amadiume was educated in Nigeria before moving to Britain in 1971. She studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, gaining a BA (1978) and PhD (1983) in social anthropology. Her fieldwork in Africa resulted in two ethnographic monographs relating to the Igbo - African Matriarchal Foundations (1987), and the award-winning Male Daughters Female Husbands (Zed Press, 1987). A book of theoretical essays, Reinventing Africa, appeared in 1998.

 

She is on the advisory board of the Centre for Democracy and Development, a non-governmental organisation that aims to promote the values of democracy, peace and human rights in Africa, particularly in the West African sub-region.

 

Dr Amadiume is widely regarded for her pioneering work in feminist discourse: "[h]er work has made a tremendous contribution to new ways of thinking about sex and gender, the question of power, and women's place in history and culture". She has nevertheless attracted criticism for her "assumption that [the] female is necessarily equated with peace and love."

Another even more striking lack of scientific rigor and respectability when it comes to referring to the so called "matriarchalists" writings, is the totally flippant manner to make up "facts" with footnotes to pages in which none of these "facts" are to be found.

 

On page 79 in her dissertation Leppänen writes:

 

“Matriarchy also works as a way of exoticising - not only was prehistory ruled by women, its remains could also be seen in more primitivare societies” 2

 

The footnot 2 leads to the following reference:

 

Ifi Amadiume, Re-inventing Africa, Matrirchy, Religion and Culture (London: Zed 1997) p.77 passim.  Amundiume (erroniously spelled) is critical of the anthropological interpretations of African “matriarchies” for the very reason that it not only suggests that societets can have non-patriarchal social ordas, but also because it implies that they are therefore more primitive."

 

The only anthropologist mentioned by Amadiume on p. 77 is Cheikh Anta Diop, which gets her complete support for his notion of the old traditional african culture of having been matriarchal, in addition to the opinion of Amadiume herself that they have continued to be so and to play an important role among the grass root women in Africa up until today, constituting a healthy corrective to male dominance macho tendencies.

 

(You can look it up yourself here in Amadiume´s texts on the net: Re-inventing Africa, Matrirchy, Religion and Culture)

And if you look at the pages 76, 78 and 79 as well, the only one beyond Cheikh Anta Diop mentioned, is Claude Lévi-Strauss, and he we all know for sure never talked about matriarchies, as he has been one of the brainiacs of the 20th century pursuing the brilliant idea of the universality of patriarchy, which suffer from the total lack of evidence, but still has served as the scientific truth itself during the major part of the 1900s.

 

Thus the question is left hanging in the open whose opinions Leppänen expresses here: if they are her own or somebody elses,  as well as how they are meant to relate logically to one another; because  if there aren´t any non-patriarchal societies to find in Africa or elsewhere - why then bother about them being considered as "primitive" or not - as they supposedly don´t exist?

For her inestimable contributions to the Swedish literature, the literature historian Eva Britt Brattström writes in her last book, Kulturmannen (The Culture Man) 2016 (my transl.);

 

"Elin Wägner was posthumously underrated by her sucessor to seat nr XV in The Swedish Academy; Harry Martinsson. His speech on the this day of celebration was a parade in master suppression techniques, intended to hollow the authority of the Culture Woman. This is how it went:

  1. Privatize Wägner´s political engagement (she was yealous on her brothers because they got the cance to graduate,  but not her.)
  2. Trivialize her choice of profession (the witty and  columnist)
  3. Downgrade her as an author (the working women´s first and foremost literary spokeswoman) Noone of her novels is worth honouring, only her biography on Selma Lagerlöf.
  4. Make psychology out of  her "shyness", "phobia towards reality" and marital status "abandoned by herself"

Thus, here in front of this prestigious assembly in The Swedish Academy 1949, the successor to Elin Wägner´s seat nr XV; Harry Martinsson, after his initially belitteling his predecssor as a bitter and immature spinster, lifelong stuck in her defiance against the male society due to her fathers unwillingness of letting her get access to higher education when she was a teenager, writing boring books about insignificant female things, he thereafter continues his mental onslaught with the proclamation of this definite condemnation of the Wägner´s writings about  prehistoric peaceful matriarchy as follows:

 

"The touching thing about her endevour to fumble for proof of the reign of the mothers in ancient times, lies in that she hardly doesn't find any proof. What she wanted to get at is war and violence, but reality seem to contradict in everything wich must have been very painful for her since she is fundamentally a rationalist."

This is a very significant example of how brilliant female contributions to culture, is swept away by the so-called "Culture Man" himself - with the complete lack of respect and solidarity with his own country fellows of womenkind. A worldorder that according to Brattström hasn´t change very much since then over half a century ago, if anything at all.

 

I am not so sure, though, that Brattstöm is right about the reason to the maltreatment, but nurture the suspicion that it is quite another one, than the fact that Wägner in her Penwoman from 1910 pursued the ambition to teach the Culture Men to bond with the Culure Woman in an egalitarian manner that has caused the affronted feelings and loss of judgements.

 

And now, that you have learned to know how male stream so-called “science” and “history” work, and why so many high qualified, hard working, skilful and brilliant female researchers, as for example Marija Gimbutas, Heide Göttner Abendroth and Margareth Mead et. al. have been buried under such thick layers of the oblivion out of male stream bollocks and gagging, I think you know the answer.

 

Yess, you are quite right:

 

Of course it is primarilly the nurturing of the idea of the matriarchal prehistory past, presented in her most famous book; the pamphlet Väckarklocka /Alarm Clock 1941, that made the historical flaptrap of oblivion open up under its author Elin Wägner - one of the greatest during the 20th century in this country.

 

And in this regard it´s interesting to notice that even Brattström choses the same evasive strategy, as everybody else of Elin Wägners commentators, when it comes to this matriarchy - matter. As if it was too embarassing to mention at all and / or has to be excused for (Ulla Isaksson / Erik Hjalmar Linder) or in one way or another whitewashed (Birger Schlaug , Katarina Leppänen)  and or made to a postmodern mystification (Forsås Scott).  Instead of fullfilling her list with Martinssons belitteling master suppression techniques, Brattström choses to omit the one in which Martinsson belittle and ridicule her for her deepdigging investigations and great knowledge about our prehistoric matriarchal past.

As there are no proof  to underpin the idea of the universality of patriarchy, or even neither any rational reasons for to promote it ideologically, Martinssons
pompous lack of selfcritisism on this matter is really blatant.

 

However, he and his fellow Culture Men by that time, might be forgiven for their loss of scientific rigor, due to their being brainwashed by the  masculine ideology of their time (thoroughly investigated by the journalist & writer Per Wirtén in his book about Herbert Tingsten: Herbert Tingsten sista dagar )

 

But what to say then, about that literature historian Conny Svensson, who, as late as in the 21th centuary, full of patronising contempt repeats the headless verdict from Martinsson and thereby setting the agenda to nowadays students, as for example is presented by Helena Forsås Scott in her dissertation:

 

RE-WRITING THE SCRIPT

Gender and Community in Elin Wägner

         9781909408142

 

"Conny Svensson, author of the chapter on Elin Wägner in what has for the past two decades been the standard handbook of Swedish literature, has chosen to begin with Väckarklocka  (Alarm Clock) (1941) and more specifically with the pamphlet´s linkage of the Second World War with masculinity.

 

"Life" , he writes, "was certainly better in the matriarchies from the dawn of history that Elin Wägner had come cross in popular science texts." (Svensson 1999 453-54)

 

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  Conny Svensson

 

Which is  commented by  Forsås Scott as follows:

 

"Here Svensson is effectively reinforcing the notion that the attention given to matriachy makes Väckarklocka so divorced from reality that the text verges on irrelevance.  However, more important in the present context is the underlying concept of community which has biologism, and in this case the relationship between the mother and the child, as is bedrock. In other words, gender and community fuse in a construction that underlines the significance of binarism."

 

Although its beyond the epistemological legitimacy of a literature historian to grapple with such complex issues far beyond his own field, Forsås Scott doesn´t openly ciritisize him for that and / or try to defense Wägner for having been right in yet another field of endeavor, in addition to all the others, that she, but her contemporary Culture fellow Men did not grasp, wether it was about politics  and / or science.

 

And this notion of Forsås Scott about Elin Wägner pursuing an underlying concept of biologism and binarism, must also be scrutinized for what it is. I am not sure of understanding Forsås Scott´s abstract postmodernistic language correctly; but if her claim is that Wägner pursued ideas about biologically constituted behavioural or psychological differences between men and women beyond the fact that women bear children I don´t agree on that, and will comment more on this issue later.