I'm writing a fantasy comic, and in my comics, I plan to introduce a country/nation/race, where women dominate everything. Men from this race/nation are submissive to the women. Women have all the Authority. Women go to war. Women decide from the top. Men stay home and take care of the babies. It's like a roles reversed country based on the old ways. Would a country like that work? And how would it work?

EDIT: I may have phrased my question wrongly. I'm talking about a fantasy human race where women have 100% domination over the men. There's semi-common technology(1970s Max) . Baby formulas are available. Men help procreate. They do the meager jobs. Men of this nation are genetically placid. It's an exaggerated concept. Which is why I ask if a society that men contribute little to anything significant could work.

  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 9:28

5 Answers 5


No human society would be structured like this. Two of your points reveal why.

Women go to war.

Men are far more physically suited to combat than women. A nation that uses female warriors will be conquered by one that uses male warriors. Weapons tech doesn't help much here--men still have faster reaction times than women, can carry heavier loads, and have more endurance, which are all relevant to combat.

Men stay home and take care of the babies.

Men don't have breasts. They can't take care of babies without a woman present. So this just ends up being inefficient. Tech doesn't really help this issue, either, because social structures come first, and they tend to have quite a bit of inertia. The invention of baby formula isn't going to shunt every man into a childcare position when women have been doing it for centuries.

This doesn't rule out a societal structure where women have authority and men do not. Heck, even in a male-dominated society, most men still don't have any authority, so it wouldn't be a big change for them. Men already do a whole host of important but low-status jobs in real life, so relegating them to exclusively that is hardly out of the question. But the resulting society will not be a sex-reversed patriarchy. It just doesn't work with human physiology.

Now, if you want to go nonhuman, all bets are off. You can look to nature to find all sorts of sexual arrangements and hierarchies. There's even a species of cave-dwelling book lice where the females have penises and the males have vaginas, with a corresponding reversal in sex roles. Go nuts.

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    $\begingroup$ @bruglesco No, sexual dimorphism in animals (and even just within mammals) runs the gamut for which sex is larger or stronger. Humans happen to be one where the males are stronger, but we are hardly unique in that regard. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 3:32
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    $\begingroup$ Words like inferior presuppose that what's important is warmaking capability. Human men are inferior to women at a number of tasks, particularly bearing children (impossible) and feeding infants (possible with technological help but still inferior). Patriarchal systems value warmaking over child care, but that's rather short sighted. I'm actually more willing to believe that women will go to war (Amazons) than that they will leave child rearing to men in a matriarchal society. In most matriarchal societies, men hunted and warred while women stayed home. $\endgroup$
    – Brythan
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 5:33
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    $\begingroup$ Hmmm. I'm not convinced your answer is wrong, but I am convinced your reasoning is 2D and from a "what we have is right, obviously" perspective. Can you rationalize that no modern government can exist without depending on the ancestral history of strength? Is it truely enough to say, "because men are statistically stronger they will always push women aside, even when society has evolved to one of law over enforcement?" $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 19:40
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    $\begingroup$ @JBH I never said men will always push women aside. I'm saying there are certain fairly important societal roles that cannot be sex swapped. Any role that requires physical strength will be filled by men. Babies will be raised by women. Those conditions alone don't preclude a matriarchal society, but they do preclude it from just being a sex-swapped version of a patriarchal one. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ That is simply false. Women have better endurance. $\endgroup$
    – Alice
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 9:24

Some controversial and highly disputed theories by Marija Gimbutas suggest that very ancient human societies in Neolithic Europe were indeed matriarchal until they were overrun and conquered by the "Kurgans" from the great Steppes of eastern Europe/Ukraine. Presumably the female dominated matriarchal societies did not think in terms of defence, so were easily overrun and conquered by the male dominated, warrior, "Kurgan" society.

Another legendary matriarchal society was the "Amazons", who also lived in the Steppes north of the Black Sea according to some legends. Oddly enough, there have been Scythian grave sites from that region with female remains surrounded by weapons and armour in the same manner as high ranking male warriors.

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Real Amazons in ancient Scythia

So while there is not conclusive archaeological proof of female dominated societies, there are intriguing hints that it was possible in the distant past, so there is nothing intrinsically stopping the idea, at least for a while.

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    $\begingroup$ Given the examples of e.g. the Huns and the Mongols, I'd be inclined to say the Kurgans' victories had less to do with gender and more to do with the inherent differences between steppe nomadic societies and sedentary agricultural societies. One doesn't think of Kievan Rus' as matriarchal, for instance, but it was conquered just as thoroughly. $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 4:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Cadence: The Huns and Mongols came many (six? seven?) millennia later. Assumming, arguendo, that the conquest posited by Marija Gimbutas actually happened, which most archeologists don't believe, it was not comparable with the Mongol conquest. We are speaking of the deepest deep antiquity here, just before the dawn of the bronze age. Human population density was very much lower, the economy and technological base were way more primitive; horses had been just recently domesticated, and were used to pull carriages. Nobody had cavalry, or armor. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 5:42
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    $\begingroup$ Like you, I am dubious of the Gimbutas hypothesis, but thought it was interesting enough in this context to mention. A neolithic matriarchal society would fit the parameters of what the OP is asking. The idea that such a society would essentially be helpless in the face of aggression is another issue which should be raised and discussed if you want to go that route. $\endgroup$
    – Thucydides
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 20:12

A 100% reversal doesn't make sense, especially if you limit the technological level to 1970.

Woman are capable of managing families, companies and countries, but when it comes to physically hard work, it doesn't make sense to prefer women doing it.

The evolution of our species gave men stronger muscles and more testosterone (among other things), which makes them better suited for occupations like (pre-industrialized) miners, lumber jacks or warriors.

The same evolution gave women a physically weaker body and a brain that cares more about the wellbeing of infants than a male brain. That makes them better suited for social and medical care jobs.

If you except childcare and physically hard jobs from your gender swap, it is far more believable. There's no reason why a female chief physician shouldn't instruct a male nurse or why a husband shouldn't have lunch ready when his beloved wife comes home from her job. There's no reason why sexual harassment and discrimination shouldn't work the other way around. If you define physical work as inferior or undesirable in your society, putting women into management positions and high education jobs and men into labor jobs sounds like an equivalent of the lack of job opportunities women faced in the past.

Disclaimer: Please don't start a discussion about sexism and gender bias. I support equal chances for all genders and races, but the history is what it is and cannot be changed.


If women are brought up to know and expect to be warriors they will do so in societies where a woman going to war is not uncommon they show the same pride and want as men in victories, battle boldness, and stamina despite what other posters seem to think.

Pulling some from actual matriarchs Women inherit the titles and property, they govern the pecking order inside the home and within the government, men are properties of their home matriarch until they are given in marriage then they are property of their wife, if money counting is seen as beneath them (this was a common thing.) the men will handle the money counting if the women consider money counting to be a fine skill they will take charge think of your tasks like that what does this culture consider below? Women who are at bottom rank along with your men will do those tasks. If the culture thinks it takes fine skill, or only the woman's mind could possibly understand it then the moderate to high level women only will handle it.

Repairs will be done by women unless its pipe or road laying maybe? But even then you would use the low ranking women to do it before a man. Men sire and men can breast feed maybe they in your society lactate and begin that process over the course of the wife's pregnancy eager to take on that role once the child is born.

A thing to think on being home bound isn't all about stay home and watch children it is a multi tasking affair with no acknowledgement and little perks seen as something monkey could do but one in what must be done for free with little to no appreciation. It is a job that outsiders think should never end and yet must be easy to handle.All tasks are deemed as never stressful and never difficult because you below me (assumed) are doing it. This is not true being confined to your home does harm one mentally and socially and being placed with stressors just makes it all worse. This is why your SO who is home bound says at least you get a break by going to work because their job never ends and they never leave work. (To Continue)


(This was supposed to be post #2 below my other answer but whatever) In your society a female birth is cheered a male birth is met with solemn gazes (actually something that happens in the inverse today aka male is celebrated)

To think on: Culturally How will death work in this world? Will the male be burned alive or entombed with the body of his wife once she passes? Cuz women had to do that.

What is the story told to all in the same vein as adam and eve for your world? What did the man screw up so badly that all men are the way they are today? And if the modern man is not that way he should strive to be it only producing a child should be the end all be all to his happiness and of course making sure that child is a functioning adult but also his home is shining example of what it is to be orderly (if one values this for the culture at all) ect.

Did some king forever ago screw up so badly and his male cabinet along with him it was beyond hand waving it away? Did they fall in death, disease, and famine so badly due to these men that it was either given or (more likely) wrestled from the broken man's hands and his wife took power over him as he'd done too much damage and too much shame towards their people and herself she could no longer suffer his disasters to go on? The very earth itself lashed back at man and slowed his production of males from his seed with every plant he ate and each drop of water that rained upon him or he cupped from the stream so more and more women were born to one male as to choke such evil and want for causing others to suffer for him out of the world leaving women to take up the mantel in full and in higher and higher numbers.

His crusading wife in turn raised up the women and they proceeded to crush them in a burtal fashion maybe this first retaking wasn't done in frontal assult but cunning or gruella warfare with a later routing battle maybe plunging the men into a gorge in a symbolic way she and her women cast these invading men who crushed, broke, and humiliated her husband into the literal earth that now kicked back at the male in time with her displayed bloodrage. She avenged her own shame but her suffering had only begun as she transformed into spear point she would not nurture what she bore she was now a weapon.

Women still war but the death rate is less or if it's not then the victories and defeats more spectacular due to tactics being ever more fluid and well researched, women can be however more rutheless, more bloody, and more torturous in their responses when pushed. In your case is this still a thing or is such extremes punished to satisfy the earth of her ill behavior?

Does your society cave out a rare space for a male on the battlefield or in church? Is he a war witch designed via rites and rituals to give strength to his women? And it would be his women in a careing manner not his women in a possessive manner he loves his women in a paternal sense his rituals it is thought to dispense more strength and possibly imbued the women with heart of concern for their own men left behind to induce them to be more rational or more swift whatever you'd like what do they value most? She is suppose to go to war because she shows she cares via shedding blood of those who would harm her family she is his teacher to show her faith to god she tutors him to patience, think of others, selfless, (whatever culturally they think he needs), and she shepherds him. He shows his repentance by submitting and perhapse ritual he shows he cares for these lessons by caring for the children and tending the home and him being the full cultural plus package it shows to the cosmos he truly wishes to amend the wrongs adam did to the earth and possibly god.


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