So I am playing with idea of fantasy matriarchal society. I want it to be realistic and coherent. This is what I have so far:
I wanted to avoid a simple patriarchal flip, where social structure is same but women are the rulers. I also wanted to avoid creation of egalitarian utopia of equal opportunities, which most feminists would strive for. This fantasy society is not meant to be ideal and full of freedom. On the other hand it is also not meant to be some cheap parody on feminine rule or to present some super cruel over-ladies. I want most of the men to actually support the social structure even by means of internalized-misandry-creating system which does force social roles on people based on gender but is stable and not absurdly cruel. Do not forget that the system is not meant to be beneficial for all women. It is the case in patriarchy that many men do suffer by the pressure applied on them by their social role and expectations of society in the same way that women suffer, so it would be same in matriarchy in that regard that it could be uncomfortable for both men and women. The aim is not to avoid stereotypes but to create a different take on them.
Because I wanted my society to seem realistic, I needed to give it believable reason for becoming matriarchal for long period of time rather than patriarchal. It seems to me that there are two possible types of changes one could make to change power structure. One type is natural or biological change, and the other is historical. I find it very hard to come up with a historical event that would lead to a lasting matriarchy, therefore I'm sticking to a change in biology.
The core difference from common human biology is the fact that female lifespan is twice as long as male lifespan. With today's level of medicine, the average woman would have a life expectancy of 90 years, while the average man would have a life expectancy of 50 years, but the society is set in medieval-like times. Men reach sexual maturity way sooner than women. Because of this, men are seen as underdeveloped intellectually and emotionally. It is seen as waste to invest in their education, while women are depicted as experienced and wise. All property inheritence is matrilineal. Men are not seen as less emotional or passionate, but they are seen as irrational and not being able to control their emotions even though their emotionality is seen as less rich, less colorful, and more primitive. Apart from that, they are still, on average, physically stronger than women. They are considered as driven by their sexuality and prone to lust, and women see them as created purely for reproduction, protection and servitude towards women for pleasure but also as unfaithful and blame them from bringing chaos and evil into world. If you had anything to say about the implications of this change in biology, I would be glad for it, especially in regards to evolution.
Sexual and family relationships
Because men do live half long as women, there is no institution of life-long marriage. Society is organized in big clans controlled by matriarchs. Children do stay in their mother's house. Relationships between men and women are inspired by walking marriages of the Mosuo people. In the community of Mosuo people, men visit women in their houses for the night and return home and there is no stigma if a child's father is unknown. However, in my society it is more strict in that if a woman wants a man to visit her, she first goes to the matriarch of his clan, brings gifts and then makes a deal for the man she wants. It may be seen as similar to prostitution but the difference is that the deal is not just a one night thing but rather a deal of a longer sexual relationship with a length that depends on the exact details of the deal, same as the form of payment. It is seen as ideal for one man to have a deal with only one woman at a given time, to give her all his attention, but he can have more than one deal, if all of the women involved agree with it. Intercourse outside of these deals is restricted. Even though a man can visit women, he lives in his mother's house and helps his sisters and brothers raise children. Sometimes a woman could make a deal to take the man into her own family and stay forever, but this is rare and a big investment. In regards to same-sex attraction, because men live half long as women, there is common trope of life-lasting romantic love between two women.
Economy and work
Economy is more socialized.
Stereotypically feminine jobs include: scribes, bureaucrats, scientists, philosophers, mathematicians, architects, physicians, priestesses, painters, sculptors, landladies, financiers, poets, musicians, magicians, archers, and midwives. Motherhood is held to high status.
Stereotypically masculine jobs include: physical and manual laborers, melee warriors, kardagoi, blacksmiths, and stonecutters. Elite positions or powerful jobs are relegated to women, so men holding these kinds of positions is a rare occurrence.
Usually, certain clans specialize in specific professions. The majority of society works in sort of unisex jobs, as peasants and craftsmen. In those jobs, both the men and women of a clan participate in work but women get the most credit and have a seat in a guild. I am not sure about house work, but it could be seen as unisex as well. While cleaning and repairs are regarded as masculine, cooking and nurturing of small children is regarded as feminine and has higher status.
The government is a theocracy. The city is led by a council of matriarchs, and every clan has one seat on the council. This council does select city priestesses from the women of local temples. Priestesses of various cities form regional priestess councils and select one as their regional representative and grand-priestess. A council of grand-priestesses runs the entire nation. They are old but they have principa as figureheads of the country. Principa are basically puppets selected at random among minor noble girls. Principa then become educated and serve as figureheads for 10 years or until they are 20 years old. When they turn 20, they leave the office and new principa take their place. The concept of Principa is inspired by Dalai-lamas, Popes, British queens and adoptive Roman emperors. There is a lot of autonomy, cities work like city-states and power structure is not secular. Politics value community, collectivism and sharing.
The army is mixed: men can serve only as troops with melee weapons while women often serve as cavalry, archers, officers and warlocks. Kardagoi are the exception and are male, as they need to accompany and protect their ladies on journeys.
Kardagoi constitute a mix of samurai and geisha warriors; I wanted to introduce an elite warrior class but did not want them to own land, and because only women can own land, kardagoi are male. Kardagoi are sort of companions and guardians in same time and are considered ideal males. There are no marriages among them, but rich women can hire them. Kardagoi are trained in special schools where they learn to fight and protect their future ladies, but also to amuse and serve her. They must excel in art, jest, science, house work, massage and many other entertaining or enriching topics. When a Kardagoi serves a powerful lady, his family receives lots of wealth, which is the reason why many women give up their sons to become Kardagoi. There is a big rivalry between Kardagoi schools. Kardagoi and monks are only exception for men not having an education. Kardagoi can serve only one lady. After he graduates from a school, he is tested by being assigned to one lady who reports on his activity. If he does well he is allowed to find himself a real lady and propose his service to her or conversely she can ask him. Kardagoi are unconditionally loyal. When his lady dies, abandons him or if he deserts his lady, he is considered fallen, something like ronin. Kardagoi are the only male warriors allowed to ride horses and use ranged attacks, like archery. All Kardagoi schools run sort of clubs for women, where Kardagoi in training learn to serve ladies.
Magic is practiced by pilgrim witches. They are most similar to ancient Greek poets. They rely on divine inspiration and celebrate the creativity of the world's soul, called Anima, and a mother goddess. Magic is considered art, same as poetry. Witches go from village to village and perform miracles. Magic is not instituionalized or instrumentalized. It is rare. Because of this, it is not used to oppress men or to replace their role in manual labor. It is not that men can't learn magic or have no talent for it, but men practicing magic is disregarded and even seen as inappropriate.
When it comes to fashion, it reflects the matriarchal regime and also the climate of region, which is savannas and rainforests.
Men wear tight, decorated overalls without sleeves and with shoulder padding, stuffed hatch, and wide cleavage. They have their tongue split in ritual for better cunnilingus and to signify female rule over their language. They also have lingual frenectomy done at a young age. They wear braids and braid buns with jewelry. Punk-looking metal spikes and rivets are used as decoration on their clothing. Their overalls have buttons going from cleavage to hatch.
Women wear sort of practical, comfortable coat-dresses with pockets and large collars.
To lighten the female dominance in society, I came up with my own concept of chivalry. Men are expected to adhere to behavioral standards in a similar way as gentleman behave in a patriarchal society, when it comes to activities where women would appreciate his physical protection and some small gestures of care and attention. But on the other hand, women in this matriarchal society can't expect men to pay for them. Since women in this society are seen as superior intellectually and emotionally, I would expect them not only to pay for men but also offer some kind of intellectual and emotional protection, like maternal instinct. I would expect women to express their initiative when picking men, complimenting them, even giving them flowers, sweets and small gifts and socially protecting them against mean girls and their comments. I sense that intellectual and emotional protection could also be seen as pretty oppressive and patronizing.
I have many thoughts about religion, but it would be too long to write about them. In short, I'm inspired by mother nature cults, Christianity, Abrahamic religions, pantheism (female world soul), and matriarchal Confucianism. I would include many misandristic stories and a generally misandristic doctrine that could express the the oppression of men by means of religion.
Psychology of men and women in matriarchy
What would the psychology of men and women in a matriarchy be like? I did write it as a female governed society relied more on cooperation than on competition but I am not sure of that. Is competitiveness of men and cooperativeness of women more socially determined or biologically determined? I would guess that it's a bit of both, so women in power would be more cooperative than men in power but still less cooperative than women in patriarchy. On the other hand, those males in matriarchy would remain competitive but less competitive than men in patriarchy. Their competitiveness would change direction. They would not compete to be best overall, but to be best for their ladies.
This was long, thank you for reading this all and for your responses. Also I am sorry for my English and I hope you could read it.