A Tutorial on Women’s Leadership in Intimate Relationships

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October 14, 2018
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A Tutorial on Women’s Leadership in Intimate Relationships

Women’s Leadership in Intimate Relationships

Some of our loving neighbors have made creative arrangements in their intimate relationships.  For some of them it is a relationship structure that features and depends on female leadership.  Many of those creative neighbors of yours and mine report great happiness in a sustained way.

You might think that the concept of female leadership is some wild modern experiment but actually it is an ancient concept that never went away.  “Ancient” is not exaggeration.  Some ancient civilizations all across the world and on every continent were women-centric, that is, ultimate control over their society’s governance and labor organization were in the hands of women.

Sometimes anthropologists have wrongly identified where power was held in these ancient civilizations because men appeared to be in socially and politically prominent positions.  Women appeared to the outsider to only be in the background tending the crops and having babies.  A much closer examination of the ancient civs and of a few existing smaller societies today show power in the women’s control. Women chose the political officeholders and could remove them if they failed to take good care of the people.

In such societies women controlled the economic purse for everyone’s good.  They determined all market activities plus they owned the heritable properties such as the family home.  Women controlled marriages in that they selected their partners and no woman was compelled to remain with a mate that she no longer wanted.

“We can forge a whole new social order based on the acceptance and celebration of differences, not on one group dominating another.  The rise of the feminine does not mean the demise of the masculine.  It means creating a way of life that includes and honors both principles.  It means creating a society where individuals are free to express their gifts and talents without being limited by gender, age, or race.” —Barbara Wright Abernathy, author

In my opinion the idea of female leadership in an intimate relationship falls hard on some ears, not all, because of one of three reasons:

  1. It is assumed that women intend to take over the world and treat men as badly as men historically have treated women and children. That is, patriarchy will become matriarchy.  Dominance will mean oppression, just as is commonplace now.  Actually, female leadership in the past did not look anything like men oppressing others.  Feminine principles are based on nurturing and inclusion.   Males or females can practice leadership based on feminine principles.
  2. There is a prevailing religious dictate that says that Nature or God created a hierarchy in which men are the leaders. Women are supposed to take a backseat to men by masking their talents and abilities, pretending to be less smart, less able, less driven to be creative.  The logic on this one is very poor.  Women are very intelligent, very able, and are the primary creative force in every society.  Every oppressor claims that the oppressed was naturally downtrodden, barely able to take care of themselves, and possessing little ability to do something meaningful in the world.  No individual or people or nation-state welcomes being forced into oppression and thinks of themselves as somehow better off with an oppressor on top of them.  Women everywhere want to be free of oppressive forces dictating limits on their lives.
  3. Some large number of people, male and a few females, benefit economically from the oppression of women and girls. Such persons are not of a mind to have the world change.

I do not know anyone who is promoting matriarchy.  There has never, ever existed a matriarchy anywhere at any time.  Women have never dominated males as a form of societal organization.  Instead, balance can be achieved through the prominence of female power in intimate relationships and for American society as a whole.  Here is Barbara Wright Abernathy’s statement about how important the shift away from patriarchy and toward balance is:

“Many of the difficulties we face in our relationships are a reflection of the underlying patterns of a patriarchal, male-dominated society in the process of change.  If we can make the transition to a new society that accepts and blends the best qualities of the masculine and the feminine, we will usher in a new Golden Age for the human race.”

Here are some ideas about what female leadership in an intimate relationship might look like today:

  1. Janet W. feels loved and supported when she comes home at night. Her husband, Mickey, isn’t always at the door when she arrives but he is when he can.  Their wordless embrace is one of their favorites things to support their marriage.  She and Mickey discuss most things.  They enjoy each other’s company.  Decision-making is done together with last say given to Janet.  That is their agreement and there is rarely any difference of opinion.
  2. Karen H. and her husband, Jake, are a loving couple living in Washington, D.C. Jake asked Karen what she needed to go forward with her career back when they were graduate students.  Ever since he has moved where she needed to be to rise in her field.  Consistent efforts were made to meet his needs, as well.  They think of themselves as a team.  There is a slant in control in Karen’s hands.  She organizes their lives in the big picture sense.  Jake thinks that she does one heck of a good job.
  3. Sirina and Chaz have been committed to each other for the last five years. Chaz had deliberately searched for a strong-minded woman who wanted to lead the personal relationship.  He found the right one for him when he met Sirina.  He would say that she’s the kindest, most compassionate person that he’s ever met.  That’s the kind of woman that he wanted to devote himself to.  He takes a deep satisfaction from following through on their plans.  If it pleases her then he is happy.  So far, so good.  They are happy together as she steers them through their shared long and short-term goals.

You don’t know what kind of creative arrangement that your neighbors might have in and out of the bedroom.  I don’t either but I do know that women-centered is one possibility.


Abernathy, Barbara Wright.  Venus on Top:  women who are born to lead and the men who love them.  Oakhill Press, Winchester, Virginia, p. 277.

©2018 Aisha-Sky Gates Copying my blog posts is allowed if kept unaltered and proper accreditation is given.

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