A German news magazine reports:
SPIEGEL ONLINE: What is life like for a man in a matriarchy?Does this sound like paradise?
Coler: Men live better where women are in charge: you are responsible for almost nothing, you work much less and you spend the whole day with your friends. You're with a different woman every night. And on top of that, you can always live at your mother's house. The woman serves the man and it happens in a society where she leads the way and has control of the money. In a patriarchy, we men work more -- and every now and then we do the dishes. In the Mosuo's pure form of matriarchy, you aren't allowed to do that. Where a woman's dominant position is secure, those kinds of archaic gender roles don't have any meaning....
However, they do say that the "really big" decisions -- like buying a house or a machine or selling a cow -- are made by the men. Men are good for this kind of decision-making as well as physical labor. The official governmental leader of the village, the mayor, is a man. ...
But when it comes to seduction, they completely change. The women act shy, look at the floor, sing softly to themselves and blush. And they let the men believe that we are the ones who choose the women and do the conquering. Then you spend a night together. The next morning, the man leaves and the woman goes about her work like before.
It is true that polygamy is common among primitive tribes:
According to the Ethnographic Atlas Codebook, of 1,231 societies noted, 186 were monogamous. 453 had occasional polygyny, 588 had more frequent polygyny, and 4 had polyandry.(Polygyny is multiple wives, polyandry is multiple husbands, and polygamy is either.) Some hear these studies, and figure that we should restructure our society to be more like primitive tribes, because they are closer to human nature.
I say the opposite. Modern civilization is possible because of cultural norms that had to be invented, codified into law, and enforced by govt. Sure, there are societies without those cultural norms, but they are not very civilized either. If you found a society where theft is common, you would conclude that it is natural to steal so we should abolish laws against stealing. The anthropological research on primitive societies tells us how not to live, not how to live.