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Possibly, queenship, because of the power wielded by men in leadership and assisting a queen, leads to queen bee syndrome, contributing to the difficulty of other women in becoming heads of the government.

Gynocentrism is the 'dominant or exclusive focus on women', is opposed to androcentrism, and "invert[s] ... [male/female] binary ...[,] [some feminists] arguing for 'the superiority of values embodied in traditionally female experience'".

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A few people consider any non-patriarchal system to be matriarchal, thus including genderally equalitarian systems (Peggy Reeves Sanday favors redefining and reintroducing the word matriarchy, especially in reference to contemporary matrilineal societies such as the Minangkabau ), but most academics exclude them from matriarchies strictly defined.

In 19th century Western scholarship, the hypothesis of matriarchy representing an early, mainly prehistoric, stage of human development gained popularity.

Matriarchy is a social system in which females (most notably in mammals) hold the primary power positions in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property at the specific exclusion of males - at least to a large degree.

While those definitions apply in general English, definitions specific to the disciplines of anthropology and feminism differ in some respects.

so that "in a matrilineal society all power would be channeled through women.

Women may not have retained all power and authority in such societies ..., but they would have been in a position to control and dispense power." The hypothesis survived into the 20th century and was notably advanced in the context of feminism and especially second-wave feminism, but the hypothesis is mostly discredited today, most experts saying that it was never true.In their works, Johann Jakob Bachofen and Lewis Morgan used such terms and expressions as mother-right, female rule, gyneocracy, and female authority.All these terms meant the same: the rule by females (mother or wife).In fact, it is not easy to categorize Mosuo culture within traditional Western definitions.They have aspects of a matriarchal culture: Women are often the head of the house, inheritance is through the female line, and women make business decisions.Accordingly, these concepts do not represent matriarchy as 'power of women over men'.