Yes! You read that right. There exists a culture where there is just No word for a ‘father’ or ‘husband’. It is Mosuo, also known as ‘The kingdom of women’, a small ethnic group of 40,000 in deep South-west China.
As you might have guessed by now it is a true ‘matriarchal society’, which means women are the head of the house and they decide the fate of all those living under her roof as well as the finances, the ancestral properties are passed on through the female line and the lineage of a person is traced through their female side of the family. Sounds bizarre, doesn’t it?
Even more strange is the fact that most Mosuo women do not marry! They can have as many lovers as they want but these lovers are only allowed in the women’s house at night till the sunrise, even after they have a child together. This is also known as ‘walking marriage’. The children are raised by their mother and maternal uncles as their fathers are not allowed in the household at daytime, hence no word in their language for a ‘father’ or ‘husband’.
This also doesn’t lead to any stigma in not knowing the name of child’s father and letting the Mosuo women enjoy as many secret trysts they want.
Now, what has the rest of the world done for Mosuo people? It has overrun the once peaceful villages with hotels, casinos and red light areas, under the mistaken suggestion of Mosuo women offering ‘free sex’.
According to me, this culture could have been an inspiration and realization for some people that women can also run families and do finances but what happened was that a liberal society which functioned perfectly well with its matriarchal culture was considered to have ‘promiscuous’ women who had a debauched lifestyle.
What do you think about the Mosuo women? Do let us know in the comments section below: