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Most anthropologists hold that there are no known anthropological societies that are unambiguously matriarchal, but some authors believe exceptions may exist or may have.
Matriarchies may also be confused with matrilineal, matrilocal, and matrifocal societies.
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'".
[combined with] the view that Vietnam was originally a matriarchy ...Accordingly, these concepts do not represent matriarchy as 'power of women over men'.In addition, some authors depart from the premise of a mother-child dyad as the core of a human group where the grandmother was the central ancestor with her children and grandchildren clustered around her in an extended family.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.
The term matrilineal is sometimes used, and, while more accurate, still doesn't reflect the full complexity of their social organization.