Part of the problem that has befallen modern man is that we often no longer know from whence we come. Part of the human evolution was to survive in a group. That group was the tribe. Everyone had a tribe, some tribes were bigger than others. In today’s modern landscape we no longer know where we come from. Who were our ancestors? What were their traditions? Does it even matter?
Everyone, of course, must at some point have known their mothers. Mother and child, however, doesn’t equal society. It doesn’t give any person a sense of where they belong. It never has, and it never will. What creates a sense of belonging is father and tribe. Those two are interestingly inseparable because tribes are based on lineage and that is traced through the father, in most cases, not the mother. In matrilineal societies your sense of belonging is traced through your mother, but that was less common. One of the main reasons is because matriarchies were easily conquered. In order for alpha femininity to exist beta masculinity must exist. Beta males made good housewives but weren’t very good soldiers. In a face-off between a female army and a male army, it was common for the male army to win. Hence, tribes that were constantly engaged in internecine warfare were often patriarchal whereas tribes that were typically insulated on an island somewhere could be matrilineal and often had to be when they suffered severe shortages of women. A situation, which will eventually come to pass in the post modern era with less and less women being willing to give birth and also with the higher likelihood of women suffering greater numbers of sexually transmitted diseases than men do. It’s simply a mechanical fact that women are more likely to catch an STD because they have a greater exposed surface area and house the fluid of men they sleep with for a period of time, whereas men- and especially circumcised men-, come into contact with bodily fluid for a much shorter period.
Matrilineal societies were usually polyandrous because the woman had to in many cases have several husbands otherwise not every man could get married. This meant that all the men of a particular wife had to assume joint fatherhood of all the children born to her. Hence, no child knew exactly who his father was. It could have been one of several men. Another reason why these societies became extinct very quickly was because of their relatively low birthrate. Each man, who could potentially have many children if each one of them slept with many women, could only have the amount of children one woman could produce. Also, in matrilineal societies promiscuity was rampant and hence disease. Men who were married to one wife along with several men shared a home with her and raised a family but were by no means sexually exclusive. That meant that any one man with a disease could infect his wife and all other men who would sleep with the same woman. One of the surviving matrilineal societies in Indonesia likely only survived because they converted to Islam. It meant that while they could still uphold some of their customs they had to do away with polyandry.
In societies where people have perpetuated a strong sense of identity and belonging they knew who their fathers were. Men were representative of not just themselves, but their tribes and their ancestors. This created a cementing of people to other people (tribal members) and a strong sense of belonging. It also insured the greater likelihood of survival because each member could contribute labor to the survival of the whole. In regions where survival was particularly difficult, like in deserts, the tribe was and in many regards, still is, a necessity. What it affords people is a strong sense of belonging. Something we, as human beings, tend to look for because we still have a deep seated memory of having always belonged. We could not have made it this far if we didn’t have the collective. For the first time we operate as individuals. For the first time we do not have collectives and we can feel within ourselves that something is definitely missing. What is it? It’s the fact that we do not know who are fathers are. That isn’t a good thing.