Marija Gimbutas is one of the archeologists who have changed the ideas about ancient European societies. Wikipedia says,
Her final book, The Civilization of the Goddess (1991) articulated what Gimbutas saw as the differences between the Old European system, which she considered goddess- and woman-centered (gynocentric), and the Bronze Age Indo-European patriarchal ("androcratic") culture which supplanted it. According to her interpretations, gynocentric (or matristic) societies were peaceful, they honored homosexuals, and they espoused economic equality.Once civilizations built towns without defensive walls, because there was no war between other towns. Their artifacts include many small figures of females, and no figures of males. A culture that thought a female was pretty important, and males were not as important, and didn't war with it's neighbors. Nice fantasy, no? (Males, you were important in the ways women have been over the last 3000 years.)
Oh dear oh dear, I forgot, if women were in charge of things, there didn't have to be a powerful gender and one that would have to defer to them. The idea that my goddess friends brought to my attention is hard for me to imagine, but sounds great. Nobody needed power over anyone else. Everyone had equal power. Leadership rotated between those who wanted to lead.
A story is told that Oya, the African Yoruba orisha or Goddess of whirlwinds and transformation heard a human crying, "Please, Twirling Woman, help me, help me!" Oya flashed Her dark mirror and said "If you wish release, Human, simply look into my mirror and change. You who need courage...look into my mirror and change. If you desire wisdom, simply...look into my mirror and change. Power can be yours if you will...look into my mirror and change."
And so the human looked into Her mirror and changed!
Exerpted from Luisah Teish, "Jambalaya," 120-121.