If one is born into a matrilineal culture instead of patriarchal one, the expectant mother of each is treated very differently from the moment of a known pregnancy. The ancient native culture prepared a moss and branch hut for her, lined it with mosses and perfumed it with fresh flowers. She was attended by women who provided food, clean clothing and they freshened the hut. From the moment of birth, the language of a matrilineal culture differs from the patriarchal one.The influence continues into adulthood.
These gender differences often do not reach the conscious mind. We think and act according to the patterns of a culture. In a matrilineal family, the mother has a higher rank than the father simply because of her ability to bleed and not die, give birth to babies, and suckle them. These differences in gender roles to a Neolithic family, or in one that is matrilocal and matrilineal gives women more status throughout a lifetime. In many cultures, the women own the hearthstone, the property of the family, and are judges of the tribe.
In a patriarchal family, the husband/father has the superior status with higher power, the mother has a lower relative status and uses weak forms of power, i.e. manipulation and subversion for example.
An individual does not have awareness of the cultural differences and matures, develops into cultural expectations of appropriate sex roles. In the college where I taught the mission statement said instructors were to teach and model appropriate gender roles, whatever that means.
Stop and think about that for a minute. Imagine a husband/father dies leaving behind a wife with no work skills, no education for employment, no work history, and she has three kids to raise. She very quickly learns that female gender roles provide poor means to take on the tasks of single mother parenting. She swiftly has to learn how to use male power methods, not rely on low-power styles to get the needs of the family met. She has to think of herself as the head of the family, and may not know how to balance a check book or pay bills. She may have to enter the paid labor force without the education or experience needed to make that transition. Her relationship changes with the extended family; some will call her pushy or aggressive when all she is doing is what is necessary to get the tasks done.
The unconscious way of being a woman, when faced with the reality, has to change, radically.
Marija Gimbutas, Civilization of the Goddess.