The passages I have quoted, with the comments I have ventured to give, make plain the poetic exaggeration of his view, and sufficiently prove why his theory no longer gains any considerable support. To build up a dream-picture of mother-rule on such foundations was, of necessity, to let it perish in the dust of scepticism. But is the downthrow complete? I believe not.
My aim throughout has been to establish mother-right, not mother-rule. I believe it is only by an extraordinary power of illusion that we can recognise, in the favourable position of women under mother-descent Bachofen’s view of an Amazonian gynæcocracy. But this does not weaken at all my position.
It is seldom, indeed, that the question has been considered of sufficient importance to receive accurate attention. Not infrequently conflicting accounts are given by different authorities, and even by the same writer. Westermarck, “The Position of Women in Early Civilisations,” Sociological Papers, 1904. I wish it to be understood that mother-right does not necessarily imply mother-rule.