Originally Posted by MichelleZed
The quote leaves out one important part of the equation... since the men are residing in their mother's houses along with their siblings, a man becomes the "father" to his sister's children, sharing in childcare and being a family. They are not cut off from the next generation.
He still gets to bring up kids. Just not his own (because who knows which are his own?). In terms of genetics, though, he is guaranteed to share genes with his sister's children.
That was the point I was making -- that it isn't important whose seed the children come from (that doesn't mean the men are not important to the culture, mind you, just that it doesn't matter which children are theirs). In that communal culture, the men don't rule the households nor have any ownership over the women or their offspring, because they don't even know who they've fathered, and that information is not integral for the community to thrive and function well. The women who have children raise them with the help of their siblings, including the men, and family is preserved that way. That enables a separation between familial love and sexual love/passion, which frees the adults to take on as many lovers as they wish without recrimination. A rather inspiring and interesting correlation, I think!
I think it is a lesson for many people in contemporary so-called "advanced" society who are so focused on paternity issues that millions of children are waiting to be adopted, yet couples will focus (and spend tens of thousands of dollars) on fertility drugs and artificial insemination just to make sure their bloodline continues. If I wanted to love and raise a child, I don't need to limit that love to only my own.