March 8 was International Women's Day. The opportunity to focus on the place of women in micronationalism. We gave the floor to several of them to hear their point of view on this subject.
Micronationalists base their nations on their own ideals. Everyone is trying to create their perfect society. In this abundant creation, do women participate more easily in the micro-world? Are the habits and customs of our societies really being questioned or do they retain a pronounced patriarchy?
The responses of the micronationalist women we interviewed are ultimately just as nuanced as outside the micronational sphere. Some build matriarchal societies while others rely on their contribution as wives sharing a common destiny. In any case, those who decide to act do so according to their conceptions just as much as men.
However, they are still very few to lead a micronation, whatever the cultural context in which they evolve. In Latin (and reputedly macho) countries like France, former President Georgette Bertin-Pourchet du Saugeais was the only female head of state of a French micronation, today it is a man who succeeds her. In Italy, Princess Mina of Seborga is an exception, having won the elections against the daughter of Prince Giorgio I.
On the Anglo-Saxon side, Queen Anastasia of Ruritania and Queen Carolyn of Ladonia are pioneers. They have earned their places in the pantheon of great micronationalist leaders thanks to their determination, while other female celebrities of micronationalism maintain their fields of action in traditional couple patterns. They team up with their husbands at the head of their micronation. This is the case of Adrianne Baugh, first lady of the Republic of Molossia or Princess Edith of Homestead, to name just a few among many others.
Among the youngest, some tend to move away from traditional patterns, founding matriarchal societies where men find themselves far from sovereign functions. This is the case of Marshal Carolyn Yagjian of Obsidia.
Adrianne Baugh is undoubtedly the most well-known First Lady in the Micronational world. Since 2009, she accompanies the destiny of President Kevin Baugh of Molossia. We asked her how she had contributed to Molossia since becoming its First Lady. Here is what she says:
" I became the First Lady of Molossia in 2009. Since that time, I have aided the President in many projects and provided insight on decisions made for our country. In 2013 we began our newsletter, The Mustang. Every month for the last nine years I have transcribed a heartfelt article to create a connection to our readers. I also record a spoken version of the news on our radio show and assist the President in interviews and videos. One of my favorite aspects of being part of Molossia is video interviews for schools. We have participated in many classroom activities where children are able to gather insight on what makes a country and sparks imagination and creativity. I also enjoy being a role model to our daughter, the Chief Constable, and many other young women that are watching. Showing them that we can follow our passion and be in charge of our own lives is so important in a world of social pressure. Micronations and their citizens live an alternative type of lifestyle that intrigues and inspires others. It takes pride and courage to lead the charge in this manner. This I accept daily, with honor."
Like Adrianne Baugh, many women follow their husbands in their micronational projects, but not all of them are as committed as the Molossian first lady. A large part benevolently accept to play a figurative role of moral support to their beloved spouses. Why don't the majority of these women want to take more power? Does it come from the men they live with or is it due to a particular nature? Her Majesty, Queen Anastasia of Ruritania answers these questions:
" Yes, I think there is a reason. But it has more to do with how women are raised. The micronational world is very respectful of it's women leaders. No, the problem, I think, is that even today, girls are raised to take second place in life. No one realizes they are doing it to their daughters, but it happens. So few really see the same potential in daughters that they see in sons. I was lucky. My family had only a few girls for several generations and my father and uncles adored us. We grew up without boundaries. I suspect Queen Caroline had a similar background. My favorite historical figure has always been Eleanor of Aquitaine, but most girls I knew would have named Clara Barton or maybe Queen Victoria. Nice but they were second to the males around them. I also chose to marry a man who respected my mind and my point of view. That's very rare."
Asked about these same questions, Marshall Carolyn Yagjian, leader of Obsidia and pioneer of matriarchal micronationalism, explains her point of view and her experience. We then took the opportunity to ask him a few additional questions.
M.I: The truth is that very few women are micronational leaders or founders compared to men. What do you think is the main reason?
CY : " I think the main reason for this is that women are still not socialized to be interested in politics and civics. Micronations are such a specific niche that appeals to a very certain kind of nerd. This world is still not deemed “cool” and I think women are often forced to be more image conscious especially adolescents. "
M.I: Obsidia is the flagship micronation of feminism, how is it perceived in the micronational sphere?
CY : " I think we are perceived as going about things a bit differently and hopefully that we are style and substance. The People that I’ve met within the world of micronations have all been very supportive and enthusiastic about Obsidia which really encourages me to keep the project going. "
M.I : How can a matriarchal society make a difference?
C.Y: " Matriarchy in our context can help serve as a counterpoint to existing power structures. We are not in the camp of over simplicity-that is to say I don’t believe that appointment woman to all leadership positions would immediately solve the worlds problems. But woman do not currently represent enough of a majority to really see the potential of how that might look. In addition to being matriarchal we are also against states generally and for the dissolution of borders, ecological revolution, and the elimination of wealth inequality. Matriarchy is one piece of the bigger vision. "
In Librazi, a new micronation in Brazil, Her Majesty Queen Juliana I follows the line of thought of Marshal Carolyn Yagjian. She also develops her project around a matriarchal concept. When asked what motivated her to create her Kingdom, she replies: « My biggest motivation in creating the Librazi Kingdom was the idea of creating an matriarchal, ecologycal, safe, fair and egalitarian nation. a place free from prejudice where everyone is considered equal but each person with their own lifestyle.
My inspiration is the ancient matriarchal civilizations and also the cultures of the Balkans, especially Turkey, Greece and Albania."
If Micronationalism is still a world of men, it is important to specify that it is also a space of creation where women can easily take the place they want without waiting for the approval of the male sex. The most important thing is that they can do so with the conviction that they can choose their place. Not because men concede it to them in a more or less underlying way, but because micronationalism fully gives them the right to do so.