Why an Invented Past Won't Give Women a Future. I was first exposed to the myth of matriarchal prehistory in my classes at UC Santa Cruz. The idea that there had been ancient societies ruled by women and were therefore peaceful and productive was not something my teachers ever really spoke about but was something I picked up from conversations with other women in the classics program. Maybe it was because I was a woman in such a male-dominated discipline, but I latched onto the idea and started preaching it as truth. I've mellowed a bit about these sorts of things since college, and therefore was open to what Eller had to say. Her book makes a convincing case for why modern feminists should be wary of matriarchy myths and tackles a number of fascinating questions along the way. Were prehistoric women the rulers of their societies? Was prehistoric religion based on worship of the goddess? Were matriarchy and matrilineal kinship overthrown by an aggressive patriarchy? Eller refrains from taking cheap shots at some of the more far-fetched stories matriarchalists espouse. She is a feminist herself and understands why these theories are appealing, but as she says, "we do not need matriarchal myth to tell us that sexism is bad or that change is possible."