Talk given to the Radical Anthropology Group at Daryll Forde Seminar Room, Anthropology Building, 14 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW on 29 January 2019. Chris Knight discusses myths about a primordial matriarchy, stories which are found all over the world. Is there any truth in the idea that women once ruled the world? Many feminists have dismissed such stories as ideological narratives invented simply to justify men's rule. These scholars argue that biology prevents women from exercising real political power, that sexism prevails everywhere and that patriarchy has always existed. Knight explores the ethnographic, archaeological and genetic evidence for and against these ideas and demonstrates the importance for human evolution of female reproductive and coalitionary 'strategies', and the social structures they imply.