A town where the entire population is made up of young women has made an appeal for single men - but only those willing to live by female rules.
Over 600 women make up the population of Noiva do Cordeiro, southeast Brazil - most aged between 20 and 35.
Although some are married with families, their husbands are made to work away from home, only being allowed to return at weekends.
Sons are sent away when they reach 18 and no other men are permitted to live in the town, which sits in a remote valley 60 miles east of Belo Horizonte.
The settlement dates back to the 1890s, when a young woman and her family were excommunicated from the Catholic church after she was accused of adultery.
Slowly more single women and mother-only families joined the community, and over the decades several attempts by men to intervere in their way of life made them adopt a strictly ‘no male’ policy.
Today, girl power rules in the rural town, with women in charge of every aspect of life - from farming to town planning and even religion.
But while none of the residents of Noiva do Cordeiro would have it any other way, it has left them with just one problem.
One of the women, Nelma Fernandes, 23, admits it’s impossible for the girls - renowned in the region as strikingly beautiful - to find a would-be spouse.
She said: “Here, the only men we single girls meet are either married or related to us, everyone is a cousin. I haven’t kissed a man for a long time.
"We all dream of falling in love and getting married. But we like living here and don’t want to have to leave the town to find a husband.
The lack of eligible batchelors has now led the community’s many single young ladies for make an appeal for interested men - but only those willing to adapt to living in a women’s world.
Ms Fernandes said: “We’d like to get to know men who would leave their own lives and come to be a part of ours.
"But first they need to agree to do what we say and live according to our rules."
Picturesque Noiva do Cordeiro grew up in the rolling hills near Belo Vale, in Minas Gerais state, after founder Maria Senhorinha de Lima was branded an adulterer after leaving a man she had been forced to marry.
She was chased out of town in 1891 after the Catholic church excommunicated her and the next five generations of her family.
Shunned by the local population, she and other women who subsequently went to live with them were vilified as loose women and prostitutes, causing them to isolate themselves from the outside world.
In 1940, an evangelical pastor, Anisio Pereira, took one of the women, aged 16, to be his wife and founded a church in the growing community.
However, he proceeded to impose strict puritanical rules, banning them from drinking alcohol, listening to music, cutting their hair or using any type of contraceptive.
When Anisio died in 1995, the women decided never again to let a man dictate how they should live.
One of the first things they did was to dismantle the male-biased organised religion he had set up.
Another woman, Rosalee Fernandes, 49, said: “We have God in our hearts. But we don’t think we need to go to church, get married in front of a priest or baptise our children. These are rules made up by men.”
It is not the only part of life in the town which has been given a uniquely feminine touch.
Ms Fernandes said: “There are lots of things that women do better than men. Our town is prettier, more organised, and far more harmonious than if men were in charge.
"When problems or disputes arise, we resolve them in a woman’s way, trying to find consensus rather than conflict.
"We share everything, even the land we work on. Nobody competes with anyone here. It’s all for one, and one for all.
"The whole town came together recently to help buy a huge widescreen TV for our community centre so we can all watch soap operas together.
"And there’s always time to stop and gossip, try on each other’s clothes and do each other’s hair and nails."
Drop everything, abandon your lives, live ours and do everything we say. And exile your sons once they reach raping age. It’s wrong for one man to tell us how to live so we’ll force any males to live and do as we say. It’s wrong for one man to tell us what we can’t enjoy so we won’t allow competition of any kind. It’s wrong for one man to think himself superior to us, women are superior. It’s wrong for one man to set restrictive rules for us to live by so we’ll control every single aspect of the life of any male we tolerate.
And they say a matriarchy would be better than a patriarchy. Strange how in a patriarchal society, the protection of women is paramount, men are sent off to die in wars they have no choice in, men take on dangerous and unpleasant jobs to take care of their families, women can strip a man of everything he owns and holds dear including his children and just to really rub it in, falsely accuse him of rape and abuse to get him sent to prison.
Yet they see this as hatred of women and worship of men. Once again, they respond to perceived hatred with genuine hatred. This entire society is like an abusive relationship, controlling, restrictive, belittling and scornful. Not every woman likes gossip, soaps and telling people how to live. Many would also be pretty damned bored by being unable to compete in any way. If they don’t like any kind of maleness why have any men at all.
You forgot the bit where they say “come be a part of our family” yet they also expect men to only be a part of the town and see their children two out of seven days a week at best.
They literally see men as nothing but mobile sperm banks…
Oh well at least the movie version was amusing.
Oddly enough that was the exact film that sprung to mind when I read this as well.
Wonder if they keep bees.