Any time a change occurs in the social order and a long-oppressed group is elevated into a position of equality resentment towards them from those who had previously held sway in society is to be expected. We've seen many examples of that in North American society starting with black people in the 1950s and 60s, then women in the 1970s, and in the 1990s homosexuals.
Their move up the ladder of social acceptance from being barely tolerated to legally entrenched equality has been accompanied by loud outcries from a minority who see their absolute control over society vanishing. They can colour it with any words they want; religion, family values, and morality, but the truth is that it's just an excuse to complain about their grip on the reins of power slipping.
These themes were explored by Barbara Hambly in her novel Sister Of The Raven a number of years ago. For years the magic in the kingdom of The Seven Lakes had been in the hands of men. But all of sudden the world shifted and men were no longer able to perform magic and the power began to appear in women.
Society sees women as the equivalent of chattel; something a father can sell off for political expediency or into slavery if they bother her. A woman's place is in the Harem behind partitions and veils where no decent man can be corrupted by them. So, it's not just the Mages themselves unwilling to accept this revolting development, but any man still believing a woman belongs barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen (or harem as the case maybe) wasn't that thrilled either.
Barbara Hambly has finally returned to the fascinating world of The Seven Lakes with the recently published Circle Of The Moon and picked up the story where she left off at the end of Sister Of The Raven. Although the women have come under the protection of King Oryn – his favourite Concubine, Summerchild, (who is also the woman he loves more than anything in the world) was one of the first to discover she had power, they still don't have anywhere near complete acceptance.
They also still haven't figured out how to utilize the full force of the power. Spells that the male Sun Mages had never had any problems implementing seem to be beyond the grasp of the eight women who are known to have power. Unfortunately they don't have the luxury of taking their time in discovering a new source as the country is facing some very real dangers that only magic can protect them from.