Yeah, it's pretty horrific. I suspect part of what Charnas was doing with the first book was to build the most vicious, horrible patriarchal society she could and still see if she could make it work (and if she could avoid focusing simply on how horrible and evil it was). For the record, I think raising the female children in pits 24/7 for several years would create non-functional human beings, useless for anything -- assuming they even survived such treatment. But for the most part, it's scarily plausible.
Don't know how much and how many spoilers you want, but in The Furies, the post-collapse patriarchal Holdfast culture is not quite as vicious. It no longer has the means or the organization to be.