Goddess Manifesta

The politics of a vegan, Wiccan, Polish-American *Jersey Girl* definately NOT from the Suburbs!

Location: New Jersey, United States

Why I will always hate George W. Bush: "I don’t think witchcraft is a religion and I wish the military would take another look at this and decide against it."

Monday, August 01, 2005

Male Gods = War?

The past few days have been thrilling and hectic on the blogs of Athana and Morgaine... The useless academic I am, I mused aloud "what would a Goddess-worshipper holy war/crusade look like?" and just look what happened, lol! The theory that bothers me the most as a feminist, is the assumption that because male gods seem to have emerged as societies became more aggressive and then violent, it is the societal importance placed on these male gods themselves that caused violence. I argue that this assumption is naive, simplistic, scapegoating and backward. Why would a healthy, vibrant culture "all of a sudden" create male gods in order to worship war? The religions of Abraham teach that god created humankind in god's image... As a scholar of Religion, I know that in actuality, humans created god/desses in their image. I think that as society became more male-centric and violent, they created male gods to represent their and its values.

Current archaeological research maintains the existence of pieces fashioned out of clay to represent attributes of the female body, which may or may not be construed as goddess figures, dating back to 35000 BCE. The parts depicted were the life-creating or sustaining parts, such as the fecund belly, vulva, and breasts. “The vulva, for instance, is one of the earliest symbols engraved, and it is symbolically related to growth, to the seed. Sometimes next to it is a branch or plant motif, or within the vulva is something like a seed or a plant.” New human life emerges from the female vulva, new plant life emerges from a similarly shaped seed, and a connection is drawn. For the next 20,000 years, humanity seems to subscribe to this ideology. Sharp instruments are only used for the limited hunting or preparing food/clothing and not yet for combative purposes.

As some societies had to depend more on animal sources of nourishment in areas with climate less tolerable to human-life-sustaining vegetation, a class evolved adept in the use of weaponry and horses. More sophisticated weaponry is devised to hunt larger game, and horses ease the chase. Due to seasonal changes, the game moves, and those dependant on it for survival must follow and a semi-nomadic society begins to emerge. In an agricultural society, the workload is relatively balanced between women and men, but this changes with big game hunting. Though it may be cumbersome, pregnancy does not bar women from participating in the cultivation of plants. Likewise, pregnant women cannot ride galloping horses without risk to the unborn fetus, which may be how this duty was then relegated to men.

Though Gimbutas places the advent of patriarchy in Europe at around 15000 BCE, fertile female deities continue to abound. The earlier Sumerian civilization afforded more civil rights, in general, than later empires. During the time of Hammurapi of Babylon (1728-1686,) law codes began to call for much harsher penalties. It is at this time the “eye for an eye” concept of punishment arises. Women were highly affected by the Babylonian Empire. . . Perhaps as humanity develops trade and wealth (as opposed to subsistence) is attainable, laws focusing on inheritance of property and producing suitable heirs gain importance. In order to do this, women’s free will must be guarded and scrutinized.

So what happened to a balanced, matristic culture? According to Gimbutas, humanity was able to live in equilibrium with nature and each other for more than twenty thousand years in pre-history. Perhaps because of climate and environmental changes, etc., foraging for plant foods became insufficient to sustain life and hunting evolved into the quest for large game. This new phenomenon afforded prestige to horse-mounted hunters that were skillful enough to continually “bring home the bacon.” In order to reflect this new worldview, a new cosmology is integrated. The more ancient goddesses are "raped" or "killed" by the new hunter gods, signaling a sort of New World Order. (Gone are the days that men have to be thankful of women's adeptness with agriculture, men can feed and sustain society now!)

The semi-nomadic reality this creates also bring with it the inevitable clash of neighboring communities vying for hunting territory, and the eternal battle for more and more land begins. Land and production later become personal property that must be lawfully inherited, so sanctions against women and their reproductive activities must be made in order to prevent chaos.

Ugh, tired, more in part two...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

when we evolved there was more than one type of huminoid,perhaps many. these early peoples already had intrinsic charectoristics , though related like all living things,evolving in slightly different directions according to need. though over simplefied but to illustrate the point see the difference in the societies of bonobos and chimps then imagine that a productive co operative people evoled from the bonobos and spread all over the world then imagine if y chromosnes from people developed in the chimpaanzee mould infiltrated there way into the bonobo society ,slowly society would take on a male bias.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hm, I'm not sure if I understood you correctly, but- couldn't that hypothesis be expanded to support bigotted theories that one race is physiologically superior to another?

1:38 PM  

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