I’ve been reading “When God Was a Woman” by Merlin Stone.  I’m only on page 66 but it’s been fascinating thusfar. 

There has been a question raised by/within the NeoPagan community for years.  I sought out answers for the question when I was NeoPagan (’98-’05) and I’ve still been wondering about it.  The question is: why have patriarchal cultures/religions prevailed over matriarchal cultures/religions?

Finally, the answer has been revealed!!!!

Early matriarchal cultures were agricultural and patriarchal were nomadic (this is in the Middle East thousands of years before Jesus).  Agricultural cultures valued fertility, growth, nurturing, etc. because that was what was required to live.  Nomadic cultures valued strength, brutality, and domination because that hwas what was required to live.  Women gave birth and nursed infants so they were more valued in agricultural cultures.  Men have more upper body strength and testosterone, so they were more valued in nomadic cultures.

Of course, the deities of agriculture-based religions were usually female and deities of nomadic-based religions were usually male.  The nomadic societies were usually more territorial because they relied so heavily on animal herds and the like.  They invaded agricultural societies because, well, it was easy!  Nomadic tribes were more advanced in warfare because they had to live by it every day.  They invented horse-drawn chariots. 

Switching these agricultural societies over to patriarchal religions and culture was easy, too.  They were matrilineal – the family’s bloodline was traced through the mother, her mother, her mother’s mother, etc.  By destroying that tradition, the people of the invaded societies lost their identity.  When you crush a collective identity of a people, you can do ANYTHING to them.  Holocaust, much? Spanish Inquisition, much?  Japanese internment camps, much?  Anyway, replacing the matrilineage with patrilineage shifted power and also made a powerful impact on religion.

There you go.  Politics and religion intermingle YET AGAIN!!  Only instead of “again,” it was one of the first times . . . UGH

Advertisements

Quote of the Day: “It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.” – Delores Ibarruri

AARRGGGHHHHHHH I am pretty pissed off by three things, the first 2 of which are directly related to the third:

1) A friend of mine has made a pretty stupid decision about her life.  And she knows it.  But she’s somehow convinced herself that all the misery is her fault and it’s her responsibility to make it change through giving a lazy bum yet ANOTHER chance.  She’s decided to turn away from her own happiness to keep someone else content – and he is content in controlling her.

2) My high school has gone to shit.  The current headmaster (headmistress?) has her head so far up her ass, she honestly thinks that Bush is too liberal.  She doesn’t wany anyone talking anything gay-related because that’s how people become gay . . . yeahhhh . . . and she doesn’t want the history teachers to teach WWI . . . and she’s pretty anti-Semitic.  My high school as it was when I was a student there (when it kicked ass!) no longer exists 😦

3) I’ve been reading a lot about sexism in Christianity.  I don’t mean the dogmatic laws, I mean the very mindset that men are more deserving of authority than women.  I just finished reading “The Halved Soul” by Judith Pintar (it takes apart myths of romantic love such as Adam & Eve, Lancelot & Guenevere, Beauty & the Beast, etc.) and now I’m reading “When God Was a Woman” by Merlin Stone.  It pisses me off how politics and religion have worked together – religion hasn’t just come out and had an immediate influence on people, conquering tribes/empires/etc. just have brought their religion with them and used it as a way of exerting control. 

The connection between this political/social influence on/by religion is apparent in 2, but not so much in 1.  This friend of mine takes it as her responsibility to make her boyfriend happy, that his displeasure is her fault, that she hasn’t been patient enough, that his controlling behaviors aren’t that bad; she’s not religious, but that gender socialization (perpetuated greatly by religion) is apparent in our culture.

I’m, in general, pissed off that these people – this friend, the headmistress of my high school, and much of Western society for centuries – have been making such STUPID decisions!

I’m altogether fed up with religion.  No religion has ever escaped politics.  Whether or not you’re religious, it pervades your life and it always has and it always will.