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I Thought This Was Funny


Mriana
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I guess this fits here. Anyway, I thought this was funny.

 

I'm listening to this podcast our local uni has on mythology for free and the prof is lecturing on the "classical context". So, long ago, Greeks were a matriarchial society until they were conquered and became patriarchial. At the time they had a mother earth goddess (aka fertility rituals and alike), which once conquered turned into anthropomorphasize deity/deities. OK with me so far? Old news if you have studied it, so we can blow past all the history of mythology.

 

Suddenly the prof said, "But you can't keep a good mother earth goddess down". :lol: Oh the irony.

 

I got to thinking about that and thought, we humans are born, live off the earth, die, buried/cremated, then become plant food, which grows, becomes fruitful, and humans eat them. The cycle starts over again with humans eating plants and plants eating... well whatever compounds we break down into after we die for nourishment. A vast ecosystem. (work with me, please, because this post is going to be long enough as is)

 

Seems the ancient women knew what helped to sustain them even before science and it wasn't some Zeus. :lol: It was our planet earth. Not Mars, not Neptune, not Mercury, not Virgo, not Sirius, or any other sky god/goddess, but the earth.

 

I guess if one is going to worship something, it should be something that actually helps to sustain life, where as the men liked sky gods. (Yes, I'm female) However, I find it ironic, that so many cultures worshipped either the sun or mother earth long before we invented science and it basically related to reproduction, survival, and death in relationship to the earth or something within nature. Solstice means "sun stands still", because the sun's shadow didn't move for three days as it sat on the southern cross of the hemisphere. Somehow humans knew that much and it all had baring on their survival, including planting crops and alike. In some respects, we go by the sun and alike still to plant and harvest crops- some years it's early and others it's late (Blame Farmer's Almanac). I've read an old Native American creation story long ago and it was something about stars raining down on the earth. I forget all the details because it's been too long ago, but even though it was myth, it is was basically natural (as well as interesting).

 

I wonder, and this is hypothetical of course, IF humans stuck with that sort of belief system (mother earth goddess), instead of anthropomorphasizing the gods and goddesses (making them humanoid), if there would be this much battle between REAL science and pseudo-science/Creationism? Would the religious be as religious as we progressed scientifically, fighting knowledge about the earth and alike, tooth and nail, kicking and screaming OR would they be less superstitious and more scientific about their views? For that answer, we might have to examine our pagan friends' beliefs. I know one, a druid priest, who says they believe everything has male and female, which is true- plants have both sexes in one, some species IF there are not enough males, morph from female to male, others have one of each sex. Thing is, I know it goes beyond just that, of course, but we don't hear of any fight from pagans concerning science though (too few to complain or they accept science, esp the natural sciences?).

 

Humm... were ancient women onto something that could have been more scientifically compatible, even if at the time it was superstitious? mmm... maybe. Thoughts? Comments?

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Hi Mriana,

 

I remember reading somewhere (from some scholar) that the goddess was dethroned due to man discovering his semen impregnated womankind- when they used to think women gave us life all by themselves. Since the secret was out, mankind decided to dominate, and you know the rest of the story!

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Yes, but IF we stuck with animism, instead of anthropomorphism... What would have happened? IF the sperm was a god, instead of a humanoid man? That's more specific, I think. I hope.

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Hmmm...We probably would have been more united (in the past) trying to appease the gods for better weather and perhaps human sacrifice would have stuck around longer.

 

I have no idea what would happen today, though. I would like to think we would be closer to the scientific view because of being closer to mother earth in religious beliefs.

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Hi Mriana,

 

I remember reading somewhere (from some scholar) that the goddess was dethroned due to man discovering his semen impregnated womankind- when they used to think women gave us life all by themselves. Since the secret was out, mankind decided to dominate, and you know the rest of the story!

 

I find it hard to believe this is the case that men didn't realize the babies were sired by them. Some of those kids had to look like their dad. Were there ever any truly matriarchal societies? Somehow I doubt it. Men have always been very controlling, stingy with the power. And they used religion to maintain the status quo.

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Hi Mriana,

 

I remember reading somewhere (from some scholar) that the goddess was dethroned due to man discovering his semen impregnated womankind- when they used to think women gave us life all by themselves. Since the secret was out, mankind decided to dominate, and you know the rest of the story!

 

I find it hard to believe this is the case that men didn't realize the babies were sired by them. Some of those kids had to look like their dad. Were there ever any truly matriarchal societies? Somehow I doubt it. Men have always been very controlling, stingy with the power. And they used religion to maintain the status quo.

 

Maybe they were too stupid to believe they could create life. :Doh: If the kids looked like their dad, they must have been ugly! :ugh:

 

Using the word "always" isn't a good way to get dates.....

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Men have always seeked to dominate. It is a shame we could not stayed a matriarchial society, because maybe things MIGHT have been different. Then again, who knows. It might have been just as bad.

 

As for child sacrifices, remember Jephtha and Abraham? They were men who sacrificed their children or that Abraham attempted to sacrifice his son, Jephtha actually did sacrifice his daughter. So, that was not necessarily a matriarchial society thing. The problem is, the more male dominated we got, the more demand for human and animal sacrifices. Islam, without a care in the world for life, has mass slaughter of animals, at least once a year. Xianity seems to have what is called the final and ultimate sacrifice as the basis of their religion. Judaism, still sacrifices a ram at least once a year (Passover) or at least insinuates it. All three are male dominated and degrade women to lessor beings, at least in the more extreme versions of them.

 

So, IF we stayed a female dominated society, things MIGHT have been different and that is part of the basis of my hypothesis. I think, since most women bring life into the world, most are more sympathetic to life in general. So, I'm not so sure that if women had dominance, if child sacrifices and other sacrifices would be the focus of the religion. Animism has focus on an object being a deity and if the earth itself stayed a deity then life itself may have been of more importance.

 

For example, I went to a sweat lodge once, when I was exploring my N.A. heritage. Wonderful, wonderful experience, so IF you are ever honoured with the privilated of an invitation to go to one... GO! Trust me, to be invited to one IS a honour AND a privilage. It is a sign of trust, mutual respect, and an honour. This is part of my experience though and IF you go to one, it is disrespectful to discuss other people's experiences if they share them with you.

 

Anyway, at the start before everything begins, there is a cross on a mound. No. This is not a Xian cross, but a symbol of the 4 winds/directions. First you, you face the West (I think it was) then North, East, and South (something in that order). A prayer is said to the Great Spirit and then you crawl into the lodge. This symbolizes crawling back into the womb of Mother Earth, because we were born of Mother Earth. There are four doors and various other things symbolizing/relating to our relationship to the earth, Great Spirit, and other humans, as well as prayers and alike. Then we crawl back out of the lodge/womb. It is all very much centered around life and appreciation for Mother Earth. Many, but not all, American Indian tribes are matriarchial. The woman who invited me was Lakota, so any words I learned are specific to the Souix (Dances With Wolves is, from what I was told, accurate with the Souix language). She also led the Sweat, even though there were men attending also. The reverence for Mother Earth and life on Mother Earth is strong, as well as sacred.

 

OK, given that much information, which has distinct animistic characteristics, one would think we humans might have taken a different path IF we followed that way of life or something similar. One note: my people were not Souix, but rather Shawnee and Cherokee. Didn't matter in this case, because the people who attended were from various tribes.

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One more thing I want to add, is story I heard that summerizes like this- Father Sky rains down on Mother Earth and she gives birth to life. The rains is Father Sky's seed (sperm) obviously, but great reverence is given to Mother Earth.

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I'm not sure what gives you that idea when universities and other places of education teach there were. Not only that, there is evidence that some N.A. tribes were matriarchial.

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There is no evidence that matriarchal societies ever existed.

 

Below, one explanation for what became of the evidence. (History is written by the victors, after all.)

 

http://www.hagia.de/en/index.php?page=matriarchy [bolding mine]

I was well aware that this discussion had a long tradition in German-speaking Europe (Switzerland, Austria, Germany), going back as far as the famous work of J.J. Bachofen: Myth, Religion and Mother Right, which came out in 1861. For more than a century, the discussion on „mother right“ and „matriarchy“ continued: this subject now was used and abused by all the intellectual schools of thought, and all political parties, each with their distinctly different point of view. What worried me most about this reception of Bachofen`s ideas was the complete lack of a clear definition of the matter at hand, and furthermore, the huge amount of emotion and ideology that was involved in the discussion. This combination of unclear definitions and excessive emotionality already occurs in Bachofen`s work itself.

 

Bachofen`s work is in the field of history of cultures, and it represents a perfect parallel to the work of H. L. Morgan (in the field of anthropology/ethnology), who did research in the matriarchal society of the Iroquois of his time (1851 and 1871/77). But the works of these scholars have been evaluated very differently: the differences cast light on just how political the subject of „matriarchy“ is in the midst of our patriarchal society. Scholars of the humanities and social sciences, who should be extremely interested in Bachofen`s findings, ignored or ridiculed the majority of them. Morgan was praised and called „the father of ethnology“, because he founded the new science of anthropology/ethnology; meanwhile Bachofen, who also founded a new science: the „science of non-patriarchal societies“, or „matriarchy-logy“, was not honoured in the same way. The reason is simple: if his work had been taken seriously, it would have caused the beginning of the breakdown of patriarchal ideology and world view. It marks the beginning of the development of a new paradigm of human history. That is why it is too dangerous to be aknowledged adequately!

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I find it hard to believe this is the case that men didn't realize the babies were sired by them. Some of those kids had to look like their dad. Were there ever any truly matriarchal societies? Somehow I doubt it. Men have always been very controlling, stingy with the power. And they used religion to maintain the status quo.

 

There was a tribe somewhere in Micronesia where they weren't aware of how it worked. They thought that the spirits of dead ancestors would just randomly pop into a woman so that they could be reborn and have another go. And they weren't able to keep track because they didn't really have marriage; everybody just fucked everybody, basically. It was more or less gender egalitarian, where women were held in special awe for being the portal for dead ancestors to reenter the world.

 

After contact with Westerners, they were told what the deal was. They were patriarchal and macho by the next generation.

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There is no evidence that matriarchal societies ever existed.

 

The Picts -- who lived in Scotland during Roman times, before the Scottish did -- were apparently matriarchal. Nobody knows if they were a gender egalitarian society, but they generally went under a queen, and traced their ancestry matrilineally rather than patrilineally. Many other societies, such as the Inuit, are/were matrilineal, though that doesn't necessarily translate into matriarchy or gender egalitarianism.

 

The pygmies were/are gender egalitarian.

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The tribe I came from was supposedly ran by the woman in the "home", but when the men went hunting or what have you, she had no say in anything. However, it didn't work out that way later, after "it's OK to talk about being N.A. in the home, but outside the home we are White". Although, when we saw my bio-father's mother, who was 1/2, she ran the roost.

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From Wikipedia:

 

Matriarchy (also gynecocracy) refers to a hypothetical gynecocentric form of society, in which the leading role is taken by the women and especially by the mothers of a community.[1]

 

There are no known societies that are unambiguously matriarchal,[2][3][4][5][6][7][8] although there are a number of attested matrilinear, matrilocal and avunculocal societies, especially among indigenous peoples of Asia, such as those of the Minangkabau or Mosuo. Strongly matrilocal societies sometimes are referred to as matrifocal, and there is some debate concerning the terminological delineation between matrifocality and matriarchy. Note that even in patriarchical systems of male-preference primogeniture there may occasionally be queen regnants, as in the case of Elizabeth I of England or Victoria of the United Kingdom.

 

In 19th century scholarship, the hypothesis of matriarchy representing an early stage of human development — now mostly lost in prehistory, with the exception of some "primitive" societies — enjoyed popularity. The hypothesis survived into the 20th century and was notably advanced in the context of feminism and especially second wave feminism, but it is mostly discredited today.[9]

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That wasn't the question though. I was refering to animism v anthropomorphism. If we stayed with animism, I'm wonder if there would be less of a battle between religion and science.

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That wasn't the question though. I was refering to animism v anthropomorphism. If we stayed with animism, I'm wonder if there would be less of a battle between religion and science.

 

Animism is a big part of the Hindu religion and I don't think they are anymore pro-science than anyone else. If fact, many major advances in science have been brought about by Christians. Newton and Gallileo come to mind. With that being said, I think religion will always be at odds with science.

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but it is mostly discredited today.[9]

 

No kidding? Because it seems to be a firmly entrenched belief for many....

 

Christianity is also a, "firmly entrenched belief for many." I'm a skeptic and for me to believe that Matriarchy ever really existed, I'd like to see proof, not just hear anacdotal evidence. Again, generally speaking, men don't like to share power. I find it hard to believe that thousands of years ago men sat back and let the women rule.

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Sigh.

 

It's so much fun being a lower-middle class white male. I don't get to enjoy any of the big benefits, but that doesn't mean I don't get to be lumped in with those at the top. 'Cause I'm still "privileged."

 

And yes, I realize no one here is accusing me of anything. Discussions of the evils of patriarchy just always manage to bring me down some due to the unspoken association.

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Sigh.

 

It's so much fun being a lower-middle class white male. I don't get to enjoy any of the big benefits, but that doesn't mean I don't get to be lumped in with those at the top. 'Cause I'm still "privileged."

 

And yes, I realize no one here is accusing me of anything. Discussions of the evils of patriarchy just always manage to bring me down some due to the unspoken association.

 

I'm sorry it brings you down, but it does need to be talked about. Patriarchy is oppressing countless women even as we speak.

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I agree, Ruby, but that wasn't the question or it wasn't intended to be at least.

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I'm sorry it brings you down, but it does need to be talked about. Patriarchy is oppressing countless women even as we speak.

Aye, I'm aware. Neat thing about patriarchy, though? It oppresses men, too. Not as much as women and people of color, of course, but the system's really built to give everything to the wealthy white men at the top.

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I hate to be the only person to defend patriarchy, and moreso while drunk, but looking at what happened, patriarchal societies did something right that the others didn't. That's why the countries at the top are all patriarchal.Frankly, that all of the supposed matriarchal societies don't exist anymore SHOULD tell us that they failed in some way that patriarchal societies didn't.

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