Times they are a-changin’

I feel like I’m changing again. I do that sometimes. The basics stay essentially the same, but I become someone new, like Doctor Who only no brand new body (darn!). Sometimes it happens so slow I don’t notice till its over, but sometimes, like now, I can almost feel it in my bones like an adolescent growth-spurt. I’m curious who I’ll be tomorrow, or next week. Its weird to watch it happen from the inside with this vague excitement… shouldn’t I be worried or alarmed? But its happened before and it will happen again. It may be as simple as a perspective shift, but that can be pretty dramatic to how my thinking works. Maybe I’ll find God again. It’s hard to say!

I recently started reading The Living Goddess by Marija Gimbutas and its a fascinating read. This is sort of an extension of my thinking from my last post – when did patriarchy start? By the way, I still don’t know. But this glimpse of Old European religious life gives an impression of non-patriarchal societies – in that, the Goddess seemed heavily ingrained in the life and imagination of people then, showing the feminine was associated with power rather than subservience. That’s my take, anyways. I really want to read The Creation of Patriarchy by Dr. Gerda Lerner. Here’s a snippet from an interview about her book:

MISHLOVE: You know, as I was preparing for this interview, I was reading your book with my wife today, and she asked me, she said, “Imagine what it would be like for you as a male if all the history you read was about the great achievements of women — that you never read about any great male achievements.” And I have to say I was floored. I had never considered it in that light.

LERNER: And that is one of the worst effects of this omission — that women have no heroines. I always cite as an example that the only heroine that women of my generation, and up to my generation, grew up with was Joan of Arc, and we all knew what end she came to. That’s not a very desirable model. And there was always Molly Pitcher, who in fact is a mythical figure, who hands the water to the men — so the handmaiden, that’s all. Now, all of this is false. The record is wrong that we have handed down; and let me just say a word to the comment that you just made about your wife. The effect on men has been very bad too, of the omission of women’s history, because men have been given the impression that they’re much more important in the world than they actually are, and that’s not a good way to become a human being. It has fostered illusions of grandeur in every man that are unwarranted. If you can think, as a man, that everything great in the world and in civilization was created by men, then naturally you have to look down on women, and naturally you have to have different aspirations for your sons than for your daughters, and I don’t think that’s good for men either.

You can read the rest of the interview here.

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6 responses to “Times they are a-changin’

  1. Do you know what I find really interesting? As I’ve come into myself as a transgender man (female-to-male transsexual), I’ve had an incredible increase of respect for women. And not just respect, but a fierce admiration at how kick ass they are.

    • Thanks for stopping by! My best friend from high school is a transman. Its great that the transition has led to increased respect for women.

  2. Enjoyed this! I did think of Mary, however. Mother of God is pretty good,isn’t it? 😀

    But I see the point and, yes, we need to think of women who have changed history. And there are many!

    I think men just have to be talked about. Is it an ego thing? The real heroes are those who serve quietly and change things without having to toot their own horns. But maybe we should start talking about them more.

    Thanks for sharing this! Sounds like some interesting books!

    • Thanks Susanne! Mother of God IS pretty good, but unattainable for your typical woman. Historical figures are often exceptional, but still something later generations of women can aspire to become. Growing up, most of the great figures I studied were men, and I accepted this as perfectly normal. Now I’m realizing I’ve been jipped!

  3. Very interesting! I’ve been thiking similar things lately though my thoughts were inspired by a teen fiction novel! lol.
    The vampire society in the book is matriarchal and just that made me have so many questions and thoughts about our own society and the loss of value of women over time.

    • I’m really enjoying researching this topic! I would recommend In Search of the Lost Feminine: Decoding the Myths That Radically Reshaped Civilization, by Craig S. Barnes. It basically is like a detective is explaining “who done it”, by looking at myths to see what prompted some of the stories – for example, examining the many female monsters in Greek mythologies like harpies and gorgons, and how they may have been allegories for woman-oriented societies and religious cults. It really helped to explain the rise of patriarchy, and, more importantly, give me hope that it doesn’t HAVE to be this way.

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