Saturday, 28 February 2009

Woman, Church and State: Chapter 2, Celibacy

Woman, Church and State:
A Historical Account of the Status of Woman Through the Christian Ages with Reminiscences of the Matriarchate
Matilda Joslyn Gage

Chapter II: Celibacy
"As long as the church maintains the doctrine that woman was created inferior to man and brought sin into the world, rendering the sacrifice of the Son of God necessary, just so long will the foundation of vice and crime of every character remain. Not until the exact and permanent equality of woman with man is recognized by the church -- aye, even more, together with the accountability of man to woman in everything relating to the birth of a new being, is fully accepted as a law of nature -- will vice and crime disappear from the world. Until that time has fully come, prostitution in its varied forms will continue to exist, together with alms-houses, reformatories, jails, prisons, hospitals and asylums for the punishment, reformation or care of the wretched beings who have come into existence with an inheritance of disease and crime because of church theory and church teaching." p. 47
"While the inferior and secondary position of woman early became an integral portion of Christianity, its fullest efforts are seen in Church teaching regarding marriage. Inasmuch as it was a cardinal doctrine that the fall of Adam took place through his temptation into marriage by Eve, this relation was regarded with holy horror as a continuance of the evil which first brought sin into the world, depriving man of his immortality. . . . [H]ad it not been for the fall, God would have found some way outside of this relation for populating the world, consequently marriage was regarded as a condition of peculiar temptation and trial; celibacy as one of especial holiness." page 49- 50
"The androgynous theory of primal man found many supporters, the separation into two beings having been brought about by sensual desire. Jacob Boehme and earlier mystics of that class recognized the double sexuality of God in whose image man was made. One of the most revered ancient Scriptures, "The Gospel according to the Hebrews", which was in use as late as the second century of the Christian era, taught the equality of the feminine in the Godhead; also that daughters should inherit with sons. . . . The fact remains undeniable that at the advent of Christ, a recognition of the feminine element in the divinity had not entirely died out from general belief . . .It was however but a short period before the church through Cannons and Decrees, as well as apostolic and private teachings, denied the femininity of the Divine equally with the divinity of the feminine. There is abundant proof that even under but partial recognition of the feminine principle as entering in the divinity, woman was officially recognized in the early services of the church, being ordained to the ministry, officiating as deacons, administering the act of baptism, dispensing the sacraments, interpreting doctrines and founding sects which received their names." pages 50-51
"...the church decided to compel a belief that its control of this contract lessened the evil, to this end declaring marriage illegal without priestly sanction..." page 52
"... while the possibility of salvation to the married, at first recognized, was denied at later date even to persons otherwise living holy lives. The Emperor Jovinian banished a man who asserted the possibility of salvation to married persons provided they obeyed all the ordinances of the church and lived good lives. As part of this doctrine, the church taught that woman was under an especial curse and man a divinely appointed agent for the enforcement of that curse. It inculcated the belief that all restrictions placed upon her were but parts of her just punishment for having caused the fall of man." page 53
"... woman was not part of the original creative idea but a secondary thought, an inferior being brought into existence as an appendage to man." page 54
"That Paul was unmarried has been assumed because of his bitterness against this relation, yet abundant proof of his having a wife exists. For the membership of the Great Sanhedrim, marriage was a requisite. St. Clement of Alexandra positively declared that St. Paul had a wife. Until the time of Cromwell, when it was burned, a MS. letter of St. Ignatius in Greek was preserved in the old Oxford Library; this letter spoke "of St. Peter and Paul and the apostles who were married." Another letter of St. Ignatius is still extant in the Vatican Library. Tussian and others who have seen it declare that it also speaks of St. Paul as a married man. But tenderness toward woman does not appear in his teaching, man is represented as the master, "the head" of woman. In consonance with his teaching, responsibility has been denied her through the ages; although the Church has practically held her amenable for the ruins of the world, prescribing penance and hurling anathemas against her whom it has characterized as the "door of Hell." " pages 54-55
"The old christian [sic small c-Christian is often not capitalized in this work] theologians found the nature of woman a prolific subject of discussion, a large party classing her among brutes without soul or reason. As early as the sixth century a council at Macon (585) fifty-nine bishops taking part, devoted its time to a discussion of this question, "Does woman possess a soul?" .... Christian women were therefore allowed to remain human beings in the eyes of the clergy, even though considered very weak and bad ones.
... As late as the end of the sixteenth century an anonymous work appeared, arguing that woman were no part of mankind, but a species of intermediate animal between the human and brute creation. (Mulieres non est homines, etc.) Mediaeval [sic] christian [sic] writings show many discussions upon this point, the influence of these old assertions still manifesting themselves." page 56
"Until the time of Peter the Great, women were not recognized as human beings in that great division of Christendom known as the Greek church, the census of that empire counting only males, or so many "souls" - no woman named. Traces of this old belief have not been found wanting in our own country within the century. As late as the Woman's Rights Convention in Philadelphia, 1854, an objector in the audience cried out: "Let women first prove they have souls; both the Church and the State deny it." " page 57
"Everything connected with woman was held to be unclean." page 57
"To such an extent was this opposition carried, that the church of the middle ages did not hesitate to provide itself with eunuchs in order to supply cathedral choirs with the soprano tones inhering by nature in woman alone. One of the charges against the Huguenots was that they permitted women to sing in church,..." page 57
"The Christianity of the ages teaches the existence of a superior and inferior sex, possessing different rights under the law in the church, it has been easy to bring man and woman under accountability to a different code of morals. " page 58
"A knowledge of facts like these is necessary in order for a just understanding of our present civilization, especially as to the origin of restrictive legislation concerning woman. The civilization of to-day is built upon the religious theories of the middle ages supplemented by advancing freedom of thought." pages 62 - 63
"Without predetermined intention of wrong doing, man has been so molded by the Church doctrine of ages and the coordinate laws of State as to have become blind to the justices of woman's demand for freedom such as he possesses." page 63
Regarding the dark ages: "The most pronounced doctrine of the church at this period was that through woman sin entered the world; that woman's whole tendency was toward evil, and had it not been for the unfortunate oversight of her creation, man would be dwelling in the paradisal innocence and happiness of Eden, with death entirely unknown. When the feminine was thus wholly proscribed, the night of moral and spiritual degradation reached its greatest depth..." page 66
"To the theory of "God the Father", shorn of the divine attribute of motherhood, is the world beholden for its most degrading beliefs, it most infamous practices." page 69
"It was declared that Peter possessed a wife before his conversion, but that he forsook her and all worldly things after he became Christ's, who established chastity; priests were termed holy in proportion as they opposed marriage." page 71 i.e., Peter abandoned his wife (and children? and young children?) to win converts for Christ. That certainly is holy.
" "The Fathers of the Church of the most part, vie with each other in their depreciation of woman and denouncing her with every vile epithet, held it a degradation for a saint to touch even his aged mother with his hand in order to sustain her feeble steps. " " footnote number 48, page 74, quotation from Anna Kingsford in _The Perfect Way_ ( Gage does not give the edition), page 286
"Aristotle whose philosophy was accepted by the church and all teaching of a contrary character declared heretical, maintained that nature did not form woman except when by reason of imperfection of matter she could not obtain the sex which is perfect." page 75
"Although the laws against the marriage of priests were enacted on pretense of the greater inherent wickedness of woman, history proves their chief object to have been the keeping of all priestly possessions under church control." p. 80
Many notable consequences followed the final establishment of celibacy as a dogma of the church. First. the doctrine of woman's inherent wickedness and close fellowship with Satan took on new strength.
Second. Canon Law gained full control of civil law.
Third. An organized system of debauchery arose under mask of priestly infallibility.
Fourth. Auricular confession was confirmed as a dogma of the church.
Fifth. Prohibition of the Scriptures to the laity was enforced.
Sixth. Crime was more openly protected, the system of indulgences gained new strength, becoming the means of great revenue to the church.
Seventh. Heresy was more broadly defined and more severely punished.
Eight. The Inquisition was established.
When Innocent III completed the final destruction of sacerdotal marriage, it was not upon disobedient priests the most severe punishment fell, but upon innocent women and children. Effort was made to force wives to desert their husbands. Those who proved contumacious were denied christian burial in an age when such denial was looked upon as equivalent to eternal damnation; property left such wives was confiscated to the church; they were forbidden the eucharist; churching after childbirth was denied them; they were termed harlots and their children bastards, while to their sons all office in the church was forbidden. If still contumacious they were handed over to the secular power for condign punishment, or sold as slaves for the benefit of the church. They were regarded as under the direct control of Satan himself, as beings who iniquitously stood between their husbands and heaven." pages 81 -82
"The duty of woman to obey, not alone her male relatives, but all men by virtue of their sex, was sedulously inculcated." page 84
Regarding the church's drive to enforce priestly celibacy:

a) Priest's wives, who were previously considered part of the highest reaches of local society, became shunned. The church refused to provide for widow's of priests. Priests were not required to support their children. Children of priests became known as bastards.

b) Priests were not expected to abstain from sex. The church encouraged that priests take a mistress.

"The priest regarded himself as the direct representative of divinity; the theory of infallibility was not confined to the pope, but all dignitaries of the church made the same claim. Asserting themselves incapable of wrong doing, maintaining an especial sanctification by reason of their celibacy, priests nevertheless made their holy office a cover for the most degrading sensuality. Methods were taken to debauch the souls as well as the bodies of women. Having first taught their special impurity, it was now maintained that immorality with a priest was not sin, but on the contrary hallowed the woman, giving her particular claim upon heaven. It was taught that sin could only be killed through sin. The very incarnation was used as a means of weakening woman's virtue. That Christ did not enter the world through the marriage relation, stamped christian honor a system of concubinage in the church, for whose warrant woman was pointed to the Virgin Mary. .... The chastity of concubinage and the unchastity of marriage was constantly asserted by the church, and thus the mysteries upon its foundation were laid for the degradation of woman, who was at all times depicted as being of no self-individuality, but one who had been created solely for man's pleasure." pages 90-91

c) Laity imitates priesthood, and Europe became a "continent of moral corruption" page 92

d) Church wanted to protect its wealth.
"As long as the church maintains the doctrine that woman was created inferior to man, and brought sin into the world, rendering the sacrifice of the Son of God a necessity, just so long will the foundation of vice and crime of every character remain." page 93
"When a priest failed to take a concubine his parishioners compelled him to do so in order to preserve the chastity of their own wives and daughter's." page 94
Gage presents numerous examples establishing that the current (1890) church is guilty of the same misdeeds as the earlier church.
Pope John XII seduced and violated 300 nuns.
Henry III, bishop of Leige, was deposed in 1274 for having 65 illegitimate children.
"No greater crime against humanity has ever been known than the division of morality into two codes, the strict for woman, the lax for man. Nor has woman been the sole sufferer from this creation of Two Moral Codes within the Christian Church. Through it man has lost fine discrimination between good and evil, and the Church itself as the originator of this distinction in sin upon the trend of sex, has become the creator and sustainer of injustice, falsehood, and the crimes into which its priests have most deeply sunk." page 109


What is Profeminisme?

Male domination and patriarchy have been under challenge by feminists and the women's movement in recent decades. The economic, social and political subjection of women in Europe and elsewhere, the violence brought against them and their confinement to the domestic sphere have been analysed and denounced in academic studies, solidarity networks and positive actions.

For the last 20 years or so a minority of men, though in increasing numbers, have joined the struggle for equal opportunities between the sexes, setting up men's groups, centres for violent men, publications and networks, and mounting actions against war and the concept of the "virile man". Their aim is to work towards a non-sexist society with, and in support of, women.

But profeminist men in many European countries are still isolated by the lack of any links between individual groups and this situation is holding back debate, exchanges of information and the organization of joint campaigns by women and men.

This is why we want to link up the various men who, in one way or another, support the struggle against patriarchy and male domination by creating a European network of profeminist men.

Backed by the European Community, our aims are to deconstruct the male gender, carry out more critical analysis of the modes of male domination, try to understand how macho, homophobic societies make us into domina-ting men, and assert our desire to live in peace without violence, without war between men and without oppression of women.


The Feminization of the Corporation, the Masculinization of the State

Simon Hallsworth

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 32, No. 1 (2005): 32-40.

This contribution focuses on emerging particularities within institutional imaginaries of regulation and control. Hallsworth demonstrates and explains how, while corporate image and life seem to be feminizing in a globalizing economy, state authority and state intervention adopt conspicuously masculine imagery and attitude.

Key words: corporation, state authority, feminization vs. masculinization, gendered imaginaries

"That Heavy Machine": Reprising the Colonial Apparatus in 21st-Century Social Control

Mark Brown

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 32, No. 1 (2005): 41-52.

The 21st century has witnessed a range of penal and quasi-penal measures of astonishing severity. These strategies of exclusion, such as post-prison civil commitment statutes, mark a profound shift in the long-established structure of rights and obligations under which citizens live. This article proposes that such strategies reflect the reemergence of a colonial form of power and the rationalities and apparatus that support it. The subject of these new strategies of exclusion is in many ways a "new colonial subject" of power. The author develops a theoretical frame for understanding colonial power and state-subject relations and applies it to three contemporary measures of exclusion.

Key words: penal theory, exclusion, colonialism, colonial power, governmentality


Where Are We Going?
Feminism and Masculinity

Monday 2 December 2002

The signs of a transition in the gender order are everywhere and the impact on men and masculinities is very dramatic. In many respects these changes are interpreted through two perspectives: men as victims and men as under-achievers.

The most dramatic shifts in the gender order concerns women. Young professional women are winning many of the new jobs in the services and knowledge industries, earning more money, increasing their share income and strengthening their hold on the professions. In the field of education, female achievement has been outstripping that of young males for at least a decade. An increasing number of young women are exhibiting characteristics previously considered typically male, such as a willingness to take risks, a desire for adventure in sport, foreign travel and a much greater interest in sexuality.

The rise in the participation of women in the workplace and in education as well as women’s new social freedoms are often related to the decline of the male breadwinner and male privilege. The conclusion often touted is that of male marginalization or that “men are at risk,” to borrow from the controversial title of Errol Miller’s book.

The problem with this argument is that it constructs men as victims of the women’s movement. The men as victims argument is associated with a counter movement to reassert the dominance of men and masculinity. The suggestion is that the problem is that men are unable to fulfil their role because women are too ambitious.

This conclusion is based on the age-old conception of the role of the male ‘breadwinner’ as being essential to the full realization of male identity. Having a job and earning a good income are essential mechanisms through which men gain power and prestige as well as attract women. The role of the breadwinner is an important source of authority for men within the context of patriarchy. A decline in this role, through unemployment for example, has manifested in the loss of self-esteem and problems such as domestic violence and reduced sexual potency.

Men and masculinity are also going through many changes. Men are increasingly required to adjust to the rise of male unemployment and the feminist challenge to patriarchal ideology.

For instance, the objectification of men’s bodies is associated with the emergence of a new consumer culture. Men have long held the power of ‘the gaze’ over women’s bodies and still do. With the growth of men’s style magazines and male modelling, men are being subjected to ‘the look’ of both women and men. This is exemplified by the range of new body-sculpting magazines and exercise machines that are being promoted. Men are being encouraged to have “rock hard abs” and a totally toned physique (a hard body).

Also, men are proving to be almost as susceptible as women to a loss of self-esteem and dissatisfaction with their body image. The male image is increasingly being sexualized, eroticized and so feminized. For example, the sale of male toiletries has been increasing recently and it is men who are doing the bulk of the purchasing.

The men as underachievers argument demeans men as underachievers and deviants. It portrays men as a growing social problem because an increasing number of them are uneducated, unemployed, unmarried or gay. The view is that school, work and family are key socializing institutions without which men become unproductive, uncontrollable and dangerous. For example, men behaving badly are responsible for the decline of family values, the growth of single-headed households and the proliferation of homosexuality.

According to Ehrenreich (1995) some of the key features are that:
men no longer depend on women for physical survival;

masculinity, like femininity, is now being exploited by consumer culture;

men no longer need women to express their status;

male wages have declined and so has the breadwinning role;

women’s gender identity is becoming masculinized.

These transitions in masculinities are viewed as indicative of the decline of patriarchy. The traditional meaning of patriarchy (the rule of the father, including the rule of older men over younger men adn of fathers over daughters, as well as husbands over wives) is being eroded by fundamental shifts in the sexual division of labour and gender ideology. But Ehrenreich (1995) warns that ’the end of patrarchy is not the same as women’s liberation’. For her, patrarchy involves a process of mutual obligation, which meant protectiveness on the part of men, either in terms of comforting or infantilising women. She argues that those days are over. She identifies two parallel trends: male flight from female companionship and the masculinisation of women. She forecasts an increase in male violence, especially that against women and suggests that ’the battle of the sexes’ may stop being a metaphor and become an armed struggle".

Pleck (1995) makes the point that in contemporary times men have become more dependent on women for emotional and sex-role validation because male-male friendships have been declining, while male-female relations have expanded with dating and marriage occurring more universally. As a result, women have gained more expressive power and more masculinity-validating power over men:
women are used as symbols of success in men’s competition with each other;

women play a mediating role by smoothing over men’s inability to relate to each other non-competitively;

relationships with women provide men a refuge from the dangers and stresses of relating to other males;

women reduce the stress of competition by serving as an underclass.

These scripts not only define what ‘true masculinity’ is, or, is not, but it also informs what femininity is all about as well. Deviation from these roles is seen as a threat to the natural order of patriarchy. Consequently, the challenges that have arisen through “women’s liberation means that the stakes of patriarchal failure for men are higher than they have been before, and that it is even more important for men not to lose” (Pleck 1995: 10).

The ideology of masculinism is able to exploit male insecurities and vulnerabilities about sexuality and work. It is also used as a basis to perpetuate sexism thereby reinforcing traditional occupational and reward hierarchies. The myth of male privilege, power and status blinds men to their own gender oppression and therefore limits the possibilities for an emancipatory transition from within the boundaries of masculinism. This suggests that the prospects for a preferred future in gender relations are dependent on the continued unmasking of the core ideas that inform masculinism.
Keith Nurse lectures at the Institute of International Relations, University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. He has worked with various women’s organisations in Trinidad and Tobago on issues relating to the economy, gender relations between men and women and masculinities.

The Goddess and the Church

Russ Wise
The goddess, or Great Mother, has existed since the beginning of is out of the primordial depths of her womb that the Universe and all life is born. Morwyn, Secrets Of A Witch's Coven
Reverence for the goddess is becoming more prevalent in our day. The goddess is embraced by witchcraft, feminism, the occult, and the liberal church. The New Age that is about to dawn upon us will be, according to the occult world, a feminine age. Likewise, those who hold this view believe that this current, masculine age has been an age of destruction and broken relationships among humanity. The New Age with its feminine energies will bring balance to the destructive aspects of the Piscean Age.

Rosemary Radford Ruether in her book, Womanguides: Readings Toward A Feminist Theology, states "It is to the women that we look for salvation in the healing and restorative waters of Aquarius. It is to such a New Age that we look now with hope as the present age of masculism succeeds in destroying itself." According to Starhawk, a feminist and practicing witch, "the symbolism of the Goddess is not a parallel structure to the symbolism of God the Father. The Goddess does not rule the world; She is the world."(1)

In order for this feminine age to come into full fruition a shift in consciousness must take place in the world. This shift in thinking and perception of reality will bring forth the goddess.(2)

As interest in the occult continues to rise and gain popularity in our culture, the goddess becomes more popular as a deity. The modern woman is at a crossroads in her spiritual quest. It is imperative that she realize her inherent deity, her god nature, for she is to be the salvation of humanity.

According to those who hold a belief in the Great Goddess, Europe was once ruled by a matriarchal egalitarian religion. Their belief dictates that Old Europe was a culture that worshiped a matrifocal (mother-focused), sedentary, peaceful, art-loving, goddess between 5,000 and 25,000 years before the rise of the first male-oriented religion. They maintain that this egalitarian culture was overrun and destroyed by a semi-nomadic, horse-riding, Indo-European group of invaders who were patrifocal (father-focused), mobile, warlike, and indifferent to art.(3) The ease with which the peaceful goddess worshipers were subdued confirmed to the war-like Indo-European invaders their feelings of natural superiority. The matriarchal religion of these early settlers was eventually assimilated into the more dominant patriarchal religion of the invaders. As these invaders imposed their patriarchal culture on the conquered peoples, rapes(4) and myths about male warriors killing serpents appeared for the first time in their history. The serpent was a symbol of the goddess worshipers. As the assimilation of cultures continued, the Great Mother Goddess became fragmented into many lesser goddesses.

According to Merlin Stone, author of When God Was a Woman, the disenthronement of the Great Goddess, begun by the Indo- European invaders, was finally accomplished by the Hebrew, Christian, and Moslem religions that arose later.(5) The male deity took the prominent place. The female goddesses faded into the background, and women in society followed suit.(6)
The Goddess and Witchcraft
In the world of witchcraft the goddess is the giver of life. Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., in her book, Goddesses In Everywoman, has this to say about the goddess:

The Great Goddess was worshiped as the feminine life force deeply connected to nature and fertility, responsible both for creating life and for destroying life.(7)

She also proclaims, "The Great Goddess was regarded as immortal, changeless, and omnipotent" prior to the coming of Christianity. For witchcraft, the goddess is the earth itself. Mother Earth or Gaia, as the goddess is known in occult circles, is an evolving being as is all of nature. In the New Age world view, environmentalism and the ecological movement play an important part in restoring the goddess. In her best-selling book, The Spiral Dance, Starhawk says
The model of the Goddess, who is immanent in nature, fosters respect for the sacredness of all living things. Witchcraft can be seen as a religion of ecology. Its goal is harmony with nature, so that life may not just survive, but thrive.(8)
Witches think of Gaia, or Mother Earth, as a biosystem. They attribute consciousness to earth and believe it to be spiritual as well. In other words, Gaia is a living and evolving being that has a spiritual destiny. Those who practice witchcraft take responsibility for Mother Earth's evolutionary development.

The environmental movement of our day is greatly influenced by those who practice witchcraft or hold neopagan beliefs. Witchcraft is an attempt to reintroduce the sacred aspect of the earth that was, according to their belief, destroyed by the Christian world. The goddess is, therefore, a direct affront against the male- dominated religion of the Hebrew God.

Christianity taught that God was transcendent, apart from nature, and was a masculine deity. Witchcraft holds a pantheistic view of God. God is nature. Therefore, God is in all things and all things are a part of God. However, this God is in actuality a goddess and predates the male God. The goddess is the giver of all life and is found in all of creation.
The importance of the Goddess symbol for women cannot be over stressed. The image of the Goddess inspires women to see ourselves as divine, our bodies as sacred, the changing phases of our lives as holy, our aggression as healthy, and our anger as purifying. Through the Goddess, we can discover our strength, enlighten our minds, own our bodies, and celebrate our emotions.(9)
For Betty Sue Flowers, a University of Texas English professor, the women's spirituality movement is the answer to the male-oriented religion of Christianity. She was a keynote speaker for the International Conference on Women's Spirituality in Austin, Texas, and addressed the conference on the return of the goddess. According to Flowers,
The goddess is a metaphor that reminds us of the female side of spirituality. Metaphors are important. You can't know God directly. You can only know images of God, and each image or metaphor is a door. Some doors are open and others are closed. A door that is only male is only half open.(10)
The Goddess and Feminism
For many in the feminist world, the goddess is an expression of worship. A growing number within the feminist movement have bought into witchcraft as the central focus of their allegiance. Those who have become a part of the women's spirituality movement reject what they call the patriarchal Judeo-Christian tradition, deploring sexist language, predominantly masculine imagery and largely male leadership.(11)

In a Wall Street Journal article, Sonia L. Nazario stated, "Women first wanted to apply feminism to political and economic realms, then to their families. Now, they want it in their spiritual lives."(12)

To fully understand the implications of the women's spirituality movement one only needs to read the current literature on the subject. The editors of the book Radical Feminism state that "Political institutions such as religion, because they are based on philosophies of hierarchical orders and reinforce male oppression of females, must be destroyed."

Radical feminists believe that the traditional church must be dismantled. For example, in her book Changing of the Gods: Feminism and the End of Traditional Religions, Naomi Goldenburg announced,
The feminist movement in Western culture is engaged in the slow execution of Christ and Yahweh....It is likely that as we watch Christ and Yahweh tumble to the ground, we will completely outgrow the need for an external God.(13)
Many feminists are obviously moving away from an understanding of deity as an external "male" God who stands apart from Creation to a conception of deity as a goddess that is realized within one's inner self and is one with nature.

Some extreme feminists in the goddess movement "pray for the time when science will make men unnecessary for procreation."(14) The radical feminist see the goddess movement as a spiritual outlet for their long-held beliefs. According to Mark Muesse, an assistant professor of religious studies at Rhodes College,
some feminist Christians push for changes ranging from the ordination of women and the generic, non-sexual terms for God and humanity to overhauling the very theology.(15)
Perhaps the most descriptive word for the feminist movement is "transformation." Catherine Keller, Associate Professor of Theology at Xavier University, in her essay "Feminism and the New Paradigm," proclaims that the world-wide feminist movement is bringing about the end of patriarchy, the eclipse of the politics of separation, and the beginning of a new era modeled on the dynamic, holistic paradigm. Radical feminism envisions that era, and the long process leading toward it, as a comprehensive transformation.

Another aspect of this transformation is the blending of the sexes. The feminist movement seeks a common mold for all of humanity. Jungian Psychotherapist John Weir Perry believes that we must find our individuality by discovering androgyny. He states,
To reach a new consensus, we have to avoid falling back into stereotypes, and that requires truly developing our individuality. It is an ongoing work of self-realization and self- actualization. For men it means growing into their native maleness and balancing it with their femaleness. For women, it's the same growing into their full womanhood, and that includes their masculine side.(16)
This process sounds more like androgyny (or sameness) than individuality and it reflects a paradigm-shift involving nothing less than the reordering of man's understanding of God. A shift from thinking of God as male to seeing and experiencing God as a goddess: the Mother of Life.
The Goddess and the Occult
In the world of the occult, popularly known as the New Age, the goddess is believed to be resident within the individual and simply needs to be awakened. In other words, the individual is inherently divine. Starhawk, a witch who works with the Catholic priest Matthew Fox at his Institute of Creation Spirituality, says that an individual can awaken the goddess by invoking, or inviting, her presence. Starhawk tells us,
To invoke the Goddess is to awaken the Goddess within, to become ...that aspect we invoke. An invocation channels power through a visualized image of Divinity....We are already one with the Goddess--she has been with us from the beginning, so fulfillment becomes...a matter of self-awareness. For women, the Goddess is the symbol of the inmost self. She awakens the mind and spirit and emotions.(17)
Jean Shinoda Bolen, a Jungian analyst and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, when asked the question, What ails our society?, put it this way: "We suffer from the absence of one half of our spiritual potential--the Goddess."(18) Individuals who follow New Age teaching believe that the male-dominated religion of this present age has been an injustice to humanity and the ecosystem. Therefore, there must be a balancing of energies. The male energies must diminish and the feminine energies must increase in order for the goddess to empower the individual.

The New Age of occultism promises to be an age of peace, harmony, and tranquility. Whereas the present dark age of brokenness and separation continues to bring war, conflict, and disharmony, so it is the goddess with her feminine aspects of unity, love, and peace that will offer a solution for mankind and circumvent his destruction. For many in our society this appears to be the answer to man's dilemma. However, an occult solution that denies Christ's atonement for sin cannot fully meet a holy God's requirement for wholeness.

For the pagan, the goddess represents life and all it has to offer. "The Goddess religion is a conscious attempt to reshape culture."(19) This reshaping is nothing less than viewing man and his understanding of reality from a female-centered perspective which focuses on the Divine as being female. Therefore, considerable emphasis is placed initially on feminine attributes, but ultimately the focus is on eroticism and sexuality.
Women are clearly the catalyst for the formation of the new spirituality. It is women above all who are in the process of reversing validating and freeing their sexuality.(20)
A major part of this transformative process is the empowerment of women. The rise of the goddess is a direct assault on the patriarchal foundation of Christianity. This new feminist spirituality affirms bisexuality, lesbianism, homosexuality, and androgyny (through the expression of transvestitism).

As this revival of the goddess continues, a growing lack of distinction between male and female will become the norm. Jungian Psychotherapist John Weir Perry maintains,
Both current psychology and ancient history point to an emerging transformation in our sense of both society and self, a transformation that includes redefining the notion of what it means to be men and women.(21)
The Bible clearly indicates that men and women were created as distinctive beings, male and female. This rising occult influence in our society seeks to undermine the Biblical absolute that gives our culture stability. Once again the Bible rings true as it states,
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables (2 Tim. 4:3).
The Goddess and the Liberal Church
The message of the goddess has gained a hearing in the church as well. The philosophy of the goddess is currently being taught in the classrooms of some of our seminaries. In a growing number of seminaries the student population is becoming increasingly female, and many of these women have a feminist outlook on life. Mary Daly, who considers herself to be a Christian feminist, says this about traditional Christianity: "To put it bluntly, I propose that Christianity itself should be castrated."(22) The primary focus of the "Christian" feminist is to bring an end to what they perceive as male-dominated religion by "castrating" the male influence from religion. Daly continued by saying,
I am suggesting that the idea of salvation uniquely by a male savior perpetuates the problem of patriarchal oppression.(23)
Reverend Susan Cady, co-author of Sophia: The Future of Feminist Spirituality and pastor of Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, is one example of the direction that Daly and others are taking the church. The authors of Sophia state that, "Sophia is a female, goddess-like figure appearing clearly in the Scriptures of the Hebrew tradition."

Wisdom Feast, the authors' latest book, clearly identifies Jesus with Sophia. Sophialogy presents Sophia as a separate goddess and Jesus as her prophet. The book takes liberty with Jesus by replacing the masculine deity with the feminine deity Sophia. Another example of how goddess "thealogy" (note feminist spelling for theology) is making its way into the liberal church is through seminars held on seminary campuses.

One such seminar was held at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. "Wisdomweaving: Woman Embodied in Faiths" was held at the school in February of 1990. If one looks at the schedule of the seminar, it is obvious that the emphasis was not on orthodoxy. Linda Finnell, a follower of Wicca and one of the speakers, spoke on the subject of "Returning to the Goddess Through Dianic Witchcraft." Two of the keynote speakers were of a New Age persuasion. In fact, one, Sr. Jose Hobday, works with Matthew Fox and Starhawk at the Institute for Creation Spirituality.

A growing number of churches in the United States and around the world are embracing the New Age lie. Many churches have introduced A Course in Miracles, Yoga, Silva Mind Control, Unity teachings, and metaphysics into their teaching material. Some churches have taken a further step into the New Age by hiring onto their staffs individuals who hold to a metaphysical world view.

Along with the deception that is subtly gaining influence in the liberal church, there are a growing number of churches affiliated with the New Age. These churches, without apology, teach the Luciferian gospel. They are the seed-bed of the occult.

It is amazing that while the liberal church will not accept or believe in Satan, they are willing to embrace Lucifer as an angel of light. It is interesting to note that the New Age Church represents itself as the Church of Light.

Whether the individual seeks the goddess through witchcraft, the feminist movement, the New Age, or the liberal church, he or she is beginning a quest to understand and discover the "higher self." The higher self, often referred to as the "god self," is believed to be pure truth, deep wisdom. In actuality, this so-called "truth" or "wisdom" embodies the oldest lie in the Book, the lie of self- deification: "Ye shall become as Gods." As Christians we must learn to discern every spirit lest we too become deceived.

© 1997 Probe Ministries


1. Starhawk, The Spiral Dance (New York, N.Y.: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1989), 23.

2. Elinor W. Gadon, The Once & Future Goddess (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1989), xiv.

3. Ibid., xii-xiii. See also Lynnie Levy, Of A Like Mind (Madison, Wis.: OALM, 1991), vol. VIII, no. 3, pp. 2-3.

4. See also Zsuzsanna Emese Budapest, The Holy Book of Women's Mysteries (Oakland, Calif.: Susan B. Anthony Coven No. 1, 1986), 12.

5. See also Gadon, The Once & Future Goddess, xiii.

6.Jean Shinoda Bolen, Goddesses in Everywoman (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1984), 21.

7. Ibid., 20.

8. Starhawk, The Spiral Dance, 25.

9. Ibid., 24.

10. Carlos Vidal Greth, "The Spirit of Women," The Austin- American Statesman, 5 March 1991, Sec D.

11. Ibid.

12. Sonia L. Nazario, "Is Goddess Worship Finally Going to Put Men in Their Place?," The Wall Street Journal, 7 June 1990, sec. A.

13. Naomi Goldenberg, Changing of the Gods: Feminism and the End of Traditional Religions (Boston, Mass.: Beacon Press, 1979), 4, 25.

14. Nazario, "Goddess Worship."

15. Deirdre Donahue, "Dawn of The Goddesses,'" USA Today, 26 September 1990, sec. D.

16. John Weir Perry, "Myth, Ritual, and the Decline of Patriarchy," Magical Blend 33 (January 1992): 103.

17. Starhawk, The Spiral Dance, 99.

18. Jean Shinoda Bolen, "The Women's Movement in Transition: The Goddess & the Grail," Magical Blend 33 (January 1992), 8.

19. Starhawk, The Spiral Dance, 11.

20. Donna Steichen, "The Goddess Goes to Washington," Fidelity Magazine (December 1986), 42.

21. Perry, "Decline of Patriarchy," Magical Blend, 62.

22. Alice Hageman, Theology After the Demise of God the Father: A Call for the Castration of Sexist Religion (New York: Association Press, 1974), 132.

23. Ibid., 138.
About the Author
Russ Wise has been an observer of the occult and cults (both Eastern and Western) for over 20 years. Russ seeks to create an awareness of these non-biblical teachings in the Christian community, thereby helping to prevent Christians from falling victim to these deceptions. He is a former associate speaker with Probe Ministries and resides in Richardson, Texas, with his wife, Wendy.

The origins of women's oppression

By Rob Sewell
Wednesday, 05 September 2001

Well ye know
What woman is, for none of woman born
Can choose but drain the bitter dregs of woe
Which ever to the oppressed from the oppressors flow.


The oppression of women has been a key question for Marxism. After all, women constitute half the human race, and have faced discrimination and degradation in many areas of life. The oppression of women in the third world has reached abominable levels. It is accompanied by child prostitution, bonded-labour and slavery. It is capitalism in the raw. Recently, an Iranian Islamic court found a woman guilty of adultery. For this heinous crime, she was sentenced to death by stoning. Here, in its most cruel and brutal form, is reflected the worse features of class society. In the 'civilised' west, working class women are treated as second-class citizens, many of who are forced into the menial jobs on poor wages. Despite equal pay legislation, employers still continue to discriminate against women in terms of pay and conditions.

Unlike the petty bourgeois feminists who see the oppression of women as the inherent biological trait of men, Marxism understands that the root of women's oppression lies not in biology, but in social conditions. While feminists blame men for all the ills of women, Marxism sees the liberation of working class women as a part of the struggle for the liberation of the working class as a whole. While feminists set women against men, the socialist movement attempts to forge solidarity between male and female workers in a common struggle against capitalist exploitation. The emancipation of women can never be achieved under capitalist society, which holds working people, both women and men, in subjugation.

Marxism has a duty to win the best women workers to its banner, as from this oppressed layer - "a slave of a slave", to use Engels' words - will come the best class fighters for the socialist revolution. It is no accident that women began the Russian Revolution of 1917 on international women's day.

The oppression of women did not always exist. In fact it is a relatively new phenomenon in historical terms. It arose with the division of society into classes and the emergence of class society some 6,000 or so years ago. Prior to that, in the period described by the American anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan as 'primitive communism', neither classes, the state, private property nor the family existed. There was no domination of man over women, or man over man. As there was no surplus created, only enough to survive, there was no exploitation, which only emerged with the development of the slave empires of Mesopotania, Egypt, Greece and Rome.

Engels wrote 'The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State', based mainly on the findings of Lewis Morgan, but also supplemented by his own research, which examined this question from a scientific point of view. The founding-fathers of modern anthropology, in particular Morgan and his English counterpart Edward Tylor, gathered a colossal amount of material from primitive tribes, the accounts of missionaries and travellers, and many other sources in an attempt to reconstruct a picture of primitive society. Morgan himself lived for many years among the Iroquois Indians, who still lived at the higher stage of savagery.

They were completely stunned when they found that primitive society had no resemblance whatsoever, in terms of social structure, customs and institutions, to modern civilised society. It was fundamentally different.

Classless society

The common assumption held by the scientific establishment until then, was that primitive life was simply a more basic and underdeveloped version of modern-day life. For them, all our class-based institutions would exists in a less developed form. This completely suited the apologists of capitalist society, who regarded exploitation, classes and social division as eternal. This misconception was completely turned on its head. Private property, family and state simply did not exist. There was no ruling class or working class. There was no domination or the degradation of women by men, or men by men. This classless society was built on completely different egalitarian foundations.

According to Morgan, before class society - which embraced some 99% of human development - there existed two distinct phases of human society: Savagery, based upon a hunter/gatherer economy, which corresponds to the Old Stone Age, and Barbarism, based upon agriculture and stock rearing, the New Stone Age. Throughout this massive expanse of time, the structure of society, which was totally different from our own, was based upon a clan or tribal system. This in turn was based upon kinship, in which women were highly respected and played a leading role within the clan. Production and distribution was all carried out in common. There were no privileges or elites. Women were held in esteem, as they were the bringers of life and future of the clan. To quote Engels: "The communistic household, in which most or all of the women belong to one and the same gens (clan), while men come from various gentes (clans), is the material foundation of that supremacy of women which was general in primitive timesÉ"

Both Morgan and Engels were indebted to the German Bachofen, whose book, Der Murrerrecht (Mother Right), provided a history of the family based upon the myths and legends of the past, which showed that women were held in high regard within the clan system. In this primitive society, sexual relations were based upon primitive mating, where conception was thought to have occurred through divine intervention. Primitive mating went through a variety of changes, reaching a phase of group marriage based on kinship. Under these circumstances, a child's biological father was unknown, and so the line of descent was traced through the mother. This was the only way it could possibly be traced. This gave women their pivotal role within society, and determined the matriarchal character of the clan.


The importance of women to society stemmed from - among other things - their role in child bearing and mother-care, which was essential for the survival not only of the clan, but also of the whole species. It is no accident that in all the early myths and legends of creation, it is the woman that is the bringer of life. Again, all the early gods were women. Only with the advent of class society and dominant patriarchal relations, do we see the emergence of the great male gods of the ancients.

Over time a different system of taboos were introduced, with grave punishments for those who transgressed them, to regulate relations between male and female. The rule of incest was invented to give stability to the tribe. Within the clan everyone was a "brother" and "sister", and a "mother" and "father" to everyone. The children would be regarded as everyone's children and brought up in this communal matriarchal community. Sex was forbidden between men and women of the same clan, which prevented competition amongst males for females. Men had to seek sexual partners in another clan and be adopted by them, while women would remain within their original clan. Above all, within this communistic clan there were fraternal relations between all members. Today they are based upon class rule and reflect domination, subordination and exploitation.

In the words of Morgan, "All the members of an Iroquois gens were personally free and they were bound to defend each other's freedom; they were equal in privileges and in personal rights, the sachem and chiefs claiming no superiority; and they were a brotherhood bound together by the ties of kin. Liberty, equality and fraternity, though never formulated, were cardinal principles of the gens."

The term "mother" was not a family term as today, but a social one. There is no term for "father" or "family" in the matriarchal clan system as these were incomprehensible terms. Biological relationships were subordinate to collective-clan relationships. In clan society, the mother's brother is also regarded as the "male mother."

The bulk of modern anthropologists reject the concept of a communist matriarchy. According to them, all the evidence existing in today's hunter/gatherer tribes at best points to matrilineal descent, but nothing more. They fail to see that existing matrilineal lines are leftovers of a prehistoric past where women played a key role in all spheres. Logically, patriarchal forms could not have pre-dated matriarchal ones as the father was unknown. Of course the early matriarchy was not the mirror opposite of today's patriarchal society. Primitive society was communistic and egalitarian. There were no classes or domination that exists today.

The "family" emerged within the clan system at the stage of Barbarism and the development of settled communities. The "pairing" family was the embryo of the modern family, which emerged first as a matri-family and then patri-family. This development coincided with the "Neothithic Revolution", to use the words of Gordon Childe. It coincided with the increased productivity and wealth that arose. The invention of the iron plough opened the way for surpluses of grain. New methods of breeding livestock increased the herds. This, in its turn, produced social forces that began to undermine the clan/tribal system. It saw the development of private property, which at first remained within the clan, but given the division of labour increasingly fell into the hands of men. "To him, therefore", stated Engels, belonged the cattle, and to him the commodities and the slaves received in exchange for cattle. All the surplus which the acquisition of the necessities of life now yielded fell to the man; the women shared in its enjoyment, but had no part in its ownership."

However, children, who belonged to their mother's clan, could not inherit from their father, being of a different clan in which his property had to remain. So with the new wealth came new contradictions. As Engels explained: "Thus, on the one hand, in proportion as wealth increased, it made the man's position in the family more important than the woman's, and on the other hand created an impulse to exploit this strengthened position in order to overthrow, in favour of his children, the traditional order of inheritance. This, however, was impossible so long as descent was reckoned according to mother-right. Mother-right, therefore, had to be overthrown, and overthrown it was." As Engels adds, this act constituted "the world historical defeat of the female sex."

Maternal clans

With private property came the destruction of the communistic maternal clans. In their place came class society, the state and the patriarchal family. The form of marriage changed from polygamy to monogamy, ensuring that children born in wedlock were those of the husband. Marriage became a way of consolidating family fortunes and power. It was not men who gained, as the majority were still enslaved. Only an elite ruling class gained. The rest of society - men and women - were brought under the heel of class rule. Only with the elimination of class society can the human race be free of this enslavement. The emancipation of women has become a class question, which is inseparable from the socialist transformation of society.

And what of the family? Under socialism, private housekeeping will be transformed into a social industry. The care and education of children will become a public matter. The domination of money relations will come to an end, and men and women will find genuine relationships. To use Engels words: "Once such people appear, they will not care a rap about what we today think they should do. They will establish their own practice and their own public opinion, conformable therewith, on the practice of each individual - and that's the end of it." Socialist society will free us from the inhuman social relations under capitalism and the market economy, and open up new vistas of human development. It will bring about the liberation of men and women.

Woman, Church and State: Chapter 1 The Matriarchate

Chapter 1:The Matriarchate

"... the most grievous wrong ever inflicted upon woman has been in the Christian teaching that she was not created equal with man, and the consequent denial of her rightful place in Church and State." page 12
"The whole ancient world recognized a female priesthood..." page 42
Since earliest society was composed of mothers and their children banding together and men were on the periphery, females dominated every aspect of society: family, government, religion.
The earliest "Supreme Beings" were Goddesses, not Gods; later, male gods were inferior to female goddesses while the most widely worshipped god/goddess in antiquity (Egypt & classical Rome) was Isis. The following were attributed to Isis: (pages 30 and 31)

decreed the earliest laws, through whose teaching the people had risen from barbarism to civilization
taught the art of making bread which had previously grown wild and unused
taught the science of medicine
invented embalming
established their literature
founded their religion
responsible for creating Egyptian civilization
References in the original Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament) to the female component of God were removed by later Christian writers.
Old Testament example: El Shaddai, usually translated as The Almighty, should be translated "The Breasted God" (page 45)
New Testament example: Holy Spirit is strongly feminine in Greek
Woman's degradation is attributed to the Christian/patriarchal position that God is strictly male. (God is made like man but not like woman.)

Woman, Church and State:
A Historical Account of the Status of Woman Through the Christian Ages with Reminiscences of the Matriarchate
Matilda Joslyn Gage
1893, reprinted by Arno Press Inc, 1972


Questioning the Patriarchal Model


Patriarchy is an authoritative male system that is both oppressive and discriminatory. It is oppressive in social, political, economic, and cultural environments. It is discriminatory in its control of access to power, management of resources and benefits, and manipulation of public and private power structures. Patriarchy is grounded in the assumption that the individual European male is a universal reference point and the source of defining visions of the cosmos, society, citizenship, and the individual self within hierarchical concepts of gender, race, and class relations. Although some authors contend that matriarchy preceded patriarchy, patriarchy did not replace matriarchy. The two social systems originated in different parts of the world, and they are antithetical systems in that they are based on very different principles. In the African conception, a matriarchy is a society in which maternal energy and mother love are socially cohesive forces.

Thus matriarchy is not, like patriarchy, a dominating ruling system—it is a social organization focused on the power of women as mothers and on the matrilineal ownership of the home and wealth. Patriarchy is an authoritative system, in a broad sense, that resulted from the Western European historical and sociological approaches to the development of social and family structures as addressed by Western scholars. Thus, the paradigm that underlies the modern assumptions of patriarchy may have emerged from the insight of specific European authors drawing on the patriarchal basis of Greek and Roman philosophies. These authors saw matriarchy, and the matrilineal system of the ancient southern societies, as barbaric and sexually promiscuous. This pervasive notion on which patriarchy has based its assumption of superiority has left an undeniable curse on women and it has always been and still is the ultimate reason for the oppression of women in society.


Whether considered from a sex or gender perspective, in terms of male control of women’s reproduction, or from a materialistic perspective where class relations and the sexual division of labor in the marketplace as economic and social extensions of male and female roles in the family are mutually self-reinforcing, patriarchy always stands for the totality of oppressive and exploitative relations that affect women in both the capitalist and the socialist systems. Patriarchy is, therefore, an all-encompassing oppressive paradigm whose transformation doesn’t seem possible without a revolutionary questioning of every concept involved, beginning with the evolutionary model proposed by the classical theory of 19th-century Western writers. Questioning the Western model is precisely what Cheikh Anta Diop committed himself to, and he succeeded in fully scientifically demonstrating its invalidity when he established a link between patterns of survival and systems of social organization geographically separated by the Mediterranean in a northern and a southern cradle. Diop clearly demonstrates that rather than a universal evolution, where one could speak of a transition from an inferior to a superior state, the two systems, with matriarchy favored by the agricultural societies of the southern cradle and patriarchy favored by the nomadic people in the northern cradle, encountered one another and even disputed with each other as different human societies. Furthermore, at certain places and times, the two cradles were superimposed on each other or even coexisted.

Cheikh Anta Diop’s presentation of matriarchy from an African perspective appears more complete than the Western male-centered discourse that shapes the Western patriarchal construction with its emphasis on the male as a universal point of departure in conceptualizing human existence. Thus Diop provides an opening for criticizing the ideas based on the assumption of a universal male referent (i.e., representation of the white male as the standard model for all ideological and theoretical positions), ideas that are rooted in biological differences and that account for much of the current hierarchical distribution and attribution of resources and power. This contrasting of matriarchy and patriarchy is a true revolutionary approach that places African cultural patterns at the center of the exploration of a distinctive concept of degrees of importance assigned to male and female subjects in African societies. This revolutionary approach initiated by Diop, and developed by Afrocentric scholars such as Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama, defines the basis of the quest for an ideology of non-oppression. These scholars have based their views on ideas that derive from African holistic thought, which stresses collectiveness, relativism, nonhierarchicality, egalitarianism, and a balanced construction of life. Their intellectual idea is to confront patriarchy as an oppressive political and cultural system in order to eradicate it. Indeed, such an Afrocentric task is in line with the harmonizing of the world, a central feature of Afrocentric thought. When one considers the fact that the enslaved African men and women brought to the Americas by Europeans were deprived of family bonds and faced the deepest destruction of family unity, order, and harmony from the 16th century on, it is possible to understand Africans’ urgency in working to reclaim balance in society.

In addition, slaveholders’ sexual harassment, violation, and rape of the enslaved African girls and women could not but leave burning psychological marks in every black female. When the time came for Reconstruction, however, black men and women in America often built their family and social ties in the image of the European models of white America. By imitating the white male pattern, the black men could not, would not, or were unable to affirm themselves as the alternative male model that black women would legitimately have expected to join in the consolidation of a cohesive African tradition of respectful communal values. The Afrocentric paradigm as a holistic philosophical approach to the reality of the Africans in the diaspora contains, in its essence, the germ of a generating creative power that pursues a much more humanistic society than the prevailing Western patriarchal society. A genuine Afrocentricity seeks to examine the ancient continental African cultures for patterns of matriarchal social organization, family bonds, and human relations in an attempt to find a basis for a global revolutionary paradigm of female-male relationships in the 21st century.

— Ana Monteiro Ferreira

What Is the Double Goddess?

V. Noble

The Double Goddess is an ancient icon with luminous meaning for contemporary women, expanding on the single images that have prevailed in prior considerations of the Goddess. Among the numerous female figures important in the ancient world appear many twin figures of two women as well as symbolic dual female representations such as the Double Axe, birds, lions, leopards, and snakes. I see these Double Goddess figures as profoundly representational of the whole yin-yang female biological cycle and its shamanistic relationship to life on this planet, human evolution, and the development of civilization.

The long and rich heritage of Double Goddess figurines and painted images reflect the organic cycles of nature that informed the ancient Goddess religion, archetypally expressed through the body of every woman as the repeating alternation between ovulation and menstruation. These two aspects of the feminine are iconographically depicted in the multivalent and widespread image of two divine women, expressing the dual ples of nature: death and life, dark and light.

The image of the Double Goddess is a vital missing piece for modern women, as it graphically portrays our exquisite and unique bipolar existence in a positive, healthy way.

The Double Goddess reflects female autonomy, offering very important icons for modern women trying to find again (re-member) our ancient, integral sense of self and wholeness.

The innate back-and-forth mystery of ovulation and menstruation, unique to our species and magically ( magnetically) synchronized with the cycles of the Great Goddess Herself in Her dual planetary aspects as Earth and Moon, and the mythic forces of life and death.

The Double Goddess represents the idea of female sovereignty in a context of ancient female yogic and shamanistic practices and principles that formed the organizing structure of most ancient cultures in the world before patriarchy.
These double images as well as the aried mythologies of Double Queens found in different parts of the ancient world
suggest that the icons represent a female lineage (matrilinearity) in the form of a continuous "storied tradition" of female

We'll probably never know if any of the Double Goddess images from ancient civilizations were meant by their creators to represent physical love between women. Or, more accurately, we may not ever be able to prove that such a likely contention is true. Certainly some Double Goddesses are portrayed in such intimate ways that contemporary scholars discussing them have become tongue tied or shy about what they are seeing. Some double figures show two separate women in significant intimate contact, embracing or wearing a shawl around their shoulders or a girdle around their hips, which may indicate physical same sex love.

Lesbians who have shied away from the Goddess movement because of its largely unconscious, but profoundly heterosexist bias, can relax into the knowledge that a lineage exists, going back to the beginnings of human civilization, sanctioning female to female relationship as the original, matriarchal bond and a model of community leadership. This model has mostly been ignored by mainstream culture, even though it is a truism at this point in history that lesbians were and are the vanguard of the women's movement. Significantly for our discussion, much of this impact was made through the influence and productivity of lesbians couples, in a contemporary version of our ancient Amazon Queens.

This model can be seen in the tantric counterparts, Athena and Artemis. Athena, credited with inventing all of civilization's arts, became Goddess of the city-state, crafts, and culture, and Artemis remained Goddess of wild nature. Both remained "virgin" neither was willing to relate romantically with men and both were connected with Amazons.
Rarely does a scholar mention the all to obvious likelihood that either or both of these Goddess types might have found their sexual fulfillment with other women. Artemis, the shaman-priestess, might naturally discover her romantic partner in Athena, the physical warrior and head of state. Instead, both are treated not as if their Virgin Goddess status referred to the intactness of a woman belonging to herself, but rather as a kind of insular chastity that repudiated sexuality altogether.

With the mass of recorded history, mythology, and artifactual evidence, the existence of Amazon Queens and warrior women can hardly be contested, yet it is consistently denied, ignored, and erased by contemporary academic scholars. Amazon warrior women exemplify female resistance movements everywhere. They evoke the wild women who,
like Miranda Shaw's eternally transgressive Indian yoginis, " always speak truthfully and are proud of their strength;
women whose minds are powerful and energetic; women who delight in shrewish behavior and speak boastfully; women who are fearless, revel in their own ferocity, and women who derive pleasure from the fact that they are untamable."
The warrior woman stands her ground in the physical world, like an archer or martial artist.
The priestess fights her battle on the invisible plane, using the tools of her trade to support the powerful working of her focused mind. Together, in the tradition of Amazons from every time and place, they fight back in an ongoing refusal to allow the world to be destroyed.


Sex, Myth and Politics

By Scott London

When we look back on the history of western civilization it seems clear that our culture has long been dominated by stereotypically "masculine" values such as competition, violence and domination. Our history books are replete with tales of battles, conquests, and the struggle for dominion.

But there is growing evidence that there was a time in early human history, culminating some 5,000 years ago, when the feminine principles of inclusion, partnership, and harmony between the sexes governed human affairs.

What is interesting is that much of the anthropological probing in this area is being done at a time when we are beginning to recognize the need for new models and new ways of organizing human affairs — in politics, in economics, in education, and, not least, in our personal relationships. The old formulas no longer seem adequate to address our mounting global problems.

Riane Eisler has been at the center of the effort to create a more "gender-holistic" society. She is internationally recognized for her work in anthropology, human rights, peace, feminist, and environmental issues. She is the author of the widely acclaimed book The Chalice and the Blade, an international bestseller now in its 23rd printing. She is also the author of The Partnership Way, and Sacred Pleasure.

I met with Riane Eisler to explore her views on women, men, and the politics of sexuality. Our conversation ranged widely from Paleolithic art to pornography, from the trouble with Darwin to the trouble with certain Church doctrines, from the search for more enlightened business practices to the need for less gender-bashing. But it began with the subject of her then newly-published book Sacred Pleasure…


Scott London: How did you hit upon the connection between sex and spirituality?

Riane Eisler: I actually began to see the connection the way many people begin to see it — experientially. We know from studying evolution, and we know from studying neuropeptides now (which is such a fascinating area of study), that we humans get chemical rewards not only by being loved but also by loving someone, not only by being touched in a pleasurable way but by touching another, be it a lover or a child, in a way that gives pleasure. So I think that many of us who have left behind this notion that sex is bad and dirty, and that our bodies are somehow sinful, are able to have what we might call an altered state of consciousness experience with sex — an ecstatic experience. So, for me, there was a link there. It's the same kind of experience that you might have while meditating or fasting — that moment of incredible illumination that you cannot put into words.

But there is an intellectual way in which I also linked sex and spirituality — by studying the history of sexuality and spirituality and asking, How did we get here? How did we come to this place of so much confusion? As a culture, we are now trying to reconnect this link. So many people today are saying, "Wait a minute, I want to put them back together — I want sexuality and the sacred back in my daily life right now."

London: The title of your book Sacred Pleasure brings together two words that many people would be hard pressed to use in the same sentence — "sacred" and "pleasure."

Eisler: Yes, we have been taught to associate the sacred with fear, not pleasure. People associate spirituality with the fear of God, or with divine retribution, or with Hindu deities chopping each other to bits — often it's associated with either the inflicting or the suffering of pain. But this was not always the case. The sacred was originally associated with the celebration of life, with nature, and, yes, with pleasure. That is something that many, many people today are trying to move toward. So, that is how the title Sacred Pleasure came to be.

London: One of the things you've set out to do in your work is to dispel some pervasive myths about sex and spirituality.

Eisler: Yes. As you know, a myth, at least in the scholarly sense, is a story that represents some ultimate sacred truth, one that people often take for granted. Because so many myths have been shown to be "illusions," we tend to equate myth with falsehood. I use the term myth in both senses — as a story we have been taught about the ultimate truth, and as a story that came out of the social construction of human relations.

London: So, in that sense, the story of Adam and Eve represents a myth, for example.

Eisler: Yes, very definitely. That is a myth that offers some fascinating clues to what archeology, linguistics, art history, and the study of folklore increasingly regard as the key event shaping culture as we know it. It helps us understand the shift from a partnership way of structuring human relations to a what I call a dominator model.

Look at what that story tells us. It tells us that there was a time when woman and man lived in harmony with one another and with nature. (It got very idealized, but it was certainly more of a partnership model.) But then, about four or five thousand years before the common era, you begin to see signs of severe stress, of enormous climate changes and natural disasters, and horde after horde of nomadic invaders from the more arid fringe-areas brought with them a very war-like, male-dominated, strong-man-rule way of living. Now, all of a sudden, people are ashamed of their bodies. Shame, fear, guilt, we all know, are means of controlling people, aren't they? Woman also becomes subservient to man. This is reflected in the myth of Adam and Eve. And, of course, the very next story after that in the Bible is one of brother killing brother

London: Does Christianity have something to do with the body becoming associated with sin and pain and violence?

Eisler: That idea certainly became one of the centerpieces of medieval Christianity. But if you analyze so-called primitive Christianity and the teachings of Jesus you find an emphasis on caring, non-violence, and compassion. He stopped the stoning of a woman, he fed the hungry and he healed the sick — "women's work," right? He exemplified stereotypically feminine values. Only later did the Church become authoritarian and rigidly male-dominant. The Crusades, the Inquisition, the witch-burnings — these are all chapters of our history that we need to understand for what they were — wars against women by the Church.

So it wasn't simply a question of religion, and it certainly had nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus. It is one of the ways that dominator systems distort this enormous human yearning for bonding and for connection that we have, by constantly associating it with domination and with violence.

So I can't really put it at the door of the Church. But what I can say is that it's shocking that to this day the Church has not condemned violence in intimate relations — be it against children, against women, or against men — as part of its central teachings. That is shocking and highly immoral

London: Another way in which the connection between sexuality and the sacred can become perverted is through domination and control rather than sin.

Eisler: Yes, we see a lot of that in pornography — the linking of sex with domination and violence. It's not natural; it's part of the social construction of sexuality for the requirements of this top-down model, man-over-women, man-over-man, nation-over-nation, race-over-race. Ultimately, of course, these rankings are backed up by fear of pain and violence, as they must be.

London: Alan Watts, in his book Beyond Theology, suggested that the Church's strict disapproval of adultery, promiscuity, and so on was a necessary means of keeping sex sacred. It was also a way to make sure that sex didn't become boring, because if it were freely available it would no longer be regarded as sacred.

Eisler: I like much of Alan Watts's work, but he must have been totally ignorant about Church history to make a statement like that.

London: Or he may have said it partly in jest, as he was wont to do...

Eisler: Let's hope so. But even half in jest it's very misleading, because what the Church condemned was not sexual violence, but sexual pleasure. If sex were so sacred, why would the Church hierarchy be celibate? And why would we have teachings like "it's better to marry than to burn"?

The truth of the matter is that this was a period in which people were being canonized for mortifying their bodies in the name of erotic love. You know, in the mystical writings pleasure was definitely condemned as being sinful. It is crazy — pathological — but that is part of our heritage.

London: I was just talking to a woman the other day who told me she objects to some of the connections you make between sex and spirituality. She said that she doesn't believe in God and doesn't think of herself as a spiritual being. What are your views are about sex between two people who don't think of themselves as spiritual?

Eisler: Well, first of all, the notion of God and spirituality as being inextricably linked, especially this God who is a king and a lord... I mean, I can understand how a lot of people have basically rejected the whole notion of spirituality along with religion. But I would like to suggest that there is a difference between institutional religion and spirituality. And if she objects to the term "spirituality" let her use something else. But there is a dimension in evolution that makes us unique in terms of our yearning for love, our yearning for beauty, and our yearning for justice. We are the only known species which has been struggling to create a more just and equitable society. I think we need to be able to find ways of honoring that through what has traditionally been called the spiritual.

London: You referred to the shift that took place as we moved from a social order based on partnership and equality to one based on domination and violence. Your research suggests that this shift was one of the defining moments of our history as a species. How did you come to that realization?

Eisler: Well, it was really through the process of simple observation, free from what I think of as "the blinkers" that have impeded scientists from seeing the whole picture. My model is one that takes a dynamic view of human society and culture, and what I began to see in my historical research were patterns that had not been visible before — connections between different elements of social systems. For example, I saw that in tribal societies and in highly advanced industrialized societies, the more that society was rigidly male-dominated, the more it went along with a strong-man-rule approach in the family and the state, and the more it accepted institutionalized social violence — from child-beating and wife-beating to warfare — as part of the social system.

As you move to the other side of the spectrum — say, for example, the Scandinavian bloc countries in our time where you have a much more equal partnership between men and women — you find a guidance-system of more stereotypically feminine values. There is funding for "women's work" — taking care of children, caring for people's health, caring for the environment. There is economic and political democracy. It is not coincidental that the first peace academies came out of the Scandinavian bloc countries. Why? Because they are oriented more to the partnership configuration.

This model has been very useful to many people around the world for getting beyond the old categories which don't help us, such as capitalist vs. communist, the developed world and the developing world, and so on.

London: You have synthesized a tremendous amount of data about prehistoric cultures which suggests that men and women in those early days essentially did live in a partnership mode.

Eisler: Yes. And that is another reason why I was able to see these patterns — I drew from a larger database. Most sincere studies concerned with our mounting global crises tend to focus just on what is happening today. That is limited. You don't see patterns and you can't learn from what has happened in history. I drew from a database that includes the whole of our history, including, as you noted, our prehistory. Although, I have to say to you, at the beginning of my work, these patterns... I mean, I saw them without even going into prehistory, but once I understood the partnership and dominator configuration it was so compelling because the evidence was right there.

London: Did we fall from grace as a civilization?

Eisler: There was a period of thousands of years — much longer than the 5,000 years of what we call "recorded history" — when indeed societies lived according to a different set of values. They were not ideal societies and it wasn't perfect — you know, there is always a matter of degree. But there is no evidence that these were societies where men dominated women. There is no evidence that these were societies that were chronically at war. These were also societies that saw nature not as something to be exploited. There was what we today call an "ecological consciousness." They saw the world as a great mother from whose womb all of life ensued, to whose womb all of life returned at death — like the cycles of vegetation — once again to be reborn. It is very much like this supposedly "new" Gaia hypothesis developed by Lynn Margulis and James Lovelock. Well, that is an update of the belief systems of early societies we are now finding out about.

London: So, in a way, we are coming full circle today.

Eisler: I sometimes think of the last 5,000 years as a "detour." But, I must say, my model of cultural evolution is non-linear; it's not a cyclical one. It certainly is a huge departure from the nineteenth-century notion of cultural evolution as being a linear progression upward from savagery and barbarism to "civilization." I mean, look at Hiroshima or the death camps in Nazi Germany. Those were periods of tremendous dominator regression.

London: The image many of us have of our heritage has been handed down from our reading of Charles Darwin and evolutionary theorists who have told us that we are the descendents of cave-men who dragged their women around by the hair. Your work tells a very different story.

Eisler: Yes. The cave-man archetype is a projection of our own society. In the cave art of Stone Age societies, there isn't a single image like that. First of all, there are no images linking sex with domination and violence. In the art of the Paleolithic societies, you find that women's bodies are a form of sacred art. It is part of a view of the world in which art serves to answer questions about where we come from before we are born, where do we go when we die and so on.

What I have tried to show in my work (and once you articulate it, it's perfectly obvious) is that how we learn to think about physical and intimate relationships — not just sexual relationships, but also those between parent and child, for example — is a basic template for all relations. If we are constantly bombarded with images where one person dominates the other through sex and violence, then that unconsciously keeps us trapped. It makes it very hard for us to envision any human relations in which the mutual exchange of benefits — pleasure, if you will — is the primary cement that holds society together.

London: So, you're not talking about sexism here so much as basic, unquestioned assumptions that men and women both share.

EISLER: That's right. The basic model of how two bodies should relate is the male-superior, female-inferior model. Because of this some people may say, "Oh, this is something against men." No, the problem is not men. Women have internalized that macho image as the ideal just as much as men have. Women, like men, have also bought into a notion of femininity that is passive. That is ridiculous because women are no more inherently passive than men. Just look at women; given half a chance they assert themselves. Sure, women will manipulate if they can't assert themselves. All disempowered people will do that.

London: What you are talking about reminds me of the work of Carol Gilligan. In her groundbreaking research, she discovered that men and women basically inhabit different psychological cultures or orientations. Does that fit your perception as well?

Eisler: But I want to make something crystal-clear that sometimes gets fuzzy, and that is that this is learned behavior. We know perfectly well that there are women who can be very cruel and violent, just as there are men who can be very caring. Indeed, today, men are becoming so much more attuned to, for example, doing fathering in ways that stereotypically used to be called mothering — having the immense pleasure of taking care of their little babies in an intimate way, of doing "women's work." If it were all innate, men couldn't do this. And if women were indeed less inherently active than men, you wouldn't see women climbing mountains and flying airplanes and putting out all this energy. So that is nonsense.

Some of the major contributions to science have actually been made by women. However, because we have had such a male-centered approach to science, some of the names of women are not even known to people. That needs to be reclaimed. We need to reclaim our whole history, including the major contributions women have made in non-traditional — that is, male — roles as well as in their traditional roles (and by "traditional" I don't mean "subservient," which is the way it is used by the fundamentalist Right; I mean in the care-taking roles that men are also beginning to fulfill).

London: There is a wing of feminism now, exemplified by scholars like Catherine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin, which feels that men are inherently dominating. They talk, for instance, about the fact that men's approach to nature is akin to the approach of a rapist — you know, plundering, ravaging, penetrating, that sort of thing. What has their response been to your ideas?

Eisler: Well, Andrea Dworkin and I have had direct contact and she really likes my work very much. I think MacKinnon and Dworkin — although I must admit that they sometimes get very depressing — have been misunderstood a great deal. I think it's because they are not as careful about constantly saying, "Wait a minute, this is not inherent." I think it would be very helpful if they would do that more.

I think what they are talking about is the social construction of a dominator-mindset. But I think it's a great disservice to all of us to say to that "that is men." Women can share that mindset, and some women actually do, of course. It's a dominator mindset, not a male mindset.

London: Feminists have often used the expressions "patriarchy" and "matriarchy," but you've abandoned these in favor of a different set of concepts. Was this a deliberate choice?

Eisler: Yes, this was a very deliberate choice. When archeologists in the 19th century found evidence that there were societies where great goddesses were worshipped, where women were priestesses, etc., they immediately thought, "Oh, if it isn't patriarchy, it's matriarchy." Even though some scholars, like J.J. Bachofen, made a point of saying that women didn't dominate men in these societies — that they were more mother-centered, or that there were no illegitimate children — they did two things: 1) they called it "matriarchy" (matriarchy is rule by mothers and it is semantically the other side of the coin of patriarchy), and 2) they got caught in this linear model, saying in effect, "yeah, it was nicer living then, but it was an inferior state of evolution." The implication is that patriarchy is a higher stage. Why? Because it came later. I mean, this is the trouble with the idea of linear progression.

And there was another reason why I wanted to abandon patriarchy. It's a very emotionally-laden word. For some people, the "patriarchs" are the fathers in the Bible who begat and begat and begat. Patriarchy for them is all these guys begetting [laughs]. For other people patriarchy is this 5,000-year horror-story. So I just felt that I needed a new terminology. And because the language didn't give us alternatives to "matriarchy" and "patriarchy," I had to invent them.

London: In some respects, your work is rooted in your own personal experience. In the opening pages of The Chalice and the Blade you talk about your own childhood, which one could say was a lesson in domination.

Eisler: Yes. I think that what we study has a great deal to do with us, with our life experiences. Certainly, having been born in Vienna at a time, within my cultural framework, of massive dominator-regression...

London: This was in the 1930s during Hitler's rise to power.

Eisler: Yes, when you heard the motto "Let's get women back into their place," and you had strong-man-rule in the family and in the state. As the historian Claudia Koonz writes in terms of gender stereotypes, the ideal Nazi man was a warrior and the ideal Nazi woman was his mother. There you have pure dominator stereotypes — she had no other function in life except to give birth to a guy who was going to go kill. It's a crazy model when you analyze it from that perspective. It's almost funny. But that's how it was. That was a traumatic experience for me. We had to flee for our lives.

London: What happened?

Eisler: The Gestapo came to our house with some Austrian looting-party types — because coming to a Jewish home and confiscating was also a way of lining your pockets, of course. In those days, "confiscate" was a nice code word for "armed robbery." When they came my mother recognized one of the men because he had worked for the family business. She just got furious. She said, "How dare you come here, we have been so good to you. This man who you have just pushed down the stairs and dragged away from here, he has been so good to you, how dare you come here?"

London: — Referring to your father.

Eisler: Yes, my father. She could have been killed. But something really miraculous happened. Part of it had to do with the fact that the dominator personality responds to authority. And also greed, because she was told, "Bring so and so much money to Gestapo headquarters and we will give him back to you." Now, if she hadn't spoken up like that, both my father and mother and I would be dead, because my mother and I, like so many others, would have stayed, waiting and hoping that he would be released, and would have, in turn, been sent to the gas chambers. Some people feel that I have a great deal of intellectual courage — courage to challenge intellectual sacred cows, and so on. I think that my mother has a great deal to do with that.

London: Your background may also help to explain why your work is so empirically grounded.

Eisler: Yes, my passion for finding alternatives has always been very empirical. For example, the idea of cooperation vs. competition has always seemed a little pie-in-the-sky to me. People can "cooperate" within a dominator system to do the most horrible things to other people. So my work tries to show what we all know from simple observation — that, yes, you can have human relations based on domination backed up by fear of pain; but we can also have human relations based on the mutual giving and receiving of benefits, of pleasure — and that is what we really yearn for as human beings.

We have been trying to find a better way for over 300 years now. All of the various social movements have challenged one or another form of domination — from the Rights of Man movement against the despotic rule of kings, to the women's movement against the despotic rule of men, to the Civil Rights movement, the abolitionist movement, the peace and pacifist movements. These movements have all challenged patterns of domination. What I have tried to do is to really provide an integrated conceptual framework. Part of that is a revisioning of not only our future, but also of our past — really setting the record straight. My work says: This way of living is not the only human possibility.

London: You were trained as a lawyer. How did you make the jump from law to women's issues, and later to history and anthropology and all these other questions?

Eisler: Actually, the anthropology and sociology came before the law, and so also did my work as a systems scientist at the RAND Corporation — doing very different work, war games, rather than the work that I'm now interested in.

But the law was very important in terms of my development as a multi-disciplinary scholar and as a systems theorist, because in law you have to recognize patterns. A client doesn't come to you and say, "Would you apply Section 1222 of the Civil Code." They say, "Hey, I've got a problem, this and this happened," and then it is up to the attorney to see the patterns. So it wasn't just training in anthropology and sociology, and later a tremendous amount of work in the study of myth and ancient religion, but the legal training was enormously helpful.

London: You've said that we're living in a time of "massive dominator regression."

Eisler: Yes. Just to give you one example, Congress just gave the Pentagon $7 billion for new weapons programs — more than it wanted or even asked for. That's fine, except we are told we don't have enough money for so called women's work — feeding children, caring for our environment, caring for people's health. Now, that hidden subtext of gender is not, I would submit to you, a women's issue, it's a central issue of our survival as a species at this point. It's a question of the mix of a dominator-ethos of conquest and domination and high technology. Well, the "blade" in terms of the title of my earlier book is the bomb, it's bacteriological warfare, and man's conquest of nature is about to do us in. So these are central issues. From a systems standpoint, we had better pay attention.

London: Tell me about the response to The Chalice and the Blade. I think I read somewhere that, at its peak, you received some 300 letters a day from readers of the book.

Eisler: Well, it's been a phenomenal response. It's been an international response, ranging from the former Chairman of the Board at Volkswagen to scholars at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who have basically used my cultural transformation theory to write a book called The Chalice and the Blade in Chinese Culture.

London: Do your readers consist mainly of women?

Eisler: About half of my mail is from men, actually. Some men have written about Sacred Pleasure saying "this is the book that is going to end the war of the sexes; this is the book that can heal us," because it debunks so many silly notions about.

London: You have also taken your ideas into the corporate world. You've lectured at Dupont and Volkswagen and Disney. What does the private sector have to learn from your ideas?

Eisler: There is a movement toward teamwork and toward a redefinition of the manager as a facilitator rather than a cop or controller who exercises power. In the sense of the chalice and the blade, it is the power to elicit from others their highest potential, rather fire or punish people. My work validates a great deal of these positive movements. But, look, there are people in the corporation who think this is all Greek — "What do you mean?" They are still very firmly in the dominator mode. That is part of the modern revolution in consciousness, the consciousness of alternatives. Unfortunately, both inside and outside the corporation many people still think that a dominator way of structuring human relations — sexually or otherwise — is just the way it is. And, of course, my work shows that it isn't, that we do have alternatives.

London: As a culture, are we moving in the right direction?

Eisler: As you know, my model of history is a dynamic one, it's not one of linear progressions, or "constant" progress. We have made enormous progress in the last 300 years. But, until now, a lot of the challenges to entrenched patterns of domination have been at the top of what I call the dominator pyramid — politics, despotic kings, the brutal and quite open exploitation of people economically. That's very, very important. But we also need to focus on our day-to-day intimate relations, on the so-called "private sphere." My optimism is that we do seem to stand today at the threshold of a new integrated politics of partnership where we are beginning to see organized challenges to entrenched patterns of domination and violence in our intimate relations.

For example, it used to be said, "if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it." Today, we recognize rape as a crime. It really is a form of terrorism against women to maintain women in their "place." It used to be that if a man beat a stranger, he went straight to jail. But if he beat someone he said he loved, someone he had sex with, well, walk him around the block. Now that is changing.

The rights of children, the rights of women, are understood as human rights. We are moving toward what I call an integrated model of human rights where the rights of the majority, women and children, are no longer split off from human rights. This is of profound importance for women, children, and men, because it is in these personal, intimate relations that we first learn whether to accept human rights violations as "just the way things are."

So I have a guarded optimism. But the stronger the partnership thrust, the stronger the dominator resistance. So one has to understand the dynamics. We are at a bifurcation, it could go either way. We could have a massive dominator regression far worse than what we are already seeing. And given our state of high technology, that could be catastrophic.