After thousands of years of existence in virtual slavery, woman began to actively demand that they be considered and treated as adult human beings at around the turn of this century.
We shall generalize these dates since any of you that wants specifics can easily find them on the internet. Except for some women's studies, you won't find this taught in schools.
Our calendar is based on marking year one as the year Jesus Christ was born. It took the advent of women's scholarship and archaeological interpretation to reveal, in our current century, that there once lived a people who worshipped both Goddess and God. We now learn that these Goddess-worshipping tribes practiced gender equity -- women were High Priests and doctors; were free beings; were educated and could own property.
These tribes were peaceful and prosperous for their time. This changed when these peaceful villages were overrun by tribes who worshipped a male God exclusively. Under the rule of this God, women were condemned to a slavery that persisted for nearly all women until around the beginning of the 20th Century. Women were the property of their father, given by him to their husband to do with as he wished. They could not own property, were not considered to be educable or even to have human abilities -- all because men believed that God's word declared that woman caused the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.
This belief was enforced throughout the centuries by Paul's gospel, witch hunts, cultural and societal mandates as well as the meting out of harsh punishment if a woman stepped out of her male-god-established role. Throughout those thousands of years, most men were free to develop while women's development was suffocated.
This century has seen a massive change in the lives of women, who have so far, been given fewer than 100 years to catch up to a system that men had thousands of years to grow, use and interact with.
While most women were restricted to children and home, most men were bonding in government, education, law, fraternal organizations, military, sport, finance, uniform dress etc. Women led their lives vicariously through men, developing methods of placating and pleasing men -- and many still carry the results of that programing of thousands of years.
Some of the fiercest defenders of gender inequity are women -- women who will not or cannot seek the counsel of the Goddess within.
Whoopi Goldberg, who most would consider a liberated woman, made the following statement in a TV interview: "Black people are the only people who came to this country and were not allowed to vote."
Whoops, Whoopi - women of any skin color are people too. We have been coming to this country since the 17th Century and weren't allowed to vote either -- not until early in the 1920's (excepting a couple of state elections.)
And all our foremothers before them, before us, lie in their sacrificial graves unsung and unremembered.
Copyright 1997 Renee T. Louise and Ruth M. Sprague, Ph.D. These articles may be republished for noncommercial use only, provided that they are copied intact, and that this copyright notice is attached. Address all queries to: TWANDA@ConnRiver.net.
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