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ANAHITA  July 1997

ANAHITA July 1997

Subject:

Chalice et al.

From:

don walter <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Women and Gender in the Ancient World <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 8 Jul 1997 08:19:58 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (45 lines)

I am delighted with the string of responses threaded from Mary Engle's post,
followed by mine, asking about her evidence.  I have to admit a medium
amount of disingenuousness in the tone of my query, since I had read
moderate amounts about pre-historic and pre-literate matriarchies, and had
looked into Gimbutas' books (I couldn't stomach Eisler in the original;
maybe now I would be able to), and had triggered a thread in a "women in
Archeology" listserv, on that subject, which brought many responses about
how Gimbutas' field work had been criticized as somewhat sloppy, how many of
the "fertility figurines" scarcely looked like anything at all-- much less
like fertility figurines.  In other words, I, like many people, have
prejudices, and remember more thoroughly and clearly those readings which
agree with my prejudices-- very much like one of the responses in this
thread, which warned us how much archeology (especially pre-literate) is
interpretation, and (implicitly) how strongly interpretation is biased by
one's prejudices (such as my own).
        I was not being disingenuous when I self-identified as an Old Modern
old male, and I truly am (I believe) rather pro-feminist (rather more so
than my wife, who gets impatient with what she calls "theoretical stuff,"
which she claims that so much feminist writing is).  So, although I agree
with another poster that Eisler and Gimbutas are controversial, I would be
pleased to read more recent treatments in the area, if members of Anahita
can suggest some-- especially if those treatments either try to evaluate
"evidence" (in the sometimes justly hated "patriarchal" mode), or else make
a sympathy-evoking plea to rise above the prejudices which such a
patriarchal attitude presumes.
        In other words, I was also not being disingenuous about wishing to
learn (and about hoping I am still open to changing some of my prejudices);
just somehat disingenuous about my own naivete.

Don Walter

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