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ANAHITA  July 1997

ANAHITA July 1997

Subject:

Re: Matriarchies and such

From:

Jean Fitzpatrick <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Mon, 14 Jul 1997 12:27:56 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (62 lines)

Clara Hardy wrote:
>
> To follow up on Judy Hallett's post, Bamberger's piece on matriarchal myths
> suggests
> that the recurrent patterns of a past of female rule overthrown by males
> reflect the
> individual male's experience of being a child in a household dominated by
> females, but
> then (through initiation rites) making the transition to the world of male
> social
> power.  Thus the experience of female power doesn't necessarily imply that it
> ever existed as a social institution; it may reflect the memory of the
> growing boy.
>
>
Freud, that very objectifying and intellectual-minded thinker began the
process of exploring how ontogeny replicates phylogeny or some such
thing, which is why "re-membering" is not something we need to consider
spacey or antiacademic.  Dorothy Dinerstein's The Mermaid and the
Minotaur elaborates on the idea in Clara Hardy's post.  The book
suggests that this "inner psychological matriarchy" has a downside for
women, that both men and women are fearful of the image of women as
omnipotent mother.  It doesn't leave room for either men or women to be
ordinary humans.  Seems to me there's a connection here with the
observation several respondents have made about patriarchal religions
honoring females with statues, and how that custom doesn't imply that
the women in those faiths are actually more revered.  Growing up seeing
statues of the Virgin Mary didn't imply anything about female power or
sexual equality for me; it only bespoke a madonna/whore dichotomy.
Today, I can choose to invest a different meaning in the story of Mary.
So I suppose we need to try to piece together all the stories that were
told about the different artifacts we find.
>
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> Diotima's address: http://www.uky.edu/ArtsSciences/Classics/gender.html

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