Male Dominance: is it accepted?
Male Dominance: is it accepted?
While going through my non-fiction books to weed out what I can let go of I came across a small psychology volume that I never got around to reading, “Femininity Lost and Regained” by Robert A. Johnson. Since it was so small. I thought I would read a bit and either finish it or discard it.
As it turns out, it is pretty good although the thoughts to me are not put together all that well however I am not a psychologist so my opinion is only from a laywoman’s viewpoint. Still there is a very interesting passage in the forward that could use some exposure.
It seems there was a woman friend of his, Gene Dalby Clift, who upon writing her final paper towards ordination as an Episcopal priest, decided to write in a new style. To make a point outside the subject of the paper itself. This “outside” point is not made through any argument or example in the paper itself but entirely by the heart of the reader. The only thing she did was to use the word “woman” as the base word defining all humans in a theological context; all nouns describing the human perspective were subsequently stressed as feminine in order to coincide with this “untraditional” root word. She states up front that there is “…no intention to exclude the male gender…”but “…to reverse...the experience of reading theology, which claims to include (her) gender but seldom does.” The following is a passage:
“My sense of human nature is that woman is a finite creature (created being of God), who is rational, spiritual, imaginative and creative or as the Book of Common Prayer has it, “blessed…with memory, reason and skill.” She has free will (limited but real) and potential to become a true child of God, transcending herself as she matures. In understanding her theologically, we must continually struggle to maintain a balance between her spiritual nature and her material nature, which has sometimes been “over-spiritualized” by faith communities. Her goal is to love: herself, other women, and more importantly, God.
…I think we get the best picture of the purposes for which woman was created and the possibilities in her nature in the person of Jesus. We can only properly understand who woman is after seeing who Christ is,…because only in the light of the cross can we see the actual sinfulness of woman, as well as her potential destiny.
…Of all the created creatures we can see on earth, woman alone (as far as we know) has the power of reason and memory.
Further, there is in woman (preeminently seen in Jesus) what Karl Rahner calls “transcendental,” and Genesis calls “in the image of God.”
So although I, for one, would never admit to accepting “male dominance” the passage makes me wonder just how much I have come to accept due to traditions of language. Just some food for thought.
Wow yes it does sound really weird and funnily enough somehow wrong. I wonder how theologists might react. Hmm something to think about!
Human beings would have been the more fair representation but yes the word man has been excepted to represent both genders for too long. I believe more recent generations have challanged that issue with gender roles being blended and challanged---metro sexual? Alot of male dominance was perpetuated by the church and you have to go back to your history lessons to understand the purpose. The Catholic religion of my early years pretty much irradicated the female power. Much of the female loss of power had to do with the mixing of religion and state and the division of property. It also originates with a woman's true power and a man's weakness for her. God knew what he was doing--man has a physical advantage but the female has her advantage as well which when respected by both creates an equal. Men are weakened by a woman's sexuality and woman can choose to lose her power when seduced by her need to have a man take care of her. It's so ingrained in our society--we are hardly conciese of the influence. There is an native American tribe calloed the Anistazis--in the south west who have a rule that insures no woman is ever oppressed or enslaved by the man. It's called the room of her own rule. Evertime a female is born into the tribe a room is built for her for her for life----if she marries the male joins the tribe and lives with her and she never has to worry about being abused. This is so different from where I come from---in my old neighborhood of Irish catholic and polish catholics the rule was no house was a home without a male head---if the father died a son stayed in the home to live with his mother!. I grew up were a man had the right to beat his children and his wife as it was an unwritten law that as head of the household he owned his family. Thank God that notion is a million miles behind me--but it still exhists. I can not tell you how many times growing up I heard some man recite that bible verse about a woman shall serve and obey her man! To really understand the male dominance thing through history you have to dig deep---to the days the Goddess was banished and religion clashed with the power of the state---the men who needed to empower their kingdoms and aquire land. This is one big can of worms to open!!!!
The subtle nature of the writing in itself creates a boundless understanding of the roles placed long ago, the inequality of it and yet our acceptance in the end as we are told time and again, “It is just a way of wording for communications sake. It’s not personal, don’t take it so.”
Yet to read the other side of the coin is amazing and enlightening.
As I said, this was part of the forward and the book itself is not about woman’s rights but about the loss to all humanity by this “slight” downplaying of the feminine role. Not the downplay of females or women specifically but the actual downplay of nature and aspects of the feminine in society, therefore leading to the downfall of humans due to their “slight” on the natural order of things.
But rather than placing this blame on any church; the author takes it back to ancient Greece as an example, with a male and female pantheon yet buried very subtly in their mythos, the idea that man is the inheritor of rule.
I personally thinks he did not make his case as the example he used proved that ignoring the feminine aspect was a mistake and therefore a lesson to NOT do it. So like Aesop’s fables, there was a warning, a lesson involved.
He could have taken his stance from a myriad of examples in history, so I am studiously NOT placing the blame on the Greeks or any other nation/religion. However, the fault may very well lie with women. Were we lazy and allowed this minor downplay? Did we accept the status quo so as to get something else in return. Being “kept” or some security perhaps? Did we fear rocking the boat?
And then in the sixties, we made a stand but for what? For a reparation to be paid to us. Not a return of our role in society, equally valid and necessary but of a new “male like” role in society with all the benefits (or a portion of said benefits) thereof.
Rather than making our stand on our feminine role, we fought for the man’s role to be equally proportioned out to us. Did we win the battle only to lose the war and forsake all to doom? It is a conundrum. How do we get it back?
BTW hi IBelieve long time no hear, I hope you are okay.
Yup it never ceases to amaze me that men are such slaves to our sexual energy. My husband is the perfect example. Dangle it in front of him and he is my slave. I see other men and how they are slaves to their women. So maybe that is the key. If all women were to become aware of that energy instead of being taught to suppress it because it is something bad then maybe there wuld be a major shift in the world as we know it.
LOl Blmoon Irish Catholics. Nightmare.I was brought up protestant but went to a catholic school and the nuns used to tell us we would get pregnant if we talked to boys.
Doing well and quite in rare form as you can see by my post, lol
You're correct, there is something to be said for using what power we have in the way it was meant to be used. The problem is with role models for the most part.
I guess if I have to go and find someone to blame I would go back to the “beginning and blame Lilith, Adams first wife who was created equally from the soil of the Earth. I blame her for not standing up to Adam and putting him in his place. I can’t blame Adam, he was just being male but Lilith rather than putting up with his inherent maleness and standing her ground choose to run and establish her own dynasty. (I’m not sure with whom since they were supposedly the first couple but somehow her genes did manage to thread their way down through the generations.) Anyway, I would suppose that was the original sin. Forsaking her part of the duo for a shot at independence and ruler ship.
Eve on the other hand, can not entirely be blamed as she was not an “Alpha” female (and quite possibly not even a “Beta”) but she did do her part and must be held at least partially to blame for accepting Adam’s decrees without standing up for the softer side which was her responsibility to uphold. She accepted the blame for the original sin and from thereafter submitted to Adam in all things, did what he told her and all that just for a place behind him.
She was really smart, this Eve and cunning. She in essence traded off her role and place for some security and at the same time alleviated her fear of having to be responsible in anyway for the welfare of the rest of humanity. Sure she took on the first blame, so neither she nor any of her following daughters would ever have to take the blame again. She gave that responsibility away to man. Anything that went wrong with society would be their fault as they are in charge.
Of course men found a way to blame their troubles or the troubles of society on women anyway and managed this by the same method Adam used. Getting the woman to accept the blame by offering some additional securities and or a lesser role yet again. But why would any woman accept a lesser role? Because it provides a safe place of concealment and less responsibility. This help alleviate additional guilt one has for being female and responsibly for the original sin. (Yeah one of those vicious cycles.)
So between the two we have our examples we have lived with and utilized since the beginning of time. Either shirk your duties to uphold the feminine aspects entirely and take on the role of male or trade off some of your duties to uphold the feminine aspects for certain securities in exchange.
Men have only one role model, Adam. And he did one thing, place all blame on the woman and get her to accept said blame by offering some security or less responsibility in return. Works like a charm. So maybe he was not so dumb afterall.
Very interesting ibeleive; but do not forget that when the bible & other holy books were put together they were done by powerful men who wanted to subjugate the power we woman had.
The Anistazis people honor the old ways even before wiccan or other pagan religions. Women at one time held very high & powerful positions as we are life bearers. Even Jesus had Mary Magedelene as one of his followers and she had a book that Constintine left out. Also one of Jesus's apostles was very jealous of her and no she was not a prositute Constintine decreed that because he thought women were inferior.
Women are now relearning on what we have lost these past 2000 years.
Yes and I agree Shadowmist, Paddi and Blmoon.
From all accounts (especially the newer ones being discovered or revealed), Jesus was quite comfortable with women having an equal role but what happened to that comfort after his death was no surprise. And Christianity is not the only male driven religion.
The example of the anasazi is an interesting one and I will research them a bit more. I also know that in the IIroquois Nation, women held equal status with men. They each had the portions they were responsible for but these differences were honored as equal significance. They held separate properties from that of their husbands and their lineage was traced through the maternal line. The chief though male, was only chief through the agreement of the council of Mothers and could be removed by them at any time. I’m sure there are many other examples on indigenous peoples and times when humans were closer to the Earth and it’s cycles/seasons where women held similar roles of equality with regards to the structure of everyday life and the livelihood of the community.
It strange how this fell but I can not hold men entirely to blame. Women had a role in allowing their power to be summarily and systematically lessoned. They were and still are for the most part in charge of education and rearing yet what do they teach? What have they agreed to accept as their role?
Obviously not all women feel this way but a great majority and enough to thwart changes to the status quo.
And you are right, I too am re-learning and embracing but I also find it difficult to give up the idea of the male power I have as well.
oh man you girls are close to understand clever men long ago invented religion to demonize and ostracize females because they were perfectly aware of this fact :
"men are such slaves to our sexual energy"
and also :
"If all women were to become aware of that energy instead of being taught to suppress it because it is something bad then maybe there wuld be a major shift in the world as we know it."
God (church) forbid bahahaha
SH you are too funny lol!!! Women are starting to learn again that they truly are powerful beings but they tend to forget to use their femine side when they take on male traits. they must remember to combine both the female/male traits you know the yin/yang
Ah and there's the rub! Men also need to learn to balance their feminine side.
The downplaying of the feminine role is not just an offense against women. It throws everything including nature out of balance. The inequity or bias towards the male aspects leads to decisions being made with the same imbalance. Since we have all agreed (or at least done nothing about it) that the male aspects are held in higher esteem, then decisions about science and development, how to utilize our resources and how to run a family, a business, a country or the World are all made with bias towards the male aspect.
When an executive, whether man or a woman, makes a decision to lower the quality of their product, layoff workers and force those left to work more hours for less pay such that the business can manage the same amount of profit as before and their own compensation (and that of their compatriots) is raised while all others suffer at their expense…THAT is an example of male dominated aspect decision making!
When Alfred Nobel established the Nobel Peace Prize in his will it was an attempt to rebalance the disparity which he and his inventions caused. Granted, he did nothing while he was living and only “willed” this into existence upon his death such that he did not have to pay any price for the disparity personally and his motives were in no way “noble” as he was only concerned about how he would be remembered but it is an example of how “out of balance” his personal and business decisions were while he lived. If he truly believed what he did and the decisions he made were “as it should be” he would have felt no need to correct or defend said beliefs.
The same is true of Andrew Carnegie albeit a bit different but not by much.
The 'Andrew Carnegie Dictum' illustrates Carnegie's generous nature:
• To spend the first third of one's life getting all the education one can.
• To spend the next third making all the money one can.
• To spend the last third giving it all away for worthwhile causes.
This sounds rather nice but how is living the 2nd third of one’s life in an “imbalance” way corrected by an “imbalance” life in the 3rd? Would it not be better to live completely in balance the whole time? Had he done so would the Johnstown Flood and the deaths of 2,209 people not have happened?
You could say that it would have happened anyway as the others in the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club might have gone ahead and done the same poor repairs to the dam. But with Mr. Carnegie’s insistence on doing the “right” thing and taking the feminine aspects into account equally with the male, would they not have listened and perhaps put more money and engineering and time into seeing it done well rather than the instant gratification of their own desires first?
Would the Homestead Strike and the 10 men who died during it not have happened? You could blame that one on Frick (who was also a substantial influence in the Johnstown Flood incident) but who left him in charge? Andrew Carnegie. Who gave this hugely imbalanced male dominated thinking person such power to run amok? Andrew Carnegie.
Frick was a robber baron in his own right and may have done just as much harm on his own. However, if Carnegie and others of their time had not been so influenced by the thought that “man” and male dominated thinking was “as it should be” and if women of the time had not agreed to accept security and worship of their finer qualities as having only a single place, that of the home; then Frick would have been run out of town, vilified and left with very little power or influence.
I’m not saying all male dominated decisions are wrong but that they need to be balanced by consideration of the female aspects of life. In the same vein, completely female dominated decisions are just as wrong and create the same kind of imbalance. The example of prohibition comes to mind as well as abortion/right to life, book burning and what should or should not be studied in school. Any decisions made with no consideration for the other side or for those who will suffer the consequences of said action are just as invalid and unjustified.
aw c'mon one day you gurls will realize god is a guy ! Think about it.....pregnancy, menopause, cellulitis, a rational brain, raising the kids, doing housework.....you women got all the **** , thanks Boss !
I'm a Troll on a roll bahahaha
Behind every great man---is a woman. The muse is never named Bob. Creation will always be a female energy. A man may bring his intelect--his skills to the table but it is the muse--the female that completes the project with "vision"" ---creativity--grace---perfection. The yin and yang unite. BLESSINGS!
I am and was raised Catholic. In John, Jesus said when you see me, you see God. God in the second of three distinct persons. Mary, being the Mother of God, spouse and co-redemptrix of the Holy Spirit. My personal understanding is that Jesus is one-in-being w/God and Mary one-in-being w/the Holy Spirit. All in union and part of God.When I speak of Mary, can't separate from the Holy Spirit or God. In my personal experience or things I've experienced the Holy Spirit points to Mary and Mary points to Jesus. They are all in union. God is part of everything and within everything. I believe the Holy Spirit is what makes our bodies tick day by day. The Holy Spirit carries many gifts and virtues--one is knowledge. Mary was submissive to the will of God. I was reading but didn't finish an interesting (Catholic) book called City of God. It was about revelations given to a saint. Stated that God chose certain ones (bible) according to (amount) of prayer and faith. Paul, of course, had to be knocked off his horse and blinded. If God turned him around, he could use him to turn others around. The image (miraculous) of Our Lady of Guadelupe helped convert an entire country, as did Our Lady of Lourdes, Fatima.
Not trying to convert--just my personal ideas.
Yes to both of you Blmoon and SH, very valid.
It is so easy to say, have we not suffered enough and therefore deserve some rest. Why fight it? Lick our wounds and take what we can. Work in a man’s world in the same way as a man would navigating a system already in place or stay at home and reap the rewards due for our plight. The third option is to compartmentalize yourself into being male aspect driven at work and female driven at home. Trust me, that scenario does not pan out any better. To compartmentalize your life is no more “in balance” that either of the other two. You may feel as though you are doing it right as you utilized both aspects but you are still thwarting a balance in both of your worlds and there is a definitive price to pay psychologically.
As for having a great woman behind every great man…So nice to accept kudos when they are due. Will you also except that behind every bad man is a weak woman or a whole line of them?
Rather than play with the two opposing ends of the spectrum, why not look at the status quo? Who are the women behind the majority of the worlds leaders. Not just the one at the top but those who make up his cabinet and courts and other governmental structures. Or look at those in power over industry and finance. Where/who are these women? For the most part; so called “trophy wives.” They look nice and are a wonderful hostess, they fit very well into the man’s scheme of things.
When next you vote or take a job or invest in a company; perhaps you should take a look at the woman behind the man. It speaks volumes. If you want your piece of the pie and a great return on your money, invest in a company made up of men with weak women behind them. They are vile and ruthless and egotistical and will do all they can to bring in the biggest return for their investors and cause the most grief and suffering of those under or employed by them. If you want to look out for yourself, do this! It makes good business sense.
Also realize that at that moment when you start to see growth and a possible great return on this investment…you find you are thrown out with all the other little investors. All of a sudden you get a notice in the mail that the stock has split into two separate entities, A and B type stocks. Your stock is now of the “B” type and pretty much worthless or you find that the portion of the company that was about to make a breakthrough and become very lucrative was sold off and the stock you hold onto is part of the original company steeped in debt with no possibility of reversal. How did this happen? That leader you chose to invest in was just a ruthless with you. It was voted in by a majority of stock holders at their annual meeting and well, you did not hold enough stock to make a difference in the outcome. Also, you never actually voted at all, you ignored, like all the other little investors, the proxy card sent to you in the mail. You threw it in the trash and trusted those who “knew” what they were doing to make the best decision. They did; it just did not include you! And why do you persist in being angry or upset about it? You knew going in how you chose to invest and more importantly in whom. It fit your desire for great return.
This scenario of the little investor and the relinquishing of their proxy to those “who know what they are doing” is how women in general have responded throughout modern history. Let the men decide, they know what is best! “I’ll just take care of my little part here at home and leave them with those more serious or profound decisions.
So take a look at the women behind the men. Are they a “trophy wife” good at socializing and running a nice little cocktail party? Are they completely subjected and silent? Is there none or several who took off for better pastures? Or is the woman behind the man a “man” herself in her own right?
Are any of these a good choice or would you look for one who is esteemed in her own right from a feminine perspective? One who does not need to take on the trappings of a male in order to be seen and heard or more importantly one who feels powerful in her role as a female? One of, to quote, “"vision"" ---creativity--grace---perfection. The yin and yang united”
Which category do you fit into? Is your life soft, hard or somewhere in between? Is it in balance with what you feel inside? Is it enough that there are some women out there who work as a “muse”? Are we voting, investing and upholding their worth? If we did this as a “block” and proved to leaders of countries and industry and YES, religions as well; would they not find it profitable to themselves to find their own muse rather than a “trophy wife?” And what profits a man is taken very seriously by other men!
I’ll not debate a male dominated religious argument and succumb to the very same concessions that have been handed down to us throughout the ages. Neither will I regard anyone's faith as being less worthy than anyone else's. All must decide for themselves what is orthy of their faith.
But for the purpose of debate, the Assumption of Mary as defined by Pope Pius XII in 1950; was such a nice concession to the feminine aspect. I will agree there are numerous concessions to the feminine aspect normally due to their great suffering in life and upholding the of church’s assigned placement of women along with their designated duties and their upholding of the church's beliefs in general.
But rather than Mary, I would much rather look at the idea of “Sophia” (wisdom) which appears alongside the Shekhinah, 'the Glory of God', a figure who plays a key role in the cosmology of the Kabbalists as an expression of the “feminine aspect of God.”
The Epistle of James distinguishes between two kinds of wisdom. One is a false wisdom, which is characterized as "earthly, sensual, devilish" and is associated with strife and contention. The other is the 'wisdom that comes from above':
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”
This is “Sophia” the “wisdom of God”; it is the feminine aspect of God. An aspect which no longer bears the name “feminine” and has been edited out or downplayed in all current texts and teachings! That is the “power” of the feminine aspect!
It is still discussed, it is still there, it still exists. Why would anyone wish to supplant the idea of “Sophia” which exist within as part of God, inseparable from the very beginning of time immortal until eternity’s end with a female born to this world whose claim to divinity is that she submitted to the “will” of God and birthed him unto this world? I would like to think that God ‘s “will” would submit to it’s own wisdom.
So if godly wisdom is feminine, why would we not want our governmental, industrial, financial and religious leaders to be “wise”? Why would we choose those who hold “earthly wisdom” in higher esteem?
The will of God and trusting in God, even though your life is at stake. I guess you have to look at the cultural world of the time (and this time.) What would it mean for a girl to be pregnant and alone in that culture (before Joseph espoused her.) And how often would someone awake from a dream and say, God wants me to marry a pregnant girl. It was not an easy life, quite a hard life. Running and hiding. So, I don't see them as being submissive in a wimpy sense. I don't separate Old and New Testaments and Kaballah. Mary's power was in virtue, among other gifts.
Wisdom is Godly, created by God. So, that's what everyone hopes for.
These are my thoughts, I think a lot is personal choice--much like Mary.
Ibelieve your synopsis fascinates me, I read it earlier and have spent the whole time wondering where you might place the essentially brilliant as in genius business man who does not listen to his strong wife's advice and ends up falling in to all the pitholes she has warned him of, every single time.