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FFT: Bonus Essays--Violence in Religion Pt. I [SPORKERS: ZELDAQUEEN & GEHAYI] - The Sporkings of Das Mervin and Company

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February 14th, 2017


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gehayi
03:31 pm - FFT: Bonus Essays--Violence in Religion Pt. I [SPORKERS: ZELDAQUEEN & GEHAYI]
Witches Past and Present Part III | Table of Contents | Violence in Religion Part II





Violence in Religion (June/July 2008)


Part I


(My apologies for the delay, as I know that we left off some time ago. Also, Ket has become severely depressed, so it is highly unlikely that she will be sporking the next two essays.)

Gehayi: In the previous essay, Walker made up a great many details about witches throughout history. In the first sentence of this essay, she decides to start making up details about pre-history.

Anthropologists and archaeologists have ascertained some general trends in pre-patriarchal societies, worldwide, that show decided contrasts with our own civilization.

Gehayi: Well, scientists have ascertained some things about Neolithic societies, depending on the location, such as Skara Brae in the Orkney Islands, Dimini, which was built close to the Gulf of Pagassi in Greece, and all of the other sites in Neolithic Europe, Neolithic Subpluvial cultures, and all of the Neolithic cultures listed in the sidebar here.



(Pictured: House at Skara Brae, Orkney Islands. Skara Brae was old when the Pyramids of Giza were new.)



(Pictured: Partial reconstruction of the sort of house typical in the Neolithic settlement of Dimini, near the Archeological Museum of Volos in Greece.)

One thing they have NOT determined is whether or not the societies were matriarchal, patriarchal or egalitarian. There just isn't enough evidence one way or the other.

ZeldaQueen: "Decided contrasts," imagine that. Civilizations that existed thousands of years before our own have differences from ours!

Gehayi: Walker doesn't like the concept of the world changing over time. All of her theories come down to "Once upon a time, women worshipped the Mother Goddess and all was perfect—BUT THEN THE MEN ARRIVED, and everything since then has been awful."

Dr. James DeMeo sums them up in his book, Saharasia: The 4000 B.C.E. Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence in the Deserts of the Old World,

ZeldaQueen: I don't much like where this is going.

pointing out that pre-patriarchal or "matrist" cultures are indulgent toward children, giving them much physical affection and little punishment, tending also to be permissive in various forms of pleasure and sexuality.

THE PERFECT SPARKLY AGE OF PAGANISM: 101

ZeldaQueen: Okay, first of all, in regards to the kids? I know that different cultures have differing views on what is and isn't acceptable as methods of child discipline. I in no way condone child abuse or the idea that it "teaches" children anything of any value.

However, Walker's wind-up there sounds suspiciously like she finds the idea of disciplining children at all to be terrible. And I'm sorry, but no. Kids do need discipline, some more than others. And if kids are only ever coddled and never told if they're doing something wrong? Guess what? They grow up to be self-centered adults who think they can do no wrong and have the potential to cause even more problems.

Gehayi: Although, as we saw in the fairy tales, Walker has SERIOUS issues with authority, both individual and institutional.

ZeldaQueen: Except she does seem to think it's fine for Mother Goddesses to discipline people, because the entire point of the story of Prince Gimme was that he was a spoiled manchild and the witch saw no problem—nay, was praised by the narrative—in drugging him so that he had some bad acid trip to improve his disposition. You know, that same story where Walker said that threats were sometimes effective means of changing people.

Gehayi: I agree. That's awful. But, on the other hand, no one in the story did anything active to oppose or correct Prince Gimme in thought, word or deed, and even the witch/Fairy of the Forest didn't use her supposedly magical power to do anything directly. She drugged Gimme, and she coordinated threatening dreams for him—but ultimately, she let his dreams scare him.

The pinks did something similar; they asked the wasps to attack Florian Wolf for them rather than directly using fairy magic against him. Or the goddesses in "The White God." Now, any of them could just wave a hand and make the animals that are being attacked completely invisible to poachers, because goddesses, but they chose to have human women dominate human men, instead.

It's a weirdly passive form of bullying.



ZeldaQueen: I still fail to see how threatening to feed someone to a jungle cat isn't worse than scolding a kid or giving them a time-out, but I guess this falls under the category of "Eh, Walker."

Gehayi: Again, she threatened to feed him to a panther in a dream, not in reality. So I don't think that Walker feels that those threats count. Not enough to own up to her characters being horrible people, anyway.

There are no homosexuality taboos, no concubinage, no prostitution.

Gehayi: The present tense—which Walker starts using here—is odd. It's as if Walker thinks she's discussing a society that exists nowadays.

ZeldaQueen: Really, social views on homosexuality vary wildly, depending on time period and location. Not to mention, a lack of homosexuality taboos wouldn't necessarily also mean a perfect matriarchy. Ancient Greece glorified same-sex male couples, but that was in part because they didn't think too highly of women.

Women control their own fertility and choice of mates. The sexes have equal social status, though the family usually is matrilocal and matrilineal–that is, married people live in the wife's home, the property is hers, and descent is reckoned primarily through mothers: exclusively so, among peoples that have not yet understood biological fatherhood.

THE PERFECT SPARKLY AGE OF PAGANISM: 109

ZeldaQueen: First of all, if society doesn't understand biological fatherhood at all, how would they know that men fucking women is necessary for babies to happen?



I'm starting to think Walker really was influenced by Clan of the Cave Bear. If memory serves, the ancient society in that series didn't realize that sex was how women got pregnant. People just had sex and if the woman was pregnant, they thought her spirit lost a battle with a man's spirit.

Gehayi: Right. And they thought that the heroine, Ayla, would never have kids because her totem spirit was a cave lion, and most men didn't have spirits that powerful.

ZeldaQueen: Second of all, yeah, that sure sounds like the sexes were equal. You know, besides the fact that women owned all the property and families lived in her house and the mother determined lineage. Look, if you want to try to insist that ancient societies were matriarchies, go ahead. But don't just make society sexist in woman's favor and pretend it was perfectly fair and equal!

Gehayi: I'm confused. If they couldn't understand fundamental reproduction—and Mesolithic and Neolithic societies had domestic animals for farming, so they sure as hell knew how to breed animals!—how did they manage more complicated concepts like lineage/geneaology, sex-determined property ownership, matrilineal inheritance, and so on?



ZeldaQueen: Walker is trying to argue that ancient societies were under the impression that women could self-impregnate, hence her repeated insistence that childbirth was seen as magical and divine. That's not me jumping to conclusion, incidentally. She says as much in this interview (skip ahead to 49:20), where she insists that people used to believe that unborn children were formed from unshed menstrual blood and that things only went to pot when men realized their sperm contributed and thus they had roles as fathers because... I guess realizing they had a hand in conception made men all entitled and uppity, fuck if I know.

There is a democratic division of labor, no caste system, no full-time military.

Gehayi: Sumer had the first standing army in the world by 2600 BCE. That's the Late Neolithic Period. Humans have had professional armies for quite a while.

ZeldaQueen: And no full-time military doesn't mean "no violence at all." It just meant that there were smaller groups of cavemen or individual cavemen whacking each other with whatever they had on hand. To quote Ket from earlier, "We've had violence ever since the first monkey realized it could have another monkey's banana if it hit the other with a stick."



Gehayi: Absolutely. Also? You don't have to be a professional soldier to be a soldier. Even if we're talking about a time before soldiers were drafted, there's such a thing as conscription by circumstances. If an enemy attacks a village or a settlement, some people will freeze, some will flee, and some will try to fight back whether they're professional warriors or not.

And a part-time or amateur soldier can still wound, maim and kill.



Religion is some variant of nature worship without strict codes,

ZeldaQueen: In other words, she thought ancient worship was just priestesses in tasteful robes drifting dreamily around.



THE PERFECT SPARKLY AGE OF PAGANISM: 110

And she had the audacity to call neopagans and Wiccans "tree-huggers"?

Gehayi: It's like ancient pagan Unitarianism.

a Mother Goddess being primary and her consorts secondary.

ALL HAIL THE MOTHER GODDESS: 99

ZeldaQueen: But again, the sexes are totally equal!

Also, why do I get the feeling this has shifted from any pretext of her describing a past society to her rambling about what she thinks an ideal society would be?

Shamans are both female and male.

Gehayi: I initially read that as "shamans had to be either intersex or non-binary." I should have known that wasn't what Walker meant, because it would have been interesting.

ZeldaQueen: Er, what's the difference between a priestess and a shaman? PC Cast would throw shamans out in her own 70s pagan-esque fantasy books, but I got the feeling they were the male counterparts of priestesses.

Gehayi: A priestess—or priest—would be the person who helped the community and the gods connect. Shamans, to give a dictionary definition, have access to and influence with the world of spirits, both good and evil. Spirits don't necessarily equal gods. And of course a shaman could talk to spirits without involving the community in the conversation.

There can be overlap, of course. A LOT of overlap. I'm guessing Walker thinks priestesses rank higher, though.

ZeldaQueen: Ah, okay. So priestesses have more Ye Olde PR-type work.

Sexuality and love between the sexes may be considered a part of religious feeling.

SILLY RABBIT, LOVE IS FOR FOOLS: 84

ZeldaQueen: Is that why all the couples in Feminist Fairy Tales ended up either settling or in dull, passionless relationships?



Such cultures were generally nonviolent, and valued spontaneity, humor, and sensual enjoyments.

THE PERFECT SPARKLY AGE OF PAGANISM: 114

ZeldaQueen: The only humor I'm getting is how you're insisting this after writing a fairy tale anthology so joyless, dull, and full of questionable morals. Seriously, just think about this, guys. The only fairy tale Gehayi and I found halfway well-written was the "Frog Princess" one... which was an intentional tragedy! Meaning that the only story Walker managed to write that was any good was the one deliberately devoid of peace, humor, and romance!

By contrast, the characteristics of the fully developed "patrist" society are given as follows:

ZeldaQueen: Jesus H. Christ, here we go.



children are severely treated, with harsh physical punishments, restriction of movement, and painful initiations, including genital mutilation.

MAN IS THE REAL MONSTER: 214

Gehayi: I don't know if she's talking solely about FGM or about male circumcision as well.

ZeldaQueen: I'm not sure. If she was referring to circumcision, I wonder if she knows that there are medical reasons to be circumcised?

Sexual attitudes are highly restrictive, ascetic, and fearful.

MAN IS THE REAL MONSTER: 217

ZeldaQueen: I know, right? People in patriarchal societies just hate sex! Why, just look America in the 1960s! There weren't any concepts like Free Love at all!

In all seriousness, I have to wonder if Walker somehow equates marriage with stifling sexual attitudes. Because while I'm not saying polygamy or free love are bad, I will say that society wanting people to be married and monogamous before they have sex does not mean that people are completely restricted or fearful about sex.

SILLY RABBIT, LOVE IS FOR FOOLS: 89

Gehayi: Which suggests some things about her personal life which...may not be fair to speculate about.

Women's freedoms are limited and their status inferior.



ZeldaQueen: Again, what societies and what time periods are you talking about? There is a LOT of variety in regards to women's roles in post-Neolithic societies!

Marriages are arranged by others,



ZeldaQueen: FOR FUCK'S SAKE, WALKER, patriarchal societies didn't SOLELY run on arranged marriages! Not to mention, arranged marriages in and of themselves aren't evil. There are, in fact, people who prefer the practice. People don't all have the same values!

are patrilocal and patrilineal, and frequently imply sexual and reproductive slavery for wives and/or concubines.

ZeldaQueen: "Imply sexual and reproductive"...what the shit?! Okay, Walker, you already threw out the kitchen sink once during our sporkings. Please don't do it again.

Heavy taboos surround menstruation, childbirth, abortion, birth control, widowhood, and women's access to spiritual matters.

Gehayi: I find it fascinating that an alleged atheist spends 95% of her time talking about female deities, priestesses for the female deities, holy cauldrons/uteri, holy rivers of menstrual blood, sacred colors, shrines to female deities AND their priestesses, prayers, the afterlife, resurrection, and how the Mother Goddess shaped her ideal culture.

ZeldaQueen: Also, I'm not sure what "heavy taboos" there are around widowhood. In fact, in some time periods, being a widow was a very good position for a woman. In Shakespeare's time, a widow would inherit her husband's property and generally be in a good standing. That's why in Measure for Measure, the Duke's decision to have Mariana marry Angelo and then execute him (Angelo, that is) was meant to be a good turn for her—she'd inherit and be set for life. For whatever reason, she decided she wanted to stay married to the guy and pleaded for his life.



Gehayi: Honestly, being a widow was, in many time periods, a ticket to autonomy. Widows could own real property, control their money, own businesses in their own rights, become guildmistresses, even—depending on the time and the culture—vote. As happened in pre-Revolution America.

ZeldaQueen: There are only two things I could possibly see Walker talking to, in regards to taboos for widowhood. The first is the idea of sati, where wives are expected to commit suicide if their husband dies. That would be a legitimate thing to criticize...except that for all Walker's complaints about patriarchy, she seems to view widows through a limited lens aimed at 1970s America.

So that leads me to think it's the other thing, which is the stereotype that widows are stern old women who hide away in their homes and yell at kids to get off their lawn like Walker did implicitly to neopagans and Wiccans. It's hardly the worst thing societies have ever done to women, but it's possible Walker's grumpy that there are any negative stereotypes about widows at all.

Actually, no, wait... *looks up* Walker may also get the idea from the Book of Leviticus. Among other instructions, it gives a list of rules for priests. One of the kinds of people that a priest is forbidden to marry is, you guessed it, a widow. Given how the list also forbids the blind, the lame, dwarves, anyone with defective eyes, anyone with a flat nose, and anyone with "bad testicles"--among others--from approaching the altar of the Lord, i.e. being priests, I'm going to take a stab and figure these aren't pieces of Biblical lore that a lot of people follow too strictly these days.

CHRISTIAN MONOTHEISTIC BRUTALITY: 132

There are full-time male clergies and military organizations, with a monotheistic father god often depicted as rigidly authoritarian, demanding, and cruel: pain-seeking asceticism and renunciation of sexuality tend to please him.

CHRISTIAN MONOTHEISTIC BRUTALITY: 133
MAN IS THE REAL MONSTER: 228



Gehayi: Walker? When you talk about monotheism, you're usually talking about three interrelated religions. Christianity built on Judaism; Islam built on Christianity and Judaism. (By the way, you're skipping the Bahá'í faith, which is Abrahamic and monotheistic.)

But Zeus, whom you think of as identical to Yahweh? He's from a polytheistic pantheon. Odin? Polytheistic pantheon. Hinduism? That's a mixture of polytheism, panentheism (divinity is part of everything in the universe and transcends time and space), monism, monotheism and atheism.

If you wanted to find a monotheistic religion that is not linked to Judaism in some way…well, there's Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Cao Đài, Seichō no Ie, even the ancient Egyptian worship of Aten. Monotheism is not exclusively a Judeo-Christian thing.

ZeldaQueen: Walker is giving off so many Jack Chick vibes right now, it's not even funny. He'd do that all the time as well, misinterpreting religions to try to make them fit like Christianity, even if they clearly didn't. Here, Walker thinks people once worshipped a Mother Goddess? Well, she calls God a "father god" and pretends like all patriarchal pantheons are actually monotheistic. Somehow.

There are tight caste systems and strict codes with sadistic punishments, which may be used as spectacles of public entertainment.

MAN IS THE REAL MONSTER: 231

ZeldaQueen: Walker, did you watch Gladiator before writing this?



Men own property, women, and children,

MAN IS THE REAL MONSTER: 234

ZeldaQueen: I get her point, but all I can think is men? Owning property?!? Well, that's just offensive and terrible!

DOUBLE STANDARD SUNDAE: 218

Seriously, Walker, don't say shit like that. Not if you're trying to insist that you're promoting equality of the sexes.

And having just finished reading The Shining for the first time, I get the feeling that Walker thinks all men are like Jack Torrance, post-possession (or if we're talking about the Kubrick film, Nicholson!Jack Torrance throughout the majority of the movie), stumbling around crazily, ranting about how he's the Man of the House, by God, and he'll show his wife and son who to listen to. Via the business end of a roque mallet.

and may regard war as their most honorable calling.

MAN IS THE REAL MONSTER: 235

Gehayi: If you lived in Sparta, maybe. There are a lot of cultures where being a soldier was and is considered an honorable profession—but THE most honorable one? I think that would cut the number of societies just a bit.

ZeldaQueen: You know, Walker, there are people who regard going to war as honorable because they see it as protecting their homes and their families. Judging by your battle-inclined heroine, Gorga, refusing to fight a dragon that was kidnapping and supposedly killing people until she found out what her reward would be, I have to wonder if you considered that.

Slavery and torture are permitted and freely discussed, whereas physical pleasures and sensuality are viewed with puritanical anxiety and may incur verbal taboos.

Gehayi: Okay. I have no doubt that James DeMeo, whom Walker is citing, believes in all of the above. He also believes in orgone—which is a pseudo-scientific concept involving bioenergy associated with living things which is allegedly created by sex. He wrote a freaking HANDBOOK on it. And made a video.

ZeldaQueen: So he's not exactly the most reputable of scientists?

Gehayi: He's certainly not what most people would think of as a scientist. Guess what he has his degree in?

ZeldaQueen: Proctology?

Gehayi: Geography. Dr. James DeMeo did his undergraduate work in Environmental Science and holds a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Kansas. So if you were under the impression that he's an anthropologist or archeologist or paleontologist who is speaking about a subject that he knows well? Nope!

Also, his Saharasia hypothesis blames everything on patriarchy and gene pools. Warriors had children and created a warrior culture. If women had just had sex with more peaceful men, everything would have been fine, don't you know. Because children are always emotional clones of their parents.

ZeldaQueen: That sounds suspiciously similar.

Gehayi: Doesn't it, though.

ZeldaQueen: And that culture sounds unnervingly like the one in The Giver. You know, where violence is repressed by drugging people so they don't feel intense emotional desires.

Gehayi: ...you're right.

There's also a certain degree of eugenics in all this. DeMeo's theory relies on nice people breeding with nice people to create more nice people. The idea of someone choosing to be violent, despite generation upon generation of peaceable ancestors, occurs to him not at all.

You know, I looked for scholarly comments on his theory. From what I can tell, most scientists don't even think he's worth discrediting.



The only people who mention him are the ones who believe in him devoutly. So the only citers of DeMeo are fans. And that includes Walker. Much of this speech establishes her as a squeeful DeMeo fanpoodle, yipping ferociously at anyone approaching the past who doesn't have that distinct DeMeo scent.

Given these typical characteristics at the two extremes of observed human cultures, past and present, one might better understand how it happens that monotheistic, father-worshiping cultures can become distinctly violent and warlike.

Gehayi: No, I really don't understand. You haven't mentioned any specific cultures, and you haven't shown how or why this blissfully polytheistic, mother-worshipping, peaceful society—which you describe as taking place all over the world—somehow was transmuted into multiple unhappy, monotheistic, father-worshipping, warlike societies overnight. Nor have you explained why men found being unhappy and at risk for getting killed in war superior to being blissful and peaceful. You are bad at science, Walker.

Experiments with monkeys have shown that individuals raised by gentle, nurturing adults will mature in the same way, while young monkeys deprived of maternal affection grow up with violent tendencies, sexual dysfunctions, and lack of empathy for others.

ZeldaQueen: Yes. We are not arguing that. It is widely known, in this day and age, that abuse leads to cycles.

What we are arguing is that you, Walker, seem under the impression that the world has been nothing but a violent bloodbath for the past many centuries. That marriages have ALL been strictly contractual and akin to sex slavery. That EVERYONE is taught to hate or fear sex. That families are ALL kept under the strict thumbs of fathers, who do nothing but abuse their wives and children and seem to have little, if any, natural tendencies towards being kind or loving.

In short, Walker, what you are saying is that the world we live in is more violent and bleak than Westeros. And we are arguing against that because it's not true. Yes, societies have done terrible things. Yes, there are gender and sexuality inequalities in the world. Yes, there are families with members being abused. But to cover the ENTIRE WORLD for ALL THAT TIME under that one blanket is wrong, unfair, and just damned depressing.

No wonder her fairy tales were so joyless and dripping with contempt for ideas like selflessness and happily-ever-afters. Walker seems to think that our entire world is, in principle, unable to manage concepts like those.

DeMeo writes: "Early social institutions, which nurtured children emotionally, which venerated heterosexual love and allowed much freedom in sexual matters . . . once persisted across all of Europe, Asia, Africa, and India.

ZeldaQueen: The Americas, Australia, and the poles were kinda fucked (heh) though, apparently.

Gehayi: So, basically, all over the known world prior to Europe's Age of Exploration. Incidentally, why didn't any of these early social institutions venerate, say, lesbian or bisexual love? Or polyandry? Heteronormativity isn't generally seen as 100% good these days. Or, you know, good at all.

DOUBLE STANDARD SUNDAE: 221

ZeldaQueen: I was wondering that as well. Didn't Walker argue earlier that this ancient, perfect world had no homosexual taboos?

In all cases, the arrival of militant armored nomad groups from Central Asia and Arabia initiated cultural transitions which destroyed the male-female and maternal-infant bond, and placed all family matters, including choice of marriage partner, in the hands of dominant males.

ZeldaQueen: There we have it, folks. Walker just came out and said that the world went to shit and family values were destroyed because those evil monotheistic nomads showed up from the Middle East.

Gehayi: And Central Asia. Either way, it comes down to European Mother Goddesses and their attendant white utopias being destroyed by evilbad brown people.

YOUR VALUES DISSONANCE RACISM IS SHOWING: 297

ZeldaQueen: "Once, the Pagan Mother Goddess Land lived in harmony. Then, everything changed once the Central Asian and Arabian nomads attacked."



In all seriousness, I have to wonder how she figured Central Asia factored in there. I know Asia and the Middle East were linked by the Silk Road, but that was long after the time period she's suggesting. Not to mention, wasn't China also polytheistic during that time period?

Gehayi: Yes, it was, but she's probably not talking about China. She's probably talking about Mongols, Tatars, Huns—all of whom did do a fair amount of overrunning. Just not in pre-history.

ZeldaQueen: Or in the name of any Judeo-Christian religions. So I have to wonder how she fits them into her When Monotheists Invade scenario, unless she's somehow figuring that Buddhism is the same as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. (Or, given how she comes down on Confucius along with Mohammed and Jesus, she could be talking about Confucianism.) Not that Walker would admit to that being the case, as Gehayi proved here. There really are no depths Walker won't sink to for the sake of denial, it would seem.

I have to wonder how she justifies Norse, Egyptian, and Greek mythologies, all of which seriously predate monotheism and all of which are very patriarchal.

And folks? NO discussions about current events involving the Middle East. PLEASE.

The early peaceful peoples were either exterminated. . .

ZeldaQueen: Oh, so we're actually recapping an episode of Dr. Who where the Daleks invaded the Bronze Age!



or they were enslaved, losing their own cultural identity and legal controls over their land, property, and their very lives. . . .

ZeldaQueen: This is kind of funny, in a twisted way, considering how the first Christians were actually considered members of a small, strange cult and were often persecuted and subjected to prejudice. Also, Walker seems to view her pagan utopia as being predominantly Celtic, so I'm not sure how she thought a group of nomads on horses managed to make it to Great Britain.

Increasingly stratified political hierarchy and despotism were accompanied by changes in family structure toward an increased male dominance over basic life decisions of females and children.

ZeldaQueen: This is where Walker's repeated insistences that women are gentle and nurturing and fighting is an Evil Manly Thing both bite her alleged civilization in the ass. Because guess what? That wonderful, peaceful matriarchy with no male aggression and no military? Has no means of defending itself against these invaders. The presence of these nomads shows that clearly there are other civilizations in this world, so why didn't the people of this matriarchy prepare accordingly? Why didn't they use their superior wisdom to scrape together an opposing force? Considering how huge this utopia seems to have been, it seems unlikely that they could have been conquered in one go.

From everything Walker's described, it honestly sounds like these nomads invaded and the women were so peaceful and kind and serene that they just did nothing to prevent it. And instead of making me think that men are so aggressive and awful, it just makes me disgusted with how misogynistic this supposed civilization really is. The men ride in and beat the women because the women just sit on their asses and don't have the common sense to fight back or, if that weren't possible, to bide their time and arrange for a revolution or SOMETHING! Why should I identify with the people of this civilization and be spurred to live by their example?! They're IDIOTS!



Sadistic abuses within the family, in society at large, and in the military appear to have increased in direct proportion to these changes.

ZeldaQueen: Well, according to you, this ancient civilization didn't HAVE a military to begin with! And Walker, they "appear" to have increased because you say they have. There are no statistics or evidence as to how much abuse there was in families in prehistoric times versus the time period you're proposing.



"The archaeological and historical survey . . . confirms the past presence of a ubiquitously higher status for women, greater autonomy for children and adolescents, and a much more fluid and pleasure-oriented social fabric. Males had a solid role in the family as help-mates, lovers and partners, but did not dominate the basic life decisions of either the wife or children. . . . Destructive human aggression and sadism in its worst forms, which include despotism, warfare, ritual murder, and the brutal subjugation of females and children for sexual purposes, are a relatively recent development in human history, of less than 6000 years' duration."1

MAN IS THE REAL MONSTER: 241
SILLY RABBIT, LOVE IS FOR FOOLS: 92

Gehayi: This entire quote is by DeMeo. As you can see, he's doing what Walker does—he's claiming that his preferred theories are cold, hard facts.

ZeldaQueen: You can also see that Walker basically just repeated him. Men are violent brutes who abuse women and children, the Wonderful Past World had women in charge and was the greatest in the world, lather, rinse, repeat.

Gehayi: The main problem with this piece of fiction is that not much was recorded longer than 6,000 years ago. Seven thousand years ago? That period was the Late Neolithic Era. BEFORE WRITING. We have artifacts, paintings, even some settlements. We know when the first prehistoric farming settlement was—at least the first that we've found. We know when people started domesticating cats. But we don't have any recorded information about what stories they told, or how politics worked, or what laws were considered important, or the names and sexes of Neolithic gods.

Mesopotamia before 4000 B.C.E. was largely matrist and peaceful.

ZeldaQueen: Yeah, no. The people of Mesopotamia were ruled by a king, believed in a female demon who drank the blood of children, and were just as into glorifying the military conquests of their rulers as most civilizations at the time. Just read Anatolia Story to get an idea of how peaceful things were in the vicinity. Yeah, it's a manga. It's a very well-researched one, though.

Gehayi: Or, if you prefer archeology, the Ubaid period in Mesopotamia—roughly 6500 BCE to 3800 BCE—was one of increasing urbanization and social stratification. This was in the Copper Age, bronze and iron not having been discovered yet. We don't have a lot of details about who or what they worshipped, but we do know that they tried democracy early on and—from what we can tell, gave it up in favor of cities and trade.



And there's nothing to suggest that the Ubaid civilization or its successors, the Uruk and the Sumerian, were particularly female-centered. Frankly, the manga sounds pretty damned accurate.

ZeldaQueen: It is, although it doesn't go into Mesopotamia as much as Anatolia. It's a great read though, and I'd much rather talk about that than Walker's repeated rants.



The Mother Goddess religion prevailed, and women had high-status positions as priestesses, scribes, diviners, healers, judges, and acknowledged masters of various crafts: fiber arts, weaving, pottery, food preparation, and agriculture. In Crete and pre-Hellenic Greece also, the primary deity was the Great Goddess, whose temples were tended by women, and gender equality was the rule.

ALL HAIL THE MOTHER GODDESS: 101

ZeldaQueen: IF WOMEN ARE IN CHARGE, THE SEXES ARE NOT EQUAL!

DOUBLE STANDARD SUNDAE: 222

Few societies are 100% either matrist or patrist, since human culture is always a continuum of overlapping eddies in the stream of general trends, but

ZeldaQueen: (Walker) "If the world were perfect, it'd be 100% matrist all the way."

we can perceive the stream through archaeological and anthropological studies.

Gehayi: Just not mainstream ones. Walker doesn't want her pet theories being inconvenienced by pesky facts.

ZeldaQueen: I'm reminded of Alicia Johnson's words in Lady Susan. "Facts are such horrid things!"



Judaism was one of the most patristic religions of the early middle east,

Gehayi: "Middle East" is a proper noun, Walker. You capitalize it.

And doubtless that's why Miriam is considered a liberator of her people along with her brothers Aaron and Moses; Deborah is one of the judges of Israel; both of the aforementioned women are considered prophets, along with Sarah, Abigail, Hannah, Huldah, and Esther; Esther is honored for saving her people from an anti-Semitic asshole AND has a book of the Bible AND a holiday dedicated to her; and Naomi and Ruth (the latter of whom also has her own book) have been a primary example of friendship and loyalty for a couple of thousand years.

ZeldaQueen: Not to mention, a part of Esther's story is that she approaches her husband before he summons her to him. That act could have had her killed, but the king instead hears her out, because he loves her. Not only that, but he listens to her warning about the planned massacre of her people and has the man behind the plan put to death.



(Pictured: Queen Esther and King Ahasuerus [generally interpreted as Xerxes I of Persia] by the Providence Lithograph Company, pre-1914.)

And in regards to Ruth, the man she ended up marrying gave her extra food and let her eat at his table even though she was a poor foreign woman, because he knew she was working to support herself and her mother-in-law. He worked to find a loophole so they could legally marry and he let her stay and cuddle at one part. It's basically a fluffy love story.



(Pictured: Ruth in Boaz's Field [1828] by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld.)

Gehayi: Now, yes, there are paternalistic elements in Judaism—such as the line in the morning blessing "Shelo Asani Isha" ("Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, for not making me a woman"). The usual explanation for this is that men are obligated to perform more mitzvahs (good deeds) than women are, such as wearing a tallis or tefillin, so men should learn to thank God for the obligation. That...doesn't sound better to me. However, a) not my religion and b) I think that the existence of this blessing versus all the women honored by Judaism could be the grounds for a fascinating discussion.

But Walker doesn't acknowledge that. She never says, "There are things that don't sound good to my Gentile ears, but I have spoken to Jewish women, and this is what they themselves think" or "on the other hand, all these women are honored." As far as she's concerned, Judaism is all paternalism and therefore all bad.

DOUBLE STANDARD SUNDAE: 223 (if it was all matriarchal, it would all be good)
YOUR VALUES DISSONANCE ANTI-SEMITISM IS SHOWING: 307

ZeldaQueen: Not to mention, she also tries to lie about prominent women in Christian and Jewish texts being either a) originally sparkly pagan goddesses or priestesses who were stolen by Evil Monotheists (even though she also claims that veneration or admiration of strong women goes against everything the Evil Monotheists stand for) or b) nasty-wasty lies made up by Evil Monotheists based on sparkly pagan goddesses. Like her take on Saint Lucy. Apparently she was a statue of the Mother Goddess who was defaced and de-eyed by Christians looting the temple and... uh, I guess those Christians were too stupid to realize a statue isn't an actual person.

after having won its territories by warfare

Gehayi: As opposed to what? Winning its territories by lottery?

Also, Walker? JUDAISM ISN'T A COUNTRY. Religions are not countries. People compose countries. I know what you were trying to say, but what you actually did say was wrong.

INTERESTING MYTHOLOGY HISTORY: 798
YOUR VALUES DISSONANCE ANTI-SEMITISM IS SHOWING: 317

and having made many rules that subordinated women and children to male control, under a god who claimed sole power over everything in the universe.

ZeldaQueen: And yet Judaism is one of the few groups around today that follows the mother's lineage to some degree. Yeah, you know the stereotype in media where Jewish parents get pissy because their son isn't going for a Jewish girl? It's because in Judaism, kids are automatically Jewish if the mom is. It's because it can be uncertain who the father is, but with the mom, it's a lot harder to be mistaken.



Also, Walker, early Jews spent most of their lives wandering the desert and being hated by most civilizations. Yes, there were Jews who did terrible things, but considering how history widely regarded Jews falsely as child-murdering blood drinkers who were universally greedy and filthy and drains on society, saying that they're a civilization of abusive warmongers isn't the best idea.

Gehayi: I guess we're also going to forget about Beruya (or Bruriah, or Beruriah), the wife of Rabbi Meir—a woman who is still a byword for wisdom and intelligence and whose decisions about Jewish law were often accepted over those of her male contemporaries.



Well, maybe she's too recent. She lived around 139-163 CE, after all, not 4,000 BCE. She was practically modern!

Though this god was supposed to have said, "Thou shalt not kill," he ordered massive slaughters again and again of various "infidel" peoples, and even commanded the faithful to kill their own family members, neighbors, or friends who did not share their one-and-only religion:

ZeldaQueen: Because polytheistic deities never called for their followers to kill anyone or got bloody vengeance on anybody!

DOUBLE STANDARD SUNDAE: 225

"Neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: but thou shalt surely kill him" (Deuteronomy 13:5—9).

Gehayi: That's Deuteronomy 13:8. You might quote the entire passage, Walker, if you're going to cite the entire passage.

INTERESTING MYTHOLOGY QUOTATIONS: 848 (four missing lines, and one attempt to pass off a single line as five)

The entire passage, Deut. 13:1-9, pertains to false prophets and dreamers of dreams convincing people by signs of wonder to stop worshipping God and to worship others instead, which the passage says is wrong, as you should love God with all your heart and soul. It goes on to say that if anyone else says this—your brother, your son, your daughter, your wife, or a friend who's like your own soul, you're not to consent to this or even listen to the person. And yes, it does say that you should kill that person.

The thing is, I'm not sure if this is to be taken literally as a law—this being Deuteronomy, after all—or if it's simply hyperbole. I personally suspect the latter. The same situation is restated several times, which is a style that often appears in the Bible when the writer wants to emphasize that you really, really must (or must not) do something, and here, let me add some dramatic overexaggeration to make sure that you grasp how important this is.

ZeldaQueen: Well, I guess that's why Walker didn't like it. According to her "Fairy Gold" story, a person ought to die because they do love their One True Deity with all their heart and soul. *is still creeped out by that one*



And there is that commandment in Exodus 22:18: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live," which was directly responsible for twelve centuries of the most hideous persecutions, tortures, and legal murders of an estimated nine million women–and this is said to be a low estimate.2

ZeldaQueen: Sporked that already, done with it.

Gehayi: Everything in this statement is false. Also, she is once more quoting DeMeo.

INTERESTING MYTHOLOGY HISTORY: 878 (twelve centuries is wrong—it's more like six, with the bulk of the witch trials being concentrated in two centuries; the nine million number was disproven by Ket in the essay about witches; and, in fact, this is a grossly exaggerated estimate that an eighteenth-century German pulled out of his ass)

And we may as well stop here, because Walker is about to plunge into pseudo-history and plagiarism? Remember how bad she was in the last essay? This is worse. This is so. Much. Worse.




Witches Past and Present Part III | Table of Contents | Violence in Religion Part II

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[User Picture]
From:scorpionspear77
Date:February 14th, 2017 08:42 pm (UTC)
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Ai yi yi... this is almost too much to handle. Meyer was bad, but this is just plain stupid. Hope Ket's alright. Good work on the sporking!
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From:gehayi
Date:February 14th, 2017 09:03 pm (UTC)
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Amazingly stupid, isn't it? And thank you!

(I'll pass your good wishes on to Ket.)
[User Picture]
From:sashahoneypalm
Date:February 14th, 2017 09:16 pm (UTC)
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I was literally just about to PM one of you to ask what had happened to FFT sporkings- and then I clicked on the main page and here it was!

Feel better, Ket!

Edited at 2017-02-14 09:17 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:gehayi
Date:February 14th, 2017 09:50 pm (UTC)
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Sorry for the delay! And yes, we're back!
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From:krazeekristi
Date:February 14th, 2017 09:17 pm (UTC)
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Aiiyaa....that was awful.

Seriously, did it not occur to Walker that one of the reasons war breaks out is for economic reasons? Like, a kingdom is running short on resources so they go conquer another one to restock or two kingdoms are fighting over a bay that would be an ideal spot for a harbor or really good land for farming?

And Walker, please stop erasing every continent that isn't Europe. You're making me cringe at bad memories of grade school teachers doing the same thing. However, I and some of the other Asian kids did get a little bit of unexpected revenge in the form of country reports that shattered all their inaccurate assumptions of China to smithereens. 6th grade teacher had no idea just how long China's history was, as a result all of our report presentations wound up being twice as long than what was required. But we all brought snacks for the class so it was all good.

In all seriousness, I have to wonder how she figured Central Asia factored in there. I know Asia and the Middle East were linked by the Silk Road, but that was long after the time period she's suggesting. Not to mention, wasn't China also polytheistic during that time period?

It was a bit of a mixed bag if memory serves me correctly. I know there was some sort of polythesistic worship, but I can't remember what it was called. I'm pretty sure Bhuddism, Taosism, and Confusism were already in China then though, and those were more life philosophies from what I can recall.
[User Picture]
From:gehayi
Date:February 14th, 2017 09:44 pm (UTC)
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Seriously, did it not occur to Walker that one of the reasons war breaks out is for economic reasons? Like, a kingdom is running short on resources so they go conquer another one to restock or two kingdoms are fighting over a bay that would be an ideal spot for a harbor or really good land for farming?

Nope. All of her essays and stories pretty much state that war, in her opinion, comes from men being too aggressive and hating mother goddesses. She doesn't even believe that women would EVER fight if men weren't such big meanies. She quite literally has no concept of a tribe's or country's poverty (or a neighboring country's prosperity) being an instigation for war.

And Walker, please stop erasing every continent that isn't Europe. You're making me cringe at bad memories of grade school teachers doing the same thing.

I'm sorry. That was wrong. And really, really stupid.

However, I and some of the other Asian kids did get a little bit of unexpected revenge in the form of country reports that shattered all their inaccurate assumptions of China to smithereens. 6th grade teacher had no idea just how long China's history was, as a result all of our report presentations wound up being twice as long than what was required. But we all brought snacks for the class so it was all good.

Okay, I really love that part.

I'm pretty sure Bhuddism, Taosism, and Confusism were already in China then though, and those were more life philosophies from what I can recall.

They don't seem to date back to Neolithic times. Gautama Buddha is supposed to have lived between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE (799-500 BCE). The work attributed to Laozi--the Tao Te Ching--dates to the late fourth century BCE. And Confucius lived from 551–479 BCE.

The Neolithic era, by contrast, began in the Mideast around 10,200 BCE and ended, depending on the region, between 4500 and 2000 BCE.
[User Picture]
From:akilah12902
Date:February 14th, 2017 10:11 pm (UTC)
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Okay! First, I am very glad that you guys felt up to taking this on, and I am very sorry to hear about ket. I hope that she is able to get whatever help she may need.

Second, I have stuff to talk about for this essay!

Intriguingly enough, there is at least one culture that did not make the connection between heterosexual intercourse and pregnancy--the Tobriand people's beliefs state that conception is the result of an ancestral spirit deciding to enter the woman's body--this belief is generally accepted to have come about because their main food source, yams, have contraceptive chemicals in them and therefore made the link between sex and pregnancy much less clear. They are also matrilineal, since the ancestral ghost is believed to be from the woman's ancestors.

And there are actually a fair number of peoples and cultures that are matrilineal, and there are several that are matrilocal--but, as I said in the last essay, there are currently no known societies that are unambiguously matriarchal.

And as for the whole 'menstrual blood is what forms unborn children', that's also a part-truth. The Huli and the Arapesh (rather famously studied by Margaret Mead) believe that both parents must contribute material to form a child over time during pregnancy, and that the contribution from the mother is her (menstrual) blood. Neither of these cultures, however, disregarded the father, and his contribution is viewed as vital and necessary.

In short, she grabbed what she liked and tossed what she didn't, which is both typical of Walker at this point and never ceases to piss me off.

I don't have as much to say about her description of Evul Menz Societies, but I will state that she remains hilariously wrong about "physical pleasures and sensuality [being] viewed with puritanical anxiety". See: the Greeks, the Romans, tons of sensual and occasionally outright lewd paintings and sculptures and art from a boatload of different times and cultures that were patriarchal...

I do think Walker might be in the general vicinity of a point when mentioning how some people have decided that things like "Thou Shalt Not Kill" have numerous exceptions, but that is a knotty topic and a problem specific to those people who decided they had exceptions and not the fault of the religion itself, and not one she or I should attempt to cover in detail.
[User Picture]
From:gehayi
Date:February 15th, 2017 01:17 am (UTC)
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she grabbed what she liked and tossed what she didn't, which is both typical of Walker at this point and never ceases to piss me off.

And she claimed that things that were true of one or two societies that you mention were true of ALL societies everywhere on the planet.

I don't have as much to say about her description of Evul Menz Societies, but I will state that she remains hilariously wrong about "physical pleasures and sensuality [being] viewed with puritanical anxiety". See: the Greeks, the Romans, tons of sensual and occasionally outright lewd paintings and sculptures and art from a boatload of different times and cultures that were patriarchal...

Yep. I think that her own background is showing. Walker, just because religion and sexual repression are commonly joined in America, that doesn't mean that's how it always was and always shall be!
[User Picture]
From:albion_witch
Date:February 14th, 2017 10:37 pm (UTC)
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It's worth repeating that Walker sounds like Sister Summersisle.

There are no homosexuality taboos, no concubinage, no prostitution.

Then why is it called the world's oldest profession? Even our chimpanzee cousins frequently participate in it.


Also I'm glad to see you back and I hope Ket can manage if not overcome her depression.

Edited at 2017-02-14 10:40 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:gehayi
Date:February 15th, 2017 01:27 am (UTC)
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It's worth repeating that Walker sounds like Sister Summersisle.

Teacher: “What does man represent in his purest form?”
Students: “Phallic symbol, phallic symbol.”

Then why is it called the world's oldest profession? Even our chimpanzee cousins frequently participate in it.

Well, as usual with Walker, whenever she doesn't like something, she decides that men wrote it into history after the fact and then conned THE ENTIRE WORLD into believing that it was true. Which is why you can't convince her or her fans that she's wrong. To her, we're buying into an immense patriarchal con of monotheistic men. The sheer lack of evidence for her own version of pre-history only proves to her that it's real--because if the conspiracy DIDN'T exist, there would be tons of evidence for her little utopia!
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From:phantomshade
Date:February 14th, 2017 10:59 pm (UTC)
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Ugh, I got to Walker babbling about patriarchal societies glorifying war and being warriors and had to stop and comment, because there is so much wrong there regarding premodern cultures. Cultural views of soldiers varied, but for the most part Actually tended to be bad, or at least Very Meh. Various levels of the social stratas tended to be viewed through the lens of what they personally regularly contributed to society, which meant professional warriors were often low on the rungs, either unfortunately necessary pile of mouths to feed who spent most of their time doing little of value or greedy mercenaries whose loyalty was bought and therefore fragile. If they outranked anybody it was usually merchants, who only lost out in cultures who saw them as little more than conmen charging extra for shuffling around the results of other peoples' hard labor without personally adding any value to the products.

Societies that held professional warrior classes up as societal role models, or at least as respectable professions to have, tended to either be ruled by the warrior class (Sparta, Feudal Japan, Medieval Europe), not have a boundary between warrior and commoner (the Sythians, Mongols, and other similar nomadic tribes, whose adult populations doubled as permanent mounted infantry/archers), have armies that had clout in politics by sheer force of We Have The Weapons And Are Not Afraid To Use Them (Imperial Rome), or exist in locations and cultures where raids and combat were frequent (early Neolithic tribes in general, some of the cultures of the Amazon basin, the Vikings) or served important religious functions (the Aztec and Maya and Vikings [again] are the only ones coming to mind at the moment, but are hardly unique in this regard). Otherwise it all depended on the current circumstances: if there were foreign armies at the gates or rich conquests to be had, the people sang the army's praises, but once the fighting was over they went back to being a freeloading burden of some kind or another.
[User Picture]
From:gehayi
Date:February 15th, 2017 01:29 am (UTC)
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Various levels of the social stratas tended to be viewed through the lens of what they personally regularly contributed to society, which meant professional warriors were often low on the rungs, either unfortunately necessary pile of mouths to feed who spent most of their time doing little of value or greedy mercenaries whose loyalty was bought and therefore fragile. If they outranked anybody it was usually merchants, who only lost out in cultures who saw them as little more than conmen charging extra for shuffling around the results of other peoples' hard labor without personally adding any value to the products.

That makes a great deal of sense! Thank you very much!
[User Picture]
From:idiotalchemist
Date:February 14th, 2017 11:08 pm (UTC)

Parte the Firste

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Anthropologists and archaeologists have ascertained some general trends in pre-patriarchal societies, worldwide, that show decided contrasts with our own civilization.

Pre-patriarchal? What, did some massive sky-god dude-bro conspiracy go down worldwide? Does Walker think this?

We really don't know a lot about Neolithic and other prehistoric societies because, well, they're pre-history. They're pre-written word. We can only speculate as to their lifestyles, beliefs, and social structures based on the artifacts they left behind, and that is some serious guesswork that leaves a lot to be interpreted (and, therefore, misinterpreted). Hell, even for societies with written records that we can translate with fairly good accuracy, we still don't know a lot. Definitive statements like these are bad historical work! I did not get my degree in this shit for stuff like this to get published without me wailing and gnashing my teeth!

However, Walker's wind-up there sounds suspiciously like she finds the idea of disciplining children at all to be terrible. And I'm sorry, but no. Kids do need discipline, some more than others. And if kids are only ever coddled and never told if they're doing something wrong? Guess what? They grow up to be self-centered adults who think they can do no wrong and have the potential to cause even more problems.

For further information, look up "Christian Grey."

I was a fairly good kid, and even I needed to be put in my place every now and then because, guess what, even good kids can be rancid little shits at times.

There are no homosexuality taboos, no concubinage, no prostitution.

Present your evidence. I'll wait.

There's a reason prostitution is called "the oldest profession." People, of all sexes and genders, have been trading pleasure for money ever since we could conceive the concept. And it wasn't always seen as bad or degrading. Shamhat from the Epic of Gilgamesh was a sacred prostitute who was considered a priestess blessed by Inanna/Ishtar and was regarded as a holy woman and a symbol of civilization.

Women control their own fertility and choice of mates. The sexes have equal social status, though the family usually is matrilocal and matrilineal–that is, married people live in the wife's home, the property is hers, and descent is reckoned primarily through mothers: exclusively so, among peoples that have not yet understood biological fatherhood.

We don't know. It could have been like that in some or even most of prehistoric societies, but WE. DON'T. KNOW.

Religion is some variant of nature worship without strict codes, a Mother Goddess being primary and her consorts secondary.

WE. DON'T. KNOOOOOOOOOOOW.

Yeah, most early religions were probably (keyword: PROBABLY) animistic, but that isn't certain and it would probably revolve around many minor spirits of the local natural environment rather than one central Mother Goddess and her dude harem!

Sexuality and love between the sexes may be considered a part of religious feeling.

It still does in a lot of the religions Walker derides. Song of Songs, Kama Sutra, etc etc, I already listed a bunch in a previous entry.

Such cultures were generally nonviolent, and valued spontaneity, humor, and sensual enjoyments.

Hoo hoo, oh my poor dear. Take it away, Smithsonian: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/ancient-brutal-massacre-may-be-earliest-evidence-war-180957884/
[User Picture]
From:gehayi
Date:February 15th, 2017 01:35 am (UTC)

Re: Parte the Firste

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Pre-patriarchal? What, did some massive sky-god dude-bro conspiracy go down worldwide? Does Walker think this?

Yes, she does. She honestly does. She also seems to believe that male kings of gods were not originally part of pantheistic belief systems and that Christian monks wrote them into Greek, Roman and Norse myths later.

I feel for you, BTW. I wanted to scream, "WE DON'T KNOW!" so many times during this essay.
[User Picture]
From:idiotalchemist
Date:February 14th, 2017 11:08 pm (UTC)

Parte the Seconde

(Link)
children are severely treated, with harsh physical punishments, restriction of movement, and painful initiations, including genital mutilation. Sexual attitudes are highly restrictive, ascetic, and fearful. Women's freedoms are limited and their status inferior. Marriages are arranged by others, are patrilocal and patrilineal, and frequently imply sexual and reproductive slavery for wives and/or concubines. Heavy taboos surround menstruation, childbirth, abortion, birth control, widowhood, and women's access to spiritual matters.

*sigh* Not every society after the Neolithic era was like this. Not every outright patriarchal society was like this. This is just...wow was there no research done.

And there is heavy taboos around menstruation because it's freaking excreta! Uterus-and-vagina exclusive excreta, but excreta nonetheless.

There are full-time male clergies and military organizations, with a monotheistic father god often depicted as rigidly authoritarian, demanding, and cruel: pain-seeking asceticism and renunciation of sexuality tend to please him.

So, Walker really is only taking about Abrahamic (probably not Zoroastrian considering I don't think she knows it exists) societies after the Neolithic era and erasing every single other society on the face of the freaking planet. And I'm pretty certain she's getting ancient Abrahamic societies wrong, too.

There are tight caste systems and strict codes with sadistic punishments, which may be used as spectacles of public entertainment.

Gladiators as she's thinking of them developed slowly. Most of what I've read suggests that the games began with a form of Etruscan human sacrifice ritual and eventually was turned into what they became as the Latin culture overtook the Etruscan and turned it into a way of showing Roman authority and how a good Roman should meet death fearlessly and whatnot. It's a pretty complex thing.

and may regard war as their most honorable calling.

Really, REALLY depends. Athens sure didn't.

Slavery and torture are permitted and freely discussed, whereas physical pleasures and sensuality are viewed with puritanical anxiety and may incur verbal taboos.

Free discussion about a topic? Ooh, horror.

Walker's really doesn't know anything about ancient Rome, does she? Slavery and torture AND open depictions of sexuality and indulgence in pleasure. All at once. Because Rome. Debauchery is the name of the game, so long as you're respectable about it. Same with a lot of 18th century Europe.

Gehayi: Okay. I have no doubt that James DeMeo, whom Walker is citing, believes in all of the above. He also believes in orgone—which is a pseudo-scientific concept involving bioenergy associated with living things which is allegedly created by sex. He wrote a freaking HANDBOOK on it. And made a video.

Oh damn, THIS guy. Kyle from Brows Held High reviewed a movie based on his works. It was...it was something all right.

Also, his Saharasia hypothesis blames everything on patriarchy and gene pools. Warriors had children and created a warrior culture. If women had just had sex with more peaceful men, everything would have been fine, don't you know. Because children are always emotional clones of their parents.

That sounds suspiciously similar to "why do women only have sex with jerks instead of Nice Guys (like me, the complainer)?"
[User Picture]
From:gehayi
Date:February 15th, 2017 01:56 am (UTC)

Re: Parte the Seconde

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*sigh* Not every society after the Neolithic era was like this. Not every outright patriarchal society was like this. This is just...wow was there no research done.

Yeah, Walker considers pretty much all of history (except the fringe theories that she likes) to have been made up by evilbad Christian men. That makes it nice for her; she doesn't have to do historical research AND she gets to feel virtuous for believing her fictional nonsense.

And there is heavy taboos around menstruation because it's freaking excreta! Uterus-and-vagina exclusive excreta, but excreta nonetheless.

Since Walker is a fan of freebleeding (no napkins, no tampons, just bleeding everywhere to honor the mother goddess), the above probably hasn't occurred to her.

So, Walker really is only taking about Abrahamic (probably not Zoroastrian considering I don't think she knows it exists) societies after the Neolithic era and erasing every single other society on the face of the freaking planet.

Yep. That's exactly it.

And I'm pretty certain she's getting ancient Abrahamic societies wrong, too.

I'm dead certain of it.

Gladiators as she's thinking of them developed slowly. Most of what I've read suggests that the games began with a form of Etruscan human sacrifice ritual and eventually was turned into what they became as the Latin culture overtook the Etruscan and turned it into a way of showing Roman authority and how a good Roman should meet death fearlessly and whatnot. It's a pretty complex thing.

I did not know that! That's interesting!

and may regard war as their most honorable calling.

Really, REALLY depends. Athens sure didn't.

She doesn't appear to be aware of that. (Walker is not a fan of variety or uniqueness.)

Slavery and torture are permitted and freely discussed, whereas physical pleasures and sensuality are viewed with puritanical anxiety and may incur verbal taboos.

Free discussion about a topic? Ooh, horror.

On the other hand, it does make sense that she wouldn't want her own theories discussed and criticized. Discussed and revered, yes. Praised, definitely. But she'd hate what we're doing here.

Walker's really doesn't know anything about ancient Rome, does she?

Not that I can tell, no.

Oh damn, THIS guy. Kyle from Brows Held High reviewed a movie based on his works. It was...it was something all right.

I thought I'd seen all of Kyle's work! What was the movie called?

Also, his Saharasia hypothesis blames everything on patriarchy and gene pools. Warriors had children and created a warrior culture. If women had just had sex with more peaceful men, everything would have been fine, don't you know. Because children are always emotional clones of their parents.

That sounds suspiciously similar to "why do women only have sex with jerks instead of Nice Guys (like me, the complainer)?"

Doesn't it, though?
[User Picture]
From:idiotalchemist
Date:February 14th, 2017 11:09 pm (UTC)

Parte the Thirde

(Link)
Given these typical characteristics at the two extremes of observed human cultures, past and present, one might better understand how it happens that monotheistic, father-worshiping cultures can become distinctly violent and warlike.

As opposed to the polytheistic Iceni with their goddess Andraste who (gruesomeness to follow, heads up) oh-so-peacefully burned down the cities of their Roman oppressors, including locking mostly women and children in a temple dedicated to the emperor and burning them alive, hanging Roman noblewomen up and cutting off their breasts to sew on their mouths to make it look like they were eating them, impaling Roman women Vlad Tepes style, etc.

Not saying they shouldn't have rebelled against Rome because they had EVERY right, but DAMN.

Or the polytheistic Norse with their many strong goddess figures like Frejya and Skadi who pillaged, raped, enslaved, and terrorized from Constantinople to Canada.

But, y'know. Whatev.

In all cases, the arrival of militant armored nomad groups from Central Asia and Arabia initiated cultural transitions which destroyed the male-female and maternal-infant bond, and placed all family matters, including choice of marriage partner, in the hands of dominant males.

*headdesk headdesk headdesk* "Oh, ancient Europe was so nice and prettiful and wonderful and then those damn brown people came and ruined everything."

GRAAAAAAH! She said it! She finally came out and admitted it! Her racist, non-inclusive ass finally fucking said what's been simmering under her work this whole time! This is why she focuses so much on what (she thinks) pagan European (and western European at that) belief was like, ignoring everywhere else, and putting (what she thinks is) that symbolism all over everything else even if it had nothing to do with western European pagan belief whatsoever. This is why she looks down so much on any and all of the beliefs from the Middle East and Central Asian and other nonwhite areas unless she can tar them over with her Eurocentric ideal of the triple goddess (Inanna, those bastardized African goddesses, etc). I freaking KNEW IT!

Well, guess what?! There are good, progressive elements about the religions of the Middle East and Central Asia! There are bad, misogynistic elements about the religions of Europe! And vice versa! It is NOT West=good, East=bad! Things weren't magical fluffy perfect until the eeeeebul brown people came! You racist jackass!

I'm sorry because I know we're not really supposed to scream at the author, but that is one of the most racist things I have ever read! That is something out of a white supremacist cite! I don't think there's any excuse for that kind of bullshit! I am Hulk-raging over here!
[User Picture]
From:gehayi
Date:February 15th, 2017 02:08 am (UTC)

Re: Parte the Thirde

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As opposed to the polytheistic Iceni with their goddess Andraste who (gruesomeness to follow, heads up) oh-so-peacefully burned down the cities of their Roman oppressors, including locking mostly women and children in a temple dedicated to the emperor and burning them alive, hanging Roman noblewomen up and cutting off their breasts to sew on their mouths to make it look like they were eating them, impaling Roman women Vlad Tepes style, etc.

Not saying they shouldn't have rebelled against Rome because they had EVERY right, but DAMN.

Or the polytheistic Norse with their many strong goddess figures like Frejya and Skadi who pillaged, raped, enslaved, and terrorized from Constantinople to Canada.

But, y'know. Whatev.


Knowing Walker, she would claim that all of the above was done by men who worshipped male gods or was added into the historical record later by Christian monks, because women are inherently peaceful and good and pure. If she had to acknowledge women warriors, she would give them short shrift.

In all cases, the arrival of militant armored nomad groups from Central Asia and Arabia initiated cultural transitions which destroyed the male-female and maternal-infant bond, and placed all family matters, including choice of marriage partner, in the hands of dominant males.

*headdesk headdesk headdesk* "Oh, ancient Europe was so nice and prettiful and wonderful and then those damn brown people came and ruined everything."

GRAAAAAAH! She said it! She finally came out and admitted it! Her racist, non-inclusive ass finally fucking said what's been simmering under her work this whole time! This is why she focuses so much on what (she thinks) pagan European (and western European at that) belief was like, ignoring everywhere else, and putting (what she thinks is) that symbolism all over everything else even if it had nothing to do with western European pagan belief whatsoever. This is why she looks down so much on any and all of the beliefs from the Middle East and Central Asian and other nonwhite areas unless she can tar them over with her Eurocentric ideal of the triple goddess (Inanna, those bastardized African goddesses, etc). I freaking KNEW IT!

Well, guess what?! There are good, progressive elements about the religions of the Middle East and Central Asia! There are bad, misogynistic elements about the religions of Europe! And vice versa! It is NOT West=good, East=bad! Things weren't magical fluffy perfect until the eeeeebul brown people came! You racist jackass!

I'm sorry because I know we're not really supposed to scream at the author, but that is one of the most racist things I have ever read! That is something out of a white supremacist cite! I don't think there's any excuse for that kind of bullshit! I am Hulk-raging over here!


No, feel free. I think that you have every reason to scream. It is grotesquely racist, and I don't give a shit that she's going on eighty-seven--she needs her sorry ass kicked for that!
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From:idiotalchemist
Date:February 14th, 2017 11:09 pm (UTC)

Parte the Fourthe

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"The archaeological and historical survey . . . confirms the past presence of a ubiquitously higher status for women, greater autonomy for children and adolescents, and a much more fluid and pleasure-oriented social fabric. Males had a solid role in the family as help-mates, lovers and partners, but did not dominate the basic life decisions of either the wife or children. . . . Destructive human aggression and sadism in its worst forms, which include despotism, warfare, ritual murder, and the brutal subjugation of females and children for sexual purposes, are a relatively recent development in human history, of less than 6000 years' duration."1

WHAT EVIDENCE?! Present your sources! What archaeological cites are you getting this from?! What research?! BACK YOUR SHIT UP!

Mesopotamia before 4000 B.C.E. was largely matrist and peaceful.

Not really! I think I hear Gilgamesh laughing.

The Mother Goddess religion prevailed, and women had high-status positions as priestesses, scribes, diviners, healers, judges, and acknowledged masters of various crafts: fiber arts, weaving, pottery, food preparation, and agriculture. In Crete and pre-Hellenic Greece also, the primary deity was the Great Goddess, whose temples were tended by women, and gender equality was the rule.

WHICH goddess! Polytheistic religions often had more than one goddess! There could be several deities that one could categorize as a "mother goddess." They were often considered several entities, though, not just aspects of one central deity.

Crete?! Really, you're bringing up Crete?! We don't know a lot about ancient Crete! We can't read Linear A! We find a lot of images of female figures believed to be depictions of some goddess (especially the ones holding snakes), but we don't know! There are not a lot of depictions of violence, but any historian worth anything will tell you that negative evidence is the weakest! For all we know, they had a billion bits of pottery of gore porn that we just haven't unearthed yet!

And the evidence from neighboring cultures doesn't look good for a peaceful Crete considering that Athens's big hero myth about Theseus revolved around Crete's oppression of everyone else. The labyrinth was likely based off of the complex designs of Cretan palaces, Crete had a lot of bull imagery so there's basis for the Minotaur, etc.

And doubtless that's why Miriam is considered a liberator of her people along with her brothers Aaron and Moses; Deborah is one of the judges of Israel; both of the aforementioned women are considered prophets, along with Sarah, Abigail, Hannah, Huldah, and Esther; Esther is honored for saving her people from an anti-Semitic asshole AND has a book of the Bible AND a holiday dedicated to her; and Naomi and Ruth (the latter of whom also has her own book) have been a primary example of friendship and loyalty for a couple of thousand years.

But they were but mere mortal women and not Mother Goddesses (tm), so Walker doesn't consider them important.

The thing is, I'm not sure if this is to be taken literally as a law—this being Deuteronomy, after all—or if it's simply hyperbole.

Sort of a "If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha" sort of thing?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGGH! What the hell was ANY of that! My history degree started bleeding! For all that Walker claims to love goddesses, she sure seems determined to make poor Clio scream herself to death! Just...AAAAURGH!
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From:zelda_queen
Date:February 15th, 2017 02:38 am (UTC)

Re: Parte the Fourthe

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"WHICH goddess! Polytheistic religions often had more than one goddess! There could be several deities that one could categorize as a 'mother goddess.' They were often considered several entities, though, not just aspects of one central deity."

I know it mains our brains hurt, but Walker seems to think that ancient people worldwide worshipped femininity (menstruation, pregnancy, etc) personified as a Great Mother Goddess, and that the different goddesses/magical women in cultures (Hera, Freya, Demeter, Titania, Lady Luck, Kali, etc.) are iterations of her that are subconsciously remembered, because deep down, all women secretly want to go back to the same goddess-worship.
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From:idiotalchemist
Date:February 14th, 2017 11:11 pm (UTC)

Ragesplosion Over

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And now that my fury has (temporarily) subsided, please send all my love and virtual hugs to Ket.
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From:gehayi
Date:February 15th, 2017 05:38 am (UTC)

Re: Ragesplosion Over

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I'll let her know!

And I don't think your ragesplosion is over yet. Wait until you see Part 2.
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From:eternalfay
Date:February 14th, 2017 11:37 pm (UTC)
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One thing they have NOT determined is whether or not the societies were matriarchal, patriarchal or egalitarian.

The truth is likely more complicated than just those three distinct categories. But this is Walker. Complexity is an alien concept to her.

There are no homosexuality taboos,

I can't help getting the feeling that this is one of those moments where Walker is only referring to female homosexuality.

Seriously, just think about this, guys. The only fairy tale Gehayi and I found halfway well-written was the "Frog Princess" one... which was an intentional tragedy! Meaning that the only story Walker managed to write that was any good was the one deliberately devoid of peace, humor, and romance!

And pretty much every story I read since then left me more and more convinced that The Frog Princess was actually written by someone else.

children are severely treated, with harsh physical punishments, restriction of movement, and painful initiations, including genital mutilation.

Right, because no one ever hears of women abusing their children. Oh wait, those women were corrupted by men.

Marriages are arranged by others,

I'm guessing Walker both isn't aware that there are and were arranged marriage systems where the woman had veto power, and that isn't bothered by the fact that those systems that did not give veto power often didn't give the man any choice in the matter either.

But Zeus, whom you think of as identical to Yahweh? He's from a polytheistic pantheon.

And an utter horndog to boot.

There are tight caste systems and strict codes with sadistic punishments, which may be used as spectacles of public entertainment.

Like in Hinduism, which is partially polytheistic, which Walker thinks is supposed to be a good thing.

Men own property, women, and children,

She couldn't have just said that women and children were categorized as property, or clarify that all property was owned by men. That would have made her look like she has half a brain.

Experiments with monkeys have shown that individuals raised by gentle, nurturing adults will mature in the same way, while young monkeys deprived of maternal affection grow up with violent tendencies, sexual dysfunctions, and lack of empathy for others.

Yes, RAISED BY. Walker apparently thinks everything is genetic predestination.

which venerated heterosexual love

What was that about there being no homosexuality taboo?

In all cases, the arrival of militant armored nomad groups from Central Asia and Arabia initiated cultural transitions which destroyed the male-female and maternal-infant bond, and placed all family matters, including choice of marriage partner, in the hands of dominant males.

And where did these patriarchal nomads come from, Walker? What, do you think the evil Sky Father(tm) just dropped them in the desert fully grown?

Apparently she was a statue of the Mother Goddess who was defaced and de-eyed by Christians looting the temple and... uh, I guess those Christians were too stupid to realize a statue isn't an actual person.

Walker apparently missed the part about idolatry being a huge no-no in Judaism and Christianity.

Though this god was supposed to have said, "Thou shalt not kill," he ordered massive slaughters again and again of various "infidel" peoples, and even commanded the faithful to kill their own family members, neighbors, or friends who did not share their one-and-only religion:

Violence in the name of Christianity if not a good thing, but Walker should look up some of the practices of her precious pagans that early Christian missionaries tried to put a stop to.

an estimated nine million women–and this is said to be a low estimate.

And Walker still doesn't explain how Europe's population recovered from the deaths of that many women. And she's still making herself look anti-Semitic by apparently trying to one-up the Jewish death count of the Holocaust.
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From:gehayi
Date:February 15th, 2017 08:00 am (UTC)
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The truth is likely more complicated than just those three distinct categories. But this is Walker. Complexity is an alien concept to her.

True. She hasn't quite grasped the concept that "matriarchial" and "egalitarian" are not the same thing!

There are no homosexuality taboos,

I can't help getting the feeling that this is one of those moments where Walker is only referring to female homosexuality.

Mmm...not quite. Walker believes in the hoary old cliché that everyone is bisexual, whether they admit it or not. She doesn't acknowledge that some people are only straight, others are only attracted to people with the same sort of primary and secondary sex characteristics, and that still others just don't feel sexual attraction for anyone.

pretty much every story I read since then left me more and more convinced that The Frog Princess was actually written by someone else.

I agree with you. Stylistically and in terms of plotting and characterization, it bears no resemblance to anything else Walker has done.

Right, because no one ever hears of women abusing their children. Oh wait, those women were corrupted by men.

Walker never seems to acknowledge abuse by a mother as a possibility, so that probably IS her theory.

I'm guessing Walker both isn't aware that there are and were arranged marriage systems where the woman had veto power, and that isn't bothered by the fact that those systems that did not give veto power often didn't give the man any choice in the matter either.

She doesn't seem to feel that women had any veto power--or to grasp that men often didn't have any choice in arranged marriages, either.

She couldn't have just said that women and children were categorized as property, or clarify that all property was owned by men. That would have made her look like she has half a brain.

Based on her "Beauty" essay, I would say that Walker does indeed believe that men control virtually all money and property and that American women are still the property of men.

which venerated heterosexual love

What was that about there being no homosexuality taboo?

She's not very consistent, is she?
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From:yotsubadances5
Date:February 14th, 2017 11:44 pm (UTC)
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Welcome back and happy Valentine's day!

The way how the discipline talk was going i was expecting Walker to go "girls don't need discipline they are perfect from birth".
But kids do need discipline. Last year at my dojo's Christmas party the little kids were running wildly and the parents would do a half-hearted "Don't do that, kid". Then some of the adults asked us to watch the training room where the kids were and it was like "We'll do it, but really?"

I once knew somebody who thought that the ancient Greeks were absolutely wonderful for glorfying male same-sex couples, but she had forgotten that it was seen that the "catcher" was lesser for being a "catcher". They weren't equal. Plus some other bad things that went on...
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From:gehayi
Date:February 16th, 2017 03:02 am (UTC)
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Welcome back and happy Valentine's day!

Happy belated Valentine's day!

The way how the discipline talk was going i was expecting Walker to go "girls don't need discipline they are perfect from birth".

Walker seems to feel that if you are just nice to kids, they will be sweet and rational little angels. Amazingly, she thinks this after having raised a kid.

I once knew somebody who thought that the ancient Greeks were absolutely wonderful for glorfying male same-sex couples, but she had forgotten that it was seen that the "catcher" was lesser for being a "catcher". They weren't equal. Plus some other bad things that went on...

Yeah. It wasn't exactly a gay Shangri-La.
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From:mancalledtrue
Date:February 15th, 2017 12:00 am (UTC)
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One of the later Earth's Children books has a tribe that doesn't buy the whole "man spirit beats woman spirit" thing and thinks men aren't necessary, so the women split off. The trick, as Ayla notes, is that the only women having kids are the ones who sneak back to the men's side to get laid... (I don't care much for that series. If I'm gonna have an Ayla, give me the one from Chrono Trigger: a badass chick who beats the shit out of people - possibly while pregnant, no less! - and clearly wears the metaphorical pants in the relationship with her mate... but at the same time respects him, trusting him enough to take over the tribe if something happens to her.)

Funny fact: in a number of cultures, at least according to a few bits of info I've run into, the word for "shaman" actually means something along the lines of "man-woman". So there's an actual bit of nonbinary meaning in the term that Walker brushed up against and then ignored.

"Male-dominant society = Violence good, sex bad"... that reminds me of my views on entertainment, honestly. (I find a lot of modern media hypocritical in that all levels of violence are "safe" while nudity immediately gets you on the R-rating end of the spectrum. One of my wishes is that the day will arrive where unsimulated sex is an accepted tool of the main-stream filmmaker.)

The Mongols did make it to Vienna before their leader's death from a sudden illness forced them to leave due to customs, if that means anything.

And then... the Jews. One of those cultures that can make a solid claim for "Worst Luck of Any Civilized Group in History", the one that spent literally thousands of years running from one country to another ahead of the people trying to kill them. THEY'RE her big example of a conquering patriarchal group?

Walker, I say unto you, HA!
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From:final_immortal
Date:February 15th, 2017 01:42 am (UTC)
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I...I can't believe Walker would write all that bullhonky. Wait, this is Walker, so I can believe it.

In other reaches, I hope Ket feels better soon.
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From:gehayi
Date:February 15th, 2017 02:20 am (UTC)
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Wait until Thursday. The INTERESTING HISTORY count is gonna go through the ROOF.

Edited at 2017-02-15 05:39 am (UTC)
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From:star_dragon5
Date:February 15th, 2017 01:52 am (UTC)
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Hooray! You're back!

MY BRAIN IS BREAKING FROM THE STUPID.

I happen to think St. Olga of Kiev was a pretty cool chick, and she was about as far away from nonviolent as you can get. Wonder what Walker would think of her.

Tell Ket I hope she feels better soon. Depression is a bitch.
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From:gehayi
Date:February 15th, 2017 02:19 am (UTC)
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According to The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, this is what Walker thinks of Olga:

Legendary Amazonian warrior-queen of Kiev, so revered by the tribes of southern Russia that the orthodox church was forced to adopt and canonize her as one of its spurious saints. 1 According to an old chronicle, she led her soldiers into battle after invoking the protection of Pyerun, the pagan thunder-god. 2

1. Leland, Charles Godfrey. [G-word] Sorcery and Fortune Telling. New York:
University Books Inc., 1962, p. 36.

2. Lamusse, 294.

I have no idea who Lamusse is, because while Walker cites them throughout her encyclopedia, the name appears nowhere in the book's bibliography. But yes, according to Walker, Olga--far from doing her damnedest to spread Christianity throughout the Rus'--was actually a pagan who became a fake saint.
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From:sashahoneypalm
Date:February 15th, 2017 02:22 am (UTC)
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The sexes have equal social status, though the family usually is matrilocal and matrilineal–that is, married people live in the wife's home, the property is hers, and descent is reckoned primarily through mothers: exclusively so, among peoples that have not yet understood biological fatherhood.

"All genders are equal, but some are more equal than others."
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From:zelda_queen
Date:February 15th, 2017 02:35 am (UTC)
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Funny you should mention that. I'll be bringing that up in the "Amazon" sporking.
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From:albion_witch
Date:February 15th, 2017 04:02 am (UTC)
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There are full-time male clergies and military organizations, with a monotheistic father god often depicted as rigidly authoritarian, demanding, and cruel: pain-seeking asceticism and renunciation of sexuality tend to please him.

Walker must be a fan of The Da Vinci Code and its libel against Opus Dei.

The thing is, I'm not sure if this is to be taken literally as a law—this being Deuteronomy, after all—or if it's simply hyperbole. I personally suspect the latter. The same situation is restated several times, which is a style that often appears in the Bible when the writer wants to emphasize that you really, really must (or must not) do something, and here, let me add some dramatic overexaggeration to make sure that you grasp how important this is.

Incidentally, I heard a homily about something like this on Sunday. It actually related to the verse Matthew 18:9 and the priest explained that it's not so much about self-mutilation but how if something is keeping you from living the life God wants you to- such as an addiction- then you have to exorcise it.
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From:gehayi
Date:February 15th, 2017 04:25 am (UTC)
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Walker must be a fan of The Da Vinci Code and its libel against Opus Dei.

It wouldn't surprise me one bit.

Incidentally, I heard a homily about something like this on Sunday. It actually related to the verse Matthew 18:9 and the priest explained that it's not so much about self-mutilation but how if something is keeping you from living the life God wants you to- such as an addiction- then you have to exorcise it.

That makes so much more sense than "God literally expects you to cut off your foot or gouge out your eye," doesn't it?

From:briarmouse
Date:February 15th, 2017 03:32 pm (UTC)
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Oh, Ket... I hope it abates soon.

I wonder if Walker is prejudiced against homosexuality, at least in males? Looks like it. She's amazingly heteronormative.
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From:gehayi
Date:February 15th, 2017 03:54 pm (UTC)
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I wouldn't be surprised. Walker appears to believe that everyone is bisexual (with a tendency toward the opposite sex), whether they admit it or not, because as usual, she can't deal with complexity. This is all very well, except that this belief omits:

Lesbian ciswomen
Gay cismen
Non-binary lesbians
Non-binary homosexuals
Trans people
Asexuals
Genderqueer people
Genderfluid people
Completely straight people

And, of course, we already know from the fairy tales that she does not believe that romantic love exists. (Hell, I'm an aro ace and I know that it exists! Just because I don't experience it doesn't make it less real!)

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From:nayaranightroo
Date:February 15th, 2017 03:44 pm (UTC)
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Also, Ket has become severely depressed, so it is highly unlikely that she will be sporking the next two essays.
Oh, dear, that really sucks. Hang in there, Ket! We love you. <3

Such cultures were generally nonviolent, and valued spontaneity, humor, and sensual enjoyments.
Okay, first of all, Walker, choose a freakin' tense and stick to it! Present or past? Are or were? At this point, I don't even care, just CHOOSE.
Oh, and it's really starting to piss me off how she goes on and on about these characteristics that have supposedly been discovered about Paleolithic societies, even though most of them (if not all of them) just can't have been discovered! I mean, the whole nonviolent and sensual thing, I can swallow (more or less), but how the hell would we know that Paleolithic societies valued spontaneity and humor? How???

There are tight caste systems and strict codes with sadistic punishments, which may be used as spectacles of public entertainment.
One thing that's really annoying me (apart from Walker making up stuff, as always) is that she keeps saying all this shocking things that she wants her readers to believe and understand and etc, and she doesn't include even a single example of them. And between that and how out of proportion everything she says is, I have no idea of what she's referring to half of the time.

Gehayi: No, I really don't understand.(...) You are bad at science, Walker.
Oh, boy, is she. And not only that, but I absolutely can't help but add she's also bad at: writing fairy tales, writing essays, feminism, religion, history, reasearching, having a consistent point of view, simply freakin' explaining herself... You get my point.

Experiments with monkeys have shown that individuals raised by gentle, nurturing adults will mature in the same way, while young monkeys deprived of maternal affection grow up with violent tendencies, sexual dysfunctions, and lack of empathy for others.
Yes, yes, very interesting and definitely groundbreaking (not), but... maternal affection? Really? So only women (or female monkeys) can have the sacred duty of loving their kids and teaching them empathy? Nice to know.

In all cases, the arrival of militant armored nomad groups from Central Asia and Arabia initiated cultural transitions which destroyed the male-female and maternal-infant bond, and placed all family matters, including choice of marriage partner, in the hands of dominant males.
Hmmm... Walker, very kindly fuck off.
Also, I just want to point out that in Spain (aka Europe) we had the Iberians, a bunch of patriarchal and extremely war-thirsty tribes, while the Celts that came to us from Asia had a matriarchal society and worshipped the gentle gods of nature Walker seems to favor. So yeah, in any case, we Europeans ruined Asian groups, actually (as evidenced in the appearance of the Celtibers, which literally had all the worst things from each culture, including patriarchy and frankly shitty art).

Destructive human aggression and sadism in its worst forms, which include despotism, warfare, ritual murder, and the brutal subjugation of females and children for sexual purposes, are a relatively recent development in human history, of less than 6000 years' duration.
Oh, c'moooon! There's evidence of warfare and ritual murder in Paleolithic times, just not many, because guess what, it's hard to find evidence for anything about the Paleolithic. Experts are still sitting on their asses and arguing about everything. I don't remember seeing many theories supported by a majority, much less taken as true for the scientific community as a whole, so don't try to bullshit us, DeMeo.
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From:esme_amelia
Date:February 15th, 2017 05:15 pm (UTC)
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Why is it that even after all this time I still can't wrap my mind around how delusional Walker is?
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From:gehayi
Date:February 16th, 2017 05:14 pm (UTC)
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You're in good company. We're sporking her, and we're having a hard time wrapping our minds around it.
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From:princesselwen
Date:February 16th, 2017 12:07 am (UTC)
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I'm really bothered by her implications that only men would abuse children, because it overlooks the mothers who do so. Even goddesses who are mothers in mythology aren't always nice to their kids. (I remember one version of Hephaestus' story had Hera throwing him off a mountain as a baby because he was ugly.)
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From:gehayi
Date:February 16th, 2017 01:53 am (UTC)
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Yeaaaah, she's aware of that story. She basically regards it as slander that the EVIL EVIL MEN made up, preferring another version where Hephaestus takes Hera's part when Hera and Zeus are arguing and Zeu throws his son off of Olympus just to show him who's boss.

I'd like to note that the version Walker prefers appears in Homer. You know--the work of a blind MAN.
From:tripodeca113
Date:February 16th, 2017 12:22 am (UTC)
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Ah yes the magical time when humanity had a single uniform culture, and everything was just great and there was no problems whatsoever.

As well all know Christianity, Judaism and Islam being patriarchal are the only religions which followers have ever done anything bad. Certainly there's no evidence of the Celtic polytheism practicing human sacrifice, no sire.
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From:gehayi
Date:February 16th, 2017 02:09 am (UTC)
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Ah yes the magical time when humanity had a single uniform culture, and everything was just great and there was no problems whatsoever.

Amazing how much it sounds like EVERY PRE-FALL OF HUMANITY STORY IN EVERY MYTHOS EVER.

As well all know Christianity, Judaism and Islam being patriarchal are the only religions which followers have ever done anything bad. Certainly there's no evidence of the Celtic polytheism practicing human sacrifice, no sire.

Oh, she's fine with human sacrifice in "primitive" religions, as long as it involves men not needed for breeding. (Seriously. I checked her Encyclopedia.)
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From:babyrodent
Date:February 16th, 2017 01:24 am (UTC)
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Yay, you guys are back! Also, best wishes to Ket ;3;

Anyway, on this part of the essay... I just have one reaction towards it:



(Thank you, Princess Bubblegum!)
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From:gehayi
Date:February 16th, 2017 02:10 am (UTC)
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Princess Bubblegum speaks for all of us, I think.
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From:charamei
Date:February 16th, 2017 11:30 am (UTC)
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ZeldaQueen: And yet Judaism is one of the few groups around today that follows the mother's lineage to some degree. Yeah, you know the stereotype in media where Jewish parents get pissy because their son isn't going for a Jewish girl? It's because in Judaism, kids are automatically Jewish if the mom is. It's because it can be uncertain who the father is, but with the mom, it's a lot harder to be mistaken.

To be fair to Walker (why am I doing that, exactly...?), this doesn't go back to the time period she's discussing. It came about because of the high rates of rape in medieval ghettoes - when it's impossible to be sure that your wife's kid is related to you, but you can be certain that your sister's kid is related to you, it makes more sense to pass everything on to your nephew. According to my Jewish history nerd of a friend, anyway.
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From:sashahoneypalm
Date:February 16th, 2017 01:38 pm (UTC)
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I'm fairly certain matrilineal descent is codified in the Talmud, which was started around 200 BCE.

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