Women

Jordan Peterson Archetypes: Female Chaos and Masculine Order

Metal Gaia Disclaimer: By writing this article I’m not saying I agree with all of Doctor Peterson’s views. I’m merely trying to provide an unbiased analysis of one of the more controversial aspects of his books and teachings, which is that chaos is archetypally female and that order is archetypally male. It is difficult to find a balanced and in depth analysis of this topic, so I have decided to provide one myself. 

The Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson has become an internet celebrity in recent years. He started getting a lot more attention when he released a series of YouTube videos criticizing the Canadian C-16 bill, which is a bill that is attempting to protect gender expression and gender identity by making hate propaganda and incitement to genocide illegal. While the intentions of C-16 may be to protect people, Jordan Peterson (along with others) have criticized the bill for giving the Canadian government the right to police speech itself.

Since then, Doctor Peterson has received both praise and condemnation world wide. He has been called many things, including a “custodian of the patriarchy.” Is this true? It is my intention to try and answer that point in this article (a tall order to be sure!)

Doctor Peterson’s main work isn’t just talking about C-16. As a clinical psychologist, he delves into theories and thoughts on behavior and consciousness, going back into ancient history, even as ancient as lobster hierarchies that formed millions of years ago. Much of his work deals with archetypes. And he makes frequent reference to the theories of Sigmund Frued, Carl Jung and Friedrich Nietzsche

Jordan Peterson has published two books, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief (1999) and 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (2018).

In this article, I will focus more on his 12 Rules for Life, since that’s the book I’ve actually read.

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos is exactly as the title describes, a guidebook to escaping the chaos of modern life.


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The beginning of the book talks much about life in our Post Modern Era, where tolerance is the highest value. (To be fair, this part is in the Foreward, by Norman Doidge, not Doctor Peterson, but it’s still in the book nevertheless, so it must be important.) Norman Doidge is the son of Jewish holocaust survivors, and a friend of Doctor Peterson.

The first idea or teaching is that morality is relative, at best a personal “value
judgment.” Relative means that there is no absolute right or wrong in anything; instead, morality and the rules associated with it are just a matter of personal opinion or happenstance…And, since we don’t know right from wrong, or what is good, just about the most inappropriate thing an adult can do is give a young person advice about how to live. (Norman Doidge, page 11)

This serves as a good springboard for understanding the basic philosophy of the book, and its core theme. Today we live in an era where morality is relative, and there is no absolute right or wrong. The highest value is tolerance, and the worst value is to be intolerant. While such a philosophy is certainly liberating, all things in life exist in balance, like the Yin Yang pictured above. And sometimes too much freedom can lead to too much chaos.

For many millennials (like myself) who grew up in this era of post-modernism, we find ourselves aimless. And when there is no ultimate good to aim for, nihilism takes over. The effects of nihilism can be seen in the growth of mass shooters, and the growth of internet communities for incels and MGTOW. Many people are deciding that this society is fundamentally negative. That being itself is fundamentally pointless, or worse than that, evil. And when there is no ultimate or fundamental good to aim towards, the destruction or abandonment of the system itself becomes a potential conclusion.

(Still from the Foreward, by Norman Doidge) But it turns out that many people cannot tolerate the vacuum—the chaos—which is inherent in life, but made worse by this moral relativism; they cannot live without a moral compass, without an ideal at which to aim in their lives. (For relativists, ideals are values too, and like all values, they are merely “relative” and hardly worth sacrificing for.) So, right alongside relativism, we find the spread of nihilism and despair, and also the opposite of moral relativism: the blind certainty offered by ideologies that claim to have an answer for everything. (Norman Doidge, page 12)

If there is an antagonist in Doctor Peterson’s book, I would say that it is chaos itself. The title literally says, “An antidote to chaos.”

Yet what many people have found contentious about this fact (including his interviewers) is that he frames chaos as a female archetype and order as a male archetype. So if chaos is the thing to be avoided, and it is female, is that a problem? Is that a fundamentally misogynistic point of view? Let’s delve into that and see.

Below are the summaries of the principles of Yin and Yang in 12 Rules for Life.

(Still from the Foreward, by Norman Doidge) Order and chaos are the yang and yin of the famous Taoist symbol: two serpents, head to tail. Order is the white, masculine serpent; Chaos, its black, feminine counterpart. The black dot in the white—and the white in the black—indicate the possibility of transformation: just when things seem secure, the unknown can loom, unexpectedly and large. Conversely, just when everything seems lost, new order can emerge from catastrophe and chaos. (Norman Doidge, page 16)

(No longer in the Foreward, this part is by Doctor Peterson) The famous yin and yang symbols of the Taoists capture this beautifully. Being, for the Taoists—reality itself—is composed of two opposing principles, often translated as feminine and masculine, or even more narrowly as female and male. However, yin and yang are more accurately understood as chaos and order. The Taoist symbol is a circle enclosing twin serpents, head to tail. The black serpent, chaos, has a white dot in its head. The white serpent, order, has a black dot in its head. This is because chaos and order are interchangeable, as well as eternally juxtaposed. There is nothing so certain that it cannot vary. Even the sun itself has its cycles of instability. Likewise, there is nothing so mutable that it cannot be fixed. Every revolution produces a new order. Every death is, simultaneously, a metamorphosis. (Jordan Peterson, page 29)

So as you can see, this idea of chaos being a female archetype and order being a male archetype is nothing new. It was not invented by Doctor Peterson. It is from Taoist philosophy. But it is worth noting that Doctor Peterson makes reference to it repeatedly throughout his book.

He even has a section called “Chaos and Order: Personality, Female and Male” on page 46.


Chaos and Order: Personality, Female and Male:

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Chaos and order are two of the most fundamental elements of lived experience—two of the most basic subdivisions of Being itself. But they’re not things, or objects, and they’re not experienced as such. Things or objects are part of the objective world. They’re inanimate; spiritless. They’re dead. This is not true of chaos and order. Those are perceived, experienced and understood (to the degree that they are understood at all) as personalities—and that is just as true of the perceptions, experiences and understanding of modern people as their ancient forebears. It’s just that moderners don’t notice. (Jordan Peterson, page 46)

Our brains are deeply social. (Jordan Peterson, page 46)

Here he makes the point that human beings understand elements of existence as archetypes, because we are deeply social creatures. This is a fundamental part of the human experience. This is a point that was probably inspired by the teachings of Carl Jung, who believed that humans understand life through archetypes. After all, we do have “Mother Nature,” “Father Time,” “Old Man Winter.”

So when Doctor Peterson says that order is masculine and that chaos is feminine, he’s not saying these are personality traits inherent to men and women. Men can certainly be messier than women. Women can often be more structured and orderly than men. What he’s saying is that this is the archetype that people have created in their subconscious minds in order to understand being itself.

To me, this makes sense. Human beings have, at least for the last 5,000 years, existed in predominantly patriarchal civilizations. I’m not saying this is good or bad. This is just how it’s been. The foundations of order have been enforced by men. Today the government is predominantly male, as is the military, the police, and the priestly caste of a majority of the worlds religions. Thus, if we were to give order a personality that matches our own lived and historical experience, does it not make sense that this personality would be male?

And when you look at the forces that have resisted that patriarchal order, the creative forces of nature, wise women, and the witch who goes out into the darkness of the woods to commune with primordial forces, does it not make sense that this is a female archetype?


What is Order according to Doctor Peterson? 

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Order, the known, appears symbolically associated with masculinity (as illustrated in the aforementioned yang of the Taoist yin-yang symbol). This is perhaps because the primary hierarchical structure of human society is masculine, as it is among most animals, including the chimpanzees who are our closest genetic and, arguably, behavioural match. It is because men are and throughout history have been the builders of towns and cities, the engineers, stonemasons, bricklayers, and lumberjacks, the operators of heavy machinery. Order is God the Father, the eternal Judge, ledger-keeper and dispenser of rewards and punishments. Order is the peacetime army of policemen and soldiers. It’s the political culture, the corporate environment, and the system. It’s the “they” in “you know what they say.” It’s credit cards, classrooms, supermarket checkout lineups, turn-taking, traffic lights, and the familiar routes of daily commuters. Order, when pushed too far, when imbalanced, can also manifest itself destructively and terribly. It does so as the forced migration, the concentration camp, and the soul-devouring uniformity of the goose-step. (Jordan Peterson, page 47).


What is Chaos according to Doctor Peterson? 

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Chaos—the unknown—is symbolically associated with the feminine. This is partly
because all the things we have come to know were born, originally, of the unknown, just as all beings we encounter were born of mothers. Chaos is mater, origin, source, mother; materia, the substance from which all things are made. It is also what matters, or what is the matter —the very subject matter of thought and communication. In its positive guise, chaos is possibility itself, the source of ideas, the mysterious realm of gestation and birth. As a negative force, it’s the impenetrable darkness of a cave and the accident by the side of the road. It’s the mother grizzly, all compassion to her cubs, who marks you as potential predator and tears you to pieces. (Jordan Peterson, page 47).


The Need for a Balance Between Order and Chaos

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Order is not enough. You can’t just be stable, and secure, and unchanging, because
there are still vital and important new things to be learned. Nonetheless, chaos can be too much. You can’t long tolerate being swamped and overwhelmed beyond your capacity to cope while you are learning what you still need to know. Thus, you need to place one foot in what you have mastered and understood and the other in what you are currently exploring and mastering. Then you have positioned yourself where the terror of existence is under control and you are secure, but where you are also alert and engaged. That is where there is something new to master and some way that you can be improved. That is where meaning is to be found. (Jordan Peterson, page 49).

While chaos may be an antagonist in 12 Rules for Life, that is not the same thing as being “evil.” The trouble for Westerners in conceptualizing of Yin and Yang, Feminine and Masculine, Chaos and Order, is that it is our tendency to bifurcate ideas into the category of “Good” and “Evil.” So the fact Doctor Peterson is providing an antidote to chaos (which he presents as archetypally feminine) may make the average Westerner assume that he’s presenting the feminine as something that is evil, which naturally leads to some quite misogynistic conclusions.

Yet what is interesting to me about 12 Rules for Life, is that even though Doctor Peterson defines himself as a Christian, and uses much Christian lore and theology as source material in his book, his conceptualization of chaos and order is not fundamentally Christian, but Taoist. Chaos and order are both fundamental qualities in nature and in life. The ideal is for them to exist in balance.

Too much chaos creates anarchy.

Too much order creates authoritarianism.

And in a society where chaos gets out of control, people begin to become more accepting of authoritarianism, to crave it even. We see the rise of it today around the world. This is a development that Doctor Peterson, the so called “custodian of the patriarchy,” is categorically against.

He dedicates much time in 12 Rules for Life speaking out against the evils of totalitarianism and the importance of freedom.

In conclusion, I recommend that people read the book for themselves and form their own opinions, rather than simply believing in internet click-bait.

Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life, Buy it Here


Sabarimala Temple: Indian Women Form 620km (385 mile) Human Chain For Equality

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(God of the Sabarimala Temple, Ayyappa)

In Kerala India, women have formed a 620km (385 mile) human chain in support of gender equality amidst a row over access to the Sabarimala Shrine. (BBC)

I think it is a very positive thing for women in India to protest for gender equality. Because even though they’re a culture that worships Goddesses, the treatment of real flesh and blood women in India is often problematic. Not only does India have a high rate of female infanticide, but in a list of “most dangerous countries for women,” India tops the list. Levels of violence against women run high. (Straits Times)

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India ranked as the most dangerous on three issues – the risks women face from sexual violence and harassment, from cultural and traditional practices, and from human trafficking including forced labour, sex slavery and domestic servitude. (Straits Times)

When I worked at an Indian restaurant, my co-workers often told me that behavior toward women at home was “not good.”

But let’s bring this back to the discussion about the Sabarimala shrine. The Sabarimala shrine was historically closed to women of “menstruating age” – defined as between 10 and 50. And this ban was enforced by a law that was adopted in 1991, because until then, women did reportedly go to the temple in small numbers.

India’s top court overturned the ban in September 2018, but protesters have since attacked female visitors.

The “women’s wall” was organised by the state’s left-wing coalition government.

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(Sabarimala Temple)

However, in reading about this protest, one has to keep in mind that the function of a Hindu temple is different than a Christian Church or a Muslim Mosque. Often for Hindus, the temples are places where they believe their Gods and Goddesses live. The Sabarimala temple that the article is talking about is devoted to the deity Ayyappa, the child of Shiva and Mohini (Vishnu’s female form). Specifically, the form of Ayyappa that is worshiped in the temple is in the form of a celibate student. The reason the temple women of menstruating age (10 to 50) from entering the temple is apparently out of respect for the deity’s celibacy.

And what is not captured in the media’s depiction of this issue is the scores of women who took to the streets for #SaveSabarimala, a protest against the supreme court verdict to permit women to enter the temple.

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So in terms of temple entrance, the issue may be more complicated than non-hindu readers may understand.

But in terms of marching for gender equality, I think that is a positive thing for women in India.

RELATED LINKS

Indian Metal Band Sceptre Takes a Stand On Violence Against Women (Interview)

Hindu Articles on Metal-Gaia

Hindu Origins of Christianity?


Ancient Spartan Women – The Backbone of the Warrior State

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(Image source)

In learning about Ancient Sparta, most of what is discussed is the lives of the men. Such as the fact that Spartan boys left home at the age of seven to be raised by the State in the agoge (the rigorous education program for all Spartan men). But as the cliche goes, behind every great man is a great woman. And it cannot be ignored that the strong Spartan women were the backbone of the warrior state.

Women in Sparta enjoyed a great deal more rights than their sisters in other Greek territories. They could own property, intermingle with the opposite sex, get an education, exercise and some even competed in the Olympic games (a thing forbidden to most women in Greece).

The elevated status of Spartan women was no accident though. Sparta at its very core was a military state, and just as laws were put in place to ensure the health and fitness of the men, there were also laws that encouraged strength and health of the women. After all, the Spartans believed that strong women produced strong sons and warriors.


 SPARTA’S FOCUS ON CULTIVATING WARRIOR CITIZENS

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In reading this article, you must disillusion yourself with most of what you learned in the 300 movies. While entertaining, a large part of the movie was completely inaccurate. Sparta was not some model democracy with warriors fighting for freedom. Sparta was a totalitarian, military society where the state ruled almost every aspect of life. And a vast majority of the people living in Sparta were slaves.

By 600 BCE Sparta had conquered her neighbors in the southern half of the Peloponnese. These conquered people were called “Helots,” and forced to do all the agricultural work on land owned by the victors. This made Sparta a self sufficient state, leaving the citizens with more time for physical fitness and training for war. Yet Sparta was a brutal state that depended upon the oppression of the very large slave population to thrive. For every Spartan, there were eight helots.

Not needing to import anything, Sparta isolated itself from the culture of the rest of the world. But they feared the prospect of revolt from their huge slave population, and thus the country became an armed camp.

In order to survive, the state had to ensure that every one Spartan was strong enough to defeat at least eight helots. To that end, Spartans learned from an early age discipline, hardship, and the skills of a soldier. As part of their upbringing, Spartan youths were encouraged to go out into the countryside and kill helots who looked like they might become community leaders.

Since boys left home at an early age, and husbands and fathers spent a great part of their time in military training with other men, the women had much more time and autonomy to themselves than other women in Greece.


YOUTH AND TRAINING FOR LIFE

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Young Spartans Exercising, From The National Gallery of London

According to Plutarch’s testimony, Spartans practiced infanticide in order to weed unhealthy children out of their society [1]. If a baby was weak, the Spartans would leave it on a hillside, or it was taken away to become a slave (helot). Infanticide was actually common in most societies up until today, but the Spartans were particularly picky. And it wasn’t just a family matter. The state decided the fate of the child. However, it is unclear whether this practice of infanticide applied just to boys, or boys and girls.

One thing that made Sparta unique among the Greek city-states is that the girl babies were just as well fed as their male counterparts. In Athens, the boys were fed better than the girls. But in Sparta, the strength of women as well as men was of vital importance to the state. So it was encouraged to feed girls enough for them to become big and strong. [2]

While boys were sent away to the agoge at the age of seven, it is believed that girls stayed home with their mothers. However, according to the writings of Pomeroy, there was some institutionalized education for girls. Girls were educated on and off through different periods of Spartan history. During the Hellenistic period it stopped, and under the Romans it was restored.[3]

Literacy was a skill limited to the elite. Though there is evidence from the classical period that women wrote letters to their sons while they were away in battle. [4] Women also studied what was called mousike – which was not just music, but dance and poetry [5]. There are surviving statues from the period showing women playing musical instruments.

The spartan exercise regimen for girls was to make them every bit as fit as their brothers. Spartan girls learned how to ride on horseback. Other events for girls included running, wrestling, throwing the discus, and “trials of strength” [6]. It is also possible that girls exercised in the nude in public, just like the men. After all, there is archaic Spartan art that shows girls exercising naked, while this was only true for men in Athens. Women also competed in various festivals, the most prestigious of which was the Heraean Games.[7]


MARRIAGE AND SEX

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While I have discussed the freedoms of Spartan women above, it seems likely that Spartan marriages were arranged by the parents with little thought of the preferences of the perspective bride and groom. Yet aside from this detail, women still had more freedom in marriage and sex than most Greek women.

SPARTAN GIRLS MARRIED LATE

 The average age of marriage for a Spartan woman was 18. While for other Greek women, the age was around their early teens. Some Spartan women even got married in their early to mid twenties (which was considered very late in the ancient world considering that people didn’t live very long). Because of this, Spartan women were much more mature when they got married, and were more likely to have a greater deal of control over their marriages than women who got married at a younger age.

Spartan women also typically married men who were closer to them in age. Men in their mid twenties or thirties. This might not seem that close in age to us modern folk today. But in the ancient Greek world, it was normal for a 30 year old man to marry a 14 year old girl. This was done so that women had the maximum amount of their breeding years to produce babies. But since the health and strength of the child was a bigger priority in Sparta than the number of children, getting married later made more sense. It is well known today that a woman will have a healthier child in her late teens and twenties, than her early teens, because she has been given more time to finish developing.

Yet despite all their relative freedoms, women in Sparta were still treated like breeding machines by the state. It is said that only a man who died in battle and a woman who died in childbirth would get their names inscribed on their tombstones.  [8][9]

FEMALE POWER IN MARRIAGE

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(Image Source)

Many Greeks in other lands thought that Spartan women had too much control over their husbands. Plutarch wrote that “the men of Sparta always obeyed their wives.” Aristotle was even more critical of the influence women had in politics arguing that it was contributing to the downfall of the country.   Women did not have a vote in the assembly but seem to have had a lot of influence behind the scene.

ATYPICAL MARRIAGE CUSTOMS

Marriage among the Spartans was different from the rest of Greeks for many reasons. For one, it seemed that there was a great effort to get rid of the practice of giving a dowry. Some say this is because the Spartan state wanted couples to create children on the basis of health and strength, instead of money.

Married life for Spartans was also unique in that it was normal for the husband to spend a good deal of time away from his wife. Men were encouraged to live at the barracks until their 30’s. Until then, husbands and wives could only meet with one another in secret. Also, even in his 30’s, a man would still spend a great deal of time eating and training at the barracks – instead of eating home cooked meals. One outsider who ate with the Spartans at the barracks remarked, “Now I know why Spartan’s don’t fear death.”

A MOST UNUSUAL WEDDING RITUAL

 On the night of the wedding, the bride would have her hair cut short, be dressed in a man’s cloak and sandals before being left alone in a dark room, where they would be visited and ritually “captured” by their new husband. Married women were forbidden from wearing their hair long. [10]

I guess after being around dudes forever, you have to make the transition to females go easier somehow.

WOMEN AND THEIR MULTIPLE LOVERS

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(Image Source)

In terms of other interesting sexual practices, some historians suggest that the Spartans engaged in polyandry: a practice where women were allowed to have sex with multiple male lovers. It is said that this was permissible because the state was the backbone of social life, not the family. Because of this, it is suggested that the identity of a child’s father was less important than it was in other cultures. Books like Sex Before Dawn even say that polyandry was a normal set up in many tribal cultures, where property was shared, rather than inherited along patrilineal lines. Since Sparta was a military state where property was divided and provided by the state, rather than familial inheritance, strength and health was the focus of sex and childbearing – not marriage and family.

 Herodotus says that the bigamy of Anaxandridas II was un-Spartan (Herodotus, Histories, V.40.2) but Polybius wrote that it was common at his time, and a time-honoured practice.(Polybius XII.6b.8) Along with plural marriage, older men seem to have allowed younger, more fit men, to impregnate their wives. Other unmarried or childless men might even request another man’s wife to bear his children if she had previously been a strong child bearer. [11]

DIVORCE

Women were allowed to divorce with little consequences. They did not need to fear losing their home and property, because they lived among the community as equal citizens. They were also not discouraged from remarrying. A Spartan woman was also not forced to relinquish her children, because the identity of the child’s biological father was not vitally important.


MATRIARCHAL DUTIES

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Because men spent so much time off at war, or training in the barracks, women were masters of the home. This is why women had social and political power in their communities. Due to this Aristotle was critical of Sparta, claiming that men were ruled by women there, unlike in the rest of Greece. Aristotle, Politics 1269b.

Aristotle also criticized Spartan women for their wealth. He attributed the state’s precipitous fall during his lifetime, from being the master of Greece to a second-rate power in less than 50 years, to the fact that Sparta had become a gynocracy whose women were intemperate and loved luxury. Aristotle, Politics 1269b–1270a.

All Spartan women took advantage of helot labor, so they did not have to spend their time doing the tedious work that most domestic Greek women performed. Therefore, the Spartan women had more time to participate in matters such as governance, agriculture, logistics, fitness, art, music, etc.

But they also spent a lot of time bearing and raising children. Bearing and raising children was considered the most important role for women in Spartan society, equal to male warrior in the Spartan army.

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Also, despite the many glowing freedoms of Spartan women compared to women in other provinces, the state still preferred male babies in order to create a large and powerful military force. So women took pride in the warrior sons they birthed and raised. Having a son who died valiantly in battle was a source of great pride for a mother. By contrast however, having a son who was a coward was a source of great despair. The ancient author Aelian claims that women whose sons died as cowards lamented this [12]. By contrast, the female relatives of the Spartans who died heroically in the Battle of Leuctra were said to have walked around in public looking happy. [13]

When a warrior left for battle his mother would say, “Come home with your shield or upon it.”


RELIGION

The cults for women in ancient Sparta reflected society’s emphasis on their role as child-bearers and raisers. Consequently, cults focused on fertility, health and beauty. I will elaborate on the cults below.

THE CULT EILEITHYIA

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(Eleithyiae, Zeus & the birth of Athena | Athenian black-figure kothos C6th B.C.)

Eileithyia was the goddess of childbirth and midwifery. Some say there is a link between this Goddess and early Minoan culture.  19th-century scholars suggested that her name is Greek, from the verb eleutho (ἐλεύθω), “to bring,” the goddess thus being The Bringer.

In the Illiad she is described as following:

And even as when the sharp dart striketh a woman in travail, [270] the piercing dart that the Eilithyiae, the goddesses of childbirth, send—even the daughters of Hera that have in their keeping bitter pangs;
Iliad 11.269–272

THE CULT OF HELEN

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Most people are familiar with the story about Helen of Troy. The face that launched a thousand ships and all that. But much to my surprise upon researching this subject, she was also worshiped in some places as a Goddess. She had a festival at Laconia, the principle region of the Spartan state. (In fact the word “laconic” is derived from laconia, because the Spartans were known to speak in a concise, and to the point manner.) In the cult of Helen, women used objects such as mirrors, eye-liners, combs, and perfume bottles.


FAMOUS WOMEN IN SPARTA

QUEEN GORGO

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Because of the 300 movies, she is probably the first Spartan woman that most people today are familiar with. She was the wife of King Leonidas I, Cleomenes’ half-brother, who fought and died in the Battle of Thermopylae (that famous battle with Persian King Xerxes) you know..the bald guy in gold underwear who supposedly sounds like a androgynous robot. (Scene in 300 where he becomes a God).

But anyways, Gorgo is one of the few female figures actually named by the Greek historian Herodotus, and was well-known for her political judgment and wisdom.

Arguably, Gorgo’s most significant role occurred prior to the Persian invasion of 480 BC. According to Herodotus’s Histories, Demaratus, then in exile at the Persian court, sent a warning to Sparta about Xerxes’s pending invasion. In order to prevent the message from being intercepted by the Persians or their vassal states, the message was written on a wooden tablet and then covered with wax. The Spartans did not know what to do with the seemingly blank wax-tablet once they received it. Only Queen Gorgo figured out the puzzle. She advised them to clear the wax off the tablet and thus found the secret message. (“Herodotus ”History” [Translated into English]”. Ancienthistory.about.com. 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2011-07-24.)

ARACHIDAMIA

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(Image Source)

She was also a Spartan queen. She is most notable for her role in leading Spartan women against Pyrrhus during his siege of Lacedaemon in the 3rd century BC. In the face of the siege, the Spartan council of elders wanted to send the Spartan women off the Crete for their safety. But Arachidamia refused that offer. She entered the council with sword in hand, and contested this proposal, questioning whether the Spartan women were expected to survive the ruin of their own city. (Plutarch, Parallel Lives: Life of Pyrrhus § 27.2)

Instead she led the women into the battle effort. The women helped build a defensive trench, supplied the troops with defensive weapons, refreshment and took care of the wounded.

CYNISCA

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Cynisca was a Spartan princess and the first woman to win an Olympic victory. She also had a cult in Sparta.


IN SUMMARY

While much of history has concentrated on the role of Spartan men, it cannot be ignored that the Spartan women were a vital part of the warrior society. They raised warriors, and were brave leaders in their communities. They encouraged the men to be brave in battle, while also knowing how to take care of themselves and hold their own.

Life in the Spartan state was very difficult and harsh. So it took a harsh and strong woman, to raise a fierce society.


LINKS ON SPARTA

Spartan_woman

8 Reasons It Wasn’t Easy Being Spartan

Women in the Ancient World

Women in Sparta (on Wikipedia)

Social and Political Roles of Women in Athens and Sparta

SCANDALOUS” SPARTAN WOMEN:
EDUCATED AND ECONOMICALLY EMPOWERED


RELATED METAL GAIA ARTICLES

Ancient Egyptian Women – Marriage, Sexuality and Goddesses

Ancient Celtic Women

Ancient Norse Women


LONG BORING LIST OF FOOTNOTES

[1] Pomeroy 2002, pp. 34–35

[2] Pomeroy 1994, p. 36

[3] Pomeroy 2002, pp. 27–28

[4] Pomeroy 2002, p. 8.

[5] Pomeroy 2002, p. 5

[6] Hughes 2005, p. 59

[7] Pomeroy 2002, p. 24

[8](Plutarch, Life of Lycurgus, 27.3)

[9](Dillon 2007, p. 151).

[10] Cartledge 1981, p. 101

[11] Powell 2001, p. 248.

[12] Pomeroy 2002, p. 58

[13] Pomeroy 2002, p. 58.

Pomeroy, Sarah B. (1994), Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves: Women
in Classical Antiquity, London: Pimlico, ISBN 978-0-712-66054-9

Dillon, Matthew (2007), “Were Spartan Women Who Died in Childbirth
Honoured with Grave Inscriptions?”, Hermes 135

Cartledge, Paul (1981), “Spartan Wives: Liberation or License?”, The
Classical Quarterly 31 (1)

Powell, Anton (2001), Athens and Sparta: constructing Greek
political and social history from 478 BC, London: Routledge, ISBN
978-0-415-26280-4


Female Chief Breaks up 850 Child Marriages

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Child marriage is a problem in the developed world. When girls as young as 11 and 12 (or even younger) are getting married, this increases their risk of complications in pregnancy, and limits their own futures (in terms of education).

A Malawi tribal chief has taken a stand. Theresa Kachindamoto, senior chief in the Dedza District in Central Malawi, made 50 of her sub-chiefs sign an agreement to end child marriage in her area of authority.

“I told them: ‘Whether you like it or not, I want these marriages to be terminated,’” Kachindamoto told the news outlet.

She also made a rule to annul any current child marriages, which resulted in the break up of 850 marriages.

“First it was difficult, but now people are understanding,” she said to the outlet.

This has protected against girls getting pulled out of school.

“I don’t want youthful marriages,” Chief Kachindamoto told U.N. Women. “They must go to school. No child should be found at home or doing household chores during school time.”

In poor, rural regions like the Dedza District, rates of child marriage are particularly high, according to Unicef, and it can be hard to convince parents not to marry off their daughters in exchange for a dowry. Especially parents who feel like they have no other way to escape poverty.

But this is where Chief Kachindamoto comes in.

“I talk to the parents,” she said to U.N. Women last year. “I tell them: if you educate your girls you will have everything in the future.”

ORIGINAL ARTICLE


“Isis Should Be Afraid of These Women,” Meet Helly Luv, The Kurdish Music Star Fighting Terrorism

HELLY LUV – “REVOLUTION”

The Kurds have done the amazing. With the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world at their front door, they have still managed to protect their own with little outside help (aside from U.S. airstrikes and some volunteers). Part of the power of their fighting force are the brave Kurdish women of the Peshmerga. Their job is to send the ISIS scum to hell – literally. Many of the guys in ISIS believe if they are killed by a woman, they won’t get into heaven. So the Kurdish women are more than delighted to take up arms and send these assholes where they belong.

Helly Luv is a Kurdish music star who has used her voice and dancing to bring attention to the Kurds and their battle. She is a singer, dancer, choreographer, actress and model. Her career began when she started uploading her own videos to Myspace and YouTube and then took off from there.

In 2014 she created the Helly Luv non-profit organization to help the women and animals in need in Kurdistan. On July 6, 2014, Helly Luv visited the peshmerga headquarters in the city of Duhok, Iraq near the border of Mosul, Iraq during the defense against ISIL (ISIS); with a mission to deliver food and water to the Peshmerga troops.

She is famous for her ‘Revolution’ video above, calling people to help build Peace by fighting ISIS. It may sound like a contradiction, but as she said in a recent interview “you can’t hand these people flowers.”

LINKS: 

Helly Luv Facebook

Helly Luv Wiki

Peshmerga

Meet ISIS’s Worst Nightmare: An All-Women Battalion Of Kurdish Fighters

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Rik Garrett’s “Earth Magic” Photography Book – Witches of the Earth

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Rik Garrett‘s “Earth Magic” photo series has recently been collected into a book, and is now for sale here (US) and here (International). “Earth Magic” portrays women in nature, in a raw, but very natural way. The women are one with the landscape of the wood, mysterious weavers of the weird within the forest’s primordial depths.

In the making and binding of the book, Garrett was inspired by the style of the Malleus Maleficarum, which was a sort of pocket-book for witch hunters in the 15th century. Garret’s intent is obviously more positive, but his theme is similar. If you are looking for witches in the forest – this is what they might look like.

Each book contains 13 photos (like the number of members in a coven) and each book is different. The pictures are picked from a pool of 30 total photos and randomized. So even if you buy two books, they will most likely be different.

Here are some photos from the Earth Magic series:

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Ways that Modern People Have Overlooked Warrior Women as Historical Fact

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(Historians have assumed this woman was holding a cleaning tool – um she looks more like she’s ready to cut someone’s head off with that thing than polish the floor.) 

READ ARTICLE FROM CRACKED.COM

Cracked isn’t always the most accurate place for news, but the article I posted above makes some good points.

In modern depictions of the past, such as a TV series like Spartacus, we are shown an image of muscular slave men battling each other to death in the gladiatorial arena, while a woman’s maximum participation is cheering from the sidelines or later rewarding one of the gladiators with a blow job.

However, the truth is that female gladiators were quite common in Rome. There were many graves of decorated gladiators that historians assumed to be male, only to be surprised when the bone analysis revealed these warriors to be women – as if the woman just so happened to fall into the wrong grave!

The assumptions don’t just end there. Most heroic warrior figures, such as vikings or samurai are all assumed to be male, and this depiction is the norm in television dramas, comics and movies. Yet in most warrior societies – such as that of the Spartans, the Mongols, the Celts and the Vikings, the art of war was such an important skill that everyone was expected to know what they were doing – including the women. In ancient Celtic societies, there were even fighting schools where female teachers called a BAN-GAISGEDAIG taught boys the art of fighting and love.

In fact, in a DNA analysis of the Japanese battle of Senbon Matsubaru in 1580, 35 of the 105 bodies tested were female. Not to mention that this is only one of several archaeological finds that show a similar story.

Then there is the fact that most ancient societies had goddesses associated with war and death, such as Athena, Freya, Sekhmet, the Morrigan, Brigid and Kali. In fact, some of these named Goddesses  were more terrifying than their male counterparts. If the idea of a woman fighting was really so unrealistic to the people of the ancient world, then why were there Goddesses entirely devoted to warfare?

So today’s reality of women in the military or police force actually isn’t anything new. If anything, it is a return to long term historical trends. Look at the fact that more than 30% of the Kurds fighting the ISIS scum are female. When a group of people are in danger, and bodies are needed to fight for survival, women will be among that number. This is why it is unrealistic for people today to think that women don’t need to know anything about fighting or self defense. What society has a better chance of survival – one where only half the population knows how to fight, or one where 100% of the population can kick some ass?

So next time someone complains that the portrayal of women warriors in historical dramas is “not realistic,” remind them that the more historically inaccurate fallacy is one where there are no women warriors at all in societies that prized the art of battle in all aspects of life.

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Masha Scream of Arkona (Source)

LINKS OF INTEREST

Ancient Celtic Women

Ancient Norse Women

Japanese Warrior Women – Onna-Bugeisha

Women in Reasonable Armor

Why I Hate Most Drawings of Women With Swords

Gun Guide