Feminist Theology

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The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it.
~ Roseanne Barr

In attempting to construct a comprehensive philosophical worldview, foundational feminist thinkers such as Elizabeth Davis in The First Sex, 1971; Merlin Stone in When God was a Woman, 1976; Riane Eisler in The Chalice and the Blade, 1986; the anthology Womanspirit Rising; and others, created a theology (or “thealogy” as it is sometimes called) and a religion to embody their desires, in which “god” is replaced by “goddess.” Female goddesses have been around for millennia, but in most cases they were subservient to their male analogs. However, the goddess of today, variously called “Isis,” “Ishtar,” or “Sophia,” supposedly supersedes any male god. Wicca, the feminist religion, was founded in the 1950s, and the genesis of goddess concepts coincided with the development of feminism. It has also coincided with the development of the homosexual movement, and a large percentage of Wiccans are also said to be lesbians. Mary Daly, a popular feminist ex-academic, insisted that a woman who refuses to engage in lesbianism is merely a “token woman.”

A history of mankind was developed to explain that original human religion was the worship of a Mother goddess, and that goddess worship, along with women, have been savagely suppressed down through the centuries. According to this hypothesis, societies of the remote past were matriarchal, worshiped the goddess, and lived at peace with the environment. In some accounts, such as that of Davis mentioned above, the first males were mutants, and subordinate to females. Women were said to have created all of the meaningful elements of civilization before men even arrived on the scene. Furthermore, these societies were socialistic utopias—there was no private property, no masculine competitiveness, and no social hierarchies. Everyone had what they needed, there was no hoarding of wealth, and all things were shared.

But tragically, these societies were crushed by evil, male-led tribes who conquered the defenseless socialists and enslaved them. These malicious patriarchal groups, culminating in the Roman Empire, then invented Christianity as a means of denigrating women and holding them down. Through the centuries, the church has violently suppressed goddess worship, supposedly killing millions of witches, who, in reality, were innocent goddess-worshipers, and keepers of the ancient flame.

Today, these destructive forces are said to have run amok to the point that they are supposedly in danger of destroying the entire world. The crisis in western civilization is allegedly a sign that the male god’s reign is ending, and the goddess is waiting to lead us into a New Age of peace and harmony. We must therefore jettison patriarchy and all of its supporting institutions: male-god religions, monogamous families, and all male-based hierarchies of power. If we fail to do this, we may be facing the end of civilization and life on the earth.

The feminist theological agenda is therefore focused on environmental alarmism, the destruction of Christianity, the magnification of female politicians and female power, and the replacement of capitalistic economic systems with various forms of socialism and environmentalism.

Feminist Defense of Historical Fantasies

Defense for this worldview comes primarily from art historians, who, in their examination of ancient artworks, often state their confidant interpretation of what an object means, in the same manner that evolutionists have created pictures of hairy ape-men based on a few ancient bones. For example, the Venus of Willendorf figurine of a pregnant female, and similar ancient objects were often touted as being Mother-goddess statues, even though they may also have been fertility figures, good-luck charms, dolls, or even ancient pornography. No one knows for sure.

Despite intensive investigations and huge research funding, hard historical and archaeological evidence has eluded feminist scholars. They have desperately searched for any scraps of evidence for ancient matriarchies and socialistic, egalitarian societies in order to support their theories. For a while, hope was placed on Catul Hayuk in Turkey, on ancient Malta, and on the Minoan society of ancient Crete, all of which were thought to be matriarchal. However, as these areas were more fully explored, feminist hopes were dashed, as it has turned out that these societies were much more patriarchal than our own.

On Crete, for example, goddess devotees made much of a few pieces of artwork that seemed to depict males and females functioning in an egalitarian manner. The Minoans may have indeed treated women better than did surrounding nations, but there is a mountain of ignored evidence that the Minoan culture was in actuality a “chiefdom society,” led by men, with females being subordinate to males, as was typical in ancient times.

Like the Minoans, Celtic society was supposedly more egalitarian than others, but close examination reveals that in general, males had much more control over females than today, and the Celtic objects of worship were phallic rather than female. The Gnostic Cathars were also said to treat men and women equally, but the Cathar leadership positions were exclusively male, and Cathar women functioned more-or-less as nuns in the Catholic Church, without being cloistered. Thus there is no evidence whatsoever for ancient female-controlled or even gender-egalitarian societies.

In reading the above-mention “thealogy” books, one is struck with the thought that perhaps this is bizarre science fiction about an imaginary Amazonian world, but the authors are, in all seriousness, attempting to present these fantasies as history. One is also struck by the huge scholastic effort expended to grind their axe, and to desperately prop up their passionately felt concepts.

Feminist Defense of Socialistic Utopias

The next element that must be defended by feminist scholars is the concept of ancient, prosperous, socialistic utopias, free of property rights and male competitiveness. Absolutely no evidence of such societies has ever been found, and how a socialistic, female-led society, either ancient or modern, could ever have survived, let alone prospered, is never explained or even seriously considered. As discussed below, there have been a number of societies throughout history with a socialist economic base, and all of them have failed. It is ironic that the concept of ancient socialistic matriarchies was developed only in the comfort of contemporary American academia, for which all of the buildings were built and the salaries paid for by a free-market economy.

Europe and especially France have been filled with radical socialistic thinkers since the French revolution of 1789. They generally believed that a utopia could be created if private property were abolished, all goods and services were somehow divided equally, the church and Christianity was eliminated, and morality was self-defined. For decades throughout the nineteenth century, Paris was the capital of leftist thinkers, which despite the complete failure of the French revolution to produce Liberty, Equality, or Fraternity, continued their collectivist dreams. When the Bolsheviks seized power in the October revolution of 1917, the French communists were their biggest cheerleaders, but fortunately for the French, they were spared a similar takeover, and therefore never had to actually live under communism, as did the people of Russia and China. Having never experienced the reality of a truly socialistic government, they could not believe that communist dictators, such as Stalin and Mao, had become the monsters that they were, killing millions of their own people and creating a society of systemic oppression.

The French communists closed their eyes and refused to accept the fact that their ideas were misguided, and this unwillingness to consider the consequences of one’s ideas is also typical of feminism. Betty Friedan, whose 1963 book The Feminine Mystique helped to launch the feminist movement, was far from the bored and frustrated housewife that she portrayed herself as being. Forty years later she told the real story[1] that she had been a member of the Communist Party since 1942, and had attended numerous rallies and meetings where strategies and plans for dumbing-down and attacking American society were discussed and implemented. It is well-known that one of the main anti-American communist strategies was the destruction of the family in a variety of ways, including the breakdown of marriage.[2]

The study of socialism has demonstrated that, contrary to being utopian, all societies based mainly on socialistic principles have been failures, from the early American experiments under William Penn, which almost wiped out his nascent colony, to the communist/socialist tyrannies of Russia, China, Romania, Cambodia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and others. The major products of these societies have been authoritarianism, oppression, misery, and death. The only place where socialism has truly succeeded is in the context of capitalism, in which it is subordinated to a free-market economy. Juxtaposing the words “socialist” and “utopia” creates perhaps the ultimate oxymoron.

It is instructive to consider why socialism creates failure and how this issue bears on the male/female dynamic. Just as feminism runs aground on the hard reality of male/female differences, so socialism runs into other hard and unchangeable realities of human nature.

The first hard reality is that the redistribution process of socialism requires a human authority. At the beginning the authority may actually be benevolent, or at least believe themselves to be. But sooner or later the ferocious and unceasing nature of the competition for power changes things. Contrary to being fair, the authority’s real goal becomes the maintenance of its power, and the redistribution process will be used for that purpose, and subverted to serve the goals of the authority. This requires that the populace continually be deceived as to the authority’s real goals. Socialists continually accuse capitalist systems of being unfair, but which is more fair—being able to gain success through hard work, or by having to become an insider and kiss up to the authority? As Winston Churchill said, “the vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings, whereas the virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.”

The second hard reality is that people care most deeply about what they consider to be “theirs.” In other words, private property is inevitable, and far from being evil or wrong, it is the essence on which a successful economy and society is built. The same holds true in male/female and family dynamics; people are jealous, and care more about their own spouses and children than those of others. This is right and good, because no one else will love a child the way his or her parents will. This is not to say that humans are incapable of caring for others and the community, just that responsibility for their own family and property come first. Furthermore, the wealth provided by a capitalistic society provides funding for welfare, poverty relief, and other community-related initiatives, that would otherwise be unaffordable. It is America, more so than any other nation on earth, which has given vast sums for disaster and poverty relief, and is the most charitable nation in history. The wealth necessary for this liberality has been generated by our predominantly free-enterprise economic system.

Feminist Defense for the Abolition of Marriage

Along with socialism, the abolition of marriage is the other key element in the feminist prescription for utopia. Marriage is said to restrict women by subjecting them to maternity and the control of a husband; females would thus be better off if they were single, could move from one relationship to another, and had easy access to abortion to free them from the bother of raising children. Such a utopia would be the true emancipation of women, and in America, this became the “free-love” movement of the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

Free-love means being able to easily move from one partner to the next, and no-fault divorce laws were quickly passed to accommodate this demand for increased freedom of choice. What is more American than unfettered choice? We often assume that all problems can be solved by removing restrictions and providing more choices.

However, contrary to emancipating women, the free-love movement simply created an enormous host of poor and embittered single mothers, who engaged in sex with one or more men and got pregnant. The women were then abandoned by their male partners, who, exercising their freedom of choice, moved on to younger and more nubile women. The character Jenny in the movie Forrest Gump is a typical example of this trend. These women with children then found it harder to attract male attention, as a man entering a relationship with her would have to support another man’s child.

A little-reported, but profound statistic is that of the households below the poverty line in today’s America, a staggering 90-plus percent are headed by single females. Indeed, in the United States, the poverty problem is the problem of single female-headed families, many of which were created by the free-love movement and the Great-Society welfare initiatives. There should be a huge outcry from these women and their families against the feminists, lawyers, and politicians who created these conditions. Unfortunately, these people do not understand the true causes for their misery, and how they have been screwed over by the system.

Feminist Defense of Matriarchy

Next, the question of matriarchy must be considered. The main authority cited by feminist writers, and one of original unwitting popularizers of the fictional Amazons, was J.J. Bachofen, who wrote the book Das Mutterrecht (the “Mother-right” or “Mother-law”) in 1861. He believed that all civilizations pass through a matriarchal phase, and cited literary evidence from a number of ancient Greek-related societies to make his point. But in keeping with his romantic roots, he picked only the few pieces of evidence that supported his perspective and ignored the rest. The timing of his book was also unfortunate, in that it appeared just before comprehensive archaeological studies were begun, and which ultimately demolished the entire thesis of his argument. Nevertheless, contemporary feminists have adopted Das Mutterrecht as one of their seminal texts. However, Bachofen’s ironic conclusion was that the ultimate and best condition of societal development is patriarchy. The English translation of Das Mutterrecht, done by a feminist organization, is therefore abridged, and the translators simply left out the parts that were inconvenient to their theories. Feminism’s seminal text on matriarchy is thus a deceptively abridged version of a discredited book.

Anthropology has decisively shown that no matriarchies exist anywhere in the world, nor is there any evidence that any true matriarchies have ever existed in the entire history of humanity. Given the innate biological and psychological differences between males and females, it is highly unlikely that a matriarchal group could ever have begun or survived for any period of time. As the anthropologist Stephen Goldberg states in The Inevitability of Patriarchy,

There has never been a society that has failed to associate authority and leadership with men. No anthropologist contests the fact that patriarchy is universal. Indeed, of all social institutions, there is probably none whose universality is so totally agreed upon.[3]

There have been matriarchal elements in many societies, such as the worship of female gods, and occasional powerful queens. Some societies and groups have matrilineal elements, such as inheritance and property rights being passed through the female side. But a detailed examination of past societies reveals that in general, men ruled and dominated women much more completely than in the western world of today.

Feminist Defense of the Persecuted Goddess Worshipers Theory

Finally, the assertion of a continuous thread of secret goddess worshipers who have existed throughout history, and have periodically been ruthlessly suppressed by evil, patriarchal Christians, must be addressed. As in the case of previous assertions, this one is also a complete fabrication. There have been cultures that included the worship of goddesses as part of their religious milieu, but virtually all of these were ancient (e.g., Babylon, Assyria, and Egypt), and there has never been any sustained thread of goddess worship from the ancient past. Given the universality of patriarchy, the worship of female deities should be a rare occurrence, and that is indeed what the historical and archaeological evidence demonstrates.

The idea that females could and should be superior in power to males, and that the goddess should rule over the god, is a very recent concept. The French Revolution of 1789 and the English/German Romantic movement of Shelley, Goethe, and others set the stage, but this was not fully stated until the middle of the nineteenth century. The first to write of this was Jules Michelet, the frustrated French revolutionary, who was a contemporary of Bachofen, and who was deeply involved in the occult. He wrote his influential book La Sorcière (“The Sorceress”) in 1862, one year after Das Mutterrecht was published. He asserted that women are “natural sorceresses,” and that magic and the occult is the religion most natural to females. Michelet could thus be considered the inventor of “white witchcraft,” which in the twentieth century blossomed into neo-paganism and Wicca. Ironically, Wicca was also founded by a man—Gerald Gardner—and did not come into existence until the 1950s.

Many strains of magic have existed throughout history—hermeticism, kabbala, tarot, divination, Rosicrucianism, Theosophy, etc. But magic and the occult were historically the preserve of men, with women involved typically in peripheral ways. Michelet attempted to demonstrate that the long traditions of magic were actually secret goddess worship rituals, performed by powerful women. These women were then supposedly persecuted by insecure men, who saw goddess worship as a threat to their dominance. La Sorcière was undoubtedly one of the main sources for Matilda Gage in her 1893 book Women, Church and State, in which the nine million burned witches statistic was first concocted.

Conclusion on Feminist Theology

Feminist theology and history is thus fantasy and deception, with no religious, historical, or anthropological foundation. Philip Davis in his book, Goddess Unmasked, sums up the evidence against it, which is devastating:

Not a single [ancient society] provides clear evidence of a supreme female deity; not a single one exhibits the signs of matriarchal rule, or even of serious power-sharing between the sexes; not a single one displays social egalitarianism, non-violent interpersonal and interstate relations, and ecological sensitivity which we have been led to anticipate. In each of these cases, the story of the Goddess is a fabrication in defiance of the facts.[4]

One would think that goddess worshipers would be distressed that their religion is based on concocted fallacies and lies. However, these individuals “feel” rather than “think,” because thinking is largely logical, left-brained, and therefore male. Feminists subordinate thinking beneath feeling when there is a conflict between the two. As Philip Davis indicates:

Virtually none of the Goddess books deals directly with factual challenges to their story. Instead, we are most likely to encounter one or both defenses to the Goddess: the irrelevance of men and their opinions, or the irrelevance of truth itself.[5]

Thought and logic (i.e., evidence and arguments that demonstrate the fallacies and deceptions of feminism) is a-priori misogynistic and anti-female, and can thus be safely vilified and ignored. In the future, if feminists can gain a sufficient plurality in congress, it will be criminalized as hate speech. Lies on behalf of feminism are tolerated and even encouraged because of the overriding importance of imposing their vision on society. Thus, doctrinaire feminists exist in their tightly-wound ideological cocoon, protected from truth, which, if allowed to penetrate, would shatter and destroy their worldview.

When a political movement defines “choice” not in terms of what people do and want, but what they would do and want if society didn’t oppress their Secret Selves [i.e., whatever the movement wishes to have, if reality was entirely plastic, and morality was completely fungible], then there is no way to check ideology against reality… In this way, essentially authoritarian political philosophies can be disguised, even to those who hold them, as democratic and caring… As one very nice radical feminist cheerfully proposed to me in a debate, “We don’t even have the language yet to describe what society will be like when men and women truly participate equally in both public and private realms.”[6]

Despite this elaborate framework, and perhaps because of its indefensible nature, the feminist/goddess/Wiccan movement does not insist on agreement with its theological tenets. In keeping with its roots in Romanticism, people can believe whatever they want to believe—the important thing is agreement with basic feminist principals. Some worship the goddess Isis, others seek communion with “Sophia” (supposedly the world spirit of wisdom and mother earth), and yet others approach from a purely humanist/atheistic viewpoint, ignoring all gods, goddesses, and spirits. The latter engage in feminist worship rituals merely for the engendered feelings and associations. The movement also reaches out to those in the traditional religions of Judaism, Catholicism, and Protestantism, where goddess theology is dismissed out of hand, but who have been instrumental in the production of gender-neutral Bibles, the elimination of references to God as “he,” and the complete reinterpretation or dismissal of all biblical passages having to do with the submission of wives to husbands.

The Feminist Political Agenda

Some reading the above would say, “Yeah, we knew all the time that feminist history and theology was pure nonsense and made-up myth. So what? These women are just trying to tell a story and have their own dreams. Give them a break!” Also, as previously stated, feminism is a broad movement, and there are many who would consider themselves to be “feministic” without buying into its entire program.

Nevertheless, contemporary thinking about male/female issues has been deeply influenced by radical feminists. If they had kept to themselves, few would have issues with them. The problem is that they are not content with simply doing their own thing. Rather, they want to foist their views on everyone else.

The purpose of going to such great lengths in portraying ancient matriarchal utopias is, quite explicitly, to use them as models for contemporary social reform… This statement of the necessity of belief [in feminist history and theology] is almost creedal; Goddess books, accordingly, should be seen as professions of faith, and their authors as neopagan evangelists.[7]

Feminists did not study the past in order to gain insight about ancient societies. Rather, they already had a series of preconceptions firmly in place, and then attempted to twist the past to conform to their beliefs, so that they could use history as one more political weapon. On the back cover of one edition of Elizabeth Davis’ book The First Sex (which claimed that women were created first), is the statement, “The present intolerable world situation…cannot even begin to ease until the basic argument [of this book] is accepted by all schools and universities.”

Given the fact that females in general are still interested in traditional female pursuits, many women balked at the feminist message, as Friedan’s quote above suggests. Feminists therefore formed political pressure groups, such as NOW (National Organization for Women), and eventually they infiltrated and enlisted the aid of government and the media to censor contrary views and coerce women into their way of thinking, by a constant drumbeat of negativity and scorn heaped on femininity and homemaking. Claiming to speak for all women, the women’s movement generated confusion, fear, uncertainty, anxiety, and depression in the lives of many women who in their heart wanted to devote their lives to their husbands and children, but have been told by society that such a desire is debased and worthless.

To the extent possible, the women’s movement has become totalitarian, with government mandates; day-care funding; Title X subsidies for Planned Parenthood in the hundreds of millions; radical protections for abortion clinics (the use of RICO statues against abortion protesters); abortion for teens girls without parental knowledge or consent; legal fees paid to the ACLU by the government; Title IX legislation requiring equal funding for male and female sports programs; politically-correct requirements on the research earning federal support; elimination of the military restrictions on women in combat; intense pressure on every significant all-male institution to admit women; and departments in most print and broadcast media organizations dedicated to censorship and the elimination of content questioning feministic thinking. Feminist groups in congress attempt to control and dictate all legislation affecting women and families. Some western countries, such as Sweden, have gone so far as to financially penalize families where the wife stays home to raise her children. Norman Mailer noted that the words of radical feminists, “while extreme, even extreme of the extreme, are nonetheless the magnetic north for women’s lib.”[8] Bottom line – feminism is the most bigoted, coercive, and totalitarian of all contemporary religious movements.

Understanding feministic theology helps us understand a number of trends in contemporary society, such as: 1) The quasi-religious nature of extreme leftist environmental groups such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals); 2) The bending of virtually all public school science teaching toward environmental concerns, the constant focus on and guilt over how society is supposedly trashing the planet, and the totalitarian push for the acceptance of global warming theory in spite of substantial evidence to the contrary; 3) Continual efforts to socialize society and increase government influence; 4) Continual attempts to degrade men and especially while males; and 5) The renewed push for ERA-style initiatives (the current legislation is known as CEDAW) that will eliminate all gender differences, with severe penalties for gender-biased statements, just as racial faux-pas by whites are currently treated.

Divorce and abortion are the sacraments of feminism, and supporters of the women’s movement will fight to the death to preserve no-fault divorce and Roe v. Wade. Yet these represent a deep betrayal—a deliberate trashing of oath and life, which should be held in high regard. They represent a profaning of that which should be holy. Radical feminists are thus more misogynistic than men. However that is not strictly true, as feminism has attempted to redefine the word “misogyny” from “hatred toward women” to mean “anyone who opposes feminist thinking.”

Male Participation in Feminism

It also must be noted that the problems of feminism are not simply “those #$@ women” — it is equally a male issue. Male support may come from men who feel that women can be just like men and should be given that opportunity, from the gay and transgendered community, or from those who have been cowed by the continual braying of the feminist media. However, there is a darker side: virtually all special protections for girls and women have been removed on the theory that males and females are now equivalent and thus no protection should be necessary.

This plays into the “f*ck em and forget em” mindset of many men. It is the bachelor dream of sex with no commitments, no kids to worry about, with a fresh woman who can be had for much less than a prostitute (in addition to being more expensive, prostitutes are often jaded and carry a much higher AIDS/STD risk). The fact that there are no longer many familial and societal protections means that scoring on females is relatively easy. Why would a man want to get married if he can easily use one female and then move on to the next? The government has now been cranked up to go after deadbeat dads, but as long as he uses a condom (and puts it on correctly), packs her off to the abortion clinic, or leaves town quickly enough, why worry?

As Christina Hoff Sommers documents in her book, The War Against Boys, the public education system, led by the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and various elements of academia have targeted boys in an attempt to emasculate them. Young men are, as Andrea Dworkin stated, “future harassers and rapists” and therefore efforts must be undertaken to feminize and neuter them, and produce men who are compliant and amenable to female supremacy. Drugs such as Ritalin are commonly given (it was even suggested by one feminist educator with a doctorate that drugs be given to all boys to reduce male aggression). Principals are suspending boys who simply draw pictures of violence, and even the game of tag has been outlawed in some elementary school districts as being “too rough.” Forget about dodge ball. At the same time girls are being encouraged to play rougher sports such as ice hockey and football.

Despite desires to turn males into household helpers and child-care providers, men typically react in exactly the opposite way. Contrary to eliciting more care from men toward women, feminism encourages the opposite—more male coarseness and disposable relationships—using women and dumping them. “If a woman is a bitch, then I might as well treat her that way,” is how men have effectively been taught to think.

It is sad that in our “modern times” with so many advances in technology, that we have actually regressed in our understanding of the most basic and crucial societal issue of all – the male/female dynamic.

[1] Betty Friedan, Life So Far, 2000

[2] Arthur Koestler, et al., The God That Failed, Columbia University Press, 2001

[3] Steven Goldberg, The Inevitability of Patriarchy, William Morrow, 1973, pp. 31-32

[4] Philip G. Davis, Goddess Unmasked: The Rise of Neopagan Feminist Spirituality, Spence Publishing, 1998, pp. 83-84

[5] Ibid., p. 85

[6] Maggie Gallagher, Enemies of Eros: How the Sexual Revolution is Killing Family, Marriage, and Sex, and What We Can Do About It, pp. 149-50

[7] Philip G. Davis, Goddess Unmasked: The Rise of Neopagan Feminist Spirituality, Spence Publishing, 1998, p. 87

[8] Normal Mailer, Prisoner of Sex, New York: Primus, 1971, p. 47

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