by Clyde List
Valentines Day is drawing near and it is a holiday that eventually leads to a discussion about women. What are women? Where do they come from? What purpose do they serve?
These questions have lingered ever since the Garden of Eden. There were two voices. One of them was heard by Adam. And the other was heard by Eve. The voice Eve heard belonged to a creature that is regarded throughout the world even today as a manifestation of prophesy and healing, except in the Bible (...unless you're somewhere between Numbers 21:9 and II Kings 18:4). Adam's voice comes from the sky, but shows far less confidence(Genesis 3:9).
By historical times we find men and women continuing to follow their separate sets of instructions. The historian Herodotus documented the lives of the Amazons, a group of women who had most of Central Europe under their control. You could marry an Amazon, the legend goes. But settling down? No. That was out of the question. "We and the women of your nation could never live together." the Queen of the Amazons told the love smitten Scythians, who were always following them around, "We are riders. Our business is with the bow and the spear and we know nothing of `women's work.'"
Some would say women's rights issues are something we've only heard about in recent years: But history does not support this perception at all. During the century Jesus walked the earth women were already said to have "burst through the old legal restrictions." Women "...are rulers everywhere" Tacitus complained, "--at home, in the courts, and now (are) circulating among the soldiers, ordering company-commanders about. Recently a woman conducted battalion parades and brigade exercises!"
Things didn't change when the Army left town either, as Tacitus notes with some awe. One attack force was stopped dead in its tracks by Druids: "...a horde of fanatical women, black robed, brandishing torches, with hair disheveled like Furies, raising their hands to heaven and screaming dreadful curses."
A brand new feminized version of Judaism called Christianity flourished in those days because the religion was so appealing to the women who were running the Empire.
The only male in modern times to understand women is H. G. Wells where he describes how earth men once went about their business with "infinite complacency" while "intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic" observed them from not so far away. Everyone thought Wells was talking about Martians until science fiction finally became science fact during the 1960's. Then you would read articles in the newspaper about men's feelings about the Moon almost as often as you would read articles about women's feelings about feelings. It was difficult to know whose feelings you were treading on.
An issue affecting women's equality came up recently in my town. The Principal of the local Intermediate School allowed her students to form a cheerleading squad. But she forbad them to cheer. It seemed a paradoxical rule. The mystery was cleared up when it was understood that she must have been thinking about some advice given by a famous ancestor of hers, the poet Prudentius, where...
Each blow makes the modest maiden leap; And every time the victor twists his weapon deep In the other's throat, she shrieks for joy, and gives command, Thumbs down, to rip the bosom of the fallen man.
Athletes with their bosoms ripped open and covered with blood would beckon to these cheerleaders ". . . to be sure they were satisfied with their performance of their duty before lying down and giving up the ghost then and there on the spot."
Thanks to the scholarship and watchful oversight of my town's male dominated church leadership, modern men are spared such an interesting fate.END
Companion Article: Address to the Freedom Conference