Monday, July 30, 2012

Woman and Mother's Milk – From Slavery to Patriarchal Divinity

Numerous times in my life, there have been moments when I wished I could assimilate knowledge by osmosis. Then I saw the Matrix series. If I got nothing else out of those movies, it was the constant visual image and now unending desire, of being plugged into a system, downloading vast amounts of specific knowledge, in a matter of minutes. Sigh...

If such a thing were possible, ancient languages would be my drug of choice. Often, I will sit with an ancient language dictionary and just browse. Immediately I have to pull out the pen and paper, make notes because the epiphany light bulbs keep lighting up, making connections with ancient texts, mythologies, histories. “Ah! Now I understand what was really going on!” Ancient languages help me to better understand the peoples, the cultures and the remnants of what survives in our modern cultures.

An example of this is one of my favorite books, The Tao Te Ching, A New Translation With Commentary, by Ellen Chen. I have read several translations or editings of the Tao Te Ching. Since I have not learned Chinese, I am at the mercy of the translators for a good translation of these ancient writings. But, from a spiritual perspective, I really dont like being at the mercy of careless translations or worse, translations with an agenda that warp the original meaning. Having read so many versions and seeing such a diversity of thought, I was almost resigning myself to have to learn, yet another language, just to understand one writing.

Then I stumbled upon Ellen Chens work. She not only makes a literal translation (yay for women who have been marginalized by patriarchal culture and written out of life), but provides commentary, so that you will see the process of translation. Chen does not give you a modern translation of the word, but shows the ancient use and utilizes comparative linguistics from other writings of the same time period and culture. I was in heaven reading her work and continue to reread on a regular basis.

This is why I like to take a multi-disciplinary approach to my research. Without the detailed puzzle pieces of numerous disciplines, I dont think we will ever be able to assemble the puzzle, to see the big picture and therefore, understand who we are, what our culture is. Without that understanding, I dont believe that we will be able to remedy many of our current cultural woes. It is like the mantra of support groups – acknowledging there is a problem, is the first step to recovery/healing. With this in mind, I believe that ancient linguistics is vital to healing our current cultural problems. Yeah, I can already hear the “bullshits” of the readers. But, the proof is in the pudding.


The ancient matrilineal (not = to matriarchal) Sumerian writing system, before the Akkadian patriarchal (father rule, not = to all men, please see "On the Same Page" tab above) subjugation, began with pictographs and ideograms. A Pictograph or pictogram is a picture that resembles the image pictured. For example, an eye or an arm/hand or the modern men and womens images on bathroom doors. An ideograph or ideogram is an idea being written (grapho); a picture which represents an idea, similar to pictographs / pictograms, but they convey larger or multiple concepts, rather than just one picture. Examples of ideographs are an arrow g, which can convey direction of travel or location, a cardinal point or an arrow for hunting or warfare. Another example of an ideograph is the spiral which can represent the continuity of life and is frequently used on ancient womens images, especially with the womb area. Some ideographs are formed by combined pictographs, much like a compound word. 

The ancient pictograph for woman (munus) was a fertile triangle. This triangle is not isolated to the ancient Samarra culture, but occurs all over the ancient Meopotamian, Levant, northern Africa, Aegean Sea territory, up into Old South Europe and the Anatolia territory. This fertile triangle becomes a part of latter writings systems, such as the letter D, in our modern alphabet. But that is another rabbit trail. 

So lets take a look at the first recorded word for slave. In the patriarchally subjugating Akkadian (the nation that subjugated the Sumerians), the ideograph for the word slave is formed from the Sumerian pictograph for woman and the pictograph for mountains, because the patriarchal Akkadian slaves were first women that were taken from the nearby mountains. In a wee bit later ancient Akkadian texts, they boast of the tens of thousands of women that they captured, as well as the children taken and the young males, castrates, that were forcibly castrated and forced to work in the Houses of Weaving. These were the ancient sweatshops of their time. These sweatshops produced mass amounts of textiles for the ruling patriarchal elite, which they used for themselves and for trade to other nations – slave labor.

The subjugation of women for slavery is a very ancient concept. Women, from the patriarchal Indo-European cultures perspective, are written about as livestock – a slave that reproduced more slaves -brilliant! Euripides (480 – 406 BC), an ancient Hellenes/Greek writer, wrote in his Greek tragedy Medea, through the character of Jason (almost halfway into the tragedy), “If only children could be got some other way without the female sex! If women didn’t exist, human life would be rid of all its miseries”. The real tragedy of the this is the misogyny of the patriarchal Indo-European culture. Women were not viewed just as convenient slave labor, but as livestock for breeding purposes. Increasingly you see the aspects of ownership, such as brands and veiling, being documented. Marriages, wives and concubines were used for political alliances and property distribution. A pattern which has continued for thousands of years.

Mother and her Milk

With all this hatred of women so rampant in the patriarchal Indo-European cultures, how on earth could an ancient Sumerian pictograph for mother, come to be used for divinity by the Akkadians? And yes, while the Akkadians did assimilate a Semitic tongue, their culture was that of the patriarchal Indo-Europeans that spread through that territory, continuing through to the northern parts of Hindustan, currently called Pakistan and northern India. But this subject is more than a mere rabbit trail, it is the infestation of a whole rabbit warren.

The ancient Sumerian word for mother is AMA, shown by the pictograph above. This pictograph began as a simple rectangle, representing a body (house) and what is frequently described by academics as a star – representing milk. The basic idea is – the woman who produced milk was a mother – AMA. Later variations included a roof with the milk in various locations of the “house”. This use of the word “star” to describe the milk is more of a backwards association. Due to the high celestial cosmology of the patriarchal Indo-Europeans, a star was part of the symbols associated with a god. So they refer to the original milk symbol, that had no celestial application at the time, as being a star, which it later came to be, removing the motherly association with the pictograph. Many of you may wonder why an image that looks so sprayed out, could possibly represent milk. You would need to see milk being expressed, either from a womans breast or an animals teat, to see the spraying action of milk. As a mother who nursed her children, I have no difficulty understanding the pictograph.

A major aspect of the patriarchal Indo-Europeans is that they became pastoralists, meaning they were pastors, their social and economic system based on the raising and herding of livestock. Pastoralist cultures are very dairy oriented. In life, mammals nurse their young and then wean them. Once weaned, mammals do not have a tolerance for milk, what is frequently referred to today as “lactose intolerance”. But this patriarchal Indo-European pastoral culture, over time, developed a lactose tolerance and carry that gene, even today. Bear in mind, there is a difference between small agriculture families or villages, that had a few domestic animals, and a pastoral culture with large herds. Also bear in mind that some of todays lactose intolerance issues are not necessarily from the lack of this gene (Asian and Africans do not carry this gene), but from the pasteurization of the milk, the heat destroying the natural enzymes that aid in digestion. This is a whole different subject of sustainability and control.

In ancient 3rd millennium Akkadian texts we see the original contest between the ancient Samarran culture and the patriarchal Indo-European Akkadian culture. In this tradition, Dumuzi (later came to be known as Tammuz) is represented as a shepherd, herdsman originally. “Dumuzi’s true nature was always that of the shepherd, best illustrated in the contest between Dumuzi and Enkimdu, in which Dumuzi competes with his animal products (mostly dairy) against Enkimdu, the farmer, who brings his farm products, in the competition to win the goddess Inanna’s favours as husband.” Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, pg. 829. In the original accounts, Inanna chooses Enkimdu with the agriculture of her people.This account gets written in the Tanak/Bible with a twist, in the Bereshiyth/Genesis account as the brothers Cain and Abel, bringing their sacrifices to God. The pastoral “brother” is the favored offering and the agriculture “brother”'s offering is rejected. Well what can you expect from a patriarchal shepherding Indo-European sky god?

It is believed that Dumuzi was not originally a god, but a human being that came to be deified, as a number of deities originally were. Early second millennium BCE Sumerian/Akkadian King List, lists two rulers by the name of Dumuzi, one of which was called, “Dumuzi, the Shepherd.” This is a good example of the ruler/king dying and becoming deified, as covered in the Ancestor Cult/Cult of the Dead section of the Worthless Deities in the Hebrew Text book. Later, the characteristics of Damu, a vegetation deity, were assimilated to Dumuzi, becoming associated with vegetation of the subjugated matrilineal culture.

“The god Dumuzi evolved into the most complicated, multi-faceted deity in the Mesopotamian pantheon, becoming a syncretic figure embodying, as Jacobsen observes, the power behind the date-palm (Amausumgalanna), the power of the milk (Dumuzi the shepherd), and the power of the life-giving waters entering the tree sap (Damu).  Dumuzi/Tammuz was the power in the barley seeds planted in the fall, which ultimately would manifest itself in the bountiful harvest of the spring. Thus from the autumn through the first months of spring, Dumuzi – the grain – was growing and prospering. Yet by summer, the fourth month, the grain had been cut down and only the stubble remained – Dumuzi was spent. Thus the summer was the occasion to mourn for the dead Dumuzi, for the power in the seeds and grain which was no more. Jacobsen observes ‘His [Dumuzi’s] death, accordingly, is when the grain is cut at harvest And then brewed into beer which goes into storage underground; that is to say, into the netherworld.’ “ The Cultic Calendar of the Ancient Near East, Mark Cohen, pg. 263.

Power of the Milk – Sign of a God

This “power of the milk” is the key to understanding how a matrilineal cultures pictograph for AMA – a womans body with milk in it, became the patriarchal Indo-Europeans sign for a god. Understanding the misogyny that every patriarchal Indo-European culture has towards women, it is ironic that the very thing that a womans body produces, to nourish the life that her body creates and bears, was assimilated and distorted to become the sign of the deities in the Akkadian and later pantheons. 

Above you will see the progression and use of the pictograph for milk, which became AN, used for star. Since the cosmology of the patriarchal Indo-Europeans is very solar, with their main god being their solar All Father who throws thunderbolts and resides in the sky/heavens, the pictograph An came to be used next to a person or name to represent that they were a deity of the heavens. But this was not just any old star, this was the milk star, that nourished the gods. The patriarchal Indo-European culture despises women to the point that if they could, they would rather do away with women altogether. We are not crucial to slavery. Though we are easier to subjugate physically, the patriarchal culture is notorious for enslaving men of other cultures as well, it is just more difficult – hence castration as a means of pacifying some of the men. But, women are crucial to breeding.

Repeatedly in ancient patriarchal mythologies, the supreme male gods are reported as giving birth – a very unnatural and impossible act, trying to usurp the birthing process. The Greek Indo-European example is Zeus, who castrated his father Cronus, giving birth to Athene from his head. In much older Hittite Indo-European accounts, Kumarbi, the son of Anu, the god of heaven, tries to overthrow his father. When Anu tried to escape, Kumarbi bit off and swallowed the genitals of his father. When he discovered that this had impregnated him, he spat out the semen, but the pregnancy of Teshub, his son, remained and had to be cut out of his thigh. Another account has the deity, Kazal, emerging from his skull. In the Indo-Aryan accounts Vishnu gives birth to Brahma, from a lotus flower that sprouted from Vishnus navel (now why would a god have a navel I ask?).

In another patriarchal Indo-European tradition of disassociating from the mothers, you see accounts of gods and patriarchal kings being nursed by animals instead of mothers. Perhaps that is how they simply viewed the mothers or once having given birth, which the patriarchs couldnt do, they could take a child from a mother and use an animal as a wet nurse, to remove any bonding between the child and the mother. Examples of these accounts are the Greek Indo-European Zeus being nursed by the goat Amaltheia, Dionysus nursed by bees and Telephus suckled by a doe, Lycastus and Parrhasius nursed by a she wolf, as well as Hippothous and the Macedonian general under Alexander the Great nursed by mares. The Indo-European Roman Romulus and Remus were nursed by a she wolf. A Similar Indo-European Anatolian account mentions an orphaned boy being nursed by a she wolf named Asena, who then bears half-wolf, half-boys who become the Turkic nation. The Indo-Aryan Indo-Europeans wrote of Krishna being suckled by a cow, Cyrus I being nursed by a dog, with Croesus and Xerxes nursed by mares. In the Indo-European Nordic tradition, Audhumla, the primal cow, suckled the forebears of the giants. The Nordic god Wodan was nursed by the dew (while not an animal, it was void of a mother). In the Indo-European Celtic tradition Oisin, the warrior poet was nursed by a she wolf.

It is not enough to replace the mother from culture, through wet nursing animals, but the Abrahamic faiths replaced the Mother, Shadday (the breasted one), with a male- monotheistic male, thunder bolt wielding sky god. Since when is a strictly male god the “One of the Breasts and the Womb? Was it not enough that the majority of the women mentioned in the Tanak/Bible are barren, the source of sin or prostitutes, did they have to usurp an ancient mothers title and make that patriarchal as well? If the breasts and milk are so important, return them to the women they originate with, instead of cutting the mothers out of history and spiritual matters.

Healing the Historical Cultural Wound

Having delved into the linguistics and comparative mythologies of the patriarchal Indo-European cultures, which affect so much of our current culture in Europe and the Americas, whether through Indo-European ethnicities and their traditions or the adoption of the Indo-European faiths, such as the 3 Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam (yes, they are patriarchal Indo-European through the Amurru Abraham and Hittite Sarah, with a Semitic language tradition), we will never be able to restore or bring about egalitarianism until the misogyny against women, mothers and their nursing is stopped.

Look at the media wars against images of mothers nursing, the Facebook bans of breastfeeding pictures. The breast, clearly is not at issue, since womens nude or nearly nude boobs are sexualized everywhere. 

Twenty minutes after drafting this blog, I was speaking with a young man in his late 20s about these issues. Now, this man has 3 children of his own, and as a child, he had been nursed, as well as his younger siblings. He was constantly around other mothers who nursed their children and was not raised with any misogyny towards mothers and their natural body functions. But at the mention of this subject, he went on a tirade, saying that these breast feeding images needed to be banned, not just from Facebook, but the internet, movies, etc. He said that he did not want to see people, “urinating, defecating, vomiting or breast feeding.” He stated that it was disgusting. Over and over he repeated the phrase of “urinating, defecating, vomiting and breast feeding” like it was some kind of misogynistic programing. After ending the conversation, I got online and and typed in that search string. I was hoping to find the origins of such misogyny. I still havent found the source of equating a life nourishing motherly process with urinating, defecating and vomiting, but sadly and angrily, I found that that exact phrase is quite rampant on the internet. That makes me even more concerned than just for this one man. Why are people associating mothers milk with waste and disease? How fucked up things still are for our culture.

A recent ironic cartoon by political cartoonist David Horsey, clearly depicted the hypocrisy against mothers. The ages old patriarchal industry still has the market on whose milk is acceptable, promoting synthetic formulas as being best for several generations now. The roots of the misogyny of the patriarchal Indo-European cultures need to be exposed and removed. Women and mothers need to be restored to their equal and necessary positions in society before there will ever be wholeness, healing.

After the Sumerians had been conquered by the Akkadians, there was a revolution to try and fight off the patriarchal Indo-Europeans who had devastated their culture. The revolution was call Amargi, which can mean freedom, but literally means– return to the mother. While there are a number of organizations using the name of "Amargi", often associating “freedom” with the cancellation of a debtor society, using the cuneiform of amargi on banners, logos and even tatoos, I believe the original association of the Sumerian amargi, the returning to the matrilineal culture that was egalitarian, where women were a valued part of the community, is the better goal. So heres to the value of women and mothers – Amargi!

Got Milk?

Hell Yeah!

Kathryn QannaYahu

Monday, July 16, 2012

Feminists are Pro-Choice, unless You choose not to label yourself a Feminist.

I grew up in the 60's, surrounded by feminism. Our household was atheistic, so none of the misogynistic overtones of the Abrahamic faiths dominated the women in our house. I heard the news of bra burnings, protests for equal rights/equal pay, abortion rights, pro choice, women power and the NOW. My mother was the first feminist I knew, but she was a feminist in words only. I never saw her protest, never saw her do anything to advance the cause of gender equality. She played both sides of the fence, which ever was more advantageous to her at the moment. She lived by a kill or be killed mentality, which included her oldest daughter. As humanity goes, my mother was a nasty piece of work.

I had a very close relationship with my father. He had no sons and always encouraged me to be myself, pursue whatever interested me. He taught me how to mow lawns, work with tools, basic auto care like changing tires and maintenance. Yet, he was also the one to teach me how to cook and sew. He never once told me that I should not pursue track because I was a girl, or that I should wear more dresses, not play football with the boys in the neighborhood (I was a tomboy) or play with dolls instead of wanting a race track set or chemistry set. As a child, I had it made with his support. Some people might think that this not having sons might have played a part in his treatment of me as a child, that I was his surrogate son. Perhaps. But considering his support and encouragement of me, even if he did not agree with my decisions, I tend to believe otherwise.

When my parents separated, I chose to live with my father, my younger sister with my mother. This was nearly unheard of in 1975. It was difficult enough for men to get custody of children, much less a daughter. My father was in the Air Force, in the big military town of San Antonio, Texas. We had lots of racial diversity. It was also a large college/university town so there was also the diversity of thought. I did not grow up with racism, nor ignorance in our home. My mother was attending college when I was young (art major), so I saw the streakers, the skinny dipping parties at the house, the nude artwork. My father sculpted in wood and metal. As a result, I never grew up thinking that a womans body was shameful, simply beautiful.

This upbringing set the stage for my perspective on gender issues. On one hand I had a hypocritical parent that treated people in general like shit and on the other, a parent that taught me to judge the individual, not the group. So I have never seen men as a group, to be judged as a whole, by the actions of some men. My father always drilled into me, not to open my mouth unless I knew the facts, so that I dont put my foot in my mouth and look like a fool. Dont make generalizations; dont assume, and consider what it is like to walk in some elses moccasins. The feminists I had exposure to generalized men, did not have all the proper facts and most of the time, like the dirty cloud that always surrounded Pigpen on Peanuts, had a cloud of anger and hate. 

Fast forward to current times. For over 4 years I have been an active Redditor. Reddit is described as a social news website, a news aggregator, with over 67,000 subreddits to choose from. Not only can you read the posted or linked content, you can comment and redditors can upvote content or comments they agree with or downvote it. It is a very participatory community – a virtual microcosm of the real world. I fell in love with it the moment I found them. I hate mainstream news and had been going to a few independent news sites online for my news. Reddit was like a vast farmers market of independent news sources and information.

As a woman, my experiences are a wee bit different from the majority of redditors, which are men. But then again, as a woman, my experiences are apparently not the norm for women either. Due to my favored subreddits, the populations tend to be more male dominated and frequently I am mistaken for a man when posting, unless my post clearly states something about breast feeding or such. So if someone says, “Thanks dude.” I will casually, yet unoffendedly, let them know that I am a woman and they are welcome.

The biggest complaint of most female redditors is the rampant misogyny on Reddit. To be honest, I do not see that Reddit is any different than the real world, which is rampant with misogyny. I do not care for the woman hating, yes there is alot and frequently I have posted against it. The reality is, our culture, in the United States, is founded on the misogynistic patriarchal Indo-European cultures – it saturates almost all aspects of society. I have experienced more misogyny in the real world - in education, religious gatherings, marriage, and the work place than I ever have at the virtual world of Reddit. I had heard rumors of some really horrible subreddits that were dangerous to women and petitions to shut them down. After seeing the petition and the links to the offending subreddits, I braced myself for getting pissed off and clicked the links. I was more saddened than pissed. It brought back memories of an abusive marriage.Those subreddits were horrid.

Being a research author, I frequently post some of my research findings in comments that are applicable subject matter. Sometimes that brings up the patriarchal Indo-Europeans. I came across a subreddit as a result. Like the White Supremacists, who adamantly deny that the holocaust ever happened, that it is a lie made up by the Jews, there is a Mens Rights group that patrols some of Reddit and claims that the patriarchy never existed and is a feminist lie. Shocked, I promptly reply that one - there is overwhelming documentation of the patriarchal Indo-Europeans; and two - I am not a feminist. They dont care about facts, nor that I am not a feminist, I am a woman and that is bad enough. I am the enemy in their eyes. These men exude anger like the early feminists I grew up around.

After a couple years on Reddit I heard about a subreddit, TwoXChromosomes. The first comments I heard were derogatory, about the rabid feminazis at TwoX. Finally, I visited TwoX. TwoX is not just a subreddit, it is like a female version of all of reddit, without all the subreddits for easier surfing. So you might get a really great article posted and lively discussion as a result, or you could get some teenage question about her boyfriend and what she should do. I have never bought or subscribed to womens magazines, so I have a wee bit of difficulty when I wander into TwoX with some of the nail polish, hair, bathing suit or relationship posts.It is not just populated by women. There are men there as well, that help add balance and a healthy perspective - men who do not agree with misogyny.

Hoping that the egalitarian issues I research about would be more accepted at TwoX, I began participating on posts that dealt with gender issues. Again, I am always honest and lay my cards on the table when the pertinent subjects come up, I am not a feminist. I believe in the equal rights of all genders. As a result of all my research, I no longer believe in a two gender world. I believe in an egalitarian culture and fight for the equality of all its members. Well apparently this regularly pisses off some of the feminists at TwoX, who downvote those posts in great number. But, as I stated before, Reddit is a microcosm of the world. This pissing off of some feminists is not just a virtual experience for me.

So recently there was a great post titled, “Feminism Without Judgement” - the article, This Is How It Feels to Be Free, Feminism can be a prison if it’s all about the anger by JessicaH. This article I could relate to, having seen the anger of feminism and was glad to see a feminist writing about her earlier angst and letting it go. I could respect this woman and this post, so I replied:

“One of the reasons that I have never called myself a feminists is because of the hate I saw so prevalently in the women that fought before me. I view myself a humanist because I fight for the rights of all genders from the patriarchal oppression. I have been doing archaeological/historical presentations for Historical Baggage and one of the most validating comments I keep hearing is that I am not man hating and that more and more men are spreading the message of what I am teaching as a result. Because men have also been subjugated by the hierarchical, patriarchal Indo-European culture.
I understand the angst that goes with feminism. I understand the frustration of thousands of years of fighting against this oppressive patriarchal culture that subjugates, rapes, and at the very least turns a blind eye to the oppression enabling it. I understand the desire of some women to overthrow a patriarchy and replace it with a matriarchy, though I would not want to replace one oppressive system with another. 

Denis Diderot, a French philosopher in the 1700's, began training in the Catholic clergy but had to leave. He could not tolerate it. He then got into law and could not tolerate the injustices there. He wrote,'Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.' Now, if you understood the connection between the king and priesthood, the first 2 of 3 caste systems set up in every fucking patriarchal Indo-European culture, the 3rd being the subjugated, you would understand Diderot's statement. As a woman and researcher teaching about these subjects, I struggle on a constant basis with this thought - if only we could remove the kings and priests from the equation! 

I would dearly love to see people free and I know the source of this subjugation and its thousands of years history. I am so angry that the first recorded word for slave is a pictograph of the word woman and a pictograph of the mountains because they would go to the mountains to capture the women for slavery; I am so angry over the tens of thousands of women, young children, and the young males that were (forcibly castrated) enslaved in ancient sweat shops by this patriarchal Indo-European system in ancient Mesopotamia (2100 BCE); I am so angry at the two Catholic asshole priests that wrote the Hammer of the Witches and embarked on a campaign of torture and murder against primarily women (sometimes men were also murdered), across Europe, killing nearly a million women in a few hundred year period of time, sometimes wiping out all the females (daughters included) in a whole village. 

But my anger is not against men in general, nor limited to that gender. I know that not all men are that way. I also know that too many women have participated in/enabled this system as well. My anger and revolution are against a hierarchical patriarchal Indo-European culture and I daily fight against the empathetic angst, tempering it with love for an egalitarian culture, so that people might have ears to hear - because the hate causes walls to go up and block ears.”

As usual, I got downvoted. Years of this have never stopped me from speaking the truth and my opinion of the necessity of fighting for the egalitarian rights of all. Though I have kind of walked on eggshells and tried to be more diplomatic about it, to not incur their wrath, rather than simply pissing them off, generating a downvote. But, it does make me feel like the creamy filling of a bloody oreo cookie with the angry mens rights group on one side and the angry feminists on the other. This time, one beautiful woman (at least I think she is a woman based on her username, PriscillaNumerion – you never can tell online) replied, “I love how you got downvoted because you don't call yourself a feminist. That was a beautifully written post, Diderot is a badass motherfucker.” And then, “The funniest one, for me, are those women who say 'Feminism is all about choice' and then, when you say that you don't call yourself a feminist for reasons x and y, they reply 'Well, that makes you feminist because x and y are what feminism is about!' So it's all about choice, unless that choice is not labeling yourself a feminist.”

I sat and thought about her comment for a couple of hours, coupled with a comment my older daughter wisely spoke to me before the last Historical Baggage presentation at the library a week before – “Mum, dont apologize for your research, even if it pisses them off. By apologizing, you are taking responsibility for their reaction to the truth. They are responsible for their reactions, not you.”

I have done nothing wrong by presenting the truth of equality. I should not have been apologizing at presentations for potentially pissing people off and walking on eggshells on Reddit. I have not participated in misogyny, nor misandry. I have fought for the rights of individuals to be themselves. The healthier culture is that of the egalitarian, not a patriarchy, nor a matriarchy. I have the fucking right to choose, as a human being, and I have chosen Egalitarianism!

In light of these two comments, I decided to do something about it. I know my research pisses people off and my egalitarian perspective angers some of the two genders. So why settle for just pissing off a few people at a time, why not go for the shotgun effect and piss off larger groups of people enmasse – just rip the bandaid off quickly. With that in mind, I decided to create this blog. So I dedicate this to my daughter Leviyah and to PriscillaNumerion of Reddit, who have inspired me.

I am a rabid, organic dark chocolate addicted researcher, promoting egalitarianism, taking on the angry patriarchal Indo-European culture and I am not apologizing for it anymore!

EDIT: 12/8/2012 d/m/y - I just found out something humorous on TwoX today. It turns out that the reddit user PriscillaNumerion, which I mentioned in this post might be a female based on the username, was a man doing research. He created an obviously female username to post the same comments he had been as a male, to gauge the reactions. Reddit TwoX post by Priscilla Numerion. "You may recall, about a month or two ago, there was a post wondering whether women get treated better (ie, more upvoted) here than men do. A couple of people said they would create new usernames and pose as women, obviously I was one of them. Here I will outline my findings." Within minutes of posting his findings, the post was removed by the moderators and he got banned from TwoX.

This especially makes me smile because I had done the same thing many years ago at the Hoods Woods Survival forum (I love paleo skills), to prove to myself that the treatment by the male dominated forum was due to my being an obvious woman (registered with my real name and mentioned in applicable circumstances that I was a woman - didnt hide it), and not the content of my statements nor questions. Posting under a masculine sounding name, and never alluding to being female, I posted the same content I had under my real female name and was warmly received and treated like one of the guys". I thought about telling them, to prove a point, but then I thought that they knew exactly what they were doing and did it anyway, my pointing this out would not open the eyes of a single one of them. Perhaps it might have. 

At any rate - PriscillaNumerions comments are still applicable, appreciated and inspiring and I doubly dedicate this blog inspiration to HIM. Thank you.

Kathryn QannaYahu

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Red Pill, Blue Pill Moment, Cause There Is No Going Back!

I was not born into or raised in a patriarchal Christian religion – I unwittingly chose it. Though my parents had a family bible in the house, they never went to church, but my grandparents did, so I had a basic understanding of Christianity. I also had many friends that were Jewish, so in my search of a relationship with the “Creator”, between the two patriarchal faiths, I became a Christian when I was 16 years of age. Yet, a Christian that had strong Hebraic background and leanings. Christianity/Judaism were my only avenue for that search, as I had no other exposure to other religions or faiths. Even then, I did not like boxes and did not fit neatly into any one box.
As with everything I do in my life, I don’t do it half assed. I am a researcher by nature and have to know “why” or ”how” for everything. I had many questions about the Tanak/Bible and sought answers beyond the “just have faith” and “I don’t know” of pastors. I began learning Hebrew from my Jewish pastor (Yes, he was Jewish by birth and became Messianic. I Understand all the arguments from all sides involved that he was not Jewish, according to Jewish standards and not Jewish by Christian standards. That debate is not the thrust of this post.) and then studied Greek, to get to the root of some of my questions. Unfortunately, this created more questions. I kept studying the history of the time periods involved, the concordances and dictionaries to understand the word usage, maps and charts and the more I delved, the more I saw an older faith. This was not Rabbinic Judaism, but older, more Hebraic faith, which my family and I began following. For 10 years we kept biblical feasts and laws. All the while I kept finding questions and searching for answers. I was exhausting Semitic linguists comparisons to try and reconcile blatant contradictions. After a while I resolved that there were too many cooks in the kitchen of the canonized Hebrew text and had to dismiss the newer (post-exilic) Rabbinical scribal editings that contradicted a more natural, older, ancient faith. The more I got into the history, the history became archaeology and my world began changing radically. I had a major textual upheaval on my hands that required a tremendous amount of research to find answers.

I have always been a very independent woman, but had willingly subjected myself to patriarchal Christianity and somewhat to a very patriarchal Hebraic faith in my search, not realizing the true origins of either. Over the decades I realized how misogynistic the very foundation of these faiths were. I had a hard enough time growing up, wishing that I was a male, to not be hindered by how a girl is supposed to behave and what she can participate in or achieve, or even to be allowed to wear pants to public school (yes I am older). I was a feminine tomboy, wearing skirts and dresses with shorts underneath, participating in the only sports that were available at the time. I was raised by a father who let me mow lawns and taught me how to work with tools, which I am naturally drawn to. I kept scoring in the 90 + percentile on the mechanical aspect of those bloody preference tests, causing me to have to take them again because “girls don’t score high in that subject,” so there had to be something wrong. Often I was made to feel that I was what was "wrong".

I chaffed at the church telling me that despite all my knowledge, a woman was not allowed to teach in the church, yet these men wanted my notes and research to preach from the pulpits. 'Cause everyone “knows” that woman was the one to sin, therefore they can’t teach men. I resented that the church told me that I had to submit to a husband that hardly even read or knew what was in that bible, especially a man that was verbally and physically abusive. I was repeatedly told that I had to look at his abuse like an illness and had to pray for his healing. I didn’t realize then that the patriarchal good ole boys club included the church leadership. I even tried being more submissive as pastors counseled, to the point of nearly losing myself - it felt like a living death. Ironically, that seemed to make matters more volatile. Yet, I could not acquire a divorce until I had proof of the adultery, according to that patriarchal guide book and its “priests”. only later I found out that those rules did not even apply to me, because I was a woman and had no rights. Once that was resolved, I got the hell out of Dodge and Texas, moving north, on my way to the beautiful mountains of Montana, all the while continuing my research.

Then in the summer of 2008 I tore my left rotator cuff, pec, bicep and tricep muscles loading up from a construction job. I was in a hell of a lot of pain, couldn’t sleep or move much. You can break or brainwash people in such a state. Trying to utilize all the many months of down time, I continued the major research that was needed to understand the conflicts I saw in the Hebrew text. Months of research became years and after 2 ½ years I freely published online The Worthless Deities in the Hebrew Text book, utilizing archaeology, ancient history, comparative mythology, archaeoastronomy and Semitic linguistics.

Through that research I became aware of two opposing cultures in the Tanak/Bible: the patriarchal and the matrilineal. This awareness actually shed much light on many of the contradictions I saw and questions I had. Finally! It also tremendously liberated me from many patriarchal “laws” that I had ignorantly, yet voluntarily, accepted to enslave me. I realized that I was no longer constrained by those patriarchal laws and filed for a divorce from a very short second marriage, not needing the justification of adultery for my get out of jail free card. I may be white, but my gender has been enslaved longer than Europeans were capturing slaves in Africa. I decided to not go back to my maiden name, a name which shows that I was originally the property of my father; nor keep my last husbands name, which indicated that I was his property, according to the patriarchal customs. I chose to use my middle name QannaYahu, a name which I had adopted after my first divorce to replace an unused and disliked middle name, as my last name. This was a sign of my new found independence from the patriarchal slave system, much to the disapproval of the DMV that strenuously wanted me to have a middle name and suggested I go back through the whole name change and social security card process to get one (Not). I am my own person, not defined by my relationship to the men in my life.

As I continued my research, I was still stewing from the lies and deceptions that the patriarchal Indo-European culture has imposed on men and women for thousands of years. I needed an outlet, short of walking around town with a sandwich board sign (or worse-getting a facebook account and spewing my research and warnings there), I had to do something about this. Why does our culture accept the lies of patriarchal gender roles? Why can’t we just exist as humans? Gender roles exist because of the patriarchal caste system and its religious beliefs. It permeates our Indo-European languages, the history written by the patriarchal scribes and is the cornerstone for the governing and economic systems of most of the world. History is written (and rewritten) by the winners and these warmongering conquers appropriated the ideographic language systems of the conquered, creating syllabic languages out of those ideographs, removing the meaning from the original languages and with it, the real history - the ancient women's history. I needed to write a book as a bridge between the technical reference books and the average reader looking to find some answers to this patriarchal oppression.

The patriarchal Indo-European culture has enslaved women (as well as men) for over 6000 years; portraying mothers as dragons and serpents to be slain; the sexual women into whores and prostitutes; the sages and wise women into crones and witches. So what does it mean to be a woman outside of the misogyny of the patriarchally created images? You will see the real image of yourself, in the beautiful images of our ancestresses - the creatresses, the clan mothers, the artisans and wise women - the women before the vilification and deification. We need to reclaim the beautiful imagery, symbols, terms and ideographs that spoke of our true essence, equality and capabilities. 

I primarily write this from the perspective of a woman, but these symbols apply to the culture of equality, that of equal men and women - an egalitarian culture. The beliefs of the mothers / women, equal and strong, went underground and became expressed in the beliefs of the folk cultures. Textiles provide the visible record for the beliefs that the continuing creativity of the mother spins all life out of her own body. Which is why most ancient mothers are depicted spinning and often associated with spiders.

Through archaeology and archaeoastronomy, comparative and paleo mythology, ancient linguistics, writings systems and history, I have learned a great deal of what it means to be a woman - a creatress; free, equal and respected; strong yet feminine; beautiful as well as intelligent; constantly growing and evolving, even with the graying of my hair. Having cast off the patriarchal historical baggage, I have been learning the hidden history of women, buried in the soil of the earth, transmitted through images that survived on bones, stone, ceramics, metal. Rarely did ancient wood and textiles survive the ravages of time, but the traditions were carried on, even in the shadows of oppressing patriarchal cultures, often through women’s textiles, tools and jewelry.

Historical Baggage is a line of bags that I created, inspired from these histories and artifacts from around the world, taking a purely functional bag, using the language of their ancient symbols and imagery to weave their story in textiles ( I am an artist as well). Transmitting their history, like mothers did to daughters, to become your story. From this research Leviyah and I decided we needed a book, to share with men and women. Partly therapeutic, but mostly to give a hand to those that have not had the benefit of the educational resources; those that are forced to wear veils or have a part of their sexuality mutilated; those that have been forced into being breeding stock; those slandered and maligned; those accused of witchcraft, heresy, blasphemy because they did not fit within the misogynistic, patriarchal mould they created to transform their “Stepford Wives” into.

This research is just as much for men, because patriarchal misogyny needs to be exposed, unlearned and stopped. There are many men that are just as oppressed as women by this system, unless you happen to belong to the patriarchal Indo-European king/warrior caste or their priestly caste, you are just as vilified or forced to conform to something that goes against your grain. Young boys are forced into the warrior caste or are left behind. Only these days some of it is called sports or the military. The sports heroes still reign supreme. “Geeks” and artists, are derided, often with the same derogatory terms that are applied to women, showing the contempt of the users for any males that don’t tow the patriarchal warrior line. Men that don’t “man up” are pussies, ladies, bitches, queens. etc. The patriarchal second caste, that of the original warrior king’s priests has branched to become the double edged sword of religion and politics, which once was one and the same. You can probably add the corporate rulers into this group as well, since the commerce and taxation was originally handled by the priestly administrators.

It’s like the comedic, partly Monty Python Erik the Viking movie, at the beginning, when Erik bursts into a village home where a beautiful, young woman (Helga) looks up horrified. He approaches with his sword and backs her onto a chest, trying to untie his pants, but apparently having difficulty and lowers his sword to better get to the ties. 
 Helga asks, “Have you done this sort of thing before?”  
Erik, “Me? Of course! I've been looting and pillaging up and down the coast.“ H “Looting and pillaging, eh?” 
E “Yes." 
H “What about the raping?”  
E “Shut up.”  
H “It's obvious you haven't raped anyone in your life.”  
E “Sh!” He covers her mouth with his free hand, and looks round to make sure no one's heard. Then he carries on trying to undo his trousers, but he is now somewhat more than half-hearted about it. Helga watches suspiciously.  
H “Do you LIKE women?”  
E “Of course I like women... I LOVE 'em.”  
H “You don't love ME.”  
E “No... right... this is RAPE... Mark you, I'm not saying I couldn't get to like you... in fact... well, to be quite honest, I prefer it when there's some sort of mutual feeling between two people... " 
H “What - rape? " 
E “No. It isn't rape then, is it? " 
H “Oh, get it over with.”  
E “I don't suppose... no...”  
H “What?”  
E “I don't suppose you... you DO like me at all?”  
H “What d'you expect? You come in here, burn my village, kill my family and try to rape me... " 
E “I'll kill you if you say anything about this to anyone.” 
H “About raping me?”  
E “About NOT raping you...”  
H “You DON'T like it, do you?”  
E “Well it just seems a little bit crude, that's all." 
H “What about the killing and looting? That's just as crude, isn't it?”  
E “Oh well - you've GOT to do them.”  
H “Why? Why have you got to go round killing and looting?”  
E “To pay for the next expedition, of course.”  
H “But that's a circular argument! If the only reason for going on an expedition is the killing and looting and the only reason for the killing and looting is to pay for the next expedition, they cancel each other out.”  
E “Oh! Stop talking as if we were married!”  
H “Well you started it.” 
E “I just said I didn't feel like raping you.”  
H “And I was just saying that rape is no MORE pointless or crude than all the killing and looting that goes on.” 

If only it were that easy. 

Regardless of your place in this patriarchal system (or hopefully not), a man can realize there is a more beneficial way of life, not just for himself and other men, but for the women around him – the people around him. And here’s one of the reasons why. The patriarchal system breeds the type of women that men, by and large, abhor and look down upon. In the ancient Greek misogynistic, patriarchal religion (can you tell they piss me off?), there is an account of the creation of woman (ha, not a real woman). Zeus, a major Indo-European destroyer and usurper (you have to read this with Treebeard’s deep rumbling voice for a better effect), decides that mankind should be punished for accepting the fire from Prometheus. So he sends a trojan horse, so to speak, in the guise of a woman. Originally she is not named, but later associated with Pandora (not the online audio program for you life newbies). She is created from the earth as a beautiful evil, and her gender to be a plague to men forever. “From her is the race of women and female kind; of her is the deadly race and tribe of women who live among mortal men to their great trouble, no helpmates in hateful poverty, but only in wealth.” Each of the gods (and goddesses) contributes to her creation: beauty, charm, they dress her in finery, textile skills, strong desire, sly manners, lies and crafty speech, and the “morals of a bitch.” The deep and total trap was complete and sent to man. She was given a cask, the proverbial Pandora’s Box, which she opened and unleashed a myriad of additional evils on men, as if she was not bad enough.

This is the patriarchal view of women and this is what they create when they remove equality, respect, education, skills and such from the world of women, relegating them to the house to concern themselves with self adornment, treated as a slave and breeding stock. Do you want to see real women? Then treat them as equals, as human beings and be one yourself.

As for the women, working within a patriarchal system does not fix the situation, it is still a hierarchical patriarchal system that will never have equality for all people, especially women. “For this reason, the more powerful a woman is under patriarchy, the more ‘unsexed’ she becomes in the eyes of others as her female cultural identity recedes beneath the mantle of male-identified power and the masculine images associated with it.” – The Gender Knot, pg. 7. For those of us in the United States, it does not matter if the 19th Amendment gave women a right to vote. It is still an amendment to a patriarchal constitution that constantly needs patches to make it even quasi acceptable. After over 200 years, you would think that we had progressed as a people to create a new constitution that provides the basic rights of humanity for all, regardless of wealth, gender, race, age, religion or sexual preference (have I left anyone out?). Whether it is a country or a company, the patriarchal template is founded on slavery and doomed to corruption and suppression.

On another note, some of you women need to stop being made in the patriarchal image of the patriarchal Pandora, and “woman up.” We have great ancesstresses and abilities within our genes (and jeans). Amazing women live now and have for thousands of years, despite the adverse living conditions of the patriarchal bubble they created. It’s time we pop that misogynistic bubble. We don’t need the patriarchal images of their created goddesses for inspiration. Who needs the nagging wife, the devious whore, the chaste tomboy trying to fit in with the guys at the expense of her own sexuality, the seducing siren witches, the angry man-hating young girls or the hell hath no fury like a woman scorned Medusas?

We don’t need the bullshit pseudo “scholarship” that I keep coming across, primarily written by women, for women, to inspire them against patriarchy, or sometimes just men in general. As if creating a matriarchy will undo thousands of years of patriarchal slavery. These books are filled with assumptions (and bad ones at that) stated as facts; fucked up “documentation” like stating that bull leaping was depicted in paintings at Catal Huyuk or that writing did not occur before 3000 BCE. The bull leaping frescoes were at Knossos on Crete; and the Neolithic Vinca culture, dating from 5500-4500 BCE exhibits a writing system that carries the foundation of the same symbols that later came to be used in all the surrounding writing systems such as Paleo-Phoenician, Linear A, Cretan, Cypriot and Luwian Hieroglyphics, which gave rise to Greek, Etruscan, Raetic, Glagolitic, Lydian, Lycian, Tifinagh, Hebrew, Aramaic and Runic scripts. While I could spend my time going through these books and websites, documenting all the fallacies, I would much rather spend it promoting what is real from the outset, what has been consistently attributed through time, from the Neolithic to the present. Not wild ass speculations and catchy one liners that this sensationalist fast food generation thrives on because they are too lazy to do the real research. Or worse, because the real research does not support their bullshit theories.

We have an abundance of real women and their heritage to inspire us. Let us cast off the patriarchal historical baggage, taking up the ancient imagery of equality. A picture is worth more than a thousand of those patriarchal Indo-European words. Let equality speak. In the immortal words (mostly) of the old western and Blazing Saddles, “Goddesses? We don’t need no stinkin goddesses.” 

Kathryn QannaYahu