Friday, August 24, 2012

The Ancient Gender War, Part 1 - The Patriarchal Indo-European Perspective

This summer, in a discussion with an older academic friend, he pointed out that he had OCD and proceeded to list all the things that he was OCD about and his wife had to “tolerate”. He then asked what my OCD was. He mentioned other of his academic friends that also had it and thought I might. I laughed and told him that while I was eccentric, by most peoples standards, I did not have OCD. Relaying this conversation to my older daughter, later that evening, she strongly objected and said I did too have an OCD – I could not make general statements, that I had to cite the facts for the basis of a statement. I dont like misunderstandings, I like to be on the same page. They say that you treat people the way that you want to be treated. I love details and provide them out of courtesy. That may be an OCD, but if it is, I am grateful for it.

This is all to preface that as I began to write this post, I found that I could not be so general with this subject that people might think I was just talking out my ass. There is a lot of that going on in the world these days (This posting follows the horribly science deficient Todd Akins statement of women's bodies knowing when a real rape occurs and our bodies can shut it down.) I “needed” to prove some of this information, which has caused it to be a wee bit longer than I expected initially. This is how a small study turned into a 270 page book a couple of years ago. At this point, I feel the need to keep the info here, but to break this up into 2 parts. The first part is the patriarchal Indo-European perspective of gender and how they view men, as well as the patriarchal dominator concept of the penetrator and the penetrated. The second part deals with the perspectives of the matrilineal cultures that embraced the multiple genders.

I have to include a disclaimer. When I use the word patriarchy, I do not mean all men ( I never use it that way). Patriarchy means father rule (please see the "On The Same Page" tab at the top). Likewise, matrilineal does not mean matriarchy. More importantly, this article is not about modern homosexuality or gay men as we know them. I have absolutely no problems with homosexuality, gay marriage, transgenders, etc. I support their right to their lives, their choices and if they so choose, a government sanctioned marriage, all the power to them (personally, I dont believe the government has the right to impose their legitimacy on anyones unions). What I have a problem with is the patriarchal Indo-European culture of domination and subjugation, whose origins are covered below. This gets into the ancient aspect of pederasty, which I do not associate with the modern homosexual community. Let me repeat this, I DO NOT ASSOCIATE MODERN HOMOSEXUALITY WITH PEDERASTY, which means I do not feel that homosexuals are pedophiles – pedophiles are pedophiles, thats it!  Please continue reading to understand where I am coming from with these patriarchs. The homosexual community has been horribly harmed by the patriarchal Indo-European culture and I hope by revealing this research, it can help to bring healing and understanding. I am also not trying to convert anyone away from homosexuality, I do not see anything that needs converting from. What I am trying to do is put an end to the fear and hate mongering.

Ancient Greek Patriarchy
In ancient Greek mythology, there is a figure that defies the typical patriarchal Indo-European Greek culture – Teiresias. Teiresias' name means “interpreter of signs”. There are so many varied accounts of this characters life, that it is hard to determine original accounts, not unlike Teiresias' gender changes. Teiresias was born a man. One day when he was walking on Mount Cyllene, he saw two snakes, twined, mating. He struck them with a stick, killing the female. As a result of this act, Teiresias was changed into a woman. As a woman, she was a priestess of Hera. Some accounts state that she married and had a child of her own. Other accounts say that she was a great Prostitute. It is a very common thing that matrilineal cultures have devotees that utilized sex as a means of spirituality, which the patriarchal cultures views as prostitution and treats derogatorily. But that is a future blog. At any rate, after 7 years, Teiresias sees another pair of mating serpents, striking them again and reverts back to being a male. 

In all accounts Teiresias is a priest/priestess, becomes blinded, and has the gift of prophesy. Some accounts state that Teiresias lived seven lives and changed gender often. Some believe Teiresias to simply be a metaphor for the changing seasons. I believe, being a researcher of ancient comparative belief systems, that there are elements of truth to much of what becomes “myth” and we will need to apply some serious investigating to get to the heart of the matter.

When the patriarchal Indo-Europeans came in several waves, conquering the Old South European territories and the Aegean Sea territories, much of the egalitarian matrilineal culture went underground and was openly suppressed by the patriarchs. One of the reasons for Teiresias being blinded was his seeing Athene bathing (one of the rituals of her worship and the Eleusinian Mysteries). Athene is not a name, but actually a title of the Aegean Sea matrilineal cultures. She is the Mother, before the mother became fractured into numerous goddesses under the patriarchal religion, all of them marginalized as women (the nagging wife, the man hating bitch, the whore, the crone, etc). Another reason for the blinding is that Teiresias revealed the mysteries, which were rituals, practices that were hidden from the average person – because of the persecution by the patriarchy. The Eleusinian Mysteries were rites of the indigenous matrilineal agriculture people. One of these preliminary rites was purification by bathing in the sea, for which all candidates for initiation went down to the coast, close to Athens, on an appointed day. Athens was the city dedicated to Athene. It was seeing Athene bathing that caused Teiresias to be blinded in one account.

Another account of a person being punished for revealing the mysteries is Arachne. Later patriarchal accounts say that she was turned into a spider by Athene because she wove better than Athene, who flew into a jealous rage (not typical behavior for her), killing her, but later taking pity on her and changing her into a spider. But the older accounts say that Arachne wove the mysteries for all to see and was punished as a result. This I believe is the key. For Teiresias to reveal the mysteries of the matrilineal agriculture to the pastoral patriarchal culture would be devastating. If Teiresias was a patriarch or even just a man and became an initiate into the matrilineal mysteries, saw the image of Athene being bathed and clothed, participated in the matrilineal culture and was considered a renowned prostitute (a priestess or priest of the matrilineal culture), this would be revolting to the patriarchs. But, not if that man then returned to patriarchy and revealed the mysteries – angering Hera (another mother figure) and being blinded.

Now an interesting note about Teiresias is that he was greatly respected as a sage by the patriarchy, even consulted by Zeus, after being turned back into a man. Yet, association with the matrilineal cultures was not greatly respected, considered unmanly. So my thought is this man, originally a man, was a mole, “converting” to the matrinlineal culture, intent on getting the inside track on the hidden ”mysteries”, and then, “became a man again”, revealing the matrilineal mysteries to the patriarchy and winning their respect. Think spiritual Trojan Horse here.

So what does this have to with gender. Everything. Teiresias is a figure depicting a person experiencing two different genders. This is unacceptable to the misogynistic patriarchal culture, but very accepted amongst egalitarian matrilineal cultures. In older Greek accounts, humans were created with 4 arms, 4 legs and two heads. Zeus, the patriarchal Indo-European sky god of the Mycenaean wave, split them in two with thunderbolts. They forever wandered, trying to find their other half to become whole again. It is a foundational principle of the patriarchal Indo-Europeans to fracture humanity into two genders, with the male being superior and the female subjugated. That is it – two genders. But ancient matrilineal cultures held that there were more than just male and female, there were many options. 

How Many Genders Are There?
So how many genders are there? Well that depends on your perspective and how you view the word “gender” (covered in depth in Part 2). In the ancient Hellenistic Indo-European (Greek) culture that much of our language descends from, the word “gender” means - kind, sort, class, from Old French gendre, which is from the stem of Latin genus (generis) , meaning race, stock, family; kind, rank, order; species. Genus is from Greek genos meaning race, kind, and gonos meaning birth, offspring, stock, which is from the PIE (Proto-Indo-European) root *gen(e)- produce, beget, be born. In the ancient Greek concept men and women were an entirely different race. According to Hesiod (very misogynistic patriarchal Greek Indo-European writer - 8th century BCE), females were the “genos gynaikon” - race of womankind and the phyla gynaikon – tribes of women (Hesiod Theogony 590-592). Hesiod never writes about a genos andron – race of men, or phyla andro, but he does write about genos and phyla anthropon, which means human. Anthropon, juxtaposed with gynaikon, clearly shows the patriarchal Greek Indo-European mindset that women were not humans, but a lower race/species.

Greek Indo-European Pederasty – Love of Boys
Now gender in ancient Greek culture was not devoid of what we might think was homosexuality, though not as modern homosexuality, but was rather cultivated, with a patriarchal twist. Man was determined to be the superior gender and the active principle, associated with order, the sun and masculinity/strength. Women were associated with passivity, chaos, darkness, femininity/weakness. So in the ancient Greek patriarchal relationships there developed a culture of pederasty (paiderastia - a feminine word), meaning the love of boys. These youths were taken by older men as lovers and “mentors”. The young men ranged in age, but the common age is around 12-17 years, until their facial and body hair grew in, at which point they were generally accepted as men. There were relationships that continued beyond the youth becoming a man, but they were not so socially acceptable.

There are two factors at work here. The older man was viewed as a man, the active, masculine, penetrator with a higher social status. The youth, likened to the role of women, was the passive, feminine, penetrated role – the lower social status. This mind set continues to this day with some homosexual men, not viewing themselves as gay or homosexual because they are the masculine penetrators. But they very much view the passive recipients as being gay, often with disdain. “In Greece the sexual relationship was assumed to be a power relationship, where one participant is dominant and the other inferior. On one side stands the free adult male; on the other, women, slaves, and boys. Sexual roles are isomorphic with social roles; indeed, sexual behavior is seen as a reflection of social relationship not as itself the dominant theme. Thus it is important for us to remember that for the Greeks it was one’s role, not one’s gender, that was salient. Sexual objects come in two different kinds – not male and female but active and passive.” - Myths and Mysteries of Same-Sex Love, Christine Downing, pgs.135-136.

The Greek perspective of pederasty continued into the succeeding Roman culture, but with some minor modifications as the Roman culture became more “civilized”, making penetration illegal for free born youths. Conservative thinkers began to condemn it. Sometimes these young boys are called catamites.

Other Patriarchal Indo-Europeans Pederasty
This pederasty culture is not relegated to the patriarchal Greek Indo-European branch alone. In Central Asia territory of patriarchal Indo-Aryan Persia , Afghanistan, and Pakistan (northern territory of what was referred to as “Hindustan”, prior to Partition) there is the same pederasty practice, modernly called “bacha bazi” - meaning “playing with boys” in the Afghani dialect. A ‘bacha bereesh’ is a boy without a beard, generally between the ages of 14-18. These young boys are sought out by rich and powerful men, who force them into a life of prostitution and slavery. The beautiful boys who are the best dancers become status symbols for their owners. The bacha bazi boys are generally poor, underage or orphans, sometimes they are kidnapped, other times they are sold by their impoverished families, forcing them into this lifestyle.

In 2010, PBS aired the documentary, The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan, by Najibullah Quraishi - .

In Turkey, the young boys are called “Kocek”, which means little, small or young. These young boys begin their training around the age of seven. The kocek dancers are dressed in feminine attire and continue in this career so long as they are youthful looking and beardless. They were taken from their homes, recruited from non-Muslim families (after the Muslim conquest of those territories), by means of a blood tax – the collection of children. The kocek were dressed in heavy makeup, long hair, fine clothes and said to behave sensuously and be effeminate. They were used sexually, often for pay and always as the passive penetrated role. The patriarchal Indo-European Celts are also cited by a number of ancient authors as participating in the practice of pederasty, such as Diodorus (V, 32) observed: "although their wives are comely . . . [Celts] have very little to do with them, but rage with lust, in outlandish fashion, for the embrace of males. It is their practice to sleep upon the ground on the skins of wild beasts and to tumble with a catamite on each side" . Ammianus Marcellinus (Gothic Wars, 2.14) stated that among the Taifales, a boy continued in a passive (penetrated) relationship until he slew a bear or boar. The Indo-Aryan account of the Akkadians, I will explain in the Matrilineal section. (Part 2)

While not totally exhaustive, this shows that a very large cross section of known ancient, patriarchal Indo-Europeans cultures practiced this penetrator/penetrated sexual culture with young boys, often dressing them as women and having them behave effeminately, which has continued to this day. Another common denominator is that when they reach adulthood or perform an act that initiates them into manhood, they are now the penetrators. If they remain the passive penetrated, they are reviled, more so if a currency is involved.

How could this ancient practice encompass such a large swath of patriarchal Indo-European territory, unless it began with the root culture of the proto-Indo-Europeans that originated near the Sea of Azov in the Eurasian Steppes?

The Passive Partner
Armed with this perspective, you can see the view that patriachal Indo-Europeans would have of men that “betrayed” mankind, associating themselves with the egalitarian matrilineal culture that accepted various aspects of people – female warriors and leaders, males who wanted to dress as women, males who castrated themselves to be like women, adult males who enjoyed sex/relationships with other adult males. That is the greatest offense against the patriarchy – to willingly associate yourself with the subjugated.

Now there is another twist here. The passive young man, cannot enjoy this passive sexual role. If the boys, becoming men, continued to be passive sexual recipients, they were viewed harshly. If, as a man, they continued to be passive, much more so. And worse, if a man was bought with gifts or was the recipient for money. “In so far as the 'passive partner' in a homosexual act takes on himself the role of a woman, he was open to the suspicion, like the male prostitute, that he abjured his prescribed role as a future solider and defender of the community.” - Sexuality and Gender in the Classical World: Readings and Sources, K. J. Dover, pg. 28. “The situation was totally different in the case of grown equals, however. Whereas the Dorian boy would attain manhood through his submission, the grown man who submitted to another man would lose his manliness and become effeminate, exposed to shame and scorn.” Phallos: A Symbol and Its History in the Male World, Thorkil Vanggaard, pg. 89. “A man who enjoys playing the receptive partner is derogated as a prostitute and as having forfeited his right as a citizen to hold office. The assumption is that a man who would willingly make himself available would do anything! Only slaves, women, and foreigners would willingly choose to be treated as objects” - Myths and Mysteries of Same-Sex Love, Christine Downing, pg. 139.

In the later Roman culture, Lex Scantinia was a law created to penalize all male citizens of high position that partook in passive sexual behavior. To be the penetrated “passive” or “submissive”, threatened masculinity, with feminine traits, submission and passive mannerisms being an act of the subjugated, women, lower class and slaves. The Roman term for effeminacy was “Graeculus”, meaning “a little Greek.” According to the Roman jurist Pomponius, “Whatever man has been raped by the force of robbers or the enemy in wartime (vi praedonum vel hostium) ought to bear no stigma.” Why would this bear no stigma? Because the patriarchal Indo-European culture is all about warmongering, which includes rape as a part of war – dominating your enemy. Whats done in war, stays in the war.

Patriarchal Indo-European Penetrator/Penetrated Terms for Women
This pentrator/penetrated culture is further evidenced by a number of patriarchal Indo-Europeans terms for women that arrive in our English branch of the Indo-European languages. Vagina comes from Latin, meaning sheath, scabbard, pod (pl. vaginae). This originates from the Indo-European *wag-ina, from base *wag- "to break, split." Possibly from the ancient sheaths being made from a split piece of wood. The Slavic/Baltic languages added the “V” pronunciation to the *wag-ina, making it vag-ina. The patriarchs penis is viewed as one of their weapons of warfare – the dagger or sword. And the female “vagina' is their sword sheath. Their sword is the active, masculine penetrator and the female is the passive, feminine penetrated. Another term is twat. Twat is from Old Norse thveit /thweit which means a cut, slit, forest clearing. Used for genitals, a sexually active woman, later for a foolish or despicable person. The forest clearer (male penis) the active, masculine penetrator and the forest (female vulva), the passive, feminine penetrated.

Half a Man
Now lets take a look at the patriarchal view of “half a man.” In older Greek accounts, Aphroditus was a male version of the name Aphrodite, said to have female shape and wear the clothing of a female, but a beard and penis of a man (this is a carry over from the matrilineal culture). Aphroditus was worshipped as a goddess, being both male and female, in a ritual where men wore womens clothing and women wore mens. This account originates from Cyprus, a matrinlineal Aegean Sea culture before the patriarchal Indo-Europeans. Later the patriarchs change the account to that of Hermaphroditus (they are always rewriting history @#$%). The term hermaphrodite is due to the patriarchal lore of a union between Hermes (a son of Zeus the head of the patriarchal Indo-European Olympian pantheon) and Aphrodite. She bore a child with both genders visible. According to patriarchal perspectives, Hermaphroditus was derogatorily viewed as “half a man”.

Another example of this derogatory view of “half a man” by the patriarchy is an ancient case of Anacharisis, son of a Scythian (patriarchal Indo-Europeans) king, who traveled to Greece and became initiated into the matrilineal Mothers Eleusinian Mysteries, castrated himself and adopted the dress of women. He later returned home. He was killed by his brother, who had become king. " When a countryman of his own (his brother) was imitating among the Scythians the rite of the Mother of the Gods as practiced at Cyzicus, by beating the drum and clanging the cymbal, and by having images of the Goddess suspended from his neck after the manner of a priest of Cybele, this king (Saulius) slew him (Anacharisis) with an arrow, on the ground that the man, having been deprived of his own virility in Greece, was now communicating the effeminate disease to his fellow Scythians." - Clement of Alexandria, Protreptica 24:1.

During the Roman time frame, these male followers of the Mother Kybele/Cybele, whose origins are much older, stemming from the ancient matrilineal cultures, were known as Galli. The meaning of the name is disputed, though the Latin word “gallus” means rooster and may be a derogatory word for the decorative struting of the Galli. The more detailed description of the Galli will be in the matrilineal portion (Part 2) of this blog, but what you need to know is that some (not all were castrated, it was a choice) of the Galli castrated themselves, began wearing makeup like women and wore womens clothes. The patriarchal Indo-European Roman culture prohibited its citizens from becoming Galli (castration). After a brief lifting of the ban under Claudius, Domitian reinstated the law that Roman citizens were forbidden to practice eviratio (Latin evirare - to castrate; e = out + vir = man. To emasculate; to dispossess of manhood).

Patriarchal Indo-European Penetrator/Dominator Commonality
These examples show the patriarchal Indo-European root perspective, not of our modern concept of homosexuality, but of their ancient perspective of man, masculinity and domination. Their gender - man, was superior, a warrior/dominator/penetrator, equated with the sun and order. The other gender/species, that of woman, was the inferior, the subjugated/penetrated equated with the dark and chaos. It is true that the ancient patriarchal Indo-European culture was misogynistic (hating of women), but this hatred carried over to other men; men they viewed as willingly betraying their male gender/species; either by submitting themselves to be penetrated as adult free men, or by castrating themselves (removing their male gender, now becoming female), or by assimilating the effeminate characteristics of the female gender. Now men, in their eyes, only pertained to their Indo-European racial warrior caste. All other men from other races, who became the subjugated third/fourth caste system, were not of their gender/species.

You can clearly see this hate of any adult man that is not the patriarchal Indo-European masculine/male/penetrator, this homophobia, in the patriarchal Indo-Europeans religious system, especially that of the Abrahamic faiths (yes they are patriarchal Indo-European. Abraham was Indo-European Amurru/Amorite, who had a political marriage alliance with Sarah, who was Indo-European Hittite. Send me an email and I will send you the documentation, including the biblical passages.) This whole homophobia bullshit is the fear that gay men or transgender men will communicate “the effeminate disease” to them. 

About a year ago, there was a de-motivational poster that was making its rounds on reddit and the rest of the internet. It read, “Homophobia – Fear that gay men will treat you the way that you treat women.” This is very much true - they dont want to be the penetrated/subjugated. And “worse” than a regular gay man in the patriarchal Indo-European eyes, is a transgender that either associated with a woman or goes even farther, castrating himself (theres no going back from that). Of all hate crimes, the group that I have seen the highest statistics for, are the crimes against the transgender community, often resulting in murder.

The heterosexual men that I know, that dont subscribe to the patriarchal Indo-European culture, that are not misogynistic assholes, arent afraid of homosexuality. They arent afraid of being "infected". The freedom of bisexuals is an ancient heritage of the matrilineal cultures (some anthropologist might even argue that it goes way back to our evolution from a parent primate that also produced our cousins, the bonobo primates, who are also bisexual.  -(Bonobo, The Forgotten Ape, Frans De Wall; Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan, Ph.D. & Cacilda Jethá, M.D.). This freedom and acceptance of a variety of sexualities and genders, in the matrilineal cultures, is for the next blog, The Ancient Gender War, Part 2 - Matrilineal Cultures and the Many Genders.

Kathryn QannaYahu

Coming soon - The Ancient Gender War, Part 2. 
Matrilineal Cultures and the Many Genders

(I am in the process of moving to another home, so this may be a week or two before Part 2 gets posted )