Patriarchy as a System of Male Dominance Created at the Intersection of the Control of Women, Private Property, and War, Part 2 by Carol P. Christ

carol p. christ 2002 colorPatriarchy is a system of male dominance, rooted in the ethos of war which legitimates violence, sanctified by religious symbols, in which men dominate women through the control of female sexuality, with the intent of passing property to male heirs, and in which men who are heroes of war are told to kill men, and are permitted to rape women, to seize land and treasures, to exploit resources, and to own or otherwise dominate conquered people.*

In last week’s blog, I explained patriarchy as a system in which men dominate women through the control of female sexuality with the intent of passing property to male heirs. How did a system that identifies a man’s essence with his property and the ability to pass it on to sons come about? I suggest that the answer to this question is war and the confiscation of “property” by warriors in war. Patriarchy is rooted in the ethos of war which legitimates violence, and in which men who are heroes of war are told to kill men, and are permitted to rape women, seize land and treasures, to exploit resources, and to own or otherwise dominate conquered people.

My argument is that the origin of “private” property, defined as property owned by a single (male) individual, and as that which defines the “essence” of that individual, is the “spoils” of war, which are divided up by victorious warriors.  The “spoils” of war are the tangible treasures “looted” or taken by the victors from the conquered, such as jewelry and sacred objects.  The “spoils” of war include land “taken” as the result of warfare, along with the right to exploit resources, directly or through taxes and levies. The “spoils” of war also includes the right to “take” the women of the defeated enemy and to confirm ownership of them (and humiliate their fathers or husbands) by raping them.  The “spoils” of war also include the right to “take” these raped women and their young children home to serve as slaves and concubines.

Though many people were surprised when the rape victims of the recent war in Bosnia began to speak out about the use of rape as a tool of war by Serbian soldiers, in fact, rape has always been an “ordinary” part of war. In the “great” epic known as The Iliad which is said to be the foundation of western culture,  Achilles and Agamemnon are fighting over which of them has the right to rape a “captured” woman named Briseis.  The term “spear captive” is used to mask the reality that Briseis and other women like her were “rape victims” and that the “heroes” being celebrated were their “rapists” and “jailers.” I believe that the institution of rape and the (twisted) notion that men have a right to rape (certain kinds or types of) women originated with war.

The institution of slavery also originated in war. Both the Bible and the Greek epics testify to the ancient custom of enslaving the women and children of the enemy.  Slave women in every culture, like the slave women on plantations in the Americas, are at the mercy of their owners and his sons, who can rape them if they felt like it. The “custom” of taking slaves from the enemy and the “custom” of also taking enemy women sexually, is deeply intertwined with the history of war.  The Africans who sold other Africans into slavery in the Americas were selling Africans they had taken as the spoils of war.

If we entertain the hypothesis that earlier matriarchal clan systems existed, then we can see that the notion of individual powerful men’s peri-ousia being defined as the treasures, land, and people they property they “stole” and then claimed to “own” would have involved a massive cultural shift.  The shift to defining men by the property they owned required that men would also “own” and absolutely control their wives and daughters, who had previously been free.  Such a cultural shift could only have been instituted and maintained through violence.

Patriarchy is a system of male domination, rooted in the ethos of war which legitimates violence. Warriors who have learned the methods of violent domination of other human beings—not only other soldiers, but also the women and children of the people they conquer—bring the methods of violence home.  Violence and the threat of violence can then be used to control “one’s” wife or wives, in order to ensure that “one’s” children really are “one’s” own. Violence and the threat of violence can be used to ensure that “one’s” daughters are virgins who can be “given” to other men to perpetuate the system of patriarchal inheritance.  Violence and the threat of violence can be used to hold enslaved people “in line.”  In addition, violence and the threat of violence can be used to subdue those within one’s own culture who are unwilling to go along with the new system. Women who refuse to let men control their sexuality can be killed with impunity by their male relatives or stoned by communities as a whole.

How does such a violent system legitimate itself?  By religious symbols.  In Greece, warriors were “in the image” of the “warrior God” Zeus whose rape of Goddesses and nymphs was celebrated.  In Israel, the power of warriors is mirrored in a male God who is called “Lord” and “King” and who achieves his will through violence and destruction. Sadly, this is not an exclusively western problem. In all of the so-called “highly developed” cultures defined by patriarchy and war, symbols of divine warriors justify the violence of men.  Laws said to have a divine source enshrine men’s control the sexuality of their wives, permit some men to rape some women, and allow some people to own other people as slaves.

Patriarchy is not simply the domination of women by men. Patriarchy is an integral system in which men’s control of women’s sexuality, private property, violence, war, and the institutions of conquest, rape, slavery arise and thrive together. The different elements are so intertwined that it is impossible to separate one as the cause of the others.  Patriarchy is an integral system of interlocking oppressions, enforced through violence.  The whole of the patriarchal system is legitimated by patriarchal religions.  This is why changing religious symbols is necessary if we hope to create alternatives to patriarchal systems.

The model of patriarchy I have proposed argues that contol of female sexuality is fundamental to the patriarchal system.  This explains why there is so much controversy about the “simple matter” of access to birth control and abortion and so much anger directed at single mothers.  The model of patriarchy as an intergral system can help us to see that in order to end male domination we must also end war–and violence, rape, conquest, and slavery which are sanctioned as part of war.  We must also end the unequal distribution of wealth inherent in the notion of “private” property, much of it the “spoils” of war, which led to the concept of patriarchal inheritance, which in turn required the control of female sexuality.  As feminists in religion we must identify and challenge the complex interlocking set of religious symbols which have sanctified the integral system of patriarchy–these include but are not limited to the image of God as male.  Ending patriarchy is no small task!

See Part 1 and Part 3 for the full story.

*I am offering a functional definition of patriarchy that does not address the separate question of why it originated.

*See the expanded version with footnotes: “A New Definition of Patriarchy: Control of Female Sexuality, Private Property, and War,” Feminist Theology 23/3 (2016).

Carol P. Christ’s new books are Goddess and God in the World with Judith Plaskow and A Serpentine Path. Join her on a Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete in spring or fall. Carol is a founding mother in the study of women and religion, feminist theology, women’s spirituality, and the Goddess movement.  She has been active in peace and justice movements all of her adult life. Her earlier books include She Who Changes, and Rebirth of the Goddess and the widely used anthologies Womanspirit Rising and Weaving the Visions.


Author: Carol P. Christ

Carol P. Christ is a leading feminist historian of religion and theologian who leads the Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete, a life transforming tour for women.

51 thoughts on “Patriarchy as a System of Male Dominance Created at the Intersection of the Control of Women, Private Property, and War, Part 2 by Carol P. Christ”

  1. I agree – ending patriarchy is certainly no small task…but not impossible. Anything is possible, it just takes action and passionate people such as yourself who are willing to re-define concepts of the divine and the image of god as male. If a cultural shift has happened in the past it can happen again. I like the way you have laid out your thesis Carol, you display the spiral effect of patriarchy so clearly and how one aspect such as spoils of war are interdependent and tied closely with property ownership which is in turn tied up with legitimatising children and so on.


  2. The question of rape and war was argued directly in the biblical text. Here is what YHWH said to King David after David raped Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, and when Bathsheba became pregnant, contrived to have Uriah killed in battle to cover up the fact that David had raped her.

    “Now a sword shall not turn aside from your house forever;
    Because you have despised me,
    And you have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be a wife to you.
    Thus | says YHWH, Behold I (am) the one raising evil against you from your house.”
    2 Samuel 12:10 MT

    Or, even earlier in the biblical text one can read:

    “The ELoHIM said: ‘the end of all flesh has come before me, for the earth is filled with violence because of them…’ (Gen. 6:13 MT) obviously the ELoHIM disapproved of violent acts.”

    The Bible tells a very interesting story about men and women if one gets past masculine/patriarchal translation and interpretation and back as best possible to what was said in the earliest biblical documents. I found this study fascinating which is why I wrote my books “I Will Love Unloved” that retrieved feminine biblical material and “A Gender Neutral God/ess” that deals with the struggle to portray a gender inclusive Deity. The books also show how translators (remember most of them were men) covered things up.

    P.S Bathsheba means ‘house of Sheba’ and ‘Sheba’ was feminine – remember the Queen of


  3. As a man who has struggled against patriarchy, I thank you for such an excellent post and I look forward to your writings on this (and all!) subject in the future.


      1. Thank you for the kind comment. I have your “Laughter of Aphrodite” in my goddess/spirit section of my library and I remember your writings being discussed in the early days of The Beltaine Papers by Helen Farias when we would gather at her place in Clear Lake, WA. And thanks to the wonderful Maeve Chronicles, I have just added the plainsong Ave,Stella Maris tune to my tune list to play at our hospital.


    1. The Bible IS a story of horrible doings. Here are a couple more quotes from my book “I Will Love Unloved” (BTW that ‘Unloved’ is referring to women).

      “Now what were males doing with their lion’s share of the Bible? Just how we’re their relationships with their YHWH/ELoHIM coming along? Not very well to put it mildly. The Bible reverberates with the continuing struggle.”

      “The Bible is a story of the Deity’s relationships with humankind during its early learning struggles……hardly any time at all was spent on the ideas of harmony with the earth and other created things. Instead women, children, neighbors, land, etc. we’re typically thought of by the ruler males in terms of subjection, war, bloodshed, and pillage.”

      Then we have Solomon: “Solomon requested of YHWH: “give to your servant an understanding heart to judge your people, to discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:10)

      And the ELoHIM said:

      “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked for yourself many days,
      And have not asked for riches, and not asked for your enemy’s life….” (1 Kings 3:11-12 MT)

      “Following Solomon, successive rulers and their people struggled……Due to a wholesale defection from YHWH everything deteriorated. The tribes of Israel split apart, were defeated, and were carried captive to foreign lands. It had become obvious that the way ruling, warrior, unbelieving males treated the YHWH/ELoHIM, women, and their neighbors DID NOT WORK.”

      Another comment: The early Hebrew texts did not use the English word ‘God.’ They used ELoHIM which is a plural (2222 times) and YHWH which is an inclusive name.” We must get away from the use of ‘God’.


      1. ….And the use of English translations of the Bible that were made mainly by male translators, and the use of biblical interpretations that were made mainly by male theologians


      2. Jennifer, I’m interested in why you consider YHWH an inclusive name in this context, as it is the name of an ANE male deity. Also, some consider “elohim” an intriguing term, as it appears to be, according to some Jewish feminists, a combination of a feminine prefix with a masculine plural ending. At the very least it implies polytheism (and possibly also the masking of the female/feminine divine). To me a similar construct in the Bible is the use of the plural asherim, which has been interpreted by patriarchal scholars as “poles” but which is actually a combination of a Goddess name but with a masculine ending ( with the the proper feminine ending, it would be asherot.)


    2. The examples quoted in the link given are not entirely accurate. Several examples are: 5. Biased translation and no mention that if male and female ‘lay’ together in the country the woman would go free and the male would be stoned because she was at his mercy; 6. story and moral distorted; 8. Sisera was an ENEMY of Israel and the judge Deborah was instrumental in his death; 10. This is a passage AGAINST Israel’s wrong actions and the ensuing consequences…….etc. English translations and misunderstandings have distorted the meaning of many biblical texts.


      1. Jennifer, rather than replying to your specific comments, which I could if I wanted to spend a lot of time, let me instead ask you, what is your “interest’ or “stake” in defending the Bible as having a non-gendered deity? Are you saying that the Bible really is the inspired word of God superior to all other words of anyone else, and that if we understood it correctly, we would see that? In other words, are you defending sola scriptura and Biblical revelation?


      2. Carol, I have studied the Bible from a non-religious viewpoint. I understand it as a document written by many hands over centuries. It has value in that it is one historical record of the development and changes in ancient humanities’ religious thought. It has been fascinating to trace the changes from likely Goddess worshipping societies to religious thought that attempted to include both the female and male and then on to the struggle between masculine and feminine elements and finally to the transition to male dominance in early A.D. – and, of course, until today. I document what a large part Goddess worship played in the development of biblical concepts and even the name YHWH (which is a new theory). I also show how early Goddess symbolism is carried on – even into the NT. I note NT texts that criticize males for not recognizing the importance of the feminine. I note changes in English translations in even recent Bibles that eliminate or distort feminine material. I realize that you are very interested in Goddess material, but I feel that you may be pleased if you read my eBook (and my earlier book) and saw the thrust of my arguments. In today’s world we can’t get away from the Bible – too many people believe in it. We must deal with it.


      3. Judith, I have studied ancient cultures around the Mediterranean and also the development of the early Hebrew language. In my eBook I discuss different terminology that was used for the Hebrew Deity. I trace the possible origins of the name YHWH and the cultural ideas that may have led to its development. Yes, I am presenting a new theory, but one I feel is worth investigating. As to other terms for Deity, like Elah, I have drawn on the ancient Dead Sea Scroll manuscript of Isaiah and compared words in it with the Hebrew Masoretic text, Ugaritic literature, other ancient literature and artifacts, and finally the use and gender of the word ‘Elah’ in more recent centuries.


  4. I’ve spent much time with the Greek Hymn to Demeter, so I realize it is more my “bent” perhaps that prompts the Myth here. Nevertheless, it is outstanding in the Hymn that Demeter’s incarnation in the human world is as a former slave, one who was imprisoned by victors in a war with Crete (and presumably raped), and who then escaped. As an escaped slave she is trying to offer a new vision for a women’s religion, teaching women and speaking primarily to women in her visitation. Although the only copy of the Hymn we have dates to the Sixth century BCE, the story itself probably dates back much, much deeper into ancient Greece and Crete. It may be the only myth in the history of the planet where a Goddess stands up to the Patriarchy and wins her case. That is because she is the Goddess of all vegetation, without her and her daughter (her seed), the Earth is wrapped in famine, just as our Earth is undergoing death by Global Warming, due to patriarchal (industrial) disregard for the environment.

    An important book on the topic is “Demeter and Persephone: Lessons from a Myth,” by Tamara Agha-Jaffar. The best translation of the Hymn probably, “The Homeric Hymns: A Translation, with Introduction and Notes,” by Diane Rayor


    1. Demeter is one of the Goddesses behind the origin of the inclusive name YHWH. See “A Gender Neutral God/ess.”


  5. Yes, it is the closest the Greek myths come to a prepatriarchal myth, and I love that Demeter refuses to let her daughter be taken. I also agree with Nancy that the myth as we have it has a patriarchal overlay, in the rape itself, and in the detail you note here, that rape in war and slavery already exist. I always liked Thelma Sargeant’s translations.


    1. Hi Carol, I agree Thelma Sargeant is an excellent translator. I suggested Diane Rayor’s “Homeric Hymns” because she mentions the current academic speculation that Sappho may have been the author of the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, the poem fits her style, her subject matter, her meter, her time in history. But Rayor also mentions strong evidence that the author of the Hymn to Demeter was likely a woman, including again possibly Sappho or Korinna. Here is the quote (p.11):

      “According to Ann Suter, a woman may have composed this anonymous hymn. The focus on Demeter’s power, Persephone’s coming of age, and the mother-daughter relationship, as well as the de-emphasis of Zeus, may point in that direction. We know that female poets, such as Sappho and Korinna, composed dactylic hexameter verses. In examining the Hymn to Aphrodite, Richard Janko notes a number of verbal parallels between its opening and Sappho’s epicizing narrative of the wedding of Hektor and Andromache. Korinna says she reworks ‘stories from our fathers’ time’ and sings of ‘heroes male and female.’ It is possible that other women composed hymns or epic verse, although their performance venues certainly would be more limited than those for traditional bardic poetry.”


      1. Wow, thanks Ross, that information is new to me. I’ll have to get the book! As you probably know, I live on Sappho’s isle. Interesting speculation on the hymns. In these cases as in others, perhaps “anonymous” was a woman! Wow!


  6. As usual, brava! Patriarchy is an essential part of the Old Testament and the Greek and Roman and Norse epics, also nearly all of European history (I don’t know much about Asian history), the conquests of Africa, the Califphate………and now we also see it in our so-called sports so-called heroes. What’s a woman to do???


    1. Anyone interested in Asian cultures, just observe. Note how the Asian women walk behind their husbands. Many American/western men seek out Asian wives because they WANT that submissiveness. Asian women and children are hit with rods/sticks and beaten. My family has some Asian roots, and I have friends from Asian families. We all have the same story; Dad rules the roost with an iron fist.

      Look at the abortion rates of female children in Asian countries (especially India). Everyone wants that PRECIOUS SON in cultures in which females have little to no value and are there to SERVE THE MALES. Couples in countries without child limits will have child after child after child, hoping to hit the “jackpot” with that “SPECIAL” BOY! The child abuse rates for later-born daughters are sky-high; the risk increases commensurate with her higher birth order. The ELDEST SON WORSHIP of the Abrahamic religions is still very prominent nowadays, even amongst otherwise “nonpracticing” adherents of the religion.

      Our culture is SATURATED with war: ALL GAMES ARE WAR AND HUNTING PRACTICE. Games, games, games are everywhere, from video games to board games to sports. FACE PAINTING, which is a TRIBAL WAR PRACTICE FOR THE BATTLE GROUND, is now very popular at sporting events and elsewhere (even for children). TATTOOS ARE TRIBAL AND ALL ABOUT WAR!! SO ARE PIERCINGS AND JUST ABOUT EVERY TYPE OF “BODY MODIFICATION.” Everything is “combat,” “battle,” and “fight” oriented. Most of our MUSICAL GENRES ARE BASED UPON AFRICAN WAR DRUM BEATS: Rock and roll is known for its “militaristic” beat, and R&R is based upon African musical roots. I haven’t even gotten into martial arts — I could go on and on.

      Our society is sick, and it is getting worse as this garbage is popularized. Or — (and more likely IMO) — these are reflections of the preferences of the now-dominant group thanks to massive immigration and resultant demographic shifts.


  7. Carol,
    Do you see men changing the ways in which they relate to their own masculinity as an identity today or is it for you, the “same ol’ story?”

    I’m just feel that you analysis, which as usual is well rooted in biblical texts that expand upon real life challenges, blocks men (and others who utitilize patriarchy as a weapon of such harsh extremes as you point out, into a corner where CHANGE is never possible and the complete overthrow of such a system, which we can theorize about as much as we want, will not occur until individuals look at how change can be made possible without these essentialist critiques that you lay out.

    Is being a man different now than it was back in the texts you are talking about? I curious as to what you think.


    1. John, I began this 2 part essay saying: “Let me say at the outset that I do not believe that it is in the “nature” of “men” to dominate through violence. Patriarchy is a system that originated in history, which means that it is neither eternal nor inevitable. Some women and some men have resisted patriarchy throughout its history. We can join together to resist it today.” My critique is systematic, it is not essentialist. I began by saying that patriarchy is a historical, not a natural system.

      I think what this integral analysis means is that men or women who are serious about changing patriarchy must be willing to look at it clearly and see all of its aspects. And you are right, it is a really sick system.

      The Green Party principles are: sustainability, social justice, no violence, and participatory democracy. I think that does a pretty good job of addressing the integral system of patriarchy. I can say that I know some Greek men in the Green Party who do treat women as equals and who recognize the scope of the problem we all face.

      Here is another man who does:
      Dave Zirin, “.Oscar Pistorius and the Global System of Deadly Misogyny.”

      Change is possible, and I hope men will work towards changing the patriarchal system and themselves, same goes for women.


      1. Over the millennia humanity has swung from one sex dominating to the other sex dominating. What now needs to be achieved is a balance between the sexes.


  8. Your insightful analysis hits the nail on the head and always has for me, Carol. Thanks for never giving up educating us on why women need the Goddess. I am grateful for your blogs. Thanks for deconstructing the ethos and mythos of patriarchy so we can build a more relational reality.


  9. Your definition of patriarchy as rooted in war which legitimated violence is the first explanation that makes sense to me as to why the classic Christian theories of Atonement seem to be so nonchalant about their deeply violent content.. Also explains the reticence to seriously consider nonviolent approaches.


    1. And then some theologians even argue that it was the will of “the Father” that “his Son” die, which is of course what is asked of fathers in situations of war.


    2. Kathleen Jenks
      February 25, 2013 4:08 pm

      [Mary, I posted this 2 days ago as a reply to Carol’s July 9, 2012 blog,”Why Don’t Feminists Express Anger at God?” — that title and her great content immediately caught my eye! Then she e-mailed me, pointed out that few would ever see my reply to a July post, and suggested that I copy & paste it as a reply to you since the topics are related. So here it is]:

      It is now 25 February 2013, so I am not sure if my reply to these July 2012 comments will be posted. I will leave it anyway, just in case:

      I was struck by Nancy Vedder-Shults’ comment on Rebecca Parker’s focus on God’s “child abuse.” For me, that has long been the central issue of Christianity. Of *course* it’s child abuse! Why is no one noticing?

      I remember as a child in the 1940′s looking up at a gory, horrific, half-naked, crucified Christ in our local St. Mary’s Catholic church. I asked my father who that was. He said it was Jesus, the Son of God. But what is he doing there? I asked. My father said it was God’s will that he suffer and die for our sins.

      Young as I was, I knew that such a God was not someone I could ever trust, not after what He was doing to His own kid!

      I am now 73 and am still appalled that few seem to be connecting the dots. How could a deity subject his son to such horror? What kind of message does such child abuse send to the rest of us? Why do Christians celebrate such gruesome abuse every Good Friday? What is wrong with such people?

      The example of Jesus’ crucifixion has to be a major contributing factor to our endlessly cruel wars and oppressive measures against the most vulnerable. Did what happened to Jesus harden our hearts against other victims down through the centuries? The only possible answer is “yes” — and it was indeed based on child abuse. Never mind that Jesus was a grown man — the child abuse trajectory had been in place ever since his birth in a cave. The gift-bearing magi were just show biz “razzle-dazzle.” The frightful reality was already in play. That poor infant, that Son of God, was born only to be abused.

      Over the years, I have at times made peace with these issues, arguing with myself that Jesus had an entirely different POV and so did his Father. It was a POV that I, as a mere mortal, could not possibly comprehend. Often, I found this argument satisfying and even once considered becoming a cloistered nun in a Dominican hermitage in California.

      Now, however, as a crone, such excuses no longer work. Jesus was God’s kid. You do not crucify your own kid, I don’t care what the reasons might be. If you’re a God, you fuckin’ find another way!

      I am on many lists and cannot find this particular quote but here is my memory of it:

      “On a planet where the insane are quarantined,
      there is an inmate calling himself Yahweh who claims to have created the universe.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You raise some excellent points, Kathleen!

        “Why do Christians celebrate such gruesome abuse every Good Friday? What is wrong with such people?” Indeed. HOW MANY people STOP and THINK to recognize that communion is symbolic cannibalism?!

        The answer is very few. (But I am certainly not the first to observe it.)


  10. Thank you, Carol, and everyone on your insightful thoughts re the patriarchy. I take this question of ending the patriarchy very seriously. I am a poet and former neuroscientist trying to write a novel with that intent, having struggled for 15 years to create this story. As Jassy points out (something echoed in my novel), if a cultural shift happened in the past, it can happen again. I characterize the birth of the patriarchy by the rape of Philomela (Procne), a story quoted in Ovid’s Metamorphosis, which fits in with Carol’s thesis. I come out to you all in this blog, not to promote my book, but to ask your help to go beyond the theoretical/academic. We must stop the patriarchy because it is out of control in taking on the Earth. I have questions regarding how to characterize Jewish ethics, orthodoxy, matriarchal rituals, Iroquois ceremonies. I want to make sure I am not anti-male and anti-semitic. I made up clan living at Akrotiri before the volcanic eruption of 1628 BC and created a culture and ritual practices. If you are interested in bringing your expertise to bear on this project, please contact me at


  11. It seems to me that if the church would simply be hit in it’s “pocketbooks” by no longer making donations, then and only then will it listen to anything that women may offer. It does
    very little to describe patriarchy and all the other problems in the catholic church until the church is denied continued funds to perpetuate it’s wrongs towards women and others.
    If these wrongs were done to men, they would not be discussing the nature of the wrongs, they would have taken action (s) to alleviate them.


  12. Peggy McIntosh points out in her paper “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” that members of a dominant group are taught not to see things. Men caught in patriarchy are not aware of their unearned entitlement and conferred privilege, just as white people think they are not racist because they cannot see the invisible systems conferring racial dominance on them. She points out that most men who are working for women’s rights aren’t willing to lessen men’s advantages. By listing 50 daily effects of white privilege that white people don’t see, she is making a statement about how we all participate in patriarchal values.


  13. Yes not seeing and not knowing are the privileges we need to work on. A person can be anti-racist and still not see. A person can be anti-sexist and still not see. It needs to be a constant process.


  14. Christ! Carol P. Christ, I could not agree with you more. I recently read Steven Goldberg’s book : “The Inevitability of Patriarchy”. I find it disturbing( In particular his shoulder- shrugging acceptance of his own theory) and I am looking for scientific, critical reviews from endocrinologists in particular. I think he has unwittingly presented sociology with a further opportunity to attack the irrational death wish of the religio-patriarchal partnership.


  15. Carol, thank you for your thoughtful post. I would just liket to point out that war is not a necessary origin of private property. It might have arisen due to the fact that as humans produced more goods that they could consume immediately, stores of goods were created. Due to differences between people: Age, physical strength, mental ability some people ended up controlling these stores. Later, they wanted to keep the wealth to themselves and pass it to their children. In order to make spoils of war reason for war, the concept of private property must have already existed. People must have known what private property was in order to want to start to war to get it.

    Otherwise, brilliant observations about violence, even agains your own dissenting people and members of family. I’ll also go as far as to say that most of current popular culture aims to maintain this threat: think of all the police TV series, thrillers, horror films, and so on. Who is usually rapes, killed, tortured in all this rubbish cultural products? Women. The message is clear: sit tight, or we will kill you.

    Also, from your commentaries, I second wholeheartedly your statement about the Green Party. I believe that it offers the only real practical alternative to all other parties’ programmes, which aim only to keep status quo of inequality, destruction of nature and the myth of “economic growth”.


    1. Oxana, interesting questions.

      From my experience studying Minoan Crete, it does appear that agricultural surpluses were kept in the storage rooms of the “temple” or “sacred center.” Some archaeologists speak of a “religious elite” “as “ruling” in Crete. My question regarding Crete would be whether of not the agricultural surpluses were distributed to the community rather than becoming so to speak hoarded wealth. Also we could ask if the religious elite were priestesses, then there would be no need to control female sexuality as inheritance would still be matrilineal not patrilineal. And were they “ruling” or “serving” the community?

      Could private property have developed with war and not preceded it? This is possible if settled matrilineal clans (communal property) were conquered by armed nomads from another place which also did not have private property. The nomads then could have said “this is mine” after conquest, without there having been private property previously.

      What do you think?


  16. To really undermine the patriarchal mythical and occult symbols there is an urgent need to get to the central character, or actual substance, which all the words. stories of the myth secretly are referring to and that is consciousness-changing vegetation, especially psychedelics!
    This even calls us to question particularly male-dominated shamanistic traditions. I recommend a very interesting little book by Ward Rutherford called Shamanism: The Foundations of Magic: “…”Since shamanism is characterized by ecstasy. Many scholars have tended to treat every form of ecstasy, particularly in an archaic or primitive environment as, ipso facto, shamanistic, ignoring the possibility that it may take more than one form.” What he means here is that what is largely ignored in patriarchally-led academic research, etc is that even more ancient than shamanistic were the communal vegetal Goddess rites where there was no need for the intermediary of a male shaman because all the participants shared the consciousness-changing sacrament which inspired ecstasy. All experienced enthousiasmos, possession .
    ONCE a shaman takes control of the ‘spiritual landscape’ is where by using words and images they can basically mind control people who depend on them as go between between them and a ‘spirit world’. Gone then is the DIRECT means and access. For those of course who would choose to take a psychedelic. For the shamans arrive the priests, and further and further away do people get from direct ecstatic and spiritual experience.

    As John Allegro reveals in his book The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, most of the mythical characters and god names are referring to mind-changing substances. But then this means that these myths can be used to manipulate people, and even also people who TAKE psychedelics if the set and setting is led by those who interpret the substances and experiences in a patriarchal way, and even violence way. I don’t have to remind anyone of the Charles Manson ‘Family’ mind control horror which involved psychedelics and other drugs, but also Scientology mind control etc.

    But it is very important indeed to understand the patriarchal ‘war on drugs’ which very much includes war on psychedelics and thus consciousness and the body


  17. “Patriarchy is not simply the domination of women by men. Patriarchy is an integral system in which men’s control of women’s sexuality, private property, violence, war, and the institutions of conquest, rape, slavery arise and thrive together. The different elements are so intertwined that it is impossible to separate one as the cause of the others. Patriarchy is an integral system of interlocking oppressions, enforced through violence. ”

    Frankly, the bible describes patriarchy but it does not prescribe it. One must find out what is prescriptive in the bible, and what is descriptive. Patriarchy, has to do with the fall of humanity in Genesis 3. God described what was going to happen after Adam and Eve sinnned. God said, “Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” This is a descriptive statement and not a prescriptive one. What is prescriptive of male and female relationships? It is what God initially designed before the fall in Genesis 1 verses 26-28, where God created humanity in His image, male and female He created them. And along with being created in God’s image, they both were given equal dominion and equal authority. This is what is called “Equal in being, and Equal in function.” Now the egalatarians hold to this view. The complementarians hold to “Equal in being, unequal in function or role” and unequal in purpose. This is a contradiction and therefore false. One cannot be equal in being, or made in God’s image and then be unequal in function solely on the basis of being female, since being female is being a human being. Thus, women cannot be kept permentantly subordinate. The complentarins and those who hold to complentarain theology are wrong and will give an account to God. That said, patriarchy is an oppressive system and was not what God prescribed. Again, patrirachy is descriptive in the bible, and not pre scriptive. A proposed redemptive hermentical principle must be applied to the relevant texts in the bible in the gender debate. There must be redemption for women. The redemptive hermenutic is accepted by the above mentioned camps, however the complimentarians only apply the principle to slaves but not to women. This is inconsistent since the systam of patriarchy involved slavery and women considered as property-they were not too much different than the slaves. Women, like the slaves, need to be the “Lord’s freedman.” Like onesimus who was let go by Philemon, so women but be let go and allowed to be free to serve God.


    1. ‘That said, patriarchy is an oppressive system and was not what God prescribed.’

      ..Oh you mean ‘Him’, ‘He’, the ‘Father’, the ‘Lord’ up there’??

      your a comedian, right…?


  18. Excelllent post, Dr. Christ. Long ago I recognized organized religion as mind control and an essential component of these control structures — one of the reasons I reject them.

    Perhaps a good counterargument to the anti-abortion position is, “You just want these babies to grow up so your children can slaughter them on the battlefield later…” (I am pro life in all respects; just exercising a few brain cells.)


  19. QUESTION: If you had your genitalia — some of THE most sensitive sensory tissue that has been proven to alter the brain to make better SLAVES — cut sans anesthesia (male circumcision is performed by even the most primitive, isolated tribes), do you think it might make you full of rage and violent?


    1. Correction: I meant that CUTTING IT has been proven to alter the brain and make better SLAVES. (No edit function.)


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