Friday, October 13, 2006

Bird Goddesses?

Strolling through the Metropolitan Museum of Art the other day, I came across these figurines of women with the heads of birds. More evidence that the Goddess once ruled several thousand years ago.



This one, smaller than the others, with rounder features and more elaborate detailing on her body, was my favorite. I think she might be holding a baby female bird goddess. How cute!

8 comments:

Gypsy said...

Lovely!

InterstellarLass said...

I agree that long ago the female was the primary diety. It all comes down to reproduction. I think man introduced 'religion' as an opportunity to control women's reproduction, and thereby control women.

Buttercup said...

Lass - Interesting theory, that man created religion specifically to control women's reproduction... It makes sense because women's reproduction was such a big part of the "goddess religions" or fertility cults. So if man took over religion, they would also take over women's reproduction, and thus gain control of women. And, I guess in order to control women, you need to control their reproduction. If women can control their own reproduction, they basically control themselves (of course, they still need other basic needs met like education, food, shelter, etc.)...

I like the theory.

Gypsy - Thanks!

Bean said...

Good theory and interesting, but then at the same time, no reproduction can exist without the male figure being involved so there has to be a balance...unless they were our love slaves? Well, this could go into a long weird theory that I could pull up so I am done.

Buttercup said...

Bean, What's wrong with love slaves? On a more serious note, b/c women have the "power" of reproducing (granted we need the male sperm, but they need our eggs along withour BODIES), it would make logical sense that women, and not men, would be the ones who ran the show. Oddly enough, this did not happen in any culture of which I am aware.

But of course, perhaps not coincidentally, all of those cultures of which I am aware happen to believe in male-dominated religions; where men are the primary, sole, or head gods, and where only males can hold the highest position within the religion.

It's interesting to consider what came first: women's subordination or male-dominated religion. Certainly, in the case of Christianity, there is a lot of evidence that the early Jews aggressively attacked goddess-worshipers. In the old testament there are numerous references to the Jewish tribes "putting to the sword" those who worshipped the Goddess. It's fascinating, and also a pity that we don't know more about those who may have worshipping a female diety.

InterstellarLass said...

Yes, we need the man. But, while we all have the desire to procreate, the male species has a stronger primal desire to ensure his bloodline is carried on. Therefore they need to ensure that their female mate isn't sniffing around other men. Controlling reproduction means limiting the female's access and desire for other men. Religious rites and cultural/tribal rituals play heavily in this.

Buttercup said...

Lass - I don't agree that males have a "stronger primal desire to ensure his bloodline is carried on." Rather, I think it might be that the women always knows whether her bloodline is carried on b/c the baby comes out of her body. Men never know for sure unless they lock up a women and as you say cut her off from access to all other men, so instead of more of a primal desire, I think it might be that they are in an innately more insecure position vis a vis the continuation of their bloodline.

I don't really buy into any of the biological determinist stuff.

R'acquel said...

I once read that when a civilisation ceased to respect the role of "mother" - it would be doomed. A bloody shame that i forget the name of the book where that came from, coz it was something that hit me very hard when i became a mother.