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Reply #40: Have you read Riane Eisler's book "The Chalice and the Blade"? [View All]

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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-24-11 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. Have you read Riane Eisler's book "The Chalice and the Blade"?
Edited on Tue May-24-11 02:31 PM by GliderGuider
The Chalice and the Blade

In it she takes a very interesting and objective look at matrifocal societies, and determines that they (or what she calls "partnership" societies were pretty much the norm until 5,000 years ago or so.

Here's some commentary from a review of the book:

Review by Christine Hoff Kraemer
Riane Eislers The Chalice and the Blade was one of several books by feminist scholars released in the late 1980s that tried to sketch out the origins of patriarchy in order to suggest ways that it might be ended. Eisler asserts that patriarchy is built on particular symbol and value reversals the Great Mother Goddess, primary symbol for the divine source of being and associated with peace and compassion, is marginalized and then discarded entirely, while a masculine war god is raised in her place.

Eisler uses the symbols of chalice and blade to stand for two competing sets of values and models of society. The chalice stands for a style of social structure that Eisler calls the partnership model, in which relations between the sexes are understood primarily in terms of partnership rather than hierarchy. The resulting society is egalitarian, peaceful, and matrifocal, centered on the nurturing values traditionally associated with mothers. Using a variety of archaeological studies, Eisler claims that such societies existed in Neolithic Europe from the beginning of the agricultural revolution until around 5000-3000 BCE, when warlike invaders from the fringes of these regions conquered them. These invaders social model, which Eisler calls the dominator model, is warlike, hierarchical, and organized around patterns of domination.

Eislers ultimate aim, however, is not historical but normative. The chapters on archaeology and cultural history serve as a background for her insistence that with the invention of the atomic bomb, humanity has reached an evolutionary crossroads. Human society must turn again to a gylanic model of association and embrace its values, because to continue along the path of androcracy is likely to lead to nuclear war. The remainder of the book is devoted to what Eisler calls Cultural Transformation theory, and sketches out mechanisms by which transformation from a dominator model of society to a partnership one can be accomplished. Among her observations is a criticism of the rigid sexual stereotypes that she sees as a necessary part of a dominator society, as well as the claim that the rise of womens status in a given society is highly correlated with its overall quality of life.

I agree broadly with with Eisler's position. Egalitarian, partnership societies are not only possible, they are the only thing that will allow the next cycle of human civilization to rebuild in a sustainable manner after what I expect is going to be a severe ecological bottleneck coming up in the next century or so. The more we entrench those positive, cooperative values now, the higher our probability of long-term success.

I have no problem at all speaking out about FGM or infanticide (whether gender-selective or not). However, I would not expect my objections to make a scintilla of difference to the practices I was objecting about, unless they were happening in my own culture. When they happen in other cultures I would hesitate to set up absolutist moral pronouncements against the realities of life on the ground. Instead, I would work to understand deeply what was driving the behaviour, and work to alleviate that underlying cause.

Promoting the education and empowerment of womyn is a laudable goal for example, but it may or may not alleviate this particular problem.
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  -Study shows girls increasingly aborted in India Freddie Stubbs  May-24-11 10:11 AM   #0 
  - They should not be having more than one child  grahamhgreen   May-24-11 10:31 AM   #1 
  - That should always be a choice on the part of the woman. It's her body. (nt)  ehrnst   May-24-11 11:47 AM   #16 
     - Selectively aborting female fetuses is misogyny. It has nothing to to do with  snagglepuss   May-24-11 12:15 PM   #19 
        - The reason behind it is irrelevant.  Xithras   May-24-11 12:23 PM   #21 
        - I imagine one may quite easily support choice yet abhor a cultural tradition.  LanternWaste   May-24-11 01:13 PM   #27 
        - +1000% --  defendandprotect   May-24-11 01:25 PM   #33 
        - Abhor all you want.  Xithras   May-24-11 01:43 PM   #34 
           - And I'm merely claiming that one may approve of action A...  LanternWaste   May-24-11 01:55 PM   #36 
        - Hear, hear.  Atypical Liberal   May-24-11 02:13 PM   #39 
        - You can't start dithering over the reasons.  Quantess   May-24-11 12:58 PM   #25 
        - When women are brainwashed by patriarchal concepts ... as we've seen in their  defendandprotect   May-24-11 01:17 PM   #28 
           - Broken Record  WatsonT   May-25-11 01:42 PM   #55 
        - Nope. Choice is choice.  Atypical Liberal   May-24-11 02:13 PM   #38 
        - This is in response to your statement that they shouldn't have any more kids  ehrnst   May-24-11 02:57 PM   #43 
  - holy sh**.  livefreest   May-24-11 10:46 AM   #2 
  - It's really a form of genocide.  leftyladyfrommo   May-24-11 10:52 AM   #3 
  - China is doing much the same thing.  TheWraith   May-24-11 11:17 AM   #8 
  - Which is ultimately what patriarchy is about --  defendandprotect   May-24-11 01:18 PM   #29 
  - Maybe China and India  Yupster   May-25-11 01:25 AM   #52 
  - This is really a disgrace and stronger measures are warranted.  cosmicone   May-24-11 10:54 AM   #4 
  - It shouldn't be the woman's choice?  Freddie Stubbs   May-24-11 11:04 AM   #6 
  - Is it?  KansDem   May-24-11 11:40 AM   #14 
  - No, women should not be free in 'Asia's largest democracy.'  closeupready   May-24-11 12:42 PM   #22 
  - The problem isn't with "CHOICE" - the problem is with male-supremacist concepts ...  defendandprotect   May-24-11 01:21 PM   #30 
  - It is not a choice a woman makes based upon what is good for the baby.  cosmicone   May-24-11 03:20 PM   #45 
  - fuck them all, if they want to play with some stupid dowry system i don't feel bad for any of them  JI7   May-24-11 02:52 PM   #42 
  - Good God!  Odin2005   May-24-11 10:58 AM   #5 
  - Certain in the UK  dipsydoodle   May-24-11 11:10 AM   #7 
  - Where I used to live  laundry_queen   May-25-11 12:51 AM   #51 
  - it impossible...  iandhr   May-24-11 11:19 AM   #9 
  - Women are second class citizens everywhere. We don't have the  valerief   May-24-11 11:20 AM   #10 
  - +1  bitchkitty   May-24-11 11:32 AM   #13 
  - We don't have the penchant for killing that young men have  AlbertCat   May-24-11 12:21 PM   #20 
  - That one had me scratching my head, as well.  Frank Cannon   May-24-11 08:35 PM   #50 
  - +1 -- Patriarchy and violence are mirror images of one another --  defendandprotect   May-24-11 01:22 PM   #31 
     - It goes back a little further than 40 years. Try 8,000...  GliderGuider   May-24-11 01:46 PM   #35 
        - Agree on overall war on women --  defendandprotect   May-24-11 02:05 PM   #37 
           - Have you read Riane Eisler's book "The Chalice and the Blade"?  GliderGuider   May-24-11 02:31 PM   #40 
              - An old story -- male violence came from somewhere behind Turkey ...  defendandprotect   May-24-11 03:13 PM   #44 
  - In America, religion considers abortion a sin. In India, religion...well...  alp227   May-24-11 11:25 AM   #11 
  - Only when governments begin to interrupt male-supremacist teachings ....  defendandprotect   May-24-11 01:24 PM   #32 
  - This has been the case for a long time......  backtomn   May-24-11 11:25 AM   #12 
  - I cannot believe that some Indian women don't feel intense pressure to abort girls  Dreamer Tatum   May-24-11 11:45 AM   #15 
  - It won't change without a fundemental shift in their view of women.  ehrnst   May-24-11 11:51 AM   #17 
  - The reason for this situation is the dowry system in India  zalinda   May-24-11 11:52 AM   #18 
  - It takes a looong time...  JaneFordA   May-24-11 12:45 PM   #23 
  - This is very easy to understand from an anthropological point of view.  GliderGuider   May-24-11 12:46 PM   #24 
  - Up to 12 million girls aborted in India over last 30 years:study  defendandprotect   May-24-11 01:12 PM   #26 
  - For social harmony a 50/50 split is best.  Kurska   May-24-11 04:08 PM   #48 
     - Nature puts its trust in females -- I'll stick with that --  defendandprotect   May-25-11 02:08 PM   #58 
        - Appeal to nature is a logical fallacy, the natural state of being is not the one most conductive to  Kurska   May-25-11 06:00 PM   #60 
           - Well, obviously patriarchal thinking doesn't much care for nature ...  defendandprotect   May-25-11 11:59 PM   #62 
  - i wonder if this will result in control of population with the sons unable  JI7   May-24-11 02:51 PM   #41 
  - They'll import brides from somewhere else, or leave the country  slackmaster   May-24-11 03:24 PM   #46 
     - Thus turning it from an Indian cultural problem ...  Nihil   May-25-11 04:37 AM   #53 
     - They'll be in the US, working "IT jobs that Americans don't want." n/t  Lance_Boyle   May-25-11 02:22 PM   #59 
  - This problem will work itself out in the long run...  Endangered Specie   May-24-11 04:05 PM   #47 
  - +100  smirkymonkey   May-24-11 04:29 PM   #49 
  - Would you be saying that if the situation/power were reversed ...  defendandprotect   May-25-11 01:56 PM   #56 
  - Biology suggests that this trait will be bred out of a population in short order  WatsonT   May-25-11 01:39 PM   #54 
  - Well, if US Repugs ruled India...  iwishiwas   May-25-11 02:03 PM   #57 
  - A 4 Part Special Report On This From The BBC: "India's Unwanted Girls"  Turborama   May-25-11 10:02 PM   #61 
  - I would be reluctant to throw the word "choice" around this issue  Sen. Walter Sobchak   May-26-11 12:35 AM   #63 

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