I hear it all the time, the old, tired, party anthem of the modern feminist proclaiming the “evils of the Patriarchal system of Abrahamic religion!” They complain about how the Church, Islam, and Judaism have stolen the power away from women and left them as nothing but housewives. Their -almost unanimous- solution, Paganism. Over and over, they proclaim the greatness of the Pagan view of woman, as a more equal and even more woman-centered view. And they may be right about this, but what exactly is the Pagan view of femininity?
The modern feminist will talk about the power and sexuality of the goddesses. They remind us of strength of Athena, the lusts of Aphrodite etc, etc. Constantly they bring up the strength and power of the nature goddesses, Gaia and the like. We have to sit through lecture after lecture about the strength of pagan goddesses, war goddesses and goddesses of hunting, fishing, sports, you name it, there’s a paper on it. But in all their reminiscing about the good old days, they seem to have forgotten who the queen of all goddesses is, in every pagan society: The Mother Goddess.
That’s right, the love-filled, woman-friendly, Pagans were not too far from the vile, male-chauvinistic, patriarchs of the Abrahamics.
This is where all the neo-feminists say in a somber and slightly off-pitch chorus:
isn’t all that far from this:
You see, the modern feminist -starting with the bored European aristocracy in the late 18th Century and continuing to the angry, politically motivated, grad-student, and pro-choice activist of the present- is the first to see motherhood as a bad and demeaning thing. The Abrahimist sees it as a beautiful and necessary part of femininity and the Pagan; well, they saw it as a TERRIFYING SUPERPOWER!
The ancient Pagans were confused and horrified by a woman’s magical ability to produce human life, so much so that they saw it as something worth worshiping. These were people who had primitive medicine and even more primitive agriculture. They relied on the fertility of their women and of the Earth for their very survival as a people, thus women, and particularly mothers, became an integral part of their pre-Christian worship. They were literally mesmerized -and we probably should be as well- by the uterus. The womb is the center of Pagan femininity. It is the source of the woman’s power, and if you don’t believe that it’s really power, just look at this:
So, if we see that we have a problem with the status of women in our era, I say we should stop trying to be like the imaginary pagans that modern feminism tells us we should be, and should instead be more like the real Pagans. I for one, am completely for a greater respect for the crazy magic that is femininity.