Saturday, October 29, 2005


Recently I posted the following on Sour Duck -- about the appropriateness, in feminist blogging, of anger (I've done a bit of editing since I posted on SD):

“The women speaking here [about anger] seem so uncertain, so lost. It's my opinion that humans need shared “superordinate constructs,” or Big Guiding Symbols, to help us move in rhythm and in sync re: important life areas. One such construct is the Mother Goddess, and whether you see her as an actual deity or as a symbolic construct, She can be a force showering feminists (and everyone else) with incredible power.

“Take the question of anger. Using the Great Mother, we notice that healthy mothers love their children -- but get incredibly ANGRY when those children are hurt or threatened. If we see ourselves as the Great Mother, then questions about the appropriateness of anger (when, where, how, how much, why, etc.) are instantaneously answered: We have not only a right, but a duty to get angry when our "children" (i.e., other humans) are hurt or threatened.

When to get angry? At the time when our anger will produce the biggest payoff (sometimes this will be immediately; sometimes it’ll be in a day or two).

Where to get angry? At the place where it will produce the biggest payoff in reducing the threat to our “children.”

How to get angry? In a way that will produce hefty payloads (this will vary depending on the situation).

How much anger should be let loose? Enough to finish the job (protection of each other).

At whom should we get angry? At those who threaten others, and those who refuse to restrain threateners.

Why should we get angry? Because properly directed anger can be one of our most powerful tools for good.

“Contrary to what we’d love to believe, I doubt that human beings -- men or women -- are intelligent enough yet to operate without superordinate guiding constructs. Let’s face it: we're primates: animals who depend on groups for survival. Unlike chimps, bonobos and our other close cousins, however, we don’t come with automatic “operating instructions” (instincts). In order to work effectively in the groups that keep us alive, we humans need things that put us all on the same page. Large symbolic constructs like The Great Mother Goddess do just that.”
Unfortunately, so do jealous, kill-your-sons-to-prove-your-love warrior gods like Jehovah, Yaweh and Mohammed. The directions these lovelies have taken us are toward jealousy, killing, war -- and the edge of extinction.
thnx to stockcharl and stock.xchng for the foto


ursa said...

Talking of anger, Saharasia came yestaday I opened the page on swaddling of babies and could not believe how cruel this was, they were bandaged up for seven days between baths this went on for years they lay unable to move like wooden poles, this is apparently was aimed not just at moulding and crushing the childs physical form but also at their emotional immobilization, not to mention the horrors of head binding .Its interesting that these abuses follow the cultural spread of patriarchy I suppose the emotionally immobilized make good obedient cannon fodder .Morgaines recent post about anger also talks of torture of women and children and that we need to be angry.
I have always believed deep down that child abuse is a political system . Thanks for the book tip.

Athana said...

What struck me about this swaddling stuff is that DeMeo says originally it was a *good* thing. Originally it was a way to keep an infant's head and neck safe while its mother rode horseback over rough ground at break-neck speeds trying to flee the encroaching desert. It would have begun with good, matriarchal, Goddess mothers. Here these mothers are, living in highly complex civilized towns and cities, and the land begins to dry up. Eventually (maybe a couple of generations down the road) they are forced to abandon their entire civilization and go look for good land. They'd go on horseback. They'd wrap their babies tightly so they'd not get hurt.

But after several generations of this -- the stress, the starvation and the psychological and physiological damages it brings, the chaos, people not only swaddled but reared by now-psychotic parents -- a new breed of people arose, a new culture. And the swaddling probably got more extreme.

This entire process of course was more complex than I'm making it sound; lots involved; lots of factors interacting over time; feedback mechanisms and so forth.