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  • Izak de Vries

Seks, patriargie en die vroulike god


Ek wil vir ’n kort oomblik filosofies raak en vir julle vertel van twee tekste wat Leonard Shlain, ’n mediese dokter, geskryf het.

Ek gaan egter lui wees en ’n opsomming gee van ’n opsomming wat Bert Olivier, daardie rocksterfilosoof van Port Elizabeth, gemaak het.

Hoekom? Ek is pas klaar met Annelise se Weerloos. Maar, voor ek iets oor Weerloos sê, is dit belangrik dat alle murmurendes eers moet weet dat onse Annelise meer is as ’n baie mooi sekskatjie. Dié girl dink diep goete.

Ek wil egter nie ’n bespreking van haar heerlik erotiese boek opfoeter met my slimmighede nie, daarom gaan ek erken dat ek nie slimmer is as Bert nie, en dus Bert se woorde steel.

Die boek van Leonard Slain wat ’n direkte gesprek met Annelise se Weerloos uitlok, is: The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict between Word and Image, uitgegee deur Penguin, New York, 1998. (Beskikbaar by Kalahari, kliek net op die skakel.)

Oor The Alphabet Versus the Godess skryf Bert Olivier toe hierdie artikel, wat julle gerus kan lees: Images, language, women and patriarchy.

Hier is ’n uittreksel:

In a nutshell, Shlain was struck by the correlation, in the ancient world, between the transition from goddess-worship to masculine god-worship in various cultures, the simultaneous spread of (especially alphabet) literacy, and the rise of patriarchy and misogyny in the place of the preceding social egalitarianism that had characterised goddess-worshipping communities. This led him to hypothesise that there is a historical link between literacy and patriarchy, which he then set out to test throughout history and in various cultures, every time with resounding confirmation.

One of the telling test cases discussed by Shlain pertains to the so-called “dark” middle ages when, after the fall of Rome, illiteracy spread rapidly. In accordance with Shlain’s hypothesis, the status of women rose conspicuously during this era, culminating in a veritable cult of women-worship associated with the medieval knights’ code of chivalry towards women.

When the late middle ages witnessed the return of literacy, and eventually Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 15th century, the oppression of women returned with a vengeance, culminating in the horrendous persecution of women as “witches” in the course of the 16th-century Protestant reformation.

As julle meer wil weet, het Bert nog twee stukke geskryf wat baie interessant was, maar enigsins more of the same:

en:

Uit laasgenoemde wil ek net een klein stukkie aanhaal:

What is the function of art? It is not to prettify or reassure (…) It is to interrogate the status quo, to dislocate, defamiliarise it, or, as Socrates claimed regarding philosophy, to bring about a “wholesome unrest” in the soul.

Die ander belangrike boek Leonard Shain, wat Olivier bespreek, is Sex, Time, and Power: How Women's Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution, ook uitgegee deur Penguin. (Ook by Kalahari, kliek gerus op die skakel.)

Hier is die bespreking: Blood, iron, sex and time

En, vir die luies, hier die relevante uittreksel.

When the penny eventually dropped, on the part of men, that they actually had a share in making babies (remember that for a very long time women, who were revered for fertility reasons, were regarded as being the sole source of children), and that resemblance between parents and infants is one indication of this, they sought some reassurance of “immortality” in their children’s names, memory and commemoration of them. To this end — and here lies a powerful source of misogyny and patriarchy, according to Shlain — men eventually set up ritualistic, conventional means (still very much in evidence today) for controlling the sexual and reproductive activities of women.

In other words, Shlain hypothesises, patriarchy has its distant origin in the attempt, on the part of men, to assure the sexual fidelity of their women, in the process ensuring that the children they bear are his, and his alone.

Ek gaan binnekort meer oor Weerloos sê.

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