Which pre-Christian civilization was best for women?

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Which pre-Christian civilization was best for women?
Israelite/Jewish 17%  17%  [ 4 ]
Midianite/Moabite 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Sumerian 9%  9%  [ 2 ]
Egyptian 22%  22%  [ 5 ]
Mesopotamian 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Babylonian 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Chaldean 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Assyrian 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Persian 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
Greek 9%  9%  [ 2 ]
Roman 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Carthaginian 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Canaanite 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Philistine 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Ancient Indian 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Ancient Chinese 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Germanic or Celtic Tribes 26%  26%  [ 6 ]
Ancient Arabian 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Other (please specify) 13%  13%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 23

ArrantPariah
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10 Nov 2012, 10:42 am

From another discussion:

MarketandChurch wrote:
You cite the greeks, and they rank amongst the most sexist society in the ancient world. Their man-man/boy love was also at the expense of women and a woman's inherent worth in society. Why is that to be glorified? The role of woman was subjugated to just two roles: running the house and sexual pleasure. That's it! She has no inherent worth beyond those two roles, and all of this was because of the glorification of the male form, male psyche, and male-male love.


MarketandChurch wrote:
There was no female creation story in all of the middle east, from north africa to afghanistan. The one group of people, 3000 years ago, who had a creation story in which woman is made is the Jews.


MarketandChurch wrote:
The Jews elevated the worth of women higher then any other ancient culture. This was 3000 years ago when this torah was conceived in the form of an oral tradition, and it is said that these stories date back as far as 12,000 years ago from the inhabitants of this part of the world. Its view of women were more elevated then anything pre 1950's. It is arguable that its view of woman is still more elevated then the notions that 90% of the worlds population holds in 2012. It has no equal.


The quotes above were tangential to the nominal topic of the particular discussion, and I thought that the ideas would merit their own discussion.

Not being a woman, I've never given a whole lot of thought to which ancient culture I would have preferred to inhabit as a woman. When I read about, for example, the ancient Moabites

Numbers 25 wrote:
When the Israelites were camped at Acacia Valley, the men began to have sexual intercourse with the Moabite women who were there. These women invited them to sacrificial feasts, where the god of Moab was worshiped. The Israelites ate the food and worshiped the god Baal of Peor


I tend to think "Yeah, that civilization sounds perfect!" Some of the ladies may think differently, but what could be better than sex and a barbecue?

So, which pre-Christian civilization do you think the ladies would have preferred?

I didn't want to start a discussion on whether women were better or worse off after Christianity took hold--that can be a separate topic. Let's try to focus on ancient pre-Christian societies.

I realize that some of these civilizations lasted for thousands of years, and evolved over time. So, if you will, please discuss which period of your chosen civilization was best for women.



MarketAndChurch
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10 Nov 2012, 5:40 pm

I'll answer in full after work. My vote is for the Jews.


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ArrantPariah
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10 Nov 2012, 6:21 pm

I know very little about women in ancient history.

I voted Egypt, because Cleopatra served as pharoah.

I know that she was Greek, so it might end up actually having been a vote for ancient Greek chicks.



MarketAndChurch
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10 Nov 2012, 6:24 pm

ArrantPariah wrote:
I know very little about women in ancient history.

I voted Egypt, because Cleopatra served as pharoah.

I know that she was Greek, so it might end up actually having been a vote for ancient Greek chicks.


That's totally fine. I'll draw when I get back the contrast between the Jewish revolutions in womens rights, sourced from Jewish religious text, and let everyone go at it from there.


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10 Nov 2012, 6:24 pm

They all sucked.

I prefer our modern Western civilization, thank you.

Of course, I'm also in to living past 30, not dying a horrific death in childbirth, and Playstation 3. Thanks for the voting rights, guys!

YMMV.


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ArrantPariah
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10 Nov 2012, 8:23 pm

Are there no feminist heros of ancient days?

Back in the old days, in a lot of cultures they could worship female Gods. For the ancient Jews, and modern Christians and Moslems, God is strictly male. Back in Ancient Israel, you could get yourself killed if you were caught worshipping Aphrodite.

What people worshipped may have had ramifications into how various people were treated.



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10 Nov 2012, 11:11 pm

I would say ancient celtic tribes they were like Amazons back then.Boutica led an army and all the celtic tribes and chased off the Romans.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xv0ETqF-WOQ[/youtube]


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Last edited by AspieOtaku on 11 Nov 2012, 4:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

androbot2084
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10 Nov 2012, 11:24 pm

Strictly male? I thought there is no male or female in Christ Jesus.



MarketAndChurch
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11 Nov 2012, 4:07 am

ArrantPariah wrote:
Are there no feminist heros of ancient days?

Back in the old days, in a lot of cultures they could worship female Gods. For the ancient Jews, and modern Christians and Moslems, God is strictly male. Back in Ancient Israel, you could get yourself killed if you were caught worshipping Aphrodite.

What people worshipped may have had ramifications into how various people were treated.



    At the onset: The question in life is: When is one supposed to be compassionate, and when is one supposed to uphold standards.


God is a male in Judaism because it is better we relate to him as a father in heaven then a mother in heaven. He is gender-less but if he is to be a God that is more associated with standards... (versus one more associated with compassion), then a father who makes moral demands on you is more fitting.

A mother is more compassion oriented, and that is one large aspect of God, but not the overruling one.

Standards... makes God a Male in the way we are to perceive and relate to him.




Islam and Christianity... I don't know what their practitioners would answer. Hopefully its something I can defend.


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ArrantPariah
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11 Nov 2012, 9:42 am

MarketAndChurch wrote:
God is a male in Judaism because it is better we relate to him as a father in heaven then a mother in heaven. He is gender-less but if he is to be a God that is more associated with standards... (versus one more associated with compassion), then a father who makes moral demands on you is more fitting.

A mother is more compassion oriented, and that is one large aspect of God, but not the overruling one.

Standards... makes God a Male in the way we are to perceive and relate to him.


The Israelites took this to an unfortunate extreme.

Various goddesses were a part of other ancient religions. Venus, Astarte, Aphrodite, etc. Some religious motifs included Mother Earth and Father Heaven.

The Israelites completely suppressed any female aspect of the divine, and made God utterly male. God created Man in His own image, and the woman as a companion and plaything for the Man. Paul made it quite explicit: the wife is to obey her husband, cover her head and keep quiet in church.

By deifying Mary, the Catholics have reinstituted a female figure for worship. They glorify her supposedly miraculous womb, but otherwise regard her as having been a sterile, cranky, sexless virgin. The very model of Catholic femininity.



11 Nov 2012, 10:56 am

MarketAndChurch: The ancient Greeks weren't particularly sexist; unlike ancient Rome which was thoroughly misogynist and viewed women as chattel. We can only wonder for the moment how the Etruscan Culture treated women because from what it known they appear to have been a matriarchal society with women being valued more than men.



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11 Nov 2012, 10:57 am

AspieRogue wrote:
MarketAndChurch: The ancient Greeks weren't particularly sexist; unlike ancient Rome which was thoroughly misogynist and viewed women as chattel. We can only wonder for the moment how the Etruscan Culture treated women because from what it known they appear to have been a matriarchal society with women being valued more than men.


That is a stretch. We know very little about the Etruscans.

ruveyn



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11 Nov 2012, 1:33 pm

Here is Herodotus' description of an ancient Babylonian religious tradition

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Hdt.+1.199

Herodotus wrote:
The foulest Babylonian custom is that which compels every woman of the land to sit in the temple of Aphrodite and have intercourse with some stranger once in her life. Many women who are rich and proud and disdain to mingle with the rest, drive to the temple in covered carriages drawn by teams, and stand there with a great retinue of attendants. But most sit down in the sacred plot of Aphrodite, with crowns of cord on their heads; there is a great multitude of women coming and going; passages marked by line run every way through the crowd, by which the men pass and make their choice. Once a woman has taken her place there, she does not go away to her home before some stranger has cast money into her lap, and had intercourse with her outside the temple; but while he casts the money, he must say, “I invite you in the name of Mylitta” (that is the Assyrian name for Aphrodite). It does not matter what sum the money is; the woman will never refuse, for that would be a sin, the money being by this act made sacred. So she follows the first man who casts it and rejects no one. After their intercourse, having discharged her sacred duty to the goddess, she goes away to her home; and thereafter there is no bribe however great that will get her. So then the women that are fair and tall are soon free to depart, but the uncomely have long to wait because they cannot fulfill the law; for some of them remain for three years, or four. There is a custom like this in some parts of Cyprus.


I'm guessing that Herodotus was gay.

At least in Babylon, the women had a very important role in religious practices. In Ancient Israel, the women apparently had no role at all in worshipping Yahweh.

Deuteronomy 23 wrote:
No Israelite, man or woman, is to become a temple prostitute. Also, no money earned in this way may be brought into the house of the Lord your God in fulfillment of a vow. The Lord hates temple prostitutes.


Not only did women have no role in the cult of Yahweh, but the Israelites were a bunch of sticks-in-the-mud when it came to worship.

The Babylonian religion, as compared to the Israelite religion, was much more inclusive of women, and afforded women a central role in the performance of sacred acts.



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11 Nov 2012, 2:13 pm

ArrantPariah wrote:
Here is Herodotus' description of an ancient Babylonian religious tradition

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Hdt.+1.199

Herodotus wrote:
The foulest Babylonian custom is that which compels every woman of the land to sit in the temple of Aphrodite and have intercourse with some stranger once in her life. Many women who are rich and proud and disdain to mingle with the rest, drive to the temple in covered carriages drawn by teams, and stand there with a great retinue of attendants. But most sit down in the sacred plot of Aphrodite, with crowns of cord on their heads; there is a great multitude of women coming and going; passages marked by line run every way through the crowd, by which the men pass and make their choice. Once a woman has taken her place there, she does not go away to her home before some stranger has cast money into her lap, and had intercourse with her outside the temple; but while he casts the money, he must say, “I invite you in the name of Mylitta” (that is the Assyrian name for Aphrodite). It does not matter what sum the money is; the woman will never refuse, for that would be a sin, the money being by this act made sacred. So she follows the first man who casts it and rejects no one. After their intercourse, having discharged her sacred duty to the goddess, she goes away to her home; and thereafter there is no bribe however great that will get her. So then the women that are fair and tall are soon free to depart, but the uncomely have long to wait because they cannot fulfill the law; for some of them remain for three years, or four. There is a custom like this in some parts of Cyprus.


I'm guessing that Herodotus was gay.

At least in Babylon, the women had a very important role in religious practices. In Ancient Israel, the women apparently had no role at all in worshipping Yahweh.

Deuteronomy 23 wrote:
No Israelite, man or woman, is to become a temple prostitute. Also, no money earned in this way may be brought into the house of the Lord your God in fulfillment of a vow. The Lord hates temple prostitutes.


Not only did women have no role in the cult of Yahweh, but the Israelites were a bunch of sticks-in-the-mud when it came to worship.

The Babylonian religion, as compared to the Israelite religion, was much more inclusive of women, and afforded women a central role in the performance of sacred acts.


This is the first time I've ever heard forced prostitution described as a triumph for women's rights. 8O
It sounds horrible.

I would also point out that the condemnation of temple prostitution you quoted from Deuteronomy is explicitly non-gendered ("man or woman").



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11 Nov 2012, 2:37 pm

^ AND the first time I've ever heard anyone called 'gay' for objecting to it.



thomas81
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11 Nov 2012, 3:09 pm

In Ancient Britain under the celts, men and women were entirely equal both at home and the battlefield.