The role of women in modern society

The cultures of ancient peoples may provide the answers to the confusion and conflict surrounding the role of women in modern society.

I have the impression that there is a lot of confusion and conflict surrounding the roles of women in modern society.  The topic is too large to handle in one blog, so I will write about the roles of women over several blogs over the coming weeks.

I take my position on women’s issues from the standpoint of ancient peoples like the Celts and the Basques, who ran a matriarchal society where women were at least equal to men, but had clear roles.

I will cover the Celtic philosophy in relation to women another time, but I thought in this blog to name three women connected to my town of Colchester who express to me certain positive roles in women.


Celtic “Queen” of the Iceni tribe in Norfolk.  In 60 CE the husband of Boudica died, the Romans who considered women as property of men, confiscated Iceni land, whipped Boudica and raped her daughters.

To the Celt the “Queen” is the personification of the land, providing strength, fertility and existence to the tribe.  The earth goddess that Boudica represented was the authority of the tribe, and protector of children and home.  What the Roman did was sacrilege, as bad in scale as someone burning the Muslim Qur’an and feeding pork to Muslims.   The Iceni went berserk, and rose in revolt against the Romans, joined by the Trinovante tribe of my town of Colchester, who had also been ill-treated.

A Roman legion was ambushed trying to save Colchester and obliterated, apart from its cavalry.  Roman Colchester was burnt to the ground, leaving only the Temple of Claudius standing. Every Roman was killed without mercy.  London and St Albans met a similar fate as Colchester.

The Romans nearly lost Britain, but defeated Boudica in a final battle.  Boudica was immortalised forever as a warrior “Queen” of Britain.

Saint Helena

The Church of England (CoE) has been fighting a civil war amongst themselves for two decades over allowing women priests.  The authorities of the CoE fail to appreciate that Helena was responsible for Christianity coming to Britain and spreading throughout the world.

Helena was a Christian, and married a Roman general called Constantius.  Whilst the Roman emperors were persecuting Christians Helena moderated her husbands anti-Christian activities to burning a few churches.  Britain declared independence from Rome in around 295 CE, and Constantius was appointed to a Roman army to attack Britain.  Constantius attacked Colchester, making this his base of operations, Helena was with him and made Colchester the first major centre of Christianity in Britain.

Eventually Constantius under pressure from anti-Christian authorities divorced Helena, and died fighting the Picts in York.  Helena and Constantius were the parents of Constantine the Great.  With the legions of Britain Constantine marched against Rome and became Roman emperor.  Under the influence of Helena, Constantine declared Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire which set the foundation for Christianity to spread across the world.

With access to unlimited funds Helena travelled to the Holy Land to find relics of Jesus, bringing back with her fragments of the cross and other relics.

Colchester has one ancient church dedicated to St Helena, and she is part of the coat of arms of Colchester. Representatives from Colchester were part of those delegates who set in place the doctrine and Bible of the Christian church in the 4th and 5th century CE.

Margaret Thatcher

Lived part of her life in Colchester.  Became Prime Minister of Britain in the 1980’s at the height of the Cold War.  She led Britain to victory against Argentina in the Falklands War; worked with President Reagan to face down Communism, witnessing its collapse; broke the back of militant trade unions who were ripping Britain apart.

Britain benefitted from strong leadership under Thatcher, entering a decade of prosperity.

Contrary to the position taken by a fellow blogger against Margaret Thatcher, I consider Thatcher to be the personification of the expression of strength, that is one quality of the Celtic “earth goddess” archetype, which makes her female in outlook.  The Celtic female archetypes are far from soft weak things, but powerful archetypes.


14 responses to “The role of women in modern society

  1. An excellent subject, Alex.

  2. Then there is the saying, “Behind every great man… is a woman!”


  3. Well, again I’ve learned something and will share with my Women in Business colleagues too! (And wider afield in other networks too of course). But as a matriarchal family both behind me and my own family, I realise how strong and capable women are. It’s a shame that we still aren’t ‘equal’ – just human beings at the end of the day – with men in some quarters (like equal pay as another current newspoint, and sometimes in business and politics although changing). Everyone has something to offer, we just need to feel/be free enough to find and share it. Interesting, and look forward to the others.

    • I have noticed from my blog stats that this blog post attracts many readers. I have been meaning to expand on this subject and will write further blogs in the near future over the important roles of women in society.

      The role of women is seriously underrated in modern society.

  4. I always really liked studying Boudica in school. She seemed tough and no nonsense. Interesting post.

  5. The key to understanding is understanding the idea of cultural castes and hierarchy that men are not equals to one another, nor women amongst women nor women to men nor children to women or men etc…Dominance, power and hierarchy are on matter. Christian doctrine is that all are equal before God in terms of worthiness of love and uniqueness but not in terms of money or power in sociological hierarchies. Although I have been affronted, upon careful analysis, while I am personally political in favor of the divine feminine in some nations some strong guy isn’t controllable except by if not a mortal men by perceiving the God as “Daddy with a big stick” if you see what I’m saying. That’s OK by me, if it works. On the human level, each of responds to male and to female authority and power according to experience and circumstances. Some have a strong preference, others do not. Everyone prefers to be treated with love and respect and there’s always that one kid who won’t stop just taking other kids toys and is strong enough and gets away with it until or unless a grown up stops it. In adult terms maybe it would be a deity who would interfere with that one…In truth,that is the dominant one.

    • Humanity is little different from the mentality of a wolf pack when in a group situation; they through various strategies compete and form into a ranking system; Alpha male and Alpha female at the top, the Omegas at the bottom.

      Despite these ranking competitions the male and female do have specific outlooks that favour certain roles, and the problems occur when the roles are undermined or corrupted.

  6. Hi Alex. Thanks for liking my poem ‘No Choice’. Best Wishes. The Foureyed Poet.

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