It would benefit everyone for a return back to a matriarchal society.
Dig down within the ancient Roman walls of my town of Colchester you will reach a layer of ash, a legacy of the destruction of my town for the rape of females, daughters of the Iceni Queen Boudica. London was also destroyed and Rome nearly lost control of Britain for the rape of two women.
In India there is currently great anger at the treatment of a woman who died after being raped by six men on a public bus. The rape brought to the surface the whole question of how women are being treated in India.
The oppression of women
For reasons I can only guess at the transition from hunter gatherer to civilisation swung society away from a matriarchal to a patriarchal one, where women lost their previous standing to become property of men with limited rights, worse, seen as an evil influence to be forcefully oppressed. As humanity moves into the new year of 2013 gender roles are confused, there is a raging war of the sexes, and many women remain oppressed at the same level as those of Athens when Plato was alive and breathing. One of the great crimes of civilisation is how it has treated women.
The ancient Celts and Basques are to my knowledge the only indigenous people who successfully transitioned from hunter gatherer to civilisation with their matriarchal system intact. The philosophy of hunter gatherers, that reaches back to the dawn of human history, is what colours my world view. I am clear in my head on the roles of men and women, the place of women in society.
Women are the supreme authority
Women are the supreme authority, their role is provider and protector. The highest power in the universe is entropy. Entropy gave birth to the universe, and it will devour the universe at its ending. Entropy is female in nature for its association to birth, life and death. The masculine side of the universe is the child of entropy, and is the second highest authority. The female side of the universe is potential, it is hidden and fertile. The masculine side of the universe is kinetic, it reveals what is hidden, creating matter from nothingness. Standing side by side as husband and wife in certain Celtic stories such as in the story of Bran and the cauldron, the female is vast in size, her husband notable by the smallness of his size in comparison. Amongst the Celts the female is associated with the moon, land and water; the male with the sun, forest and fire.
Gender roles in the Celtic Tradition
The Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi defines the relationship and roles of the two genders in the story of Math Son of Mathonwy. The image of the king using his wife as a footstool symbolises kingship and land, the woman is symbolic of the land, being a footstool she gives the king his strength. With the footstool gone the king loses his strength and kingdom. Like in the story of King Arthur if the king mistreated or ignores the land, it will undermine and destroy him; symbolic of Queen Guinevere running off with Sir Lancelot. The King Arthur of history instead of serving as champion and steward of the will of the land, was arrogant, drunk on his own glory, a tyrant; the fall of Arthur and Camelot was fated as soon as the land turned on him. In Math Son of Mathonwy the man is nothing until his mother gives him his name, a sword and a wife.
Potential and kinetic energy in gender roles
The female aspect of the universe is like potential energy, vital and motivating, but lacking expression. The masculine aspect of the universe gives the potential its voice, manifests the potential as kinetic energy; matter comes into being, and forms are revealed. The female and male aspects work as a team, each dependent upon the other, one that provides, and one that manifests energy. It is therefore a nonsense that the kinetic male aspect is enslaving women, when its role is supposed to be liberator putting potential energy into motion.
Man is champion in that he manifests potential energy into kinetic energy. Women have the potential to create a child, but a man is needed to set the process in motion. The man has no need to interfere or control the process of the creation of a child, just introduce the fire, and the will of the woman will bring forth the child. The female process in creating the child is the same across everything in the universe, the potential, the will to action, already knows what to do and what it wants, all man has to do is act as champion and steward to assist in manifesting the potential as activity.
The Celtic Bran said of the role of man “let him who be chief be a bridge to his people”, in simple terms the man acts as a bridge through which energy flows to manifest as matter and form. If the man instead oppresses woman, acting as jailer rather than liberator, he may as well cease to exist. When energy is restricted entropy results. What the Celts call the Wasteland is when the land is sick, in decay, barren, in despair, weak and dying. When women are oppressed the people as a whole become physically and mentally sick. With the Wasteland economic, political systems fail, society collapses.
The liberated woman
In ancient Celtic society women sat at the heart of that society, respected and honoured. Women had few restrictions, they could be ruler, warrior and priest.
Returning to the subject of women and my town of Colchester, a few streets away from me used to live a woman called Margaret Thatcher. Mrs Thatcher was the only woman so far to become Prime Minister of Britain. Mrs Thatcher was a strong leader, who people either loved or hated; she broke the back of the militant unions, shaped a generation of children called “Thatchers Children”; defeated and brought down the Argentina dictatorship during the Falklands War; led Britain from ruin to an era of prosperity; faced down and saw the end of Communism where she earned the nickname the “Iron Lady”.
As the world plunges ever faster down the path of no return, one of the key needs for human survival is to redefine the role of women in human society by swinging the pendulum back to the matriarchal society of our ancestors.