Exposing The Myth Of Male Supremacy
One of our urgent responsibilities is to re-educate ourselves. Much of what we have learned about ourselves and the world is historically false, psychologically harmful, and culturally noxious. An example is the myth of male supremacy, which we have inherited from the Judaeo-Christian religious tradition. That tradition taught us that God was male, that man (Adam) was God's first thought and that woman (Eve), God's afterthought, was made for man, from man, to complete man.
That the tradition is male supremacist can hardly be debated. St. Paul, the major New Testament writer, declared man is privileged over woman because of the creation. While man is "the image and glory of God," woman is merely "the glory of man," he writes. "[M]an did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man." Because of this, "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority
over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve."
The problem with St. Paul's argument is the incontestable fact that all human life comes through woman and from her womb. That being true, the idea that man came before woman and that man gave birth to woman (through a rib, out of which God fashioned her) contradicts human experience.
What it tells us is that the male writers of the Bible's Genesis creation story believed the sex that gives birth to humankind is superior to the sex that can not. This means they were reacting against the notion that woman was superior to man because of her birth-giving ability. To overthrow this idea, they created a story that said man, made in the image of a male God, gave birth to woman.
The Genesis story has many weaknesses. We will note three. First, the fundamentalist biblical scholars William Sanford La Sor, David Allan Hubbard, and Frederick William Bush in Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form and Background of the Old Testament reluctantly confirm the established scholarship on the creation story: that it is fictional. While they insist the story records "fundamental truths" and "facts," they also admit Genesis's first 11 chapters, which include the creation story, are "not 'history' in the modern sense of eyewitness, objective reporting." The events in the creation story are not "time-conditioned, human-conditioned, experienced-based," they confess. In other words, the "events" those chapters allegedly chronicle never happened.
Second, the idea of a life-giving rib was a female-centric notion that predates the existence of the people who authored the Bible. It comes from ancient Afrikans called Sumerians who lived in what is now modern Iraq. "The idea for Adam's birth-giving rib came from a Sumerian childbirth-goddess, Nin-ti, 'Lady of the Rib,' " writes one scholar. "Since ti means both 'rib' and 'life,' she was also Lady of Life. She made infants' bones in utero from their mothers' ribs, which is why biblical writers thought ribs possessed the magic of maternity."
The British scholars Anne Baring and Jules Cashford confirm this view when they note the "Old and New Testaments are saturated with images that came originally from Sumeria ...
Only Egypt [Kemet, another Afrikan country] can rival Sumeria's pervasive influence."
Third, the original notion of a supreme creator God was not male, but female. She was the Great Mother God. This notion of a female God was grounded in the central role woman played in ancient (so-called prehistoric) Afrikan societies, wherever they were in the world.
Woman was seen as the giver and sustainer of human life and of human society because of her ability to give birth, and to sustain human life through her body's ability to nourish that life and through her development of agriculture and animal domestication. With this, woman was the architect of the stability and survival of human society. She evidently possessed a status in society that was equal, or perhaps in some ways superior, to man. God, by analogy, was originally seen as being like her.
Some prehistoric cave art shows ancient Afrikan woman/God as "Primal Mother Creator, with fertilizing and nurturing powers which extended from the firmaments down into the earth below," observes the Afrikan art scholar Dr. Rosalind Jeffries. "Her powers of fertility in the universe were not confined to human beings but could be magnified to affect vegetation, animal husbandry, and the atmosphere."
Dr. Jeffries adds that ancient Afrikan woman/God was seen as the "Giver of Life" and the "Mother Killer," who, symbolized as a vulture, was willing to do whatever was necessary to ensure human survival.
Posted By: RootsWomb(man)
From: Rastafari Speaks Message Board