marlene mountain
october 1990

male-colored glasses

R. H. Blyth can publish his misogynistic view that it's doubtful if women can write haiku, yet he's still quoted and represented as a scholar of haiku. I figure if a man is that ignorant about women, he can't possible know much about anything else. Of course, Blyth is typical of the majority who live in and perpetuate male culture. Practically everything in it in some way or another has said women are incapable and inferior.

Since most of us have viewed the world through male-colored glasses for about 5,000 years (a relatively short period of time) and these attitudes have been reinforced in every way possible, in particular by male religion, literature and philosophy, it will not be an easy task to remove these glasses and truly look. Perhaps we should make this effort, for the good of the earth and her people, for the good of nature.

Many women wear very thick male-colored glasses. These lenses caused Clara Schumann to state, 'A woman should not presume to write music.' (I doubt she believed that, but it gets one on the good side of male culture.) They've caused Alexis Rotella to say 'reasoning is a male function' and that men can teach this to women. Surely she jests!

History books and newspapers are full of unreasoning/unreasonable men. It's strange that her 'reasoning' disallows her to believe in peaceful times determined by female closeness to the earth and female respect (yes, awe) within society, but allows her to believe in male cultural dualism (anima/animus is a made-up male concept).

They've also caused Mary Mobert to say that there was just as much violence in Goddess cultures as today. Surely she jests! If one truly looks at the sculpture of Paleolithic and Neolithic times (which I've come to call 'womolithic'), well, there's no way that a society existed in which these females were raped or murdered.

There are no extant weapons nor indications of city walls in the Neolithic before the Proto-Indo-European incursions. Even more revealing of this culture is that only 2 to 3 percent of the sculpture is male--and only a tiny suggestion of the male in earlier times, but not in sculpture.

These lenses have caused men (and women) to become so defensive when male domination and atrocities are even mentioned, let alone discussed, that the road to understanding often seems a dead-end. Denial gets us nowhere and it is only when we fully face how male culture has violated and continues to violate the female spirit and body in countless ways, that we can begin the journey of healing. More than a victim, the female is a survivor and, all things considered, a rather (too) pleasant one at that.

Consider: 9 million women (midwives, healers) were tortured and burned during the 'renaissance' ('the humanistic revival of classical art, literature, and learning in Europe'). Consider: over 85 million females in Africa and other islamic countries are currently effected by the practices of clitoridectomy and infibulation.

Perhaps the most meaningful responsibility we as women and men have in these difficult times is to become aware of and attempt to understand female culture of the past. It's quite possible that it existed for millions of years (before it became a sub-culture); there's sculptural evidence from about 500,000 years ago. Just looking at these images causes me to believe in humanity, to have hope that this past can repeat itself, and that we--again--can respect one another and our companions of the earth.

I have a soft spot in my heart for women and men still wearing these glasses. As entrenched in male culture as I was (and such a terrific proponent of it), well, if I can look anew, anyone can.

Lynx spring/summer 1991 America

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