marlene mountain
letter essay
march 1990

real treat

dear alexis 3/18/90

Thanks for the interest in the sequences. I'm thinking of sending some visual things, but I don't think you've mentioned the size of the magazine. Sorry to hear about your publishing woes. Hope something works out for you.

You're in for a real treat: there's lots of proof about matriarchy. Matriarchy--it isn't the opposite of patriarchy--seems to be the natural order of nature. It appears that the mother, in animal and human clans, has the say on everything. Some prefer to say: matricentric, matrifocal, matri-lots of other things.

Do take some time and read Marija Gimbutas, 'The Language of the Goddess'--which I mention in one of those sequences. She's an archeologist at UCLA who has done much to undo the damage of seeing the world through the male archeologists and anthropologists viewpoint, through what I call 'male-colored glasses.' We have all been done such a terrible disservice, an extremely bad joke about our ancient past.

From her field work and studies, she notes that only about 2% or so of all Neolithic sculpture is of the male. There is not even that much in Paleolithic--it was all about woman and animals/vegetation. Naturally, men (and male-identified women) have interpreted the female sculpture as fertility fetishes. What lies there have been about this and Man the Hunter and animal studies, etc etc ETC.

Also read Elizabeth Fisher's 'Woman's Creation' (out of print, but available). And there are many other books! But mainly I believe all we women have to do is to imagine our bodies, the 'mystery' of childbirth and blood (and our innate intelligence), and we can feel how women must have had such an awe and respect surrounding them. All the art shows this. Paternity was not recognized until late Neolithic. Men it seems were peripheral (as they still are today) to the main activities of the clan. The brother of the mother was the significant male in the group. Certainly there were no 'husbands.' That the people were of the mother does not imply ownership to me, certainly not the ownership of patriarchy in which a father gives/sells a female to a husband.

It's all quite exciting to find such roots. To understand that what is now thought about nature and people WAS NOT then. The take-over (I feel from the male's over-reaction to the knowledge of paternity) is clearly seen in the early myths--when they are interpreted correctly. I don't trust Jung, Campbell, et al analysis about the Terrible Mother. She is of course not 'terrible,' but represents the natural occurrence of dying, animals/humans/vegetation. Nor do I like the separation of greek goddesses into wife, seducer, et al. Yuk. The greek males did this, and it's even 'popular' now. Nor do I like the dualist concepts of Tao; it certainly doesn't represent 'equality' in spite of rhetoric. But then I don't believe in 'equality' anyway. Nature/all of us are 'female.'

My interest is in the world-wide view of what has happened to women and nature--the harm done. The celebrating of the potential of females to regain our true femaleness. Whether I'm grouchy, or a woman friend is, or whether a male friend is good/nice/respectful hasn't a bit to do with it. I just don't base the majority of what people are today as representing what humanness is about. We've all been swallowed up by male-dominance. And men themselves have truly been hurt. Can't wait for them to wise up. Won't wait for them to wise up. Tho I'll help.

Truly your soul/spirit/heart/mind is in for the deepest experience you'll ever have if you do get into all of this. It may just be what you have been searching for during these recent years.


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