exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
"Thomas Paine wrote about the rights of women; not about privileges for women at the price of injustice toward men and children, as much of today’s feminist movement advocates, but something quite different – full humanitarian rights for all women." Kenneth Griffith, Thomas Paine: The Most Valuable Englishman Ever
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759 - 1797)
This page is dedicated to Mary Wollstonecraft, one of history's great humanistic feminists. Much of feminism today has devolved to just another form of despotism and cultism; as Ken Griffith pointed out, a grasping for "privilege" (literally, "private law"), as opposed to that which is properly due all human beings. I count Mary Wollstonecraft as exemplar of enlightened feminism. See her notable quotations below.
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759 – 1797) was an English writer, philosopher, and advocate of women's rights. During her brief career, she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children's book. Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason. Wikipedia
While radical feminism today may go too far in terms of demanding “privileges for women at the price of injustice toward men,” it’s all quite understandable. There's a lot of pent-up anger for what's happened since Adam blamed Eve for the apple. The “sacred feminine” has been severely oppressed by patriarchal systems for millennia. One of the most strident cheerleaders against the fairer sex has been Big Religion. Its leading teachers have institutionalized and sanctified a disrespect toward mothers, sisters, and wives. Here is a sampling of perverted thought, offered by "saints," dressed up as “infallible” doctrine, still influencing, subtly and overtly, Church policy to this very day:
Saint Thomas Aquinas: “God made a mistake in creating women.” Summa Theologica
Saint Clement of Alexandria: “Every woman should be filled with shame by the thought that she is a woman.”
Church Father Tertullian: (speaking of women in general) "You are the devil's gateway. You are she who persuaded him whom the devil did not dare attack. Do you not know that every one of you is an Eve? The sentence of God, on your sex, lives on in this age; the guilt, of necessity, lives on, too... It is not permitted for a woman to speak in the church, nor is it permitted for her to teach, nor to baptize, nor to offer the eucharist, nor to claim for herself a share in any masculine function; not to mention any priestly office." Note: see how this pompous and brazen sexist equates "masculine function" with what he deems to be important work of God. The trickle-down effect of this poisonous and prideful attitude might infect even young boys, lords in-the-making, vis-a-vis their mothers and sisters.
This ungodly spirit of the Blackrobe Bullies stands in sharp contrast to the teachings of Jesus. In his day, one of the favorite prayers of the religious elite took the form of “I thank thee Lord that I am not a woman.” Uh-huh. And, iconoclast that he was, Jesus actually spoke to women, not as a slave or a dog, but as one thoughtful human being to another. His men were astounded at this breaking of taboo (see The Gospel of John, chapter 4). But the big uproar would come when he chided the hard-hearted men who thought of women as just one more asset on the balance sheet, along with sheep and donkeys. Jesus made many enemies that day when he said that men are not allowed to use women as sex-object pawns (Matthew 19). Even his own male followers hard a really hard time with that one; poor guys, life was so much simpler with an "I'm king and you're nothing" philosophy. Her response needs to be, "Big deal, so you're king over nothing."
Excerpts from the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft:
I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.
The beginning is always today.
Women are systematically degraded by receiving the trivial attentions which men think it manly to pay to the sex, when, in fact, men are insultingly supporting their own superiority.
Strengthen the female mind by enlarging it, and there will be an end to blind obedience.
Friendship is a serious affection; the most sublime of all affections, because it is founded on principle, and cemented by time.
Only that education deserves emphatically to be termed cultivation of the mind which teaches young people how to begin to think.
Women do not want power over men, they want power over themselves.
Let woman share the rights and she will emulate the virtues of man; for she must grow more perfect when emancipated ...
What, but the rapacity of the only men who exercised their reason, the priests, secured such vast property to the church, when a man gave his perishable substance to save himself from the dark torments of purgatory; and found it more convenient to indulge his depraved appetites, and pay an exorbitant price for absolution, than listen to the suggestions of reason, and work out his own salvation: in a word, was not the separation of religion from morality the work of the priests...?
Independence I have long considered as the grand blessing of life, the basis of every virtue; and independence I will ever secure by contracting my wants, though I were to live on a barren heath.
Taught from infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.
The being cannot be termed rational or virtuous, who obeys any authority, but that of reason.
Women deluded by these sentiments, sometimes boast of their weakness, cunningly obtaining power by playing on the weakness of men; and they may well glory in their illicit sway, for, like Turkish bashaws [a high rank in the Ottoman Empire], they have more real power than their masters: but virtue is sacrificed to temporary gratifications, and the respectability of life to the triumph of an hour.
No man chooses evil because it's evil. He only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.
The more equality there is established among men, the more virtue and happiness will reign in society.
Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and, roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison. Men have various employments and pursuits which engage their attention, and give a character to the opening mind; but women, confined to one, and having their thoughts constantly directed to the most insignificant part of themselves, seldom extend their views beyond the triumph of the hour.
You know I am not born to tread in the beaten track the peculiar bent of my nature pushes me on.
Man preys on man; and you mourn for the idle tapestry that decorated a gothic pillar, and the dronish bell that summoned the fat priest to prayer. You mourn for the empty pageant of a name, when slavery flaps her wing, ... Why is our fancy to be appalled by terrific perspectives of a hell beyond the grave? - Hell stalks abroad; - the lash resounds on the slave's naked sides; and the sick wretch, who can no longer earn the sour bread of unremitting labour, steals to a ditch to bid the world a long good night.
Women becoming, consequently, weaker than they ought to behave not sufficient strength to discharge the first duty of a mother; and sacrificing to lasciviousness the parental affection either destroy the embryo in the womb, or cast if off when born. Nature in every thing demands respect, and those who violate her laws seldom violate them with impunity.
It appears to me impossible that I should cease to exist, or that this active, restless spirit, equally alive to joy and sorrow, should only be organised dust - ready to fly abroad the moment the spring snaps, or the spark goes out, which kept it together. Surely something resides in this heart that is not perishable - and life is more than a dream.
Simplicity and sincerity generally go hand in hand, as both proceed from a love of truth.
It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world.
For years I have endeavored to calm an impetuous tide -- laboring to make my feelings take an orderly course -- it was striving against the stream.
The mind will ever be unstable that has only prejudices to rest on.
Let us, my dear contemporaries, arise above such narrow prejudices. If wisdom be desirable on its own account, if virtue, to deserve the name, must be founded on knowledge, let us endeavour to strengthen our minds by reflection till our heads become a balance for our hearts...
Editor's last word:
Also see these articles:
The doctrine of Reincarnation originated in the East and is taught differently over there. Primarily it was a tool to oppress women and other disadvantaged. Like politicians who change their message according to a regional audience, gurus sanitized, made palatable, Reincarnation for the Western mind. Obviously, with this Machiavellian changeableness, we are not dealing with eternal truth but just one more quasi-religious tenet designed for power-and-control over the hapless masses. READ MORE
Despotic Religion's patriarchy's war on women, as addressed by Eckhart Tolle. READ MORE