An interestingly referenced thesis I came across in the comments section of the following AlexOnLife YT video (reproduced in full below). Comments?
Sometimes we forget that none of this new. I've posted this before but it is worth repeating. Read this quote by Cato The Elder below:
"Woman is a violent and uncontrolled animal... If you allow them to achieve complete equality with men, do you think they will be easier to live with? Not at all. Once they have achieved equality, they will be your masters..... All mankind rules its women, and we rule all mankind, yet our women rule us."
- Cato The Elder (around 195BC ; Rome)
During the second Punic War in 215BC, Rome passed a law called 'Lex Oppia.' Cato argued that the law removed the shame of poverty because it made all women dress in an equal fashion. Cato insisted that if women could engage in a clothes-contest, they would either feel shame in the presence of other women, or on the contrary, they would delight in a rather base victory as a result of extending themselves beyond their means. He also declared that a woman's desire to spend money was a disease that could not be cured, but only restrained; the removal of Lex Oppia, Cato said, would render society helpless in limiting the expenditures of women. Cato pronounced that Roman women already corrupted by luxury were like wild animals who have once tasted blood in the sense that they can no longer be trusted to restrain themselves from rushing into an orgy of extravagance. The law was repealed in 195BC, but this just goes to show that everything we're dealing with right now is not something brand new. When society becomes more gentrified, women gain more power, gynocracy takes hold and then the nation either collapses from within (providing too many services for women and children, at the expense of the family unit and men), OR they are taken over by more patriarchal nations.
Strabo (the Greek Historian, Geographer and Philosopher ; living from 64BC – 24AD) said this:
"The multitude are restrained from vice by the punishments that the gods are said to inflict upon offenders, and by those terrors and threatenings which certain dreadful words and monstrous forms imprint upon their minds. For it is impossible to govern the crowd of women, and all the common rabble, by philosophical reasoning, and lead them to piety, holiness and virtue – but this must be done by superstition, or the fear of the gods, by means of fables and wonders; for the thunder, the aegis, the trident, the torches (of the Furies), the dragons, etc.. are all fables. These things the legislators used as scarecrows to terrify the childish multitude.”
Essentially, they used religion as a way to terrify people (mainly women), so that society would be held in check. Just reading the history of the Roman Empire (Greco-Romans) brings such glaring similarities with our own civilization, it is as if human social dynamics are literally stuck in a cycle that repeats every couple thousand years (there were two matriarchal, extremely advanced civilizations: one at the end of the Roman empire, 2000 years ago, one possibly at the end of Babylon, 4000 years ago). For those who enjoy history, here is a short recap of social changes in Rome, 2,000 years ago (most historians focus on military, economical and political facts, but I find the social aspects just as fascinating):
~5 century BC: Roman civilization is a a strong patriarchy, fathers are liable for the actions of their wife and children, and have absolute authority over the family (including the power of life and death)
~1 century BC: Roman civilization blossoms into the most powerful and advanced civilization in the world. Material wealth is astounding, citizens (i.e.: non slaves) do not need to work. They have running water, baths and import spices from thousands of miles away. The Romans enjoy the arts and philosophy; they know and appreciate democracy, commerce, science, human rights, animal rights, children rights and women become emancipated. No-fault divorce is enacted, and quickly becomes popular by the end of the century.
~1-2 century AD: The family unit is destroyed. Men refuse to marry and the government tries to revive marriage with a “bachelor tax”, to no avail. Children are growing up without fathers, Roman women show little interest in raising their own children and frequently use nannies. The wealth and power of women grows very fast, while men become increasingly demotivated and engage in prostitution and vice. Prostitution and homosexuality become widespread.
~3-4 century AD: A moral and demographic collapse takes place, Roman population declines due to below-replacement birth-rate. Vice and massive corruption are rampant, while the new-born Catholic Religion is gaining power (it becomes the religion of the Empire in 380 AD). There is extreme economic, political and military instability: there are 25 successive emperors in half a century (many end up assassinated), the Empire is ungovernable and on the brink of civil war.
~5 century AD: The Empire is ruled by an elite of military men that use the Emperor as a puppet; due to massive debts and financial problems, the Empire cannot afford to hire foreign mercenaries to defend itself (Roman citizens have long ago being replaced by mercenaries in the army), and starts “selling” parts of the Empire in exchange for protection. Eventually, the mercenaries figure out that the “Emperor has no clothes”, and overrun and pillage the Empire.
Humanity falls back into the Bronze Age (think: eating squirrel meat and living in a cave), 12 centuries of religious zealotry (The Great Inquisition, Crusades) and intellectual darkness follow: science, commerce, philosophy, human rights become unknown concepts until they are rediscovered again during the Age of Enlightenment in 17th century AD.
Regarding the Babylonian civilization (2,000 BC), we know that they had a very advanced civilization because we found their legislative code written down on stone tablets (yes, they had laws and tribunals, and some of today’s commercial code can even be traced back to Babylonian law). They had child support laws (which seems to indicate that there was a family breakdown), and they collapsed presumably due to a “moral breakdown” figuratively represented in the Bible as the “Tower of Babel” (which was inspired by a real tower). Interesting and controversial anecdote: some claim that the Roman Catholic Religion is nothing more than a rewriting and adaptation of an ancient Babylonian religion! (which I totally believe to be the case, but not just limited to Babylonian / Mesopotamian / Sumerian mythology. Christianity was an amalgamation of many other religions too, especially that of Greek and Egyptian mythology.)
(CONTINUED IN COMMENT SECTION BELOW)?
1 year ago
Another example from antiquity is Hesiod (Greek Poet, living around 700BC), who has two extant works, one of which is entitled, "Works and Days" and the other is entitled, "Theogony." He writes in the latter, that after humans received the stolen gift of fire from Prometheus, an angry Zeus decides to give humanity a punishing gift to compensate for the boon they had been given. He commands Hephaestus to mold from earth the first woman, a "beautiful evil" whose descendants would torment the human race. After Hephaestus does so, Athena dresses her in a silvery gown, an embroidered veil, garlands and an ornate crown of silver. This woman goes unnamed in the Theogony, but is presumably Pandora, whose myth Hesiod revisited in Works and Days. When she first appears before gods and mortals, "wonder seized them" as they looked upon her. But she was "sheer guile, not to be withstood by men." Hesiod elaborates (590–93):
"From her is the race of women and female kind:
of her is the deadly race and tribe of women who
live amongst mortal men to their great trouble,
no helpmates in hateful poverty, but only in wealth."
Hesiod goes on to lament that men who try to avoid the evil of women by avoiding marriage will fare no better (604–607):
"He reaches deadly old age without anyone to tend his years,
and though he at least has no lack of livelihood while he lives,
yet, when he is dead, his kinsfolk divide his possessions amongst them."
Hesiod concedes that occasionally a man finds a good wife, but still (609) "evil contends with good."
In the 'Works and Days' version of the myth (lines 60–105), Hesiod expands upon her origin, and moreover widens the scope of the misery she inflicts on humanity. As before, she is created by Hephaestus, but now more gods contribute to her completion (63–82): Athena taught her needlework and weaving (63–4); Aphrodite "shed grace upon her head and cruel longing and cares that weary the limbs" (65–6); Hermes gave her "a shameful mind and deceitful nature" (67–8); Hermes also gave her the power of speech, putting in her "lies and crafty words" (77–80) ; Athena then clothed her; next Persuasion and the Charites adorned her with necklaces and other finery (72–4); the Horae adorned her with a garland crown. Finally, Hermes gives this woman a name: Pandora – "All-gifted" – "because all the Olympians gave her a gift". In this retelling of her story, Pandora's deceitful feminine nature becomes the least of humanity's worries. For she brings with her a jar (which, due to textual corruption in the sixteenth century, came to be called a box) containing "burdensome toil and sickness that brings death to men" (91–2), diseases (102) and "a myriad other pains" (100). Prometheus had (fearing further reprisals) warned his brother Epimetheus not to accept any gifts from Zeus. But Epimetheus did not listen; he accepted Pandora, who promptly scattered the contents of her jar. As a result, Hesiod tells us, "the earth and sea are full of evils" (101). One item, however, did not escape the jar (96–9):
"Only Hope was left within her unbreakable house,
she remained under the lip of the jar, and did not
fly away. Before [she could], Pandora replaced the
lid of the jar. This was the will of aegis-bearing
Zeus the Cloudgatherer."
Hesiod does not say why hope (elpis) remained in the jar.
Hesiod closes with this moral (105): "Thus it is not possible to escape the mind of Zeus."
Hesiod also outlines how the end of man's Golden Age, (an all-male society of immortals who were reverent to the gods, worked hard, and ate from abundant groves of fruit) was brought on by Prometheus, when he stole Fire from Mt. Olympus and gave it to mortal man, Zeus punished the technologically advanced society by creating woman. Thus, Pandora was created as the first woman and given the jar (mistranslated as 'box') which releases all evils upon man. The opening of the jar serves as the beginning of the Silver Age, in which man is now subject to death, and with the introduction of woman to birth as well, giving rise to the cycle of death and rebirth.
1 year ago
THIRD EXAMPLE , is Juvenal (55AD-138AD), who was a Roman Satirist. In his 6th Satirical Work. “Satire VI” (“Satura VI”) is a verse satire, written around 115 CE. The poem laments what Juvenal sees as the decay of feminine virtue, and uses a series of acidic vignettes on the degraded state of female morality (some would say a misogynistic rant), purportedly to dissuade his friend Postumius from marriage. It is the longest and one of the most famous (or infamous) of his sixteen satires.
The poem opens with a parody of the golden age myths and of the Ages of Man (in the Golden Age no one feared a thief, the Silver Age marked the first adulterers, and the remaining crimes arrived in the Iron Age). The goddesses Pudicitia (Chastity) and Astraea (Justice) then withdrew from the earth in disgust. He questions his friend Postumius’ plans for marriage when there are alternatives, such as committing suicide or just sleeping with a boy.
Juvenal then relates a series of examples of why women and marriage should be avoided. He describes the notorious adulterer, Ursidius, who wants a wife of old-fashioned virtue, but is insane to think he will actually get one. He then gives examples of lustful wives, such as Eppia, a senator’s wife, who ran off to Egypt with a gladiator, and Messalina, wife of Claudius, who used to sneak out of the palace to work at a brothel. Although lust may be the least of their sins, many greedy husbands are willing to overlook such offences for the dowries they can receive. He argues that men love a pretty face not the woman herself, and when she gets old, they can just kick her out.
Juvenal then discusses pretentious women, and claims he would prefer a prostitute for a wife over someone like Scipio’s daughter, Cornelia Africana (widely remembered as a perfect example of a virtuous Roman woman), since he says virtuous women are often arrogant. He suggests that dressing and speaking Greek is not at all attractive, especially in an older woman.
He then accuses women of being quarrelsome and of tormenting the men they love in their desire to rule the home, and then they just move on to another man. He says that a man will never be happy while his mother-in-law still lives, as she teaches her daughter evil habits. Women cause lawsuits and love to wrangle, covering their own transgressions with accusations of their husbands’ (although if a husband catches them at this, they are even more indignant).
In days gone by, it was poverty and constant work that kept women chaste, and it is the excessive wealth that came with conquest that has destroyed Roman morality with luxury. Homosexuals and effeminate men are a moral contamination, especially because women listen to their advice. If eunuchs guard your wife, you should be sure they really are eunuchs (“who will guard the guards themselves?”). Both high- and low-born women are equally profligate and lacking in foresight and self-restraint.
Juvenal then turns to women who intrude into matters that pertain to men, and are constantly blathering gossip and rumours. He says that they make terrible neighbours and hostesses, keeping their guests waiting, and then drinking and vomiting like a snake that has fallen into a vat of wine. Educated women who fancy themselves as orators and grammarians, disputing literary points and noting every grammatical slip of their husbands, are likewise repulsive.
Rich women are uncontrollable, only making any attempt to look presentable for their lovers and spending their time at home with their husbands covered in their beauty concoctions. They rule their households like bloody tyrants, and employ an army of maids to get them ready for the public, while they live with their husbands as though they were complete strangers.
Women are by their nature superstitious, and give complete credence to the words of the eunuch priests of Bellona (the war goddess) and Cybele (the mother of the gods). Others are fanatic adherents of the cult of Isis and its charlatan priests, or listen to Jewish or Armenian soothsayers or Chaldaean astrologers, and get their fortunes told down by the Circus Maximus. Even worse, though, is a woman who is herself so skilled at astrology that others seek her out for advice.
Although poor women are at least willing to bear children, rich women just get abortions to avoid the bother (although at least that prevents the husbands from being saddled with illegitimate, half-Ethiopian children). Juvenal contends that half of the Roman elite is made up of abandoned children whom women pass off as those of their husbands. Women will even stoop to drugging and poisoning their husbands to get their way, like Caligula’s wife, who drove him insane with a potion, and Agrippina the Younger who poisoned Claudius.
As an epilogue, Juvenal asks whether his audience thinks he has slipped into the hyperbole of tragedy. But he points out that Pontia admitted to murdering her two children and that she would have killed seven if there had been seven, and that we should believe everything the poets tell us about Medea and Procne. However, these women of ancient tragedy were arguably less evil than modern Roman women, because at least they did what they did out of rage, not just for money. He concludes that today there is a Clytemnestra on every street.
Although frequently decried as a misogynistic rant, the poem is also an all-out invective against marriage, which Rome’s decaying social and moral standards at that time had made into a tool of greed and corruption (Juvenal presents the options available to the Roman male as marriage, suicide or a boy lover), and equally as an invective against the men who have permitted this pervasive degradation of the Roman world (Juvenal casts men as agents and enablers of the feminine proclivity toward vice).
The poem contains the famous phrase, “Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” (“But who will guard the guards themselves” or “But who watches the watchmen?”), which has been used as an epigraph to numerous later works, and refers to the impossibility of enforcing moral behaviour when the enforcers themselves are corruptible.?