We Will Not Go Back!

A few months back, a friend mentioned if I had ever thought about writing an article or blog about ancient forms of birth control.  I jotted down the idea and then promptly forgot about it.  As I was cleaning around my desk (which I should really do more often), I came across my note and decided it was time to follow up on it.

Poking around and doing some research, it would appear that trying to control conception goes back farther than you may have thought.  A papyrus dating to 1850 BCE in Egypt says that a woman should insert a mixture of crocodile dung and honey.  Honey seems to have been popular as another papyrus dating to 1550 BCE suggests that it be mixed with date and acacia juice. This lovely mixture would be used to saturate wool, which again would be inserted into the woman.

(Note:  It’s the woman who gets to do all of these wonderful things.)

The Greek physician Saronus suggested that after intercourse, a woman hold her breath, sneeze and drink cold water.  Then she should kick her butt with her heels until “the seed” falls out.  We should all stop laughing now.    In the Middle Ages, women would wear amulets, not in itself a bad thing, I do it myself, however, these were made from mule’s earwax, a weasel’s testicles (I’m assuming this is a real weasel and not the man she is having intercourse with) or a bone from the right side of a black cat.  Casanova, that great lover, is credited with having invented the half-lemon, used as a diaphragm, I’m assuming.

From birth control, we move on to abortion.  Looking at some of the ways women would try to induce an abortion for a child that she did not wish to have, for whatever her own PERSONAL reasons, we find that many of them were as dangerous to the woman.  In ancient China, mercury was used, which is toxic; pennyroyal was used into the 1200’s, which can be dangerous and, many times, deadly; the same Egyptian papyrus mentioned above also had prescriptions for abortion, proving that it goes back hundreds of  years.  

Rome had a beautiful law in which abortion was illegal but fathers whom denied paternity, did not want a girl, or a disabled child, could put said child to death.  Anyone else see the irony here?

Coming into more recent history, women would insert leeches, they would swallow lye, or gunpowder, they would attempt to injure themselves by punching themselves in the stomach or throwing themselves down a flight of stairs.  We have all heard of the hangers or knitting needles that were used.   These are not fairy tales; these are all true and were used by women in desperate situations.  

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Now we come to the crux of it.  In 2013, laws regulating women’s bodies were put forth 624 times, I repeat, 624 times!  In 2014, it was 468 times!  I find that, in itself, to be mind-boggling. But what is more mind boggling is that in all of that time, in all of the time of law making ever, prior to that, there have been ZERO laws put forth regulating men’s bodies.  The laws attempting to regulate women’s bodies are all being put forth by men, men who have no idea how a woman’s body works, how a woman thinks, feels, men who are politically conservative, men who are afraid of women’s power and need a way to keep control, to stay in power.  They are trying to drag us backwards while going forward.  This is not what back to the future means.  

What the hell are women supposed to do?  Going to do?   Too many women hate the word feminist, saying it is a word filled with negative connotations.  I say if that is what they think, then then have no idea at all what the word feminism means.  While some women are fighting every step of the way to not lose what we have gained (and I am very proud to call some of them my friends), others won’t fight because they think everything is fine.  It is NOT fine and if these women don’t wake up, they will find themselves back in the kitchen barefoot, pregnant, with a knitting needle in her hand, wondering how the hell she got there.

If you are asked to join the fight, then join it.  Ask questions, do research, read, read and read some more.  

WE WILL NOT GO BACK.  WE WILL NOT BE SILENT.  WE WILL FIGHT UNTIL WE ARE UNABLE TO FIGHT ANYMORE!

 

Resources:http://mentalfloss.com/article/49086/black-cat-bones-crocodile-dung-and-coca-cola-9-fascinating-historic-methods

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2003-08-13/toronto-museum-explores-history-of-contraceptives/1463884

http://jezebel.com/5978156/15-dangerous-and-deadly-methods-women-have-used-when-abortion-is-illegal

THE ALL-MOTHER IS THOR!

The holidays have passed and a new year has begun.

I have been reading statistics on the restrictions that have been passed on abortion in the US, and the most hostile states toward women’s bodily autonomy.  http://www.guttmacher.org/media/inthenews/2015/01/05/index.html

 It is not only this, it is the rise in domestic violence against women   http://www.feminist.com/antiviolence/facts.html, the sexual harassment when a woman does nothing but walk down the street, as this viral video shows:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1XGPvbWn0A  .   We still do not make the same money as a man.  We STILL do not have the Equal Rights Amendment – what’s it been –  40 years?   

I have heard and read in several places that the patriarchy is dying.  I am always hopeful, but if it’s dying, it is taking its’ damn, sweet time about it.   One of the things that will help move along the demise of this awful, disgusting patriarchal culture we live in, is bringing back the Goddess.  We need to bring Goddess Spirituality BACK, where it was so long ago, to the forefront of people’s lives; men included.  Goddess Spirituality is about so much more than just worshipping a Goddess; it is caring for all of humankind living in equality and peace,  it is taking care of the non-human animals on our planet and not killing them for the pleasure of eating them, it is taking care of the environment and this planet that we live upon, which is also dying a very slow death (drilling, global warming to name just two).  Patriarchy does not care about any of these things — the Goddess does.  I have wondered — how do we get the Goddess out there?  Those of us who practice this path are normally just thought of as idiosyncratic, or just plain nuts.   

Ah, but something new has arrived and it will (hopefully) help with the younger generations.  Thanks to my daughter for lending me her two new Thor comic books.   I have only read the first one thus far, but it’s awesome.  

Apparently Odin has been away from Asgard for some time and Thor (the one we all know) has dropped Mjolnir (his hammer) to the surface of the moon and no longer feels worthy to carry it.  Thor is depressed and sits before his hammer for weeks, ignoring all who are around him, including Freya.  Odin returns from wherever he has been (do we care, really, because while he hs been gone, Freya has been ruling in his place) and demands that Thor speak to him as he is the All-Father and he will NOT be ignored.  Thor does, indeed, ignore him and leaves.  Discussion ensues about why the hammer will no longer be moved by Thor, as it alone has the power to determine who is worthy of carrying it.  Odin and Freya argue as to who will give the orders, now that Odin as returned.  Odin answers a question addressed to the liege lord and they both answer.  Odin says that he has no returned and there is NO MORE NEED FOR AN  ALL-MOTHER.  Freya retorts that maybe, now that Odin has returned, there is more need now than ever (good answer, Freya)  Odin yells at her that the FLEETING age of the All-Mother has passed and Asgard will once again be ruled by an All-Father, Odin, alone ABOVE ALL.    (Does this sound familiar to anyone?)  So the bad guys are rising, as they always do. What is to be done?

Mjolnir has an inscription, which reads:   “Whosoever holds this hammer, if He be worthy, shall possess the power of THOR”.   I was surprised, actually.  I knew that Thor’s power came from his hammer, but apparently the name goes with it.  

Quiet and alone, Freya speak to herself, “There must always be a Thor”, and looking at the hammer, we see the “HE” being worthy, is now “SHE” being worthy.  Freya reaches down, and lifts the hammer and becomes THOR, who is now the mighty Freya.   

I cannot tell you the elation that I felt upon reading this.  The All-Mother, Freya, in Asgard is now Thor, a woman.  I was ecstatic.  I’m thinking, this is great, this is just one of the things we need, reach out to a younger audience, teach them about the All-Mother, the Goddess, introduce them to Her in a way they understand.   Of course, I’m sure the new  female Thor will have no effect whatsoever on the movies that continue to come out, as they make way too much money (greed is one of the many things patriarchal culture is built upon).  

I recommend you all go to your local Newbury comics and buy the new Thor comics.  We need to make sure this continues.  It is a step in our fight.   I am looking forward to reading the second one, also borrowed from my daughter.

We are and WILL bring back the All-Mother.  We will teach the younger girls and women and continue the fight.  I also recommend http://www.thegirlgod.com for younger girls, and women of all ages.

Blessed Be!!

 

 

 

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