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Did women dream?













Written by Ty Narada for Dr. Kosso 

We have lived under the unscholastic assumption that women from antiquity to this century have served no other purpose than child bearing, rearing and sexual pleasure, in fact, women have historically been perceived as objects and things rather than beings. This notion does not rigidly hold true for those who passively or directly engage the subject more thoroughly.

There are legends of Amazon women who excluded men from their society except for the purpose of breeding more women. The Motherhood of Celtic lore remained autonomous and were considered equal to their Druid counterparts; separated only because of the polarized spiritual-energy dynamics involved. The sexes were considered polarized and women were attributed all of the negative or darker qualities. [4] as they were in Greece. History speaks of Queens, Courtesans and powerful female figures. At the very core of perception: Life would not exist without females and equally true, without male sperm.

As we move from paradigm to paradigm throughout the ages, we notice the gated view with which women have been reported….if reported. Those views are not much different than those held by less concerned members of society today. Thinking requires effort and justice requires even more effort. The negligence of this issue could compose compose its own thesis. What would happen in a world controlled by women…or do women control the world while men superimpose an illusion that they do not?

Women symbolize a weapon to be seized by men. If only the strongest survive, than only the strongest will have women with whom to propagate the species; the concept represents power. Men live under the rule that women want to be impressed by gallantry and chivalrous deeds. Legends become larger than life and often emulate an ideal that contemporary society can relate to. The power of legend supercedes the power of necessity. The power of consensus likely dictated the formula by which ancient historians presented their respective eras. The English-speaking world evolved from the standards of King Arthur’s court, which has only artificial, and to some degree, analogous evidence.

Paleontologists believe that Hunter/Gatherer societies (c. 10,000 BC) were originally matriarchal because of the magic of childbirth. The ‘giving of life’ was attributed to a divine process that only women could perform. The earliest statues were of women. [6] That discovery could well account for how male awareness transformed into fear. Fear has been the #1 catalyst for stirring men into action, seconded only by stupidity. If indeed the nature of men to suppress/conquer their superstitions has historical validity, then seizing control of that which scares them would become second nature. In the Hunter/Gatherer society, successful male hunters became reputable ‘takers of life’ in contrast to women who were the ‘givers of life.’ Both images leave immediate impressions: Childbirth was miraculous. The act of killing was permanent. In scenarios where the success of male hunters alleviated the workload of women, men gained control of the group – that control expanded to include future social evolution. [6]

History does not reveal many bona fide examples of women-dominated societies. Kevin Reilly described a unique exception found among tribes located within close proximity of each other in S. Africa. The mountain Arapesh tribe did not distinguish between masculine and feminine identities; both sexes shared equal responsibilities. Arapesh men would vicariously experience the pains of childbirth and be credited by tribal members for having borne children. [6] The valley Mundugamore were violent by disposition; extremely opposite the Arapesh. The lakeside Tchambuli, located in-between the Arapesh and the Mundugamore, were reverse role models by Western standards: Men were feminine and Women were masculine. Reilly’s point was that there existed no rigid standard by which to establish masculine and feminine identities. Could that observation represent a modern global misnomer?

In Greek society, both homosexuality and prostitution had a place. [4] Volumes have been written on how homosexuality played a significant and acceptable role in Greek life. To this writer’s knowledge, lesbianism has not been addressed until this century.

If in fact, the power of women translates into the fear of men, then it stands to reason why Greek authority kept women "…under the rigid surveillance of law and custom" (161). [1] Men have historically diminished the contradiction of themselves by simplifying the variables involved. #1: Once you have power – DON’T relinquish it. The contradiction(s) parodied in today’s society has definitive Greek origins. #2: Men hate themselves for wanting sex; "an evil thing, in which all men may rejoice in their hearts as they welcome their own destruction. WD 57-58. [2] In The Art of War, one never provides an opponent with a critique of self-vulnerability. Neither does one empower an opponent with knowledge that has been repressed to propagate male dominance. For that reason, writers of antiquity may have prudently and strategically omitted casual and realistic guidelines that would have made women aware of the male contradiction. This writer believes that women in most cases were only pretending to be oblivious to the male contradiction in order to preserve the integrity of war. In Greek culture – ‘war’ was synonymous with ‘ego.’ If both Aristotle and Sophocles knew this then is it any wonder that "The typical Greek ambivalence about woman’s position: [was] The awareness of her potentiality coupled with fears about her allegiances." [3] To interpret: Women make great sex partners, but they’re also loose cannons.

Women became easily identifiable ‘fall persons’ that inspired the themes of many Greek tragedies. The entire epistemology of theatre has women to thank for it’s very inception. In the physical arts, Greek women were presented as industrious, supportive dancers in various combinations. Many vases illustrate women as "madams;" if the female image was not representative of a Goddess, the male artist rendered her as something subservient to man’s carnal and domestic wants – a male artist presenting a man’s point of view. [5]

As leisure time became more prevalent, Greek society divided into classes where women obliged a code of conduct commensurate with her class. "But what especially characterizes the aristocratic attitude is the tendency to turn one’s back on the troubled world of reality, and find in the world of aristocratic manners and ideals an ‘answer’ to the problems of the day." [4] This tendency was not unlike the Enlightenment that followed the Dark Ages and is barely distinguishable from post Industrial Revolution Earth although Old Europe is credited as the platform upon which modern society evolved. [7]

In spite of what little we know about women’s roles in each epoch of history…was the common ordinary woman self aware? What were her fantasies? What could she aspire to and what did she dream about? Was her mind engineered to believe the male programs of rhetoric and masquerading – or was there a real person that we know virtually nothing about?


1. Classics and Feminism: Gendering the Classics by Barbara F. McManus NY 1997 [handout #1]
2. Origins of Western Attitude Toward Women by Marylin B. Arthur [handout #2]
3. Origins of Western Attitude Toward Women by Marylin B. Arthur [handout #2]
4. Origins of Western Attitude Toward Women by Marylin B. Arthur [handout #2]
5. Women on Athenian Vases. Problems of Interpretation by Dyfri Williams [handout #3]
6. Masculine and Feminine: Nature and History by Kevin Reilly [handout #4]
7. The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe by Marija Gimbutas [handout #5]