Women, men and the whole damn thing

Since the beginning of recorded time, most cultures worshipped some version of the goddess. In ancient Mesopotamia, the vulva of Inanna, the Sumerian goddess, was a sacred site and Sumerians sang hymns to her “lap of honey”. Agrarian societies honoured their female deities, as menstrual cycles were interconnected with the lunar-based agricultural cycles. The earth was Gaia, the ancestral Mother of life. She was inherent to all of Nature. She was nature, until the rise of patriarchal religions began declaring goddess worship and female sexuality the devil’s work. Nature and woman needed to be tamed.

At the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, writer and director Jill Soloway (Transparent) offered an intriguing insight into this when they (Soloway prefers “they” to the gender-specific he or she) said: “Five thousand years ago cavemen saw women getting their periods and bleeding, and they bled in time with the moon, and they didn’t die when they bled. And so prehistoric man thought that women were magic and they got scared. So they created language to just fuck with us.”

Man has been fucking with Woman for a long time … and not just through language.

“Family violence is mostly a man choosing to use violence against his partner. Violence is almost exclusively the domain of men. Who’s doing the vast amount of killing? It’s men. Who picks up the pieces, and fights to hold families together? It’s women.

“Women build life, while we are adept at destroying it. Unless, as men, we begin to look at what it is in the male psyche, in the versions of masculinity we’re born into and enforce upon each other, and begin actively engaging each other to become the solution to this issue, we’ll be having the same conversation 500 years from now.”


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