Friday, 16 November 2012

Hesiod on women.

From Hesiod's Theogony, c.700BC:
... all the race of womankind,
the deadly female race and tribe of wives,
who live with mortal men and bring them harm,
no help to them in dreadful poverty,
but ready enough to share with them in wealth.

As in the covered hive the honey-bees
keep feeding drones, conspirators in wrong,

every day, all day long, until the sun goes down,
the workers hurry about their work and build white honeycombs,
while those inside in the sheltered storeroom,
fill their bellies up with products of the toil of others,
thus, women are bad for men,
and they conspire in wrong.

... if a man avoids marriage and all the troubles women bring,
and never takes a wife,
at last he comes to miserable old age,
and does not have anyone who will care for the old man.
He has enough to live on, while he lives,
but when he dies, his distant relatives divide his property.

The married man who gets a good wife,
suited to his taste, gets good and evil mixed,
but he who gets one of the deadly sort
lives all his life with never-ending pain,

inside his heart and on his mind;
the wound cannot be healed.
According to the Hesiodic tradition, woman was created as man's punishment for Prometheus's transgression in bringing fire to the mortals. She was constructed by the gods Athene and Hephaestus intentionally as a trap for men, who would be attracted to her beauty, then suffer from their association with her.

The line about women being no help to men in poverty, but ready enough to share in their wealth, makes me think that the gynocentric double standards of our age (one-way alimony laws, etc.) are not the products of a few sick women called feminists, but of female nature made manifest. Hesiod was writing long before anything called 'feminism' existed, and yet he covers the same problems we now face.

I have often wondered if the ancient patriarchies were constructed as a matter of necessity - for men to protect themselves against women's passive-aggressive predations (violence and extortion by proxy, etc.) If women having a share in power necessarily entails misandry, injustice and the systematic exploitation/enserfment of men (as in the last sixty years of organized feminism), then this all really is a zero sum game, and the only logical solution for men to protect themselves - now or in the past - would be to throw off the female yoke and establish patriarchal order.

- Mojo

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