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Fairly twattish views here

In Minoan Crete, for example, women had similar rights and freedoms to men, taking equal part in hunting, competitions, and celebrations.

But that era ushered in one of the most patriarchal societies the planet has ever known – classical Greece, where women had no political rights and were considered “minors”.

So, did the Minoan birds take part in political decision making? Or are we carefully not comparing like with like?

Or take hunter-gatherer societies, the source of endless cod-evolutionary theories about female inferiority. The discovery of female skeletons with hunting paraphernalia has disproved the idea that men only hunted and women only gathered

Only? Who in buggery is trying to insist only? Largely, more likely, on average across genders etc, yes. But only? Walk through Newcastle at night and you’ll see women who would terrify a fully grown elk into submission with a look. Of course a subsistence society would use such food gaining talents. Walk through Twerton and it’s the rare sabre toothed elk that would give in.

No one, at all, is trying to claim absolutes here, it’s preponderance.

This general bias has had two unfortunate consequences. One is to impress upon us the idea that inequality is “natural”.

Difference, not inequality. We’ve noted the Tab and Slot difference between male and female – no matter how much today’s idiots try to claim that’s not the point – but no one does say that’s an inequality, that’s a difference.

Sheesh. It all started going to pot when women were allowed to write for the newspapers……

20 thoughts on “Fairly twattish views here”

  1. That first quote raises many questions. For example, how much do we actually know about Minoan civilisation ? As far as I know, Linear A has still not been deciphered and the Linear B tablets that have been translated are basically lists and tables. And then, how exactly did Minoan people usher in Classical Greece, and what does that mean? Athens perhaps? But what happened in the intervening 1000 years?

    In other words, there is no point in reading this article

  2. Looking at Minoan art one can’t help but notice the topless dresses. So obviously, if you want equality, get yer norks out.

  3. “In Minoan Crete, for example, women had similar rights and freedoms to men, taking equal part in hunting, competitions, and celebrations.
    But that era ushered in one of the most patriarchal societies the planet has ever known – classical Greece, where women had no political rights and were considered “minors”.”

    Has it ever occurred to Ms Gill that the latter might be related to the former? In that Minoan civilisation disappeared pretty much without trace, and its entirely possible that female suffrage was responsible for its collapse in some way, and the Greeks had a good look at what happened to the Minoans and said ‘Not going to happen here’?

  4. 10 Reasons Why This Extinct Bronze Age Tribe That Practiced Human Sacrifice Proves Girls Can Do Anything!

  5. Linear B is written in Mycenaen Greek, using Minoan characters. The conclusion there is that after the Minoan civilisation collapsed after a natural disaster, Crete was colonised by Achaeans.

    Mycenae sounds like a pretty dangerous place with all those women killing their husbands.

  6. “In Minoan Crete, for example, women had similar rights and freedoms to men, taking equal part in hunting, competitions, and celebrations.”

    So because there’s some Soviet art out there on stone with women smithing or whatever, future civilizations will think women were our blacksmiths.

    Our knowledge of Minos is a few stone tablets and some comic book art on the walls.

  7. Minos “ushered in” classical Greece?

    There seems to have been a centuries long gap between the collapse of Bronze Age Crete and the rise of Iron Age Greece. But I wasn’t there are the time so might be mistaken.

  8. We don’t even know what they called themselves; “Minoan” is a modern (and handy) invention.

    The dreaded WKPD speaks more sense than this batty bint. “The function of the palaces, like most aspects of Minoan governance and religion, remains unclear.” “scholarship about Minoan women remains limited” “Minoan society was a divided society separating men from women in art illustration, clothing, and societal duties” “signifying the vast gender divide present in Minoan society”.

    I wonder if Linear A will turn out to contain any tales we know from the Old Testament? “Archaeologist Hermann Bengtson has also found a Minoan influence in Canaanite artifacts.” So why not some legends too?

  9. “The discovery of female skeletons with hunting paraphernalia has disproved the idea that men only hunted and women only gathered”

    The discovery proves, at most, that some females were buried with hunting “paraphernalia”.
    Maybe high status females were granted honorary hunter status. Maybe is was just that valued deceased were buried with items valued by their buriers.

  10. I didn’t get far enough down the article to find out what she said about Crete – when I got to the ridiculous canard about mediaeval women master craftsmen (based on the ability of a widow to inherit her husband’s business with the work being done by the journeymen employed by him) I knew that she was parroting nonsense. [No records of female apprentice blacksmiths, armourers etc but the Grauniad thinks there were female master craftsmen – pull the other one …]

  11. As far as I know, Linear A has still not been deciphered and the Linear B tablets that have been translated are basically lists and tables.

    The Linear B tablets are accidental survivors, had the palace not burned down, they’d have been wiped the next day/week. I recommend the Labyrinth exhibition at the Ashmolean.

  12. Jim, It’s been pretty well established that Santorini blowing up pretty much did the Minoans in, not some ancient version of modern feminist attempts at invalidating and vilifying the other half of humanity.
    Bit hard to come back from having your major centres of civilisation either vaporised, flooded by tsunami, or Pompeii-ed…

    Of course, there may have been an element of “Wrath of the Gods” regarding certain social elements causing a change in culture. Typically human…
    We know for a fact that the Plague waves did such a number on a lot of social pragmatic customs in western Europe. Tied hip-to-hip with increases in religious fanaticism towards certain elements of the local Holy Book stating the “Right Place” of woman and man in society…

    The author of the article is essentially right in that the Renaissance did a number on the rights of women. She forgets, or doesn’t realise, that quite a lot of that was because of growing religious dogmatism that occurred at the same time.
    Culminating in the Reformation, of which the two main drivers and “Founders” were… not the most pleasant personalities…
    In fact, they could make the currently much-maligned “extremist” adherents of the RoP give a good run for their money. You know.. lovelies as the Taliban, iranian mullahs, ISIS, that kind of thing.

    If there is a common denominator for the disappearance of “equal rights” over the centuries in our neck of the woods, it’s the tenets set down in our predominant “Holy Book” , coupled with a loss of pragmatism when it comes to Real Life™.
    Which literally states that the Right Place for Woman is under Man. By divine decree…

    The Celtic/Germanic/Nordic civilisations weren’t exactly “equal” but far more pragmatic when it came to this kind of stuff.
    The place of the woman was “in the house”. Because she actually ran it with the man doing the Outside Stuff. Clear division of labour and responsibilities based on the environment and Proven Practice when it comes to maximising results ( raising/protecting the next generation ) for a given amount of effort.
    And yes… What’s survived over the ages of their language makes clear this was taken seriously. Some of the worst insults in old Norse center around being dumped by your wife because you were deemed inadequate.
    One of the implications of the “now-you’ve-gone-and-done-it” insult niþing was exactly that…

    Sort of the same for the “warrior women” grave gifts. War wasn’t for women. But home defense most certainly was, and women were quite regularly trained on spear + shield and bow. And they were always familiar with the axe..
    Which were in fact the same weapons most males used. Swords were rare before the late/early post Frankish period, when Christianity was already putting its stamp on most of Europe. Peeps tend to forget that tiny little detail.
    Men wore/used a saex, which just like the axe or machete is both a tool and a weapon. And not that different from a kitchen knife in function and lethality..

    But the common denominator in the “erosion of female rights”? Christianity. Period.

  13. But the common denominator in the “erosion of female rights”? Christianity. Period.

    Which, Christianty or periods? Da dum, tish.

    More accurately, Romano-Christianity. Whatever views the early Christians might have have had about women (probably not that much different to Judaism) were given a thorough Roman stamp with the establishment of the church in Rome. Even the Romans of late antiquity were still very patriarchal (although women were allowed their own naming conventions by then).

  14. Yes, PJF. Antiquity. The attitude built up somewhere.

    But in relation to what is generally considered “modern history”, and the basis for what we now consider the “Western World”, the clock starts ticking around roughly 5thC. Anything before that merely crystallised things “Christian”.

    The peeps that invaded “Pagan Lands” were considered religious nutters not suited for Polite Society. So were the armed hooligans accompanying them on many occasions.
    Our forefathers did not kill them thoroughly or often enough for ransacking and defiling their sacred sites.
    Llindisfarne wasn’t an innocent haven of peace. It, and other places like it, financed hooligan raids, sorry… crusades on pagan places of worship.
    Why did you think that the Norse knew of the place, and exactly knew where it was in the first place?
    The Frysians and the Slavic tribes had the same problems as the Norse, and nowadays have their own set of Early Saints Brutally Murdered by the Pagans..
    Of course, being on the Mainland, they had to deal with Frankish “protection details” sponsored by Byzantium, so things got a bit…hectic here and there. More “proper battles” than raids. And there were plenty of them..

    Between Fire and Sword, and where they couldn’t: the Long March combined with old-fashioned Bribery and Lies, Christianity invaded Europe. And with it changed the very basis on which the relationship between the two sexes is seen as.
    And having “won”, it started putting on the thumbscrews. In waves, over centuries. But tighten them it did, culminating in the 18th/19thC where women had less rights than even the most Sharia-driven madhouse.

    And while I have a definite Opinion on modern-day Feminists, the original fight from late 19thC up until the 1970’s? Yup. They were right, and well in their right.
    But what got them in that situation to begin with was Christianity, with its core tenets firmly rooted in Judaïsm.
    The Old Testament ( being the basis for the Christian position towards the sexes) is the same, remember? Judaism, Christianity, RoP, in all their Flavours, use that book as the Word of God.
    NT, Koran, Book of Mormon, and various others are just local windowdressing/adaptations to the Times on top. The “This Time It’s Different” books.

    Seriously, if the OT were written nowadays it’d share a spot with Mein Kampf on the Verboten shelf.
    But, hilariously, its most fervent defenders are… Women.. Especially those high on Religion and Cats. Which just goes to show, innit?

  15. Grikath,
    Christianity and I aren’t best friends, but I’m not about to adopt noble savage ideas about European tribes. Pagan Vercingetorix sent the women and children out of Alesia to save the food for the men, and pagan Gaius Julius Caesar let them all starve. I think Christian views on women landed on fertile soil.

  16. Hardly Nobbly Sauvage , PJF. Nor are all “pagans” the same.

    And seriously.. Comparing a full-on siege during a full-blown war to ordinary daily life?
    Led by Old Jules who had absolutely no problem ordering massacres on a scale that makes Hitler look like an amateur, and Stalin a well-meaning student?

    The reason I pick the 5thC as a boundary has a reason: Up until that time the Limes was a hard border that separated two cultural developments: Greco-Roman under it, Germano-Nordic above it.
    With each their own, vastly different attitudes to the “rightful places” men and women had in society.
    The Franks were pagan as well, up until Charlemagne saw it politically expedient to give a nod to Byzantium and adopt Christianity. But they had adopted Greco-Roman culture and attitudes well before that.
    And it wasn’t until the expansion of the Franks under Christianity that the Limes was crossed in any significant way. And even then it took well into the 13thC to eradicate the last remnants of the Heathens ( Prussia comes to mind…). But by then Christianity had already become a political tool, and “conversion” happened at sword-point..

    I’m not saying germanic/nordic pagans were “better”, but what’s known about their customs and culture clearly indicates women were seen as partners, with their own strengths and weaknesses.
    Not as not-quite-slave breeding husks that only served to breed more men and make their lives easy. As was the greco-roman pagan, and later Christian attitude.

  17. As was the greco-roman pagan, and later Christian attitude.

    Which brings us back to my objection to your “Christianity. Period.” summary of the erosion of female rights.

    Early (non-Romanised) Christians most likely had formal gender views similar to Judaism, which was patriarchal but reverent towards females (indeed, Jewishness itself was passed down the female line). There’s a fair amount of evidence that early Christians held women higher than did the surrounding patriarchal societies, perhaps explaining why the cult was so popular with women.

    It’s hard to say whether the Romans Romanised Christianity more than Christianity Christianised the Romans, but their offspring was undeniably an ugly, greedy, nasty child. Maybe we’re just arguing the toss over pendantry, but I think it’s fair to say that it wasn’t just Christians wot dun it.

  18. It’s never the one thing, PJF. I think I can safely state we both agree on that.
    Hell, if life was ever that easy….

    And yes, there’s a difference between the Ideal of Christianity and what it became. Or even was from the start. Quite a lot of the Earlies weren’t exactly fluffy bunnies, and there are views, with historical evidence, that the whole Roman persecution didn’t start “without cause”.

    Maybe I should start writing a book.. 😉

  19. A definition of “classical Greece” that excludes Sparta?!?
    Drop the “fairly” from the tagline

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