Monday, September 16, 2019

Not Property, A Partner

We are commonly led to believe that ancient Greece was a sexist culture, favoring the male always, but this isn't true, either humanly or theologically. Of course, there was sexism, just like there is still sexism everywhere today, but there were also roles where women held dominance (Oracle of Delphi), and Homer calls Hera a Goddess who is "no less" than Zeus. In other words, Zeus and Hera are the King and Queen, the highest Gods of the opposites; they are partners. As a modern Hellenic practitioner, a sexist aspect has also never occurred to me. I believe Zeus is King because He is King, and Hera is Queen because She is Queen. They just are, as are all the other Gods, and I never feel as if I am praying to someone on a "lower level" when I petition the Goddesses. I love and respect Hera just as much as I do Zeus. I praise Aphrodite as joyously as I do Apollon. And I care for the temples, rites and sacrifices of a female Divinity just as devoutly as I do a male.

It got me to thinking today about my own wife and I, and our family. Anastasia and I have not always had equal roles, or dominant ones. For most of our union, we have either had a variety of roles without care for gender, or we have been partners. We have worked together, doing what we have to, in order to see our family prosper. When you have lived in a relationship like mine for as long as I have, you begin to realize that women are not better than men, and men are not better than women. We certainly have our own distinct physical being, but we are all equally capable and responsible humans. I don't have to be the dominant who does all the work, comes home, ties my wife to the bed, and makes all the rules, and she doesn't have to be the equivalent. There have been times when we've both had jobs outside the home, or just one of us. For most of my son's life, I've also been his primary care provider at home because that was the best role for me to take at the time, even though that would normally fall to a woman in the traditional mind. We both married before the Gods with the promise that we would love and support each other and our family. There were no specifications. It's not about dominance, but mutual love and teamwork. She's not my submissive. She's my best friend.

I am glad to see that our society is opening up more to the idea of fluidity when it comes to gender roles, but I think the traditional mentality is still very much present, the worldview that the man is the dominant provider and the woman is the submissive baby-maker and maid. I find this to be lamentable and even dangerous because that may not be what the Gods want for you or what your present situation needs or demands. Each person has different purposes in life, and if it deviates from the norms of society, it can leave the person feeling worthless and even suicidal if they think too lowly of themselves. I think we put too much pressure on people to conform to a certain lifestyle, with no regard for their own happiness, needs or conditions, and for both men and women, it can amount to a sexist oppression. Humans were not meant to be robots.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.