Why no female authors of scriptures

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Xelasnave.1947, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Why has the authorship of scriptures been an exclusively male pastime.
    I presume there has been no female input but I am confident if there has been any and I have missed it someone will come forward with a name.
    Why do females accept religions where their contributions are a non event.
    Can scripture be considered at all relevant when half of the community have had no input.
    Why do males create the customs and the dressing up associated with religious ritual.
    Alex
     
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  3. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Lilith?
     
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  5. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    No Judaic priests or scribes were female, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/femalerabbi.html, just as they still can't be in the Roman Catholic church. In biblical times, no Jewish girls were taught to read or write, or recite scripture. In some parts of the world, that tradition lasted well into the 20th century.
    There were stories about women, but the stories were all written down by male scholars.

    The facile answer is, What choice have they got?
    The more complicated one has to do with social stability. As long as religion is a cohesive force in the community, women, by and large, will support it. Religion organizes people in a predictable, reliable hierarchy, keeps the men obeying known rules and prevents them constantly fighting among themselves; it regulates family structure, property and inheritance, customs and standards of behaviour; it provides, in the person of the priest, a relatively benevolent authority figure, arbitrator and protector of the weak. This makes society more secure for the children and generally enables the daily work of producing food and necessities to proceed smoothly.
    In the long history of rule by arbitrary chieftains, warlords and kings, religious bodies performed important functions, such as health care, education, intercession with the law, disaster and famine relief, running orphanages and hostels and providing shelter for people in trouble with their 'betters'.
    Of course, nowadays, a secular government can do all that, and sometimes does it very well. But old habits take a while to replace - especially where the secular government isn't doing its job very well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2016
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  7. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Many modern religions are patriarchal in nature. Men historically have feared the power of women to create life and want to control them, so they create religious rules, mostly around sex.
     
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  8. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    They just stayed in the kitchen and raised baby
    I believe Moses sister had an influential position on Moses., otherwise she made mazzo
    They kept them barefoot and pregnant ,
     
  9. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Wow I had no idea that goggle would pay out so well.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilith
    I bet there are folk who have devoted a life time on Lilith.
    Alex
     
  10. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Intellectual life has largely been a male pastime. It's difficult to point to female thinkers in most areas of human thought prior to the last century or so.

    The conventional explanation of that is that it's due to endemic sexism in the Western world. I'm skeptical about that explanation, since the disproportion seems to be cross-cultural and is apparent in all historical periods about which sufficient knowledge exists to connect ideas to individuals. Everywhere on Earth, those individuals are almost always males. It's as evident in India and China, the Middle East and Japan, even in the culturally distant Amerindian cultures of the western hemisphere, as it is in Europe.

    I think that there's a deeper reason for it, but I don't know what it is. And given the current political climate in Western academia, I think that this would be a very difficult subject to objectively research.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2016
  11. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    None of those named cultures have a notable history of gender equality.
    Maybe it's a pair of complementary gender-specific traits: women are open and generous with their ideas; men are competitive and appropriate whatever they can.
    Or maybe women all over the world used to be stupid until about 1910, when Halley's comet passed over.
     
  12. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    Do we even know who wrote most "scripture"?
     
  13. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Leave us not to forget the Sibyls, ant the many known ancient secret female cults.
    There was a common belief in archaeology that pre-agricultural societies had female deities.

    Perhaps, they didn't think it wise to write down their beliefs nor activities?
     
  14. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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  15. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I think I have it.
    The phrase "A womens work is never done" she never had the time or rather devoted all her time to meaningful activity.
    Timojin did say similar.
    Alex
     
  16. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    12 obscure men in an obscure age and an obscure knowledge of the Universe around them.
     
  17. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    Not many people give Einstein's wife much credit, She was a physicist os same caliber as her husband, I would not be surprised for the input she gave to Al. but who gets the credit the Writer not the worker .
     
  18. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    In science, both Cosmos II (The Tyson series) and Google have been very conscientious in giving credit to women who had been previously overlooked.
    In religion, you have Mary Baker Eddy....
     
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Once you have noticed that "anonymous" was often a woman, such pointing becomes fairly easy. And a review of the argument that Homer - whoever was the original composer of the Iliad and the Odyssey - was a woman, is at least suggestive (however unconvincing in that particular case).
    I know of no common assertion, let alone "conventional wisdom", that sexism is limited to the Western world. Nobody says that. That is a bizarre claim.

    I question the certainty with which it is asserted that none of our scriptures were originally composed by women - even the actual writing, setting aside the possibility that they were composed by women and the male contribution was largely secretarial and long after the fact.

    As a side comment, we see in modern times that the intellectual arenas most closely identified with men tend to be easier to computerize than those most closely identified with women.
     
  20. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Agree. I think to call it "sexism" is to read history backwards. I think we tend to forget that our drive for sexual equality has been enabled by relatively recent developments, of which the contraceptive pill has probably had the most profound effect of all.

    Historically, women were tied to motherhood and the raising of families - and dealing with largely untreatable family illness - in a way that I suspect we have trouble understanding. Advanced education of women was not widespread - in view of the assumptions about how their lives would be spent - and without that there would inevitably be very few women equipped to contribute. Ancient societies, at the time most religions arose, were very patriarchal.
     
  21. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    In most animal species, it's the males who make sexual displays. The peacock's tail, bird coloring in general, antlers and horns, reproductive calls and dances. It's typically the males who accentuate these kind of features, sometimes to the point where they represent handicaps that can be disfunctional in the rest of life.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Display_(zoology)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtship_display

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secondary_sex_characteristic

    So the question is why among humans it is typically the females that wear sexy clothing, accentuate their breasts, wear jewelry and paint their faces with cosmetics. The display situation seems to be reversed from most other species.

    My speculation (that's all it is) is that among humans, it's still the males competing among themselves by making the bigger displays. Except that among humans, the male competitive displays are behavioral. Males compete with each other to appear richer, more powerful, more successful and (yes) smarter than other males. That kind of male behavioral competition might well be one of the evolutionary features of humans that has contributed to their extraordinary success as a species (as well as to no end of conflict).

    I'm inclined to speculate that historically, sexual disparities in intellectual life might be an outgrowth of that. Males might be more driven than females to make displays of their intellectual prowess, thus motivating them to produce ideas, books and art works at a much greater rate. It isn't that females have lacked the ability to be creative intellectuals, it's that they were less driven to devote their lives to the effort.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
  22. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Which culture? Which period? Have you seen much of fashion through the ages?http://www.sirclisto.com/cavalier/costumes.html
    And clothing is relatively recent: before it became the norm, men scarified their bodies, painted their faces, wore elaborate headdresses... and still do! http://creativefan.com/tattoo-ideas-for-men/ Besides, physical decoration isn't the only sexual display. Most birds have to win a home-site and many must build a nest, before they can even go courting. Bison and moose, elk and mountain sheep all fight one another for the privilege of mating; felines and canines all have to prove dominance over their male competitors and defend a territory; simians have to be smart as well as powerful. From age 5 or even younger, human males show off to human females, in season or out, whether the female is receptive or not.
    The latter part, yes, possibly ... though I'd like to posit that it was in larger part due to intelligent co-operation.
    In either case, there is no essential difference between the competitive displays and behaviours of humans and other social animals: it's about reproduction, as well as power, status, a better chance than the next family, the next clan, the next tribe, the next nation, at personal survival and genetic continuity.

    Most of this activity would have been directed at the advancement of the individual in his own tribe (status, privilege) and also the ascendancy of one's own tribe over its rivals on all sides. Women's necessary contribution to this effort was aid and comfort for the ambitious husband and the production of lots of little peasants and soldiers.
    Remember: until very, very recently, all this intellectual activity was restricted to something like 1% of the males; the rest were engaged in manual labour and had very little autonomy; few had the opportunity to display their mental attributes.

    It's that most of them never had a spare minute to devote. A very few high-born ladies of several different cultures did indulge in intellectual and artistic pursuits, and were accomplished in various fields. I'm inclined to agree, though, that they were probably less competitive and secretive and clubbish than their male intellectual equals; more likely to share information and innovation with their community than to hoard it for reward.

    The largely Jesuit-driven European educational agenda of the last 600 years before, and most of the way through the Industrial Revolution deliberately obfuscated the names of accomplished women in all areas of endeavour. Which, of course, brings religion back to the fore. The one most of us are familiar with has been actively misogynist from its inception.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
  23. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    I don't believe writing a scripture is a male pastime. If it is, then Up don't see how or why the writings would be called scripture.

    Also, men and women have their general roles in any society. That does not mean that men are better, or worse.

    "Women must be honored and adorned by their fathers, brothers, husbands, and brothers‑in‑law, who desire their own welfare. Where women are honored, there the gods are pleased; but where they are not honored, no sacred rite yields rewards. Where the female relations live in grief, the family soon wholly perishes; but that family where they are not unhappy ever prospers. The houses on which female relations, not being duly honored, pronounce a curse, perish completely, as if destroyed by magic. Hence men who seek (their own) welfare, should always honor women on holidays and festivals with (gifts of) ornaments, clothes and (dainty) food." (Manu Smriti III.55-59)

    http://www.stephen-knapp.com/women_in_vedic_culture.htm

    Jan.




     

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