From [Yurugu]

The European as Male

The feminist critique of European society has its roots in the bowels of the European tradition. The patriarchal nature of early Indo-European religion indicates more than a desire of men to dominate women. It also results from the association of "maleness" with superiority and "femaleness" with inferiority. Perhaps the earliest European definition of "self" and "other" was as male and female. In reaction to a more than 4000-year-old tradition of male control European feministsorganize for an end to female oppression. Some see the base of their movement in the equality of men and women, which they translate as "sameness". Others have developed a "feminist ideology", much of which uses the tenets of an African world-view as its foundation within the category of what Ruether calls "reform feminism", although they do not identify it as such. The question looms: Why was it the male in the Indo-European experience who sought separation and dominance rather than the female? Or did the female share the same ambitions but simply lost out because of disparity in physical strength? Susan Brownmiller seems to be saying that male domination is related to anatomical characteristics that allowed the human male to rape the human female. Engels offers a materialist analysis that links male dominance to the origin of private property. These explanations are not culture-specific. The concept of [Asili] demands that we be above all culture specific.

In our analysis male domination has a specific history in European culture and is linked to the other cultural forms in a uniquely "European" manner. This phenomenon should not be understood asa universal, because while it may have similar appearances in different cultures, the degree of intensity varies as does the relationship to the [Asili] of the culture. Perhaps teh answer to teh question that looms is that separation and dominance are themselves part of a "male" or "patriarchal" approach to reality, and that this approach became associated for the European with maleness of gender. Indeed, I have argued that separation, opposition, and dominance are characteristic of the European [Utamawazo] and mythoform. This imparts what Eric Neumann would call a "patriarchal consciousness" to the culture. This consciousness is directed toward control, distance and analysis or splitting, and it tends to be threatened by the matriarchal nature of consciousness. Neumann says, "A fundamental development has been to expand the domain of patriarchal consciousness and to draw to it everything that could possibly be added". The patriarchal nature of European culture in this deep sense as part of its [Asili] explains many aspects of its development; for instance, why the tradition embraced Freudian theory but relegated Jungian thought to its lunatic fringes.

In other cultures where we find patterns of female oppression, these patterns do not have the saem ideological positioning in the culture as they do in the European tradition and therefore are not as strong. They co-exist in tension with matriarchal philosophies, often matrilineal descent systems, traditions of female leadership, and strong patterns of female leadership, and strong patterns of co-operation and associations among females. The literature and ideology of European feminism reaches towards these cultures for intellectual inspiration and the creation of a new feminie self, or it attempts to compete with teh patriarchal nature of the European tradition by denying the female and seeking to dominate the male.

But the analytical mode is not limited to the male gender, and men do not necessarily lack spirituality. It is the culture which tends to create the dominance of the patriarchal consciousness in both genders, i.e., in all who participate therein. What is to be leared from African and other non-European philosophies is the principle of appositional complimentarity. It is not a question of which gender dominates nor of whetehr everyone can become "male" (that is, take the dominant position), rather it is a question of whetehr our view of existence dictates the necessary co-operation of "female" and "male" principles for the success and continuance of the whole.

Plato was very clear on this question, but he was simply developing the Indo-European [Asili] in its intellectual, ideological form. Not only were males superior, but they were superior in ways that demanded their control of women. they were more rational, critical and intelligent, more capabale of grasping higher truths. Only men could be philosophers. In fgact women were not even qualified to be their lovers. But if we accept for the moment a jungian analysis, the characterstics for which the Europeans breed were indeed "male": coldness, control, oppositional thought. Even females who succeed in these terms are incomplete, as the culture is in a continual state of disequilibrium because of "lopsided" development, since its [Asili] is not based on the principle of complementary or wholeness, but rather on dominance and destruction.

See: [Map by Opicinus]

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