by I. J. Weinstock
For thousands of years, we’ve lived in a male-defined, penis-centric world that told only half the story! We have no idea what a female-defined, vagina-and-clitoris-centric world might be?
But we once did.
In the Beginning Goddess Created the Heavens and the Earth
Humanity’s first concept of the Divine was female. Countless female stone figures have been discovered across Europe, the Middle East, and India dating back to 25,000 BC. The archeological evidence confirms that our earliest belief systems worshipped a Goddess as the Supreme Creator.
In her groundbreaking book, When God Was a Woman, historian Merlin Stone describes this ancient Goddess as “creator and law-maker of the universe, prophetess, provider of human destinies, inventor, healer, hunter and valiant leader in battle.”
Our patriarchal civilization has kept us ignorant of the rich history of female-centered religion that humanity celebrated for thousands of years. Though called by different names — Inanna, Ishtar, Isis, to name a few— the Great Goddess was worshipped throughout the ancient world.
If we weren’t so immersed in Western Civilization’s “matrix,” we’d see how obvious and natural it would be to envision the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe as female. Woman bleeds with periodic regularity like the moon, ripens with pregnancy like a fruit, gives birth to new life and then nurtures that life with milk from her breasts. Magical. Miracle. Mother of Us All.
And the mystery at the heart of all these miracles of life is sex, which these Goddess-worshipping civilizations viewed as the Original Blessing.
The Goddess is Worshipped Through Her “Sexual Mysteries”
The difference between ancient Goddess-worshipping civilizations and our own is not just their veneration of a female deity. That source belief generated a fundamentally different civilization.
Women were viewed as embodiments of the Goddess and held in the highest esteem. The family structure of society was often matrilineal (progeny, property, and lines of inheritance going through the mother). But most importantly, these Goddess-worshipping cultures revered sex as the Original Blessing.
In Sumer (the biblical Babylon), they celebrated the Epic of Gilgamesh, written on stone tablets pre-dating the Bible. It’s a record of the Goddess sending her High Priestess into the wilderness to sexually initiate a wild man named Enki and thus raise him from bestiality to humanity.
According to Stone, “The legend of Innana and Enki listed the sacred sexual customs as another of the great gifts that Inanna brought to civilize the people.” Stone points out that for thousands of years these sexual customs were widespread and accepted as natural among the people of the Near and Middle East. “Women who made love in the temples were known as ‘sacred women’.”
In those Goddess-worshipping societies, becoming a temple priestess was one of the highest-statuses a woman could achieve. Temple priestesses were revered as healers of the sick and considered seers, but their primary function was to teach the Sexual Mysteries of the Original Blessing. Their purpose was to dispense the Goddess’s “grace” through sexual worship.
Holy sexual communion with a priestess, a representative of the Great Goddess, was an act of religious devotion. Such mystical sexual rites — based on the Sexual Mysteries which had raised Enki from bestiality to humanity—played a central role in the temple worship and sacred rituals of the Goddess.
Ancient cultures revered sex because they understood this fundamental truth: sex is the “root” of the Tree of Life from which the “fruit” of civilization grows; if the “root” is damaged, the “fruit” will be poisoned.
Paternity = Property = Power = Patriarchy
Historians suggest that around five thousand years ago, our hunter-gatherer, nomadic lifestyle began to transition into a sedentary, farming one in which we planted crops, domesticated animals, and accumulated property. It was during this profound transformation that the seeds of Patriarchy took root and drove men to acquire progeny and power. This Agricultural Revolution transformed humanity’s relationship to everything, and most importantly the relationship between men and women and how they (especially men) related to sex.
Historian Gerda Lerner maintains that because the determination of paternity was essential to amassing property and power, men’s control over women’s sexuality and reproduction is both the fundamental cause and ultimate result of Patriarchy.
Those ancient Goddess-worshipping civilizations had venerated sexuality as the source of Humanity’s rise and ascent, and respected women as embodiments of the Goddess. But as the Patriarchy grew, men gradually consolidated their rule over women and their offspring. To legitimize their authority, men rewrote society’s belief systems (religion) to diminish women’s status and justify their dominance.
Eventually, the Great Goddess was replaced with the new male God of the Bible. The biblical prohibition against eating the “forbidden fruit” in the Garden of Eden began the demonization of sex, the defamation of the Goddess as the Whore of Babylon, and the desecration of the Original Blessing as the Original Sin.
The “Queen of Heaven” Becomes the “Whore of Babylon”
Merlin Stone’s When God Was A Woman zeroes in on the driving force behind the monumental changes that resulted in Patriarchy. “It is only with a certain knowledge of paternity that a patrilineal system can be maintained.”
For men to acquire progeny, property, and power, they had to ascertain paternity. If they wanted to know whose child a woman bore, they needed to control her sexually.
As Stone explains, “These ancient sexual customs (of the Goddess) were denounced as wicked and depraved and it was for this reason that the Levite priests (of Israel) devised the concept of sexual ‘morality’: premarital virginity and marital fidelity for women, in other words total control over the knowledge of paternity.”
Replacing the Goddess with a God had profound earthly consequences. As embodiments of the new Father God, men’s status rose. Demonizing the Original Blessing of her sacred Sexual Mysteries took away the Goddess’s (and her priestesses’) unique power. Now male priests could take the place of priestesses and wield power over those who turned to them for help and healing.
In short, re-imagining the world in a God’s image changed everything!
Sex went from a sacred and holy re-enactment of the mystery that raised humanity from bestiality, which could plumb the mystery of creation and invoke the Divine, to something that was for the pleasure of men and the procreation of their sons. This shift in power between the sexes transformed the structures of society.
Priestesses become “Prostitutes”
Since sexual worship was so central to the ancient Goddess religions, the new Christian religion — driven by righteous horror of what they deemed Original Sin — vilified the temple priestesses for those practices. Needing to differentiate itself as much as possible from the Sexual Mysteries of Goddess worship, the new religion of Christianity stressed its celibate priesthood.
Believing we were all born tainted with the sin of our sexual conception, early Church theologians couldn’t comprehend the spiritual purpose of the Goddess’s sexual rites. So they called the temple priestesses “prostitutes.” (The Hebrew word for prostitute is “zonah” which originally meant “seer.”)
As children, we all learned the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. But Western Civilization’s creation myth — with its inverted logic in which the first woman (Eve) is “birthed” from a man (Adam’s rib) — was a veiled attack on Goddess worship. Eve is seduced by a Serpent (symbol of the Goddess) to eat the “forbidden fruit” (Sexual Mysteries) and is ultimately blamed for Humanity’s expulsion from Paradise.
We’ve inherited the upside-down world this creation myth generated. The new religious belief systems that sprang from that creation myth had to demean, debase, and degrade the Great Goddess and her Sexual Mysteries to justify their existence and, by doing so, completely transformed the status of women.
For thousands of years, women had been revered and respected as embodiments of the Goddess. Now the Goddess was banished from Heaven and slandered as the Whore of Babylon, while her daughters were blamed for Original Sin and forever cursed with subservience on Earth.
The Dark Secret in the Heart of Men
There’s a secret “heart of darkness” in men — the feeling of being powerless in the face of their sexual desire for women. This biological power that women exert over men challenges the foundational belief of Patriarchy — male superiority.
Many of the religious pillars of Western Civilization were conceived by men to resist this power and to control women — the source of their pleasure, progeny, and property.
From Church Father Augustine’s outrage that his spontaneous erection — proof of his desire for a woman — was his body’s betrayal of the Spirit; to Islam’s demand that women be veiled from head to toe, in effect, making them invisible. These are all attempts by men to resist, deny, and control women’s sexual power over them.
For millennia since the banishment of Goddess worship, our sexuality has been defined by men explicitly to control women’s sexuality and so attain paternity certainty, but also implicitly to deal not only with the dark secret of women’s sexual power over them but with women’s greater capacity for sexual pleasure.
Our Penis-Centric World Tells Only Half the Story
Both ancient wisdom and modern science offer evidence that women are sexually superior.
Greek mythology says it this way. The god, Zeus, and his wife, the goddess Hera, were arguing about who had more pleasure in sex — men or women? So they asked the blind prophet, Tiresias, who’d been transformed into a woman for seven years. Since he’d experienced sex as both a man and a woman, he’d know.
Tiresias answered their question, “Of ten parts, a man enjoys one only.”
According to ancient myth, a woman experiences 10x more pleasure than a man.
Modern biology seems to agree. Our genitals embody the naked truth of our sexuality. A man’s penis has to multi-task between procreation, pleasure, and plumbing. By contrast, a woman’s clitoris, though much smaller than the penis, has twice as many nerve endings. But unlike the penis, the clitoris doesn’t have to double as plumbing. The clitoris has only one function — a woman’s pleasure.
In her book, Vagina: A Cultural History, Naomi Wolf suggests that the female orgasm is a more complex phenomenon than the male orgasm due to women’s more extensive pelvic neural wiring. Nature has evolved women to experience powerful and potentially transcendent orgasms.
The Greek gods didn’t need to ask Tiresias, all they had to do was listen to the sound of humans making love. Who cries out more? Men? Or women?
Patriarchy Defined and Hacked Women’s Sexuality
To gain power through progeny and property, men rewrote society’s belief system.
The key was sex: define it to control women’s sexuality.
Since Patriarchy is a sexually determined belief system, to gain power it hacked our SEX OS.
Patriarchy spawned the new Judeo-Christian male God whose religions denigrated and devalued all things female, especially the Original Blessing of the Goddess’s Sexual Mysteries.If you turn that Original Blessing into the Original Sin, birth Eve from Adam’s rib, and then blame her for humanity’s misery, you can control women’s sexuality, own her, own her children, and amass progeny, property and power.
But the damage is incalculable. Since we are all “of woman born,” the female is the “root” of the Tree of Life. And until women are sexually free, the root will damaged and the “fruit” (society) will be bitter if not poisoned.
Patrirachy’s distorted belief system has created a male-defined, penis-centric world that tells only half the story, one that’s increasingly out of balance with Nature. Men have run the world for millennia and brought us to the brink of disaster!
According to Gerda Lerner, the Patriarchy is neither immutable nor fixed — it “has a beginning in history,” so it “can be ended by historical process.” Feminist scholars believe that for women to be truly free, they must gain control over their sexuality.
When women rediscover and reclaim the Goddess’s Original Blessing, they’ll regain their freedom and power, heal society, and perhaps lead us back to Eden.
What Would a Female-Defined, Vagina-and-Clitoris-Centric World Be?
What would our sexuality be like if it was defined by the clitoris instead of the penis? By women’s pleasure instead of men’s?
Male-defined sex not only protected men’s egos and status, but severely restricted and limited women’s sexuality. Widespread female genital mutilation, particularly clitoridectomy, is an extreme example of men’s fear, which could only be relieved by the castration of women.
Driven by concerns about paternity, inheritance, and ultimately power, for millennia men have used religion to legitimize patriarchal civilization, women’s “nature” to justify it, and so-called “science” to explain it.
For thousands of years, we’ve lived in a male-defined, penis-centric, man-made world that has led us to the brink of destruction! Perhaps, re-discovering a female-defined, vagina-and-clitoris-centric world might save us.
To Lead in the Boardroom & Re-Make the World, Women Must Lead in the Bedroom
As women gain power, they’ll transform our culture in many ways. Perhaps the most profound will be reclaiming humanity’s ecstatic sexual birthright.
As women explore the the Original Blessing of their sexuality, they’ll re-discover its many secrets, including their “blended,” multi-orgasmic potential. Sexually empowered women will take the lead not only in the boardroom but, more importantly, in the bedroom where they will teach their lovers, and together transform the “monotony of monogamy” and “mating in captivity” into a mutual journey of ecstatic discovery.
Not just for better sex lives, but for society’s health and ulimately civilization’s survival!
The Lysistrata Mission
The “dark secret” in the heart of men is actually women’s “superpower.” When women finally embrace their sexual power, they’ll be inspired by the story of Lysistrata, a play by the ancient Greek dramatist Aristophanes.
“Lysistrata” was initially performed in Athens in 411 BC. It tells the tale of one woman’s mission to end the war raging between the Greek city-states of Athens and Sparta by denying men sex.
Lysistrata persuades the women of these warring city-states to use their “superpower” and withhold sex from their husbands and lovers until the men stop fighting the Peloponnesian War and negotiate peace. Led by Lysistrata, the women barricade themselves inside the Acropolis and withhold sexual favors until the men of Athens and Sparta lay down their spears.
The idea of a “sex strike” is increasingly relevant in the #MeToo era. Inspired by Lysistrata and organized as a sisterhood, women can employ their sexual “superpower” to transform our world.
Learning about ancient Goddess-worshipping civilizations can empower women. And so can modern science. Particularly primatology.
Do Women Hold the Key to a More Humane Civilization?
Most people think that Chimpanzees are our closest living relatives. Based on that assumption, science viewed the male-dominated social structure of the Patriarchy as humanity’s “natural” extension of primate society. But new research has discovered a cousin to the Chimp — the Bonobo — an even closer genetic relative to humans whose social structure differs radically from that of the Chimps’.
Chimpanzees are led by an alpha male and maintain order through violent competition and aggression. Bonobos, on the other hand, are dominated by females who band together in a kind of “sisterhood” that gives them power over the males. Unlike Chimps, Bonobo females keep the peace not through aggression but with sex.
Sexually, we have more in common with Bonobos than with Chimps. Like us, most Bonobo sex has little to do with reproduction and, unlike Chimps, Bonobos enjoy year-round recreational sex to nurture bonding and intimacy. And, like humans, they make love face-to-face. The primatologist, Franz de Waal, called Bonobos the “make love, not war” primate since they resolve conflicts through sexual play. “Chimps use violence to get sex,” he wrote, “while Bonobos use sex to avoid violence.”*
Bonobos have developed a female-led, sexually-incentivized, cooperative society in stark contrast to the Chimp’s violent, male-led competitive one.
For millennia, we’ve lived in a patriarchal civilization based on Chimp-like male domination (especially of women) and violent competition, which seems to be leading us toward self-destruction. Perhaps, it’s time we learn from the Bonobo example to help us build a new, more humane, female-centric civilization based on cooperation instead of competition, love instead of power.
* Source: “Bonobo Sex and Society” by Frans B. M. De Waal The behavior of a close relative challenges assumptions about male supremacy in human evolution. (Scientific American, June 1, 2006)
I. J. Weinstock is the author of THE SECRET SEX LIFE OF ANGELS series — an epic quest exploring the mystery that we call “sex.” This essay was adapted from his recent nonfiction book, OUR SECRET SEX LIFE: The Key to Humanity’s Destiny.
His recent articles on sex and society include:
—“Do Sex Traffickers (Like Jeffrey Epstein) and Mass Shooters Have in Common? And Why Should We Care?”
—“If Screen Life Is the Question, Our Sex Life May Be the Answer! Can SEX 2.0 Save Us From the Robots?”
—“A Conversation with OpenAI’s ChatGPT About Artificial Intelligence & Sex”
—“A New ‘Theory of Relativity’ Could Shake Up the World Again. But This Time It’s About Sex!”
—“Is Sex the Missing Piece of the Puzzle?”
—“Did Jesus Have a Secret Sex Life?”
—“Abortion, Sex, and Survival — Women’s Reproductive Freedom is About More Than the Right-to-Chose, It’s Ultimately About Civilization’s Survival”
“It’s The Sex, Stupid! The Sexual Undercurrents of Recent and Future Politics”
2 thoughts on “Women’s Sexual Empowerment Can Save the World! ~ March 9, 2023”
It is of some interest, that women are the leaders in all golden ages, while men are the leaders down to the iron ages, where we are presently leaving.
An interesting thought, which is …true! 😊🌹