Archives for posts with tag: patriarchal

Days, months and years go by. And again International Women’s Day comes. Before posting a blog on this special day, I take a look at my previous posts. Actually I have something in my mind but I want to remember what I wrote in the previous years. Guess what? I posted blogs on violence against women and women being hurt and oppressed. What has changed in a year? Could we make a difference? Unfortunately I could not keep myself from thinking that everything had been worse in my country.

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March 8 International Women’s Day. How did March 8 become the international women’s day? Let’s first remember this. On March 8, 1857, garment workers in New York City marched and picketed, demanding improved working conditions, a ten hour day, and equal rights for women. Their ranks were broken up by the police. 129 women died and at least 10,000 people attended their funeral.

On August 26-27, 1910 at the Second International, a world wide socialist party congress, German socialist Clara Zetkin proposed that March 8th be proclaimed International Women’s Day, to commemorate the US demonstrations and honor working women the world over. On March 16, 1977 United Nations General Assembly decided to celebrate March 8 as the “International Women’s Day.”

How could we, the women, accept losing all these rights we have gained with so many difficulties? I cannot understand it. Particularly if we take into consideration the violence against women, the rapes and women killings in our country, shouldn’t we respect women’s right more than ever and try to protect them? Isn’t this an imposition of male-energy societies? Have we returned back to old patriarchal days? I really think so.

If we go back to old ages, just remember King Hattusili III of the Hittite Empire, who made the first peace treaty in the world. The treaty was also sealed with Hittite Queen Puduhepa, which meant that the queen also had a word to speak in the name of the empire. Moreover, in the Yazilikaya Open Air Sanctuary, God of  Sky and Storm Teshub was decorated together with his spouse Hebat. The “mother earth” belief system in Anatolia goes back to 7,000 BC. The belief system reflected by fat women figurines which emphasize the women aspects of a body in agricultural settlements like Catalhoyuk and Hacilar had developed in thousands of years and was the basis of the Kybele/Cybele mother earth belief in the Phrygian world. An agricultural society, the Phrygs converted “the Great Mother” into a goddess of nature and believed this goddess symbolized the fertility in the nature. This mother earth cult of the Phrygian world was later adopted by the Greek and Roman world. The Greek called this goddess as “Meter Megale” and the Romans as “Magna Matar.”

In ancient Turkish societies, Umai was the “goddess of birth” and “the goddess who protected the family, marriage and the generations.” Umai was a spirit who was worshipped to make women more fertile. Known as a mythological deity, Umai was referred in the ancient Turkish “Orhun” monuments, “Turfan” monuments and Mahmud al-Kashgari’s “Diwan ul-Lugat al-Turk.” In the Orhun moruments, Umai was mentioned together with the God of Sky Ulgen and it was written that Kul Tigin was born with the help of Umai. Moreover, Turkish is actually one of the most democratic languages that when we say “O” we mention both all female and male creatures.

The matriarchal societies were replaced with partriarchal societies as agriculture developed and animals were domesticated. When animals were domesticated, men stopped hunting and settled down. Thus, men pushed the women to the second place at home and in the society and became the leader at home and in the society.

These are only the social reasons of transformation from matriarchal to patriarchal societies. There were also psychologic reasons of this transformation. According to yoga master Osho, men have an inferiority complex for they are not as creative as women. Osho thinks women are more creative than men because of their capability of giving birth and says that men are aware that women are superior than themselves. He also states that men tend to supress women, usurp women’s rights and push them to a second place in society in all societies in order to overcome their inferiority complex. Moreover, men do not want women to work and earn their own living, make them give birth to as many children as they can, make them stay at home and make them financially-dominant in order to keep women stay beside them.

As matriarchal societies were demolished and replaced with partriarchal ones, the world started to be ruled with male energy. Female energy was annihilated. Let me explain female and male energy with yoga. According to yoga belief, human body sets up of two energies. Feminine and masculine energies. Masculine energy starts from the coccyx and ends in the right nostril, whereas feminine energy also begins at the coccyx but ends in the left nostril. The male part is hot and active while the female energy is cold and passive. The male side is solar energy but the female side is lunar energy. This is how hatha yoga came out. Simply, ha means sun and tha means moon. Body is formed with the unification of these two dual energies. The aim is to balance the masculine and feminine energies, awake the divine force believed to live in the root chakra (muladhara chakra), help rise this divine force through the seven chakras, join the female and male energies in the third eye chakra (ajna chakra) and get enlightened.

Male-dominant societies are unfortunately aggressive and warrior. Since the birth of humanity, men hunt and they try to be strong by ignoring their emotions in order to hunt. Unfortunately, for we are living in a male-dominant world, we use this energy just to produce weapons and to fight. Because of this energy, the world is gradually getting more aggressive and cruel.

“Yang” is trying to change the world. To change ourselves, to change our life and the world. To struggle to make this change. To do something to make this change. Sometimes to push hard the life and ourselves. However “yin” is accepting. To accept everything as it is and to surrender. To accept life and ourselves as we are. Actually when we accept ourselves and do not push life hard, maybe everything will go in the right track but however we are so much “motivated by being the doer, being the active side” that we cannot surrender to life.

Being a woman? Bending, stretching, creating, accepting and surrendering… Moving with the flow of life… Accepting everything as it comes to you and just the same as something leaves you… Being one with the life, flowing with life.. Melting and eradicating the stiffness of masculine energy in the compassion of the feminine energy…

Awakening the female energy? March 8 International Women’s Day… Women! Let this magnificent energy flow out of you! What is my suggestion? Of course, yoga and particularly yin yoga. A yoga class or practice which awakens your second chakra, swadisthana chakra (sacral chakra). That is, a yoga practice focusing on hip openers. The second chakra, including our sexual organs, is associated with sweetness and creativeness, which is not something that can be ignored. In order to be creative, we should leave aside anger and disappointment and we should forgive ourselves if we feel guity. Sharing is related with the energy of the second chakra. Creativity intermingles us with other people.  A chakra associated with the element water. Water is soft and flexible. As Lao Tzu said, “The best of man is like water,  Water is good; it benefits all things and does not compete with them. It dwells in (lowly) places that all disdain.That is why it is so near to Tao… Bend and be straight; Empty and be full; Wear out and be new; Have little and gain.” Hoping that feminine energy can get the place it deserves in the world again, aggression is replaced with understanding and empathy, war is replaced with peace, and that we can accept and surrender more…

Turkey is celebrating another women’s day but in days when women are underestimated and overwhelmed. Being a woman in Turkey? Being a woman in the world? Being a woman in male-dominan societies? These were questions wandering in my mind days before March 8 International Women’s Day. I focused on reviving the female energies in our bodies in my yoga classes the previous week. We have been living in a male-dominant world for ages. I could not stop thinking “how it would be if women energy was not suppressed in the world and if we lived in a matriarchal world.”

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In the Old Age, there was an egalitarian society in which women, men and children worked together. Those days, women and men worked in same areas hand-in-hand and shoulder-to-shoulder. Women were raised as people who knew everything because they were handling everything when men were away. Girls could get equal share from the family’s weath when married.
According to Greek, Persian and Roman myths, the wife of the late ruler became the head of the society until a new ruler was elected after a ruler died. Archeologists had found out the traces of matrilineality in many excavations carried out in Eurasia. “Matrilineality” is a system in which descent is traced through the mother and maternal ancestors, i.e. from mother to grandmother and to the grand grandmother… In Eurasian societies, women who rocked the craddle joined battles when necessary.
As you can see, in old societies, woman was not only a person who gave birth to children and raised them but also a person who was standing by her spouse and had equal rights. Moreover, a woman who was giving birth to a child was a creative person. For this reason, the creator of nature, people and plants was classified as “the goddess.” When we take into consideration the statues of goddesses, we can see that the statues are emphasizing the fertility of women. The goddesses have been fertile, prolific and reproductive. They have been the guard of animals and plants and the symbol of fertility, prolificacy, marriage, reproduction and motherhood. The hips and breasts of the goddessess were stressed in sculptures as an indicator of prolifacacy. Moreover, it is not a coincidence that fertile soil is defined as the Mother Earth in many societiesb
Old Turkish societies were matriarchal. Women had equal rights with men including heritage, divorce and witness rights. Women had a right to say in the state administration. The spouse of the ruler used to have a seat beside the ruler and a right to speak as well. Women used to rule the country when necessary.
The matriarchal societies were replaced with partriarchal societies as agriculture developed and animals were domesticated. When animals were domesticated, men stopped hunting and settled down. Thus, men pushed the women to the second place at home and in the society and became the leader at home and in the society.
These are only the social reasons of transformation from matriarchal to patriarchal societies. There were also psychologic reasons of this transformation. According to yoga master Osho, men have an inferiority complex for they are not as creative as women. Osho thinks women are more creative than men because of their capability of giving birth and says that men are aware that women are superior than themselves. He also states that men tend to supress women, usurp women’s rights and push them to a second place in society in all societies in order to overcome their inferiority complex. Moreover, men do not want women to work and earn their own living, make them give birth to as many children as they can, make them stay at home and make them financially-dominant in order to keep women stay beside them.
In addition, female energy is something all societies have attached importance since the beginning of humanity. However, it has been supressed and tried to be annihilated in certain ages. Defining a woman as a “witch” during the Middle Age Europe can only be an example. I think that we should clarify something when we talk about women defined as “witches” and being killed for this reason. Splendid caps decorated in detail were a cultural way of manifestation since the old ages. According to the book titled “Warrior Women: an Archeologist’s Search for History’s Hidden Heroines”, the scenes on the walls of Kangjiashimenzi cave in China, the graves of warrior-nuns on the Altai Mountains and the northeast of Kyrgyzstan and the mummies in the Autonomos Region of Xinjiang indicated that these caps were used in the ancient times. The cone-shaped caps were made black and made a symbol of women who were accused of being a witch in Europe in the 15th centry.
As matriarchal societies were demolished and replaced with partriarchal ones, the world started to be ruled with male energy. Female energy was annihilated. Let me explain female and male energy with yoga. According to yoga belief, human body sets up of two energies. Feminine and masculine energies. Masculine energy starts from the coccyx and ends in the right nostril, whereas feminine energy also begins at the coccyx but ends in the left nostril. The male part is hot and active while the female energy is cold and passive. The male side is solar energy but the female side is lunar energy. This is how hatha yoga came out. Simply, ha means sun and tha means moon. Body is formed with the unification of these two dual energies. The aim is to balance the masculine and feminine energies, awake the divine force believed to live in the root chakra (muladhara chakra), help rise this divine force through the seven chakras, join the female and male energies in the third eye chakra (ajna chakra) and get enlighted.
When we say male energy, we mean man’s being active and restless. Male-dominant societies are aggressive and warrior. Since the birth of humanity, men hunt and they try to be strong by ignoring their emotions in order to hunt. Unfortunately, for we are living in a male-dominant world, we use this energy just to produce weapons and to fight. Because of this energy, the world is gradually getting more aggressive and cruel. If we return to yoga again, the lunar energy, i.e. tha or yin, are all feminine energies. It is passive, accepting, cool, creative, fertile, soft, compassionate and it surrenders.
What if the female energy was not supressed in the world and we lived in a woman-dominant matriarchal world? How would such a world be? No wars, full of peace and happiness, calmer and more fertile. A world in which we accepted life as it is, we
went with the flow and surrendered.
Unfortunately, men are told that “they are men” in partriarchal societies. Men have forgotten that they are getting half of their codes from their fathers and the other half from their mothers. They were told that “they were real men.” They were told, “men never cries.” All these codes were implanted in men’s minds since their childhood. Their creativity was taken from themselves. They were only taught to “do”, “achieve” and “obtain.” Female qualities were considered a shame. Their feminine qualities were erased one after the other. What were they? Showing their emotions, expressing themselves, crying, showing affection and empathy, understanding, loving and being gentle… Men stayed away from all these qualities as they were considered weakness. They became firmer and firmer each passing day. They lost their flexibility, became firmer people who only focused on the result and obtaining.
However, every woman has man characteristics and every man has female characteristics. Half of our bodies is male energy and the other half is female energy. If we want to live in a better world, we should not forget that women and men all have female and male energies. Sometimes a man should think and act like a women and the vice-versa. Sometimes a man should be flexible, express his feelings, surrender, accept and let go. He should not only be a “doer” and “active.” He should “surrender”, be “passive” and “creative” when necessary. Sometimes a woman should act like a man. Should show her anger, protect herself and rebell. If a woman always surrenders and behaves passive, then she becomes a slave of man. However, men and women are equal. They complete each other just like the night completes the day, the winter completes the summer and the darkness completes the brightness. If man is always aggressive, a doer and active, he always causes argument and war and makes the world a violent place. Therefore, men should become more “passive” when women becomes more “active.” When women becomes a bit more “doer”, a man should start “surrendering.” And women and men should share each other’s characteristics and meet on a common ground. Then the world would be a place where both feminine and masculine energies prevail, not a place where one dominates the other. Then the world will be a place where neither “surrendering” nor “aggression” dominate.

Being a woman? Bending, stretching, creating, accepting and surrendering… Moving with the flow of life… Accepting everything as it comes to you and just the same as something leaves you… Being one with the life, flowing with life.. Melting and eradicating the stiffness of masculine energy in the compassion of the feminine energy…
Awakening the female energy? March 8 International Women’s Day… Women! Let this magnificent energy flow out of you! What is my suggestion? Of course, yoga and particularly yin yoga. A yoga class or practice which awakens your second chakra, swadisthana chakra (sacral chakra). That is, a yoga practice focusing on hip openers. The second chakra, including our sexual organs, is associated with sweetness and creativeness, which is not something that can be ignored. In order to be creative, we should leave aside anger and disappointment and we should forgive ourselves if we feel guity. Sharing is related with the energy of the second chakra. Creativity intermingles us with other people.  A chakra associated with the element water. Water is soft and flexible. If we keep in mind that 50/60 percent of women’s body consists of water and this percentage is 60/65 percent in men, why shouldn’t be as soft and flexible as water? As Lao Tzu said, “The best of man is like water,  Water is good; it benefits all things and does not compete with them. It dwells in (lowly) places that all disdain.That is why it is so near to Tao… Bend and be straight; Empty and be full; Wear out and be new; Have little and gain.” Hoping that feminine energy can get the place it deserves in the world again, aggression is replaced with understanding and empathy, war is replaced with peace, and that we can accept and surrender more…