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Re: theos-l digest: September 30, 1999

Oct 02, 1999 04:04 PM
by kymsmith

Dear Bart:

Once, in a past life regression, I had a vision of being involved in a gun
duel with another gentleman who, I have concluded, must have been you.

>> [Kym] Well, again, even in the "old days" marriage still proved an early
>> for most women.  Spousal abuse is not a modern phenomenon - having one's
>> family around usually kept a women in her place, rather than serving as a
>> woman's advocate.
>[Bart] Are you trying to say that this was the rule rather than the
>If so, I would like to see your sources; if not, then I do not
>understand the relevancy.

Well, "trying" isn't the word I would use; I declare it a fact that spousal
abuse was the rule, rather than the exception and that society/family
circles served to fortify women's oppression; in addition, such practices
resulted in the death of many young women.

Sources?  Well, as far as marriage serving as an "early death" for women, a
simple jaunt through any old cemetery will speak of that.  The number of
married women (as noted on the tombstone) will show that the majority of
them were under 30.  The tombstones of men, on the other hand, show a much
longer life span.

Since you brought up "plantation" issues: Catherine Clinton, a history
professor, writes in her book "The Plantation Mistress": "Apprehension
clouded the joy of expectancy, for whenever a plantation mistress faced
childbirth, she literally prepared to die. ..... In order to ensure safe
and healthy pregnancies, some plantation mistresses continued to exercise,
especially during the early months - a not uncommon medical practice during
the early nineteenth century. 1847, chloroform finally began to be
used to relieve the pain of childbirth. ....Confinement was a time of
crisis for husband and wife alike. While women went through the pain and
anxiety of delivery, expectant fathers feared the death of their spouses."

>	The tight control of women as opposed to men in the West is actually a
>relatively recent phenomenon, dating back only about 3-400 years
>(before, women and men tended to be equally controlled). In the United
>States, it was never the rule, although it did appear sporadically,
>especially in wealthy urban areas.

Bart, for pete's sake, women did not get the right to vote until 1920!  How
can you say that the "tight control of women" was not the rule in the
United States?

Women and men were not "equally controlled" in early Western thought.  Take
a peek at Genesis where it declares that a man shall "rule over" a woman in
marriage, or when Mohammed declares that women are merely "vessels" for
childbearing and little more.  In Jewish tradition, a woman (if you can
call a 13 year old a "woman") was to be chosen from the "family line" to
ensure "purity" of such family line.  Clearly, both the family and society
believed and propagated the custom that a 13 year old was to become subject
to her husband's rule.  These customs are more than 300 to 400 years old -
unless my math is in error.

Women, in the 1800's, were not allowed to go attend universities and were
often prevented from attending any kind of public school at all.  In
present day, medical insurance will cover Viagra for men, but not birth
control for women. In present day, a woman who kills her husband will,
according to the Justice Department, receive, on average, a 15 year LONGER
prison sentence than a man who kills his wife. How can you say, Bart, that
women and men were/are controlled "equally" in latter-day United States
thought and practice?

>> [Kym ]Now, specifically about my complaint about the quote (not you
>> As a woman, I so tire of writings, be them political, spiritual, cultural,
>> theosophical, that tend to revolve around the perspectives of men.
>[Bart] Can you give a few examples? And if you define "revolving around the
>perspectives of men" solely by who is doing the writing, then all you
>have to do to remedy the situation is to write from your own

This is illogical.  It will not "remedy the situation" if women simply
engage in the same practice as men do - writing and acting as if the world
sees through only their eyes.  A form of reverse discrimination is what you
are advocating here.  It is true that men and women view the world
differently due, mainly, to societal treatment, but to write "sacred" text
to only a select group of folk is irresponsible.  Too many highly quoted,
revered, and directive texts are written by and for men - and the people of
present day continue the cycle of perpetuating that line of thought.
Instead of examining spiritual texts in a more panoramic "world-view" - the
same old quotes are tossed around, expected to address today's society.

The example Grigor gave, "As it is said in Caucasus, a man is not a
man worth his salt if he hasn't been salted, assaulted, and insulted in holy
wedlock" will not work if we replace "he" with "she."  For, to do so, will
endorse physical, mental, and sexual abuse of women.  It is much more
difficult, although not impossible, for a woman to "assault" her husband -
odds are he's bigger, stronger, and may hit back with bolder force.  It is
more difficult, althought not impossible, for a woman to engage in the
marital rape of her husband.

The very quote itself endorses a dissatisfaction, a violence, within the
marriage relationship.  It implicitly suggests that to be married is to
expect suffering and physical/mental abuse.  This is not acceptable, in my
opinion, for neither men nor women.  Because men have less fear about
violence in marital relationships, this quote probably caused a few
snickers, winks, and understanding nods among some males; however, this
same quote, if we replace it with "she," sends cold shivers down the spine
of a woman.

Just because something is written by so-called learned men does not mean
that it is a learned phrase.  The men who wrote this quote paid NO heed of
women when writing it.  Those of us who claim to be educated need to
examine a bit more deeply currently acceptable "words of wisdom."  Do such
"words of wisdom" apply to most people and will they work in current daily
life?  Do such "words of wisdom" promote peace and harmony, or violence and

>	The Mahatmas claim that they can choose whether to incarnate as male or
>female. The Mahatmas chose, at the time, to come mostly as men because
>of societal reasons. They made it clear that they did and do come as
>women when the circumstances warrant it; I would assume that in today's
>society, there are more female Mahatma's than in previous times.

This reasoning, to me, is also illogical.  Since so few people actually
"saw" the Mahatmas for what they claimed to be - what difference would it
have made if they were male or female?  Are you suggesting that Blavastky
would have discounted their words if they had come from females?  Since it
was important for Mahatmas to "blend in," what better way to remain
anonymous in their time but to be female?  Neither does it make sense that
male Mahatmas would chose a female messenger - ESPECIALLY if they were so
concerned about "societal reasons."  It would have been less problematic if
they had chosen a male.  Again, the reasoning you offer just doesn't add up.

Oh, and I almost forgot. . .regarding the duel. . .you were fatally
wounded.  I tried to save you. . .I really did. . .honest. . .I really
tried. . .but since I wasn't allowed to go to medical school. . .well, you


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