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by Jim Walker
Originated: 10 July 2006

I have often wondered why so many women visit I checked the ratio of men-to-women responders on this site and discovered that an inordinate number of women visit this site. Yes, men still visit more than women, but the ratio of women appears far more than internet averages. It began to dawn on me after receiving several emails from free-women that, of course, it comes from the very idea of leaving behind beliefs, the very beliefs that once held women down for so many centuries.

The pre-historical archeological record makes it clear that the earliest known statuettes depicted women (the earliest figurine yet discovered came from 500,000 and 300,000 BCE). Women probably created the first art in human society (shell beads made 100,000 years ago). Feminine fertility symbols abounded in early culture such as the famous Venus of Willendorf, carved from 30,000 to 15,000 BCE. Some historians suggest that women created the first written language, cultivated the first agricultural crops, and represented the first idols for religious worship (love-sex-union, motherhood-birth-creation, cycle-death-rejuvenation). Women of the first agricultural societies held positions of power, ownership, and respect. During the historical period things began to change for women. Patriarchal societies became more dominate and women had less influence although they still sometimes held positions of power.

There even once lived warrior women such as the Spartan princess Arachidamia, and the Celtic Queen Boudica and the Amazons, a nation of all-female warriors in Classical and Greek mythology. (I should also note that, to women's credit, there occurs far less female warriors than men warriors throughout history and, in fact, anthropological studies of both non-human primates and humans have shown that matriarchal societies tend to reduce violence and warfare.)

Women in early history openly used contraceptive devices and herbal abortants. Women governed, and determined marriages. How in the world did they lose their status? Women fell pray to male domination beliefs. Women held respect until the event of male based organized religions based on conquest, war, and domination. Once the monotheism religions gained power, so went the liberties of women. Women became slaves, servants, and wives. Mosaic law prohibited women from serving as priestesses and temple prostitutes. The Hebrews used the same word for priestess as they did for prostitute (zonah and qedeshot). The Temple priestesses, worshiped through sexual acts and given offerings were not technically prostitutes but the practice was eventually forbidden as a form of prostitution.

Thus began the myth of the inferiority of women. The ancient symbols used by priestesses became associated with evil. The serpent which once represented rejuvenation and health became the symbol of evil and the devil. The snake cults and worship of Isis holding snakes were popular in antiquity (the symbol still lives today in the form of the caduceus, snakes wound around a staff). The horns of the Bull, once used to symbolize the Goddess Hathor, Goddess Diana, and other goddesses, turned into a symbol of Satan's horns. The Tree of Knowledge became a symbol of evil temptation. The woman, once regarded as a symbol of the goddess, turned into a symbol of original sin. Statues of naked or pregnant women became symbols of immorality (pornography). The reversal of the original meanings of these feminine concepts became associated with evil ever since the unknown authors penned them into the Bible. Women now became the origin of sin and the blame for the fall of man (Genesis 3, 1-16 and later, 1 Timothy 2, 14).

Women of Judeo-Christian religions became married to men (never men married to women). Once married, a woman lost her name, property, and status as an individual. The husband owned the wife, the children, and the property. She became a part of man, a womb-man. Women served as chattel in the early Hebrew religion. In Christianity, the Catholic Church declared women as below man (the divine hierarchal order became: God, man, women, animal).

By this time only a few pagans revered woman as worthy of respect, in some cases in religious worship and in others, philosophy and science (The Goddess Venus and Hypatia as scientist for example), although, by this time in history it should be noted that even in many pagan societies, men looked down on women. The constant barrage against the pagan religions by Christians took its toll after Christianity became a state religion in 380 CE. During the reign of Theodosius, the ban on pagan religions, and later the killing of pagans themselves, marked the end of pagan influence and the beginning of the Dark Ages ruled by Christians. The Christians won. No longer would women hold positions of power and respect in the Western world until centuries later.

Not until the Enlightenment in the 1800s did women begin to openly question their role in society. In America, women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Margaret Sanger, fought for women's emancipation. Amazingly, not until 1920 did women have the right to vote in national elections in the United States. To this day, we see the remnants of ancient Biblical beliefs that continue to enslave women's minds and bodies. In virtually every case, the beliefs derive from religion and superstition, beliefs that serve to justify the control of women by men.

Every liberty earned, every freedom, every right for women came as a result of freethinking men and women, people who rejected the tenets of the Bible, people who said "no!" to the shamans and priests.

No wonder then that eliminating beliefs not only frees women, but it empowers them with limitless possibilities. No beliefs means liberty.

The following represents some of the remaining beliefs that hold women down:

Marriage: Marriage has nothing to do with natural biology. It does, however, have everything to do with cultural beliefs. In short marriage goes against nature. Free women realize the trappings of marriage.

Gender superiority: Neither men nor women can possibly own superiority over the other without beliefs. Men and women differ simply because of biological and cultural differences. Free women know the differences.

Judeo-Christian-Islamic religions: The male dominated religions serve as the main cause for keeping women from their freedoms. They continue to deny women the right to their bodies, the choice of birth, and to hold important positions of power. Free women realize the advantages of staying well away from religion.

What describes a free woman? A woman who has disowned beliefs and who has control over her life. A women who thinks instead of believes. welcomes the free-women of the world.