How the Downfall of Female Deities Degraded Women’s Status in World Cultures
About the Book
Drawing upon historical, archaeological, and mythical examples from around the world, this book reveals how societal views of female empowerment and authority can be directly traced to the reverence once directed towards female warriors, priestesses, healers, queens, pharaohs, and goddesses. Communities which revered women as sacred idols of their belief systems were far more likely to place women in prominent positions of social or political influence, since their members were quite used to envisioning power in the hands of a strong or divine woman.
The book also explores how goddesses were purposefully devalued during the rise of patriarchal civilizations, thus restricting the social importance of earthly women and their accompanying rights. One such instance can be found in Greek mythology’s Gaia: once revered as a dominant earth mother, she was replaced by a division of less-powerful figures with more socially acceptable feminine roles, such as Aphrodite, the goddess of love (typically held up as an object of male lust); Hera, the goddess of marriage and childbirth (often portrayed as obsessed with jealousy over the extramarital exploits of her husband); and the mostly silent goddess of the hearth, Hestia. The devaluing of once revered goddesses appeared in quite distinct ways across different cultures; thus, this book breaks down its chapters by global region, including Europe, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, India, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Oceania.
About the Author(s)
Rachel S. McCoppin is a professor of literature at the University of Minnesota Crookston. She has published in the areas of mythology, comparative literature, and multicultural pedagogy in scholarly books and journals.
Rachel S. McCoppin
Format: (6 x 9) softcover
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
Table of Contents
2—The Middle East 57
3—The Mediterranean 89
7—The Americas and Oceania 212