Lilith (Lilitu) was an ancient Sumerian and Mesopotamian fertility goddess. She was a mother goddess, a protector of children, a fierce warrior and an agricultural goddess. She was worshipped by people seeking to have good crops and many children.
She even had assistants. Like angels are to the Judeo-Christian god, Lilith had Mariliths: Six armed women with snake tails who were skilled gardeners and fabulous warriors at the same time. Mythology and stories about Lilith are not really well known however, because most of them have been obliterated by competing religions.
But there are other versions of Lilith. For example, in Greece Lilith is the goddess of the black moon (Artemis is the goddess of the full moon and Hecate is goddess of the crescent moon). In Greece she was also revered as a fertility goddess, helping to conceive children and grow crops.
Legends and myths about Lilith originate in ancient Mesopotamia, but persist as far away as Malayasia. She has many subtle name variants from region to region.
But not all the legends about her are good. Judeo-Christianity has replaced the old mythology with a new mythology: Lilith as succubus.
No longer is she a goddess, but instead an immortal succubus, the mother of all succubi, a stealer of children and a seductress of men.
This anti-Lilith mythology is found in the combined mythology of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. The how and why this happened is simple. Men are often afraid of women with power.
The modern Judeo-Christian religions all believe that there is only one god, and that this god is a HE. If we go back further into the origins of these religions, there is actually two gods: Jehovah (the male counterpart) and Yahweh (the female counterpart). The modern versions of these religions ignore Yahweh and favour only Jehovah. So historically "God" is both male and female, but the modern versions of these religions firmly believe that "God" is male.
This is an idea that is reinforced by the usage of "Lord", "He", "Him" and "the Holy Father", all of which point to "God" being masculine.
Combine that with the Adam and Eve myth, wherein Adam is created first as a "copy" of God, "in his own image".
Plus almost all of the figures in the various versions of the bible are male. Abraham, Lot, Moses, Joseph, Jesus Christ, King Solomon... Santa Claus (Saint Nicholas) isn't even in the bible, but he's still male. The Pope, the Cardinals, Catholic priests... all male.
The female version of the goddess Yahweh has basically been eradicated. All we have left is male dominated religions.
Lilith makes a very interesting deviation in Judeo-Christianity however. Instead of being a fertility goddess, who helps women conceive children, she has been transformed into a sexual miscreant. Suddenly sex and conception is evil. Sex is a sin, or so the bible tells us.
We have to remember that the bible (the different versions of it) weren't actually written down until hundreds of years after the death of Christ, and when they were written down, different people (all men) wrote different versions and mass produced them. In Christianity, the version most commonly used is the King James version, a version which religious scholars working for King James wrote.
But other versions tell drastically different stories. In the ben-Sira (a) version Lilith makes a dramatic appearance, not as a succubus, but as the counterpart to Adam. Lilith and Adam were created together, both made out of clay, at the exact same time. Afterall, Yahweh/Jehovah created all the animals (male and female animals) at the same time, why shouldn't they create humans at the same time? In ben-Sira (b), a slightly different version, Adam is created first, and Lilith is created immediately afterwards. In ben-Sira (c), Lilith is made of mud instead of clay.
In whatever version you read, the story still finds a way to make women appear inferior.
"Soon, they began to quarrel with each other. She said to him: I will not lie underneath, and he said: I will not lie underneath but above, for you are meant to lie underneath and I to lie above. She said to him: We are both equal, because we are both created from the earth. But they didnít listen to each other. When Lilith saw this, she pronounced Godís avowed name and flew into the air. Adam stood in prayer before his Creator and said: Lord of the World! The woman you have given me has gone away from me.
Immediately, the Almighty sent three angels after her, to bring her back. The Almighty said to Adam: If she decides to return, it is good, but if not, then she must take it upon herself to ensure that a hundred of her children die each day. They went to her and found her in the middle of the Red Sea. And they told her the word of God. But she refused to return. They said to her: We must drown you in the sea. She said: Leave me! I was created for no other purpose than to harm children, eight days for boys and twenty for girls.
When they heard what she said, they pressed her even more. She said: I swear by the name of the living God that I, when I see you or your image on an amulet, will have no power over that particular child. And she took it upon herself to ensure that, every day, a hundred of her children died. That is why we say that, every day, a hundred of her demons die. That is why we write the names Senoi, Sansenoi and Semangloph on an amulet for small children. And when Lilith sees it, she remembers her promise and the child is saved.Ē
The words "I will not lie underneath" could be reference to sexual positioning (and has been used by religious scholars who prefer the missionary position), but it can simply mean that Lilith does not want to be treated like a slave.
During the 20th and 21st century Lilith has seen a cultural revival, largely due to the feminist and post-feminist movements. She has become a feminist icon, a sexually aggressive woman who wants to be treated equally.
Men have words for such women. We call them sluts, bitches, whores, hoes, fem-nazi-bitches. The word feminist is treated by men (and sometimes women) as if its a bad word. They think it means female superiority when in reality its just equality.
Which brings us full circle, back to ancient history and mythology, because myths are often just blurred facts that have been altered with time. In Greek mythology, Amazons lived to the east of Greece, in the area of Sumeria, Mesopotamia and Palestine. Thanks to archeologists, we now know that that particular area, stretching from Egypt to Iran, believed in equality. Men and women treated each other equally in Egypt and Sumeria.
From the Greek perspective, where men were considered superior (largely due to Greek mythology where Zeus is king of the gods, and also due to Aristotle, who said that women were soulless), the idea of women being treated as equals was such a strange thought. Women in Greece were slaves. They had no souls. A society where women were equals would be considered backwards, hence the term "Amazons" has come to mean women who are in control, a society where women are considered superior.
Except they weren't superior, the Amazons were simply equals, and it mirrors our modern problems with people misunderstanding the meaning of the word "feminist".
Male-haters, lesbians, dykes... names we sometimes call feminists, but its far from the reality. Most feminists are actually heterosexuals, married and have children. If anything, they are far more likely to be more aggressive and open about their sexuality. Like most modern women are.
The fact is that all women who believe in equality are feminists. Many simply don't know it because they've been confused by men who say feminists are "male-hating dykes".
Sadly, most women are likely to say "Oh, I believe in equality, but I'm not a feminist." They don't realize that they really are a feminist, but they're afraid of being called a "male-hating dyke".
And not all men hate feminists. Many men prefer women who are aggressive and/or androgynous because they are simply more compatible people. Not everyone wants a woman who bends to every whim a man has. Such a woman is more like a slave, a woman who has been corrupted into believing she is inferior.
Which brings me back to religion. When a person is raised with a misogynistic (women-hating) religion like Christianity and fed ideas like "women should stay home to cook and clean" or "women are only good for making babies", it destroys the woman's self-esteem and at the same time provides a lazy alternative. That isn't to mean that being a housewife is an easy job, but it certainly is an easier career alternative. It doesn't require any serious education, they don't have to worry about social stigma, they don't have to worry about competition in the workplace and a host of other reasons. Overall its a less stressful environment, but it comes with one fatal flaw: Men commit adultery so they can sleep with more sexually aggressive women.
And so now we are back to the Lilith as succubus/seductress. The home-wrecker, the secretary, the mistress, the other woman your husband is fucking. Its very easy to hate the woman who destroys your nice happy/lazy existence of being a carefree housewife. She destroyed your life and because you don't have a job and you don't have an education to get a decent job, you can't afford to take care of the kids. Since you don't have money of your own, the custody battle could be expensive and while women are favoured in custody cases, men have equal opportunity to gain custody, and have a monetary advantage because if they have the money, they in theory can provide a better home for the children.
Next thing you know, the husband is fucking the nanny and you've been replaced.
So yes, being a housewife is a noble thing to do, but get an education anyway. No matter how much the husband claims he loves his wife, there is always the potential for adultery.
And so its very easy to think of the other woman badly. How dare she! She stole your husband! How and why? Because she's more aggressive.
Its not that she is a bad person. She's not. If the husband fell in love with her and ditched the wife, then she must have some nice qualities. Its not that the wife isn't nice either, this has nothing to do with niceties. Its about the husband wanting a woman who is more aggressive and with whom he feels more compatible with.
Not all women who find out their husbands are cheating however get a divorce. Quite often, especially in a religious family, they simply ignore the affair (and sometimes have their own affairs). They may hate the mistress, but they choose to remain in the marriage because they're afraid to rock the boat. An unhappy marriage seems easier than being an unhappy divorcee with no children, no education and no job.
The church reinforces the idea that couples are married for life, til death do us part, but in reality church leaders don't have a clue what its like to be in abusive/adulterous marriage. Unless the priests have been abusing the choir boys, the priests have never had sex in their lives and they certainly have never had a serious relationship. A priest really should not be providing marital advice, because they have no marriage experience.
From the priestly perspective, it is very easy to blame the mistress. She tempted the male. Its all her fault! If she wasn't so aggressive, none of this would have happened. She seduced him, so its all her fault.
Wrong! The husband just as easily could have had an affair with another woman who was not aggressive at all. The mistress doesn't need to be aggressive at all. Quite often the mistress doesn't even know the man is married.
So its certainly not the fault of the mistress. Blaming her is ignoring the real problem: The Sex within the Marriage.
Maybe the husband doesn't feel excited by his wife. She is boring in bed. Maybe she doesn't want to have sex regularly. Maybe he has simply lost interest in her. Maybe its a communication problem and when the two aren't talking they aren't having sex either. Any kind of dispute and/or a lack of sex will make both the husband and wife want to look elsewhere for their pleasure.
There is the flip side of the succubus: The incubus.
In Biblical mythology, incubi are fallen angels who had sex with mortals and were cast out of heaven. They wander the earth as "sex demons", seducing women or raping women and impregnating them. A common theme is the woman being ravaged in her sleep by an incubus and becoming pregnant. The children of incubi are said to be rapists.
In the modern marriage, the incubi is the man in the affair. Something is wrong in the marriage, woman meets man, they get it on, she gets pregnant and suddenly the husband wonders why the baby has red hair... in ancient times amongst superstitious people, it was very easy to blame a rapist or a sex demon or even witchcraft. Anything but adultery, which could get the adulteress stoned to death. Quite often if a male committed adultery, no one cared. But if a woman did and she got pregnant, it was a huge problem.
The witchcraft issue is an interesting one and I deliberately said "red hair" above. Witchcraft was used an excuse to kill people with red hair during the middle ages. Today red hair is extremely rare because it was essentially mass genocide based upon hair colour. But its not just witchcraft. In paintings and depictions, Lilith and seductresses are often depicted as having red hair, symbolic of a more aggressive sexuality.
Whether red heads are more sexual or not, its difficult to say. But we can say that people tend to view others based on what they look like. Women don't look very muscular, therefore we tend to think they are weak.
And after years of being told they are weak, women start to believe they are weak. Except that strength isn't defined by sex, its defined by exercise. Women who are exercise more do look more muscular and toned. No steroids required. Being told they are weak for years and years reinforces the belief and as a result many women don't exercise as much as they should. They think they are weak and become weak as a result of a lack of exercise.
In this day and age, men are becoming weak too. Too much sitting on the couch watching tv or sitting in front of the computer is creating a generation of fat, lazy, weak men and women. The heaviest thing they carry is the shopping bags filled with Coca-Cola and twinkies. I have a term that I use to describe these fat people: Its Generation XXL.
In the United States this is a huge problem. HUGE as in fat, and also HUGE in terms of numbers. 72% of adult Americans are overweight, including 29% who are OBESE. Everyone in the country is starting to look like the Venus of Willendorf.
This fatness is not unrelated to Lilith, because Lilith is symbolic of fertility and sexuality. Fat people are not sexy, but they're also not very fertile. Obese women have heart problems which result in lowered fertility rates. The related problems have to do with egg fertilization, heart disease in the fetus leading to the body naturally aborting the fetus, premature babies. In extreme cases the weight of the stomach weighing down has even squashed, choked and/or suffocated the baby.
While women are encouraged to eat a fair bit during pregnancy in order to ensure a healthy baby, an already obese woman will become even more obese and will certainly have fertility problems as a result. Even if the baby is born, it will also have heart and liver problems due to a fatty diet during the pregnancy.
And perhaps more importantly, on a sexuality level, obesity really hampers a person's sex life. Finding a mate who is willing (or desperate enough) to have sex with the Venus of Willendorf is quite tricky.
In combination, the obesity problem combined with marital infidelity is almost a definite. If either the male or the female becomes overweight, a loss in sex drive and sexual activity is almost certain. Both sexes are much more likely to cheat if their spouse is overweight and unattractive. Perhaps this could explain why infidelity is so common in the United States, because the USA has so many weight problems and is the fattest country and the most adulterous.
Sexuality, feminism and health issues (whether its AIDS, pregnancy or obesity) will always be linked together. Pregnancy itself is not a feminist issue, but the process of becoming pregnant or preventing pregnancy is. The choices women make, like whether they choose to use a condom or the pill or both is directly related to their sexual beliefs and their feminist beliefs. A woman who forfeits the choice to her boyfriend or husband is forfeiting her rights. At the same time a sexually aggressive woman may simply believe in "cumshots" and firmly believe that unprotected penetration is okay, provided the man is confident in his ability to control his ejaculation. Therefore when it is time to ejaculate, he may end up doing so on her ass, her stomach or (like they often do in porn movies) on her face.
Hence the term "cum-catcher", a term many women find offensive.
Another term "cunt" is considered VERY offensive, despite the fact that many feminists now believe we should use the word in the clinical sense. "Cunt" is the proper English word. "Vagina" is Roman military slang, because the word actually means "swordsheath". Thus there is a movement to replace the word vagina and start using the word cunt more regularly, so it will lose its negative aspects and eventually it will no longer be a bad word.
The United States may pride itself as being advanced on moral issues like feminism, but the truth is that they are still far behind European countries like France and England, the birthplaces of modern feminism. Far too many Americans are still living in a "missionary" belief system when it comes it comes to sex, despite the advances of sex researchers like Dr. Kinsey.
During Bill Clinton's sexual controversy there was several key themes: Do blowjobs/oral sex count as adultery? Is Monica Lewinsky a slut or a sexually aggressive woman? Should Hillary have filed for divorce? Why didn't Hillary file for divorce? Why did Americans care so much about sex in the oral/oval office?
From Bill Clinton's perspective, he was trying to cover his ass. Lying to congress is not allowed, but pretending to be stupid is apparently okay. He didn't think oral sex counted as real sex. Or so he said, but he was basically pretending to be stupid in order to prevent being impeached.
Monica Lewinsky IS sexually aggressive, and she's only a slut if you think she is. Clinton is more at fault than she is. His sexual advances on multiple women are well known. Whats interesting is how it causes a split in American politics. The feminists tended to side with Monica Lewinsky, supporting her sexual aggression while the homemakers/married women tended to side with Hillary. Meanwhile American men (the vast majority of them) just supported Clinton himself. The infidelity of a nation of men came together in common support of a president who proved he really is like the common man, because the common man cheats on his wife.
And apparently the common woman (Hillary Clinton) ignores it and continues with the marriage. We assume therefore that despite his infidelity, that Bill Clinton must still be a loving husband, but he must also be good in bed if his wife still wants him. The whole scenario is like a Jerry Springer episode, but on a national stage of political events. The Clinton family became the most popular presidential family in US history. Bill Clinton's approval rating was the highest any president had ever seen.
That approval rating helped win Hillary Clinton her senate seat in New York State, and it will certainly help her when she runs for US president in 2008. For her the choice of staying with Bill was a no brainer. She wants to be president. Americans will not elect a divorcee. So while many Americans assume Bill must be good in bed, the truth of why she stayed with him is far more politically motivated.
A person would almost wonder if Clinton's sexual scandal was a deliberate ploy to raise his popularity by allowing the common person to identify with him.
In contrast most Americans do not identify with George W. Bush. The wealthy son of an oil magnate, a fake-cowboy, studied at Yale because his father is an alumni, snorts cocaine, hemorroids and apparently has no sex drive at all. Most Americans don't even know what his wife's name is, whereas Hillary Clinton is a household name.
Bush's treatment of women is quite profound. Of his inner circle, there is only one woman: Condoleezza Rice. Bush invaded abortion privacy by making abortion records publicly available, thus women who had abortions when they were younger could now be potentially blackmailed. He cut funding to women's shelters not only in the United States, but also abroad. He increased funding to dubious religious groups which oppose women's rights. In state of Texas where he was governor for 4 years, in a rather strange obscenity law, women are allowed to go topless, but only if they are white.
Condoleezza Rice is currently the National Security Advisor, but what experience does she have? Before Bush was elected, Ms Rice was an oil tycoon. She knows nothing about security issues. She has no military background at all. What she does KNOW is the oil business.
As the only female in the group, she is certainly voted down in meetings with Bush's advisors, but she remains in the White House because she doesn't care that she is the only woman. She cares about money. And that is the downfall of many women in business and/or politics. Far too many women measure their success by monetary wealth, not by what they achieve.
Some women achieve happiness by having children, having successful careers, accumulating wealth, gaining fame, helping others, or finding love. If we go back to the original Lilith myth in the ben-Sira version of the bible, we find that what Lilith wanted to be happy was a loving mate who treated her equally. In the Garden of Eden, there was no need for wealth or career, so the only pleasure beyond that was children. A loving mate, equality and the possibility of children. Money, career and fame are secondary.
Far too many people firmly believe in fame and fortune. Yes, we need money to survive and being famous is a very nice feeling too. It would be really nice to have lots of money, retire early and spend your time helping others. Adam and Lilith were essentially retired. They had no need for wealth. Fame was non-existent because there was no other people and likewise the idea of helping others and adultery didn't exist for the same reason. It was life in a vacuum/paradise, but even then the battle of the sexes managed to destroy what should have been complete happiness.
The battle of the sexes rages on today and will certainly continue to rage in the future. In many ways modern sexuality is much more confusing. Women are confused as to what men want. Do they want big tits and voluptuousness, or do they want anorexic women with perky breasts? In the United States there is even the BBW (Big Beautiful Woman) movement which tries to convert men to a new idea of beauty, wherein fat is sexy.
Likewise for men, times are changing. Being handsome no longer is the thing. Now men have to be handsome and hairless from the neck down. Shaved chests, shaved back, shaved asses, and sometimes even shaved legs and penises. The modern idea of male beauty is starting to look very metrosexual and androgynous. But that idea doesn't apply to all women. Some women want hair, muscles, tans, no tans, long hair, beards, body piercings, tattoos... our ideas of what is beautiful is becoming more diverse as our society and culture changes.
Its difficult to predict where sexuality will lead us in the future. Bisexuality is more common than previously thought and sexual freedom is butting up against religious stereotypes/beliefs. Gay marriages are already completely legal in Canada and will soon be completely legal in the United States. Religious people will try to stop it, but it will happen anyway. Whenever sexuality pushes for more freedom, religion tends to stick its nose into the business and try to demonify the topic. If we all listened to the bible, then women would all be slaves, homosexuals would be executed, and everyone would be using the missionary position. Lilith will always be a dual image of demon and goddess, with sexual repression on one side and sexual freedom on the other.