Pro-Sex vs Anti-Sex Societies
Dominator cultures are more sex-negative — especially for women. And they are prone to celebrating suffering and death.
Gender-equal “partnership” societies
Our earliest societies were forager, gender-equal “partnership” cultures. Some still exist today.
They commonly live in fertile, plant-based areas and are less inclined to attack foreigners to get their stuff. Some early plant-based societies had no weapons designed to kill humans.
“Partnership” peoples worship both goddesses and gods, who are revered as life-giving forces. Sex, life and women — who bear life from their bodies — are seen as good.
These people are truly pro-life.
Sex-Negative “dominator” cultures
Most of the world today is patriarchal. In patriarchal “dominator” cultures men are more valued and have more power. They are more worshipful of death and suffering. And they are more sex-negative. Especially toward women.
These peoples commonly originate in harsh conditions where it’s difficult to grow crops. Like the environment they live in, their gods are punishing and harsh.
The people want strong leaders who can keep things together. That’s partly why they are dominator societies.
But the bleak landscape also encourages violence as warriors raid villages to gain wealth.
As a result, men are valued since their size and strength make better fighters. Warrior traits (called “masculine”) are valued, too: strength, toughness, domination…
Death is extolled, along with the weapons that bring it. Some are even worshiped. Think: Excalibur and Thor’s hammer.
No surprise that their gods are male dominant.
Dominators invade partnership societies
The world today looks more like those dominator societies (although we are moving toward partnership, with some backlash.)
Evidence suggests that violent, dominator peoples like Indo-Europeans eventually conquered more peaceful partnership communities.
Before patriarchy, Hera had been a great goddess, with many temples devoted to her. After patriarchy, the warrior god, Zeus, took her as wife, and made her second to him. In fact, a whole hierarchy was created with Zeus on top.
In the mortal world, laws were enacted to severely punish women who sought to keep their past equality. And women were assigned separate and unequal living quarters, to which they were confined in order to preserve sexual purity — and decrease their political power. Fathers had power over life and death of children. Some fathers left newborns (usually daughters) exposed to the elements, leading to death (usually) — or enslavement, if “rescued.”
And both gods and humans held a sexual double standard.
Mortal men could have sex with pretty much anyone they liked. But women certainly could not. And homosexual men were celebrated because they had sex with their equals.
Amongst the warrior gods, Zeus had many lovers while virginal goddesses were celebrated. And gods raped goddesses without punishment — putting the goddess “in her place.”
And so the Greeks, and their gods, became male-dominant, anti-sex (for women) and pro-death.
Humans and human societies are complex
Now mind you, humans and human societies are complex so there aren’t always straight lines, with a variety of factors in play. And fertile societies may still make war, perhaps over a scarcity of land.
The gender-equal Iroquois celebrated life and sexuality, even though they could also be fierce warriors. But women controlled important staples of corn, beans and squash. Property passed through women. And female power was created because the women of each family lived together. And the old women had great power in appointing chiefs.
Or, although patriarchal, the fierce Viking warriors had a fairly high level of gender equality and love of sexuality, even for women. Perhaps because some women were warriors, too, suggested by women buried with what appear to be their weapons. Scandinavian folklore and mythology also talk of warrior “shieldmaidens.” The chieftain’s wife also helped with strategy — although they called it fortune-telling. The “Veleda” discerned the future of suggested war plans and acted to influence the outcome through magic.
So with exceptions we do find a large pattern of war being associated with patriarchy, a celebration of violence and death, and sex-negativity — especially for women.