World Religions versus the Blue Bra Revolution

Washington Post writer Sally Quinn looks at photos of Egyptian soldiers beating an abaya-shrouded Muslim woman, and a light bulb goes on for her about major religions:

Why would men, particularly under the guise of religious belief, want to keep women down? Because they understand that women’s sexuality is something that they cannot live without, it is something that renders them powerless. Women can have babies, women can breastfeed, women are the lifegivers.

Sounds like much of the Pagan discourse beginning in the 1970s, if not earlier! Read more about her hoped-for “blue bra revolution.”

In related news, Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority is nervous.

For decades Copts have suffered attacks by Islamists who view them as “kafir”—Arabic for nonbelievers. But there is now a sense among Middle East experts that they have become more vulnerable since the revolution.

This year, mobs have looted and attacked Coptic churches, homes and shops throughout Egypt. Churches have been burned down, and one Copt had his ear cut off by a Muslim cleric invoking Islamic law.

Strong gains by Islamist parties in the recent elections have further raised fears among the Christian minority that they won’t have a place in the new Egypt.

An acquaintance of mine is married to an Egyptian Christian woman. Her parents recently came for what he said is a month-long visit — I see them around town with their daughter now and then. I am starting to wonder if they actually plan to go home or to seek asylum. Maybe they are weighing their options.

On Reading Merlin Stone for the First Time

Jason Pitzl-Waters posted a notice of the passing of Merlin Stone, “sculptor and art historian,” yes, but best known in my circles for her book When God Was a Woman, first published in 1978.

I remember an “Oh wow” reaction on reading it when I was in my late twenties—already Wiccan, but still in that eager mode of scooping up new intellectual sensations (something I can still do when the stars are right).

This was in my pre-grad school stage. I did not even know that the author was female—after all, Robert Graves had written The White Goddess, and my only association with the name Merlin was the Arthurian one. (Apparently I was not going to the right conferences. I was not going to any conferences!)

There are lots of tributes to the book’s imaginal power (if not scholarship) at Jason’s post.

Saddam’s Goddess Art

How does Saddam Hussein appear in a Pagan blog? Simple–he or one of his accomplices ripped off the art of Jonathon Bowser, who works with images of the feminine divine, to illustrate a novel published over the Iraqi dictator’s name and found in one of his presidential palaces.