Women’s Superiority in Medieval Church Theology and the Judeo Christian Heritage of Feminism and Misandry!
Although the discourse here uses Douglas Ghalbhi's elaboration of a poem we're going to discuss immediately I feel that he was wrong in most of his conclusions and was unable to see the both the subtle as well as the overt and blatant misandry in this medieval work. I want to discuss here the poem mentioned by Ghalbi as it appears to be actually a corner stone and another lost piece in the unknown history of misandry. The poem that Ghalbi mentions is one from the 4th century (384). In it the Patriarch of Constantinople Gregory of Nazianzus addresses a young bride Olympiada who is a wealthy offspring of the Roman imperial family. As Ghalbi says Gregory knew her personally and acted as her spiritual father. This is quite important as we can see the lines through misandry was culturally spread on a familial as well as spiritual level. Being naturally indoctrinated by women men as Gregory continued to spread misandry to women by serving them. As a wedding gift, he gave her a 111-verse poem of fatherly advice. That poem shows that an extraordinarily wise man, about 1600 years ago, was still a part of the gynocentric and misandrist matrix. In his writing Gregory explicitly described women’s superiority while degrading and disparaging men. He bluntly writes and tells Olympiada:
"Set aside the silliness of equality among the sexes that some of your contemporaries preach, and attempt to comprehend the obligations of marriage"
Although superficially and normally also elaborated with cherry picking and selective methods (as feminist usually do in gender studies) the passage here will appear as an anti-women statement that goes against the efforts to establish equality between the sexes, it is only further reading and in the context of the next lines that the misadrist message of Gregory will become apparent to the reader. Moreover, between the lines we can also see that the female struggle to gain absolute power over men has not been invented by modern feminism which only took it to extremity but under the disguise of the equality narrative this dynamic has been already set by the medieval Gynocentrism of the 4th century.
The patriarch then continues with his misandrist tone and rant:
"You must surely be aware of how easily anger overtakes men. They cannot maintain their temper, and they often appear as wild lions. It is at this exact moment that a woman must remain stronger and display her superiority.
Well, people, both men and women can occasionally get angry. In both cases it is better to respond not only with compassion but with wisdom too. This has nothing to do with the misandrist notion that MEN are ANGRY and women are always loving, caring and nurturing! As standing opposed many eastern doctrines, especially Buddhism for example, which sees the inherent true nature of all human beings as love, wisdom, awareness and compassion, such kind of an attitude is basically a derivative of the Judeo-Christian heritage which sees all human beings as flawed and all men as inherently evil by their very nature. It is more of a western theistic heritage and social construction of theistic heritage rather than being an empirical fact. Hence, being a social construction rather than having any corresponding reality it was more indoctrinated in men in the context of European Gynocentrism as ideology and culture as we can see here. The exact term used in this misandrist text namely "superiority" in the context of gender relations and dynamics as it was also used in Agrippa's work on the superiority of women shows alongside with all the other dynamics that the that proto feminism predates even the work of Agrippa and has been probably started already in the 4th century by the patriarch. Agrippa has been normally considered the first male feminist. However, from the work here we can see that this infamous title might actually go to the Patriarch of Constantinople Gregory of Nazianzus.
"You must play the role of the lion-tamer. What does a lion-tamer do when the beast starts roaring? He becomes even calmer than usual and through kindness and persistence he overcomes the lion’s wrath. He speaks to the lion kindly, in a soft but firm voice, he caresses it, he attends to it, he pets it, and little by little calmness is restored"
This is the basic notion of misandry and gynocentrism. Not only that it is the apparent idea of the gynocentric marriage that is a kind of work camp and a prison for men to be indoctrinated with female values to redeem themselves but the very idea of the man as nothing more than an animal to be tamed is very vivid in the Patriarch's words. In fact, his speech and rant is the very embodiment of self-hatred and internalized misandry. All of this is nothing but the same misandrist narrative that we find in modern feminism too and it has been clearly emanated from those clerical views of men in the European church. In a very basic way, it is the exact notion as men being inherently evil, women being inherently angelic, thus also clearly exhibiting their moral superiority over men and which is also very known through the concept of the beauty and the beast!
Moreover, historically and in the same way as it has been done in the Patriarch's misandrist rant, men have always been disparaged as dogs, pigs, wolves, and animals sexually inferior to donkeys. Gregory, who was a highly learned theologian, tried of course to hide the tracks of his apparent misandry. Therefore, he merely stated that men “often appear as wild lions”. A nice try that also modern feminists do and have learned from the great master! However, it is not a great secret that from evolutionary point of view in terms of survival of the species women are stronger than men while men are stronger in protecting this life. In gynocentrism this was always balanced and as we can see from the eastern examples above it didn’t deranged in the social sphere which was always well-adjusted, The derangement from a gynocentric-matrifocal society into a socially constructed gynocentrism and ideology fighting to establish matriarchy as feminism does occurred as we have said and can see her within the frame of European culture under the rule and hegemony of the European church.
It is important to understand that courtly love puts men in a subservient position relative to women. Men’s inferiority to women in identifying biological offspring has enormous implications for social inequality. Yet gender inequality ultimately has even deeper roots. The fundamental gender inequality is this: men typically love women more than women love men. While women do and can truly love men, from biological point of view female hypergamy makes female love more conditioned than altruistic. While both men and women have those elements and both of them must work on them-selves this kind of work, being hard for everyone, is even harder in this context for women. Among others, having the monopoly over sex alongside with this kind of inequality in love, allows women to gain the upper hand over men in relationships.
In the bottom, the story here shows Gregory indoctrinating Olympiada with the Gynocentric and conventional misandrist lies so prevalent throughout history. Being a heritage of almost two thousands of years it is especially prevalent today under modern feminism. It is also one of the best examples that the matrix is everywhere around us, even religion can't spare it-self from it and if we want to free ourselves from its grip we must take the red pill to transcend it. In fact, feminism is nothing more than the next stage of gynocentrism and misandry but it inherited the contempt, disdain and hate of men from this type of ideology deeply rooted in the western theistic and monotheistic traditions. It is later that Agrippa has taken this Christian heritage and molded it with Jewish Gynocentrism and misandry by adding Jewish Kabbalistic thoughts and mysticism. This dynamic is the embodiment of how the Christian – Judeo heritage, over a period of two millennia, has created and gave birth to modern feminism and as an epitome of its inbuilt gynocentrism and misandry!
The quotes above are from Gregory of Nazianzus’s letter to Olympiada in 384 GC. The translation is from the Orthodox Christian Information Center’s website. The name of the translator isn’t given. I’ve made some non-substantial changes to the translation. The Greek text and Latin translations (prose and verse) are available in Patrologia Graeca (PG), vol. 37, p. 1542.
Gregory of Nazianzus was an eminent theologian and church leader who lived from about 329 to 390 GC. Gregory of Nazianzus, Basil the Great, and Gregory of Nyssa are known as the Cappadocian Fathers. With Basil the Great and John Chrysostom, Gregory of Nazianzus is regarded as a Holy Hierarch. He is also regarded as a saint. He is one of only three persons generally known by the epithet “the Theologian.” For more information on Gregory and a translation of some of his poems, Dunkle (2009). Here’s a large collection of Gregory’s writings. Although widely revered, Gregory’s insightful contribution to gender theory has been almost totally ignored.
[image] Excerpt from icon of Gregory of Nazianzus, the Theologian. Made in 1408 and attributed to Andrei Rublev. Originally in the Dormition Cathedral, Valdimir, Russia. Now in the State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), inventory # 19725. Thanks to Wikimedia Commons.
Dunkle, Brian P. 2009. Gregory Nazianzen’s Poems on Scripture: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary. S.T.L. Degree Thesis. Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.
The article is based on a discourse by Douglas Ghalbi on purple motes and was published under a CCA SA5 license. The discourse here was altered based on my research on Gynocentrism, feminism and misandry.