Sexism: How the Mechanism of fear appears through the Amazon's Legend


In our modern societies, sexism is a term, implying the mechanism of fear which is an automatic procedure, that stimulates certain behavioural patterns between the two sexes.

Women and men, even in western civilizations (at a different grade from one country to another), maintain these principles, on which societies decided to be built upon since ancient times.

And even though women have conquiered a lot...the subsoil is still immature, customary principles seem to be really strong and influencing, functioning automatically, touching off and creating in turn, new ones. Discrimination can be seen everywhere. In workplaces, the numbers of women in top-ranking posts is way behind compared to men. Legislation is never protective enough, considering the needs of a mother, and it is only rarely foreseen for men, to take a parental leave and leave their jobs behind as women do.

But the most overwhelming everyday procedure is that of abusive language. Abusive language, is not always direct. It may be detected through a joke, or through behavioural patterns adopted in our everyday language. The most common reason for this discriminatory speech, is the need to create and perpetuate a much more stronger male principle. In order to achieve that, women are often considered to be evil and manipulative, which is also a stereotype that has nothing to do with sexes, but with human personalities.

The mechanism of fear, functions behind this stereotype and screams for a way out of this malice, visualizing a "strong and fair patriarchal society", free of such a concept...

In ancient times, the legend of the Amazons' which stayed alive through different eras, talks about strong women who were worriors, before the patriarchal society took its place. Amazons' represent the matriarchal social structure, and their traces appear in ancient Greece, Asia Minor, Afghanistan, Africa and some other parts of the east. Their most characteristic weapon was the ax, something that permitted archaeologists to identify important foundings in northern Afghanistan, to the Amazons' legend.

Foundings that are identified with the Amazons' prove that their children were find buried next to their husbands, thus indicating that the raising of kids, was mostly mens' duty, in their societies. The freedom they enjoyed was huge, but if we have a much more careful look Amazons' were always depicted losing battles.

it is true that there was a matriarchal period in ancient Greece before the patriarchal principle prevailed, it is true that this period of time in ancient Greece got connected to the queens and warriors of the nomadic tribes of the East, known in Greece as Scythians. But the way they became known and presented, betrays a dream adopted into male fantasy, used exclusively for the purpose of stengthening their force and influence.

The "daughters of ancient god Aris", as depicted in mythology and art, consist an ideology that served the aims of a society repressive to women.The message that gets communicated is that the strong, independent woman is a dangerous female entity, scraping death and destruction everywhere.

The fact that in battles the Amazons' were losing, maybe was used as a warning for the fate of unruly women, which would dare to break limits. Punishment would be death.

So this mechanism of fear, is not new. Since ancient times, and even through the way that the Amazons' legend got presented, we can find hidden messages dictated by men.

And it is impressive that ages and years after that, these principles and the fear mechanism, continues to be so influencing, while women themselves become a part of an abusive language without knowing it or ever trying to think about it. And of course that is ok for men, as it serves their needs and feeds them without forcing them to prove anything. But it is not ok for women, because the only thing it serves, is the perpetuation of a prefixed role, even though changes and rights have been achieved.

To just have a picture of all these sayings and the way, even from ancient times, the Amazons' legend was presented by male fantasy, as an evil kingdom that at the end was always losing, it is interesting to have a look at a paint referring to the Amazons', called "The execution girl" painted from the Peruvian artist Boris Vallejo. This paint has an aesthetic that we usually find in comics, where woman is strong and sexy but serves the masculine principle of power, so as to be accepted as an equal one. She is also presented extremely sexy and evil, a picture that also comes from a male brain and not a female one...Isn't there another way that a strong woman can be presented as a stong and sexy one, but stemming from a female will and thinking of how it should be, that would eventually form and create the male fantasy and not only the opposite?

                                          written by Themis Panagiotopoulou, PhD in Political Science

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