A powerful myth.A goddess of life giving nature, a suprahuman embodiment of the creative forces of the universe. Astarte was a lover and destroyer.Seductive and violent. She was a bestower of life and death.Health and sickness. This contradictory Near Eastern deity gave herself freely to all men, but was “owned” by none. Was she the patron goddess of feminism? aaa
Among the psychologists who have dealt with the myth of Astarte, or Ishtar, was Erich Neumann, a disciple of Jung who was in the mythological figures of the Astarte-Aphrodite myth personifications of aspects of the human personality. They are divided by sex with the ego taking the male roles, the unconscious the female. Usually, male and female are in conflict, but not always. The double nature of Astarte, lover and destroyer, would then be an expression of man’s feelings about his own irrational instincts and emotions which threaten to disintegrate his orderly and logical male world but which come irresistibly to tempt and fascinate him in the form of dreams, violent emotions, sexual desire and uncontrollable fantasies.
In the Astarte stories, according to Neumann, ego consciousness is struggling to free itself from this encroaching matriarchal unconsciousness.Rather than succumb to the “mother” , the young lover, who stands for the emerging ego, tries to resist.He flees, he fights; he refuses. But he is not strong enough to win total independence, so he ends up offering what he tried to withhold: the phallus. Such is the meaning behind the stories of Attis, Narcissus, and of course Adonis-Tammuz.
aThe psychological interpretation has been disputed by many, but in its emphasis on the subjective character of the “experience”, it hits a nerve. The workings of the male imagination might well produce this distorted cartoon of the female of the species, one more deadly than the male. She lures you, seduces you, then breaks you like the giant whom Astarte is said to have reduced to a dwarf. Astarte, in other words could be a composite portrait of Woman as seen through the nervous and longing eyes of Man- tantalizing, elusive, destructive, but inescapable.
The interpretation takes care of the male point of view, but Astarte was first and foremost a goddess of women. Her representation to women is perhaps more interesting than what she meant to men. She is the morning and evening star, the waxing and waning moon. Unlike other goddesses of the Near East, she owes her power to no male god-consort; it was she who predicted and brought about the great flood of Babylonian mythology and then came out in a moon boat, an ark, to save man and beast. But, she has a human form and is given human emotions, which can be used for both good and ill: cold-blooded sexual attraction to prove her power. However, when a woman sat in the temple of Astarte, she did so impersonally. The man she slept with was not chosen by her. And at the end of the sex act he was forgotten and the money went to the goddess. She seemed to be acknowledging a principle of love independent of any particular man or any material gain. The specifically human emotions, embodied in Astarte, were therefore raised to a higher level, given a religious significance and transformed.
The concept would mean that women would stay chaste, virgin, in spite of all her lovers. A virgin being not biological but “free” and “unconditioned” subject to no man and her power not being derived from a male consort among the gods. Obviously, the myth has many meanings; but the general portrayal of women in male dominate popular culture contains little that would invoke Astarte in spirit or mind. There are deformative , distorted, inverted and non-palpable archetypes that are a legitimate source of feminist critique and even rage; a kind of metaphorical genital mutilation to the rough instruments of male standards and values.
Katha Pollitt:Contemporary shows are either essentially all-male, like “Garfield,” or are organized on what I call the Smurfette principle: a group of male buddies will be accented by a lone female, stereotypically defined. In the worst cartoons — the ones that blend seamlessly into the animated cereal commercials — the female is usually a little-sister type, a bunny in a pink dress and hair ribbons who tags along with the adventurous bears and badgers. But the Smurfette principle rules the more carefully made shows, too. Thus, Kanga, the only female in “Winnie-the-Pooh,” is a mother. Piggy, of “Muppet Babies,” is a pint-size version of Miss Piggy, the camp glamour queen of the Muppet movies. April, of the wildly popular “Teen-Age Mutant Ninja Turtles,” functions as a girl Friday to a quartet of male superheroes. The message is clear. Boys are the norm, girls the variation; boys are central, girls peripheral; boys are individuals, girls types. Boys define the group, its story and its code of values. Girls exist only in relation to boys. Read More:http://www.nytimes.com/1991/04/07/magazine/hers-the-smurfette-principle.html?pagewanted=2&src=pm a
Read More: http://www.nateborofsky.com/smurf.html
Throughout the series, James Bond has sexual relations with new women in every film. This is analogous to the dominance of man over nature suggested by Sir Francis Bacon; he believed that the purpose of science was for man to dominate and control nature.
The ways in which Bond uses women to appease his own desires, and the ways in which he uses women as a means to an end (such as in Casino Royale when he seduces the wife of a criminal to simply gain knowledge about that criminal) reflects the simultaneous domination of women and nature in society….Read More:http://www.suite101.com/content/the-sexist-nature-of-james-bond-a132244
These actions by Bond can be equated to the ways in which men dominate nature and natural resources for their own gratification with little worry about the consequences.Perhaps the most glaring example of how the Bond films perpetuate the concept of oppression of women and nature in society is inherent in the concept of dualism, first theorized by the Greek theologian Pythagoras. According to the theory of dualism, all components associated with men, such as culture, are deemed superior than components associated with women, such as nature.
James Bond perpetuates this dualism by seducing women at will (as discussed earlier) and through his depiction as a suave, virtually indestructible man. Bond, armed with a gun or a laser-watch, is more powerful than any Soviet soldier or mobster hit-man.Likewise, Bond is calm and very rational in the face of danger. Juxtaposed to this are the women of James Bond films, who are depicted as emotional, constantly in need of rescue, and who are easily seduced by Bond.
In one particular scene of Casino Royale, Bond kills an African warlord with little hesitation or remorse. However, when “Bond Girl” Vesper Lynd bears witness to this she is overcome with emotion, which is shown when she sits in the shower fully clothed and crying.Read More:http://www.suite101.com/content/the-sexist-nature-of-james-bond-a132244