ISIS, the feminine, the mother of the world, the creator of humankind. We have forgotten her in ourselves. She is a goddess who is a totally timeless expression of the Divine Feminine; she is as relevant today as she was in ancient times. Devoted to empowering others, Isis supports the awakening of humanity as we head into a new World Age. She brings value and respect to the roles of wife and mother, is the patron of magic, nature, and healing, and is considered a protector of the dead.
Her compassion, love, and tenderness have made her especially dear to women throughout time. As the protector of women, Isis helped women in childbirth and comforted women when their loved ones died. She shows us that women have great reservoirs of strength and inspiration.
In the myths of ancient Egypt, Isis and her brother/husband Osiris were the divine rulers of the gods. Overcome by envy and seeking to gain more power and control, her brother Set killed Osiris. Everything Isis does is done with great power and intention. Her grief over the death of her husband was so great that it was said her tears of sorrow caused the Nile to flood.
I am reminded of ISIS in my reading of the case of the rape of the American Journalist Cynthia Ritchie in Pakistan by a former political person. Cynthia is fighting as it seems against all odds to take her accussed to court to face trial for his deed. Her predicament as a woman is not very easy, we have all seen here in the US what it took 40 women to get Epstein to trial and convicted. Here we are speaking about a country where it is ruled by a underbelly of religious patriarchy, but it still has a fundamental rule of law of modernity. But will she be able to get justice from that system?. This woman’s fight, against all odds, all threats of death, to stand alone and fight for justice made me think of all of those women in the Eastern culture that for the sake of thier position in their society, could never speak up. I see her as an ISIS, full of grief and fury waging war against an old system destined to change or collapse. But rather, I see she is shunned, by the legal systems in Pakistan and by the diplomatic liasions of the US. Why is her case of rape against a powerful man not as important as the geopolitics with which these nations play. If a fundamental human right is violated to the point of being percieved as nonexistent, that the nation itself cannot call itself humane and just and should not in my view call itself a modern nation. Pakistan in my view must look at itself, understand the root of its ideology and move forward to do what is right by legal methods. In trying to understand the root of the position of women in our modern society, we must look at the time event in the past where the worship of the feminine collapsed into a patriarchy. Of all places it was in Greece.
The notion of teleology — and its relation to female procreative power helps to cast the history of misogyny into sharp focus. The simplest version of teleology is that some things happen, or exist, for the sake of other things. From Plato and Aristotle to Mike Pence, powerful men have believed in a divinely created natural order in which human beings should act for the sake of the good. For many such thinkers, women’s procreative powers were their only means to contribute to the good, from which it followed that those powers must be properly controlled by men with insight into divine intentions.
When the Hippocratic authors placed women in bondage to their procreative powers and to their husbands, they initiated a long-standing strategy in Western thought of reducing women’s health to their reproductive capacity and making men their wardens.
Aristotle’s philosophical and biological proposals were mixed with Hippocratic ideas, found their way into medieval Christian, Jewish, and Islamic thought, and became the centerpiece of Europe’s first universities. Whether young men studied philosophy, theology, law, or medicine, they absorbed the causes and extent of female inferiority. Medical doctors through the 19th century continued to rely on Aristotelian and Hippocratic medical ideas. One prominent Victorian doctor, referring explicitly to these ancient sources, describes the attitude physicians take toward their female patients, “We are the stronger, and they the weaker. They are obliged to believe all that we tell them. They are not in a position to dispute anything we say to them, and we, therefore, may be said to have them at our mercy.”
It’s unsettling to witness the ease with which a few men writing over two millennia ago laid the groundwork for centuries of sexism. It’s crushing to realize that so many of our contemporaries embrace the logic of those ancient arguments and happily subjugate women’s bodies in the name of mens desires. We must understand how these sexist attitudes arose, how they maintained themselves, and how utterly contingent they are. If knowledge is power, then understanding the ancient sources of current misogyny might aid us in the ferocious fight we now face to give women thier ability to fight for thier right totally and equaly.
The United States when it comes to womens rights has no better record. Among the 25 Alabama state senators who voted on May 14 2020 to pass the country’s most repressive restriction on women’s health care, every single one was a man, many of them joyous in protecting the sanctity of motherhood and saving women from themselves. One of the sponsors of the bill, Senator Clyde Chambliss, defended the “purity” of the law, which denies abortion to survivors of rape or incest, explaining, “When God creates the miracle of life inside a woman’s womb, it is not our place as human beings to extinguish that life.” Whatever else we might say about Chambliss’s argument, it has an ancient pedigree and impeccable logic: It is the duty of those men able to discern the divine goodness in the world to protect women’s procreative powers and decide on what thier rights are..
Sexual harassment is a tabooed topic in Pakistan. We must critique the rape laws of Pakistan from an Islamic point of view which is careful to include women’s perspectives . Unlike much of what is popularly presented as traditional Islamic law, this woman-affirming Islamic approach will reveal the inherent gender- egalitarian nature of Islam, which is too often ignored by academics, courts, and legislatures. We must demonstrate how cultural patriarchy has instead colored the application of certain Islamic laws in places like Pakistan, resulting in the very injustice which the Quran so forcefully condemns.
Since Ritchie’s allegations involve a popular political party and its leaders, many in Pakistan accused her of “ulterior motives.” The rape allegation has thus been shrouded in a political controversy, undermining a potential #MeToo moment. It is time that the news of her fight reach the shores of America and she gain support from women here and globally as she stands and fights the powers that be to be held accountable for thier actions.