27th April 2016
by Nawal El Saadawi
To challenge the Male Creator
In Ancient Egypt our female goddess, Isis, was a symbol of creativity and knowledge.
There is a relationship between knowledge and creativity.
Her mother, Nut, was goddess of the sky and heaven. She gave birth to many gods and goddesses, including her daughter Isis, who inherited the throne from her mother and Maat, goddess of Justice.
Women in ancient Egypt discovered agriculture, language, writing, philosophy, medicine, arithmetic, architecture, music, drawings, and many other things.
Children carried the name of the mother. Women were worshiped and respected because of their creative mental and biological powers.
Motherhood was known from the beginning of history, but fatherhood was unknown for a long time, until the discovery of the ‘spermatozoon’, the role of men in fertilizing women, and the recent discovery of DNA.
Originally, the Creator was Female, but the political-social-economic system changed to patriarchy, and children had to carry the name of the father. The new Male God The Father became the Creator of everything ̶ including Eve, made from the rib of Adam. The Male powerful god was very hostile and jealous of the creative power of women and their knowledge.
Eve, goddess of knowledge, was condemned by this male angry god. Knowledge became a sin, in his new patriarchal monotheistic religion. Women became sinful, related to Satan, the Devil.
But a woman called ‘Lilith’ was mentioned (only once) in God’ first Book, The Old Testament, then her name disappeared. She was considered a dissident and should not exist in history. She was the first wife of Adam, but she used her common sense and refused to be a rib of her husband. She declared that she and Adam were equal, were twins, and that they were born from the same mother.
To go back to common sense
We are all born creative, but we lose our creativity through the educational systems, especially religious education. When I lose my common sense and believe that my husband is superior to me because he is a man. When I believe that God is male and is the Creator of everything from nothing. When the name of my father gives honor to me, and the name of my mother is shameful. When my husband is allowed to marry four wives, and I should accept one husband ̶ or one fourth of him. When I should be ashamed of my head and hide it with a veil or a scarf or a wig. When I should be less intelligent than my husband to please him and avoid divorce. When I omit my name and carry the name of my husband. When I think that my clitoris is a male organ in my female body and that it should be cut so that I become a complete woman. When I bring up my son to be a masculine authoritarian husband, and bring up my daughter to be a submissive feminine wife and mother.
Many women are like that, in the world, East and West, they are patriarchal in their mind.
Creativity is going back to our common sense. It is the ability to undo what education, religion and politics did to us. It is the ability to connect the self to the other, the physical to the mental to the spiritual to the social to the political to the economic to the psychological and all.
It is the ability to undo the split, dichotomies and contradictions, forced upon us by the class patriarchal system, and become whole again, like children.
To unveil our mind
We live in one world (not three worlds) dominated by the same capitalist imperialist colonial patriarchal religious military spying system. One percent of the population of this world own everything and 99% own nothing. Millions are killed by violence under the name of Religion, God, Father, Family, Honour, Nation, Flag, Identity, Fatherland, Chastity, Motherhood, Wifehood, Fidelity, Morality, Peace, Democracy, and Obedience.
Creativity leads to Revolution and Dissidence. It is to disobey and challenge all types of injustices based on gender, class, race, religion, nationality and identity. It is the ability to de-mystify all these beautiful words and unveil our mind.
Nawal El Saadawi is an internationally renowned Egyptian writer, novelist, medical doctor and fighter for women rights.