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DaVinci Code Movie - Many audiences missing the point

Author: The Country Goddess
Posted: July 30th. 2006
Times Viewed: 5,796

Those who saw The DaVinci Code could not miss the feminine divine aspects of the movie. The pentagram, Mary Magdalene, and fact that the movie is about dual divinity, both feminine and masculine, and the fact both must be present and equal in true faith and without fear (the center point of the movie) .

But there were other more subtle points, and every review I have read in my local papers, seen on TV in entertainment news, A and E, and yes, even the Christian channels, missed an opportunity to talk about these subtle points in particular, the holocaust of women throughout history particularly during the Inquisition. Men and even honored monks such as the Knights Templar were also tortured and executed but this info is rarely discussed except for an occasional A and E special on the fate of the Knights Templar. However, for this writing, I am mostly focused on women. Not because I am a feminist or a woman but because it is about time and this movie does present the perfect opportunity. In the reviews, I have noticed a few seemly angry appraisals from different media areas calling this movie “a feminist agenda developed by feminist”, which is funny to me since it was written by a man, produced by a man, directed by a man and the star was a man. Granted his side kick was a woman who had a more prominent role than most would have imagined unless they had read the book. But I had to wonder why were feminists being blamed for this movie and its content and why had the word “feminist” become a dirty word, akin to certain news channels use of “democrat” in a negative context.

During the movie, there are all the expected storylines about Mary Magdalene, the Gnostic Texts, true origins of how the Bible was assembled and how the “church” began. But the unexpected in the movie was the imagery of the women being hauled away and put to death in the middle ages, most of these women accused of blasphemy, witchcraft and devil worship. Some were condemned my their own husbands just to get them out of the way or obtain control of their property while most were condemned for knowing the ways of healing and herbs. (Death by poison was also prominent in Europe after the Crusades because these poisons were brought back with them, so when people died it was easy to condemn a woman or midwife for the deaths. Also, many male physicians did not want women as midwives, as that would decrease the need of their services as a doctor.) This discrimination is still felt even now in the 21st century in medicine and other fields. Granted it is felt certainly more in certain countries than others, but nevertheless, still felt). Many independent women were also condemned or accused of witchcraft who held property in their own name usually by inheritance. If the church wanted the property, some male family member or the government, accused her of witchcraft. Understand that until the Norman invasion of Europe, Saxon and Viking women could hold there own property, after the invasion, women’s rights began to decline further in Europe. By having women accused and executed, the church and sometimes ruling government simply obtained their property. Many men as well lost their lives and property and their families were left homeless if the Church felt the men were not giving enough to them.

Today, I still see women fighting for their rights in almost all religions; they fight for their place in society and even in their homes. We sent troops over to Afghanistan in part to give rights to and protect women from execution by the Taliban. Yet here at home, I had a customer come in my store the other day saying she overhead a woman in a diner telling her friend, “she was learning to slowly be submissive to her husband”. To hear this in the states, from our own sisters, knowing what other women throughout time and even now across religions have fought and died for freedom, what our troops have and remain fighting for, made me ill. Plus, I can’t imagine telling my daughter, my sister or my friend, to give up who you are, do what he says because of his sex. As if the vessel, his container, made his soul more and a woman’s less. One’s soul should be valued for their contribution to society and their fellow humankind, not the gender in which it arrived in from the divine.

There are a lot of political reasons now both in religion and in our society for why women are being told to be submissive once again. But none of the reasons are really nothing new. Fear or being replaced, fear of failure, fear of loss of political power, the list goes on. In 2008, I have no doubt a woman will run for president. I wonder how many women will be told not to vote for her because she is a woman. Sounds silly doesn’t it? But those who will try to control the outcome of the female vote know the ripple affect that will be felt though the US and the World when a woman becomes president of the United States. Not because a woman will be leader of the free world, but because women will finally be recognized as true equals. In England, where women like Margret Thatcher, and two queens have ruled, women have already been proven and recognized as being capable leaders of the highest positions of government. Many other countries also have female leaders.

Finally, this is not a male bashing piece or even a conservative religious bashing piece, but a hope. A hope that in a society where Pope John Paul II apologized in March 12, 2000, in "Memory and Reconciliation: The Church and the Mistakes of the Past, " that lists several major areas where the church had failed, including the Inquisition, forced conversion and treatment of Jews, ” that the church will also begin to repair the damage between the sexes, apologize for its mistakes and failings in regards to the poor treatment of women and begin a forward agenda on the equality of women and men as equal in the value of their souls and in the tasks which they can perform. Fear of our differences must finally be put away. There are challenges to mankind coming like we have never known, such as the environment, we must learn to grow and work together, across genders, across political lines, across borders, across faiths, across races for the betterment and survival of us all. It’s time to account for the past, face the future and grow up as the human race, if we want to evolve and continue.


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