Item Details

Gender Essentialism in Matriarchalist Utopian Fantasies: Are popular novels vehicles of sacred stories, or purely propaganda?

Issue: Vol 11 No. 2 (2009)

Journal: Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies

Subject Areas: Religious Studies

DOI: 10.1558/pome.v11i2.240


In The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won’t Give Women a Future (2000), Cynthia Eller attacks feminist narratives of a peaceful, egalitarian, Goddess-worshipping Neolithic Europe. She argues that they are too gender essentialist to be socially liberating to women. Popular novelists, who play a powerful role in spreading these narratives, however, resist the essentialism of more expository accounts of prehistoric matriarchy. Instead, their fictional accounts present more nuanced views of women’s roles in imagined Goddess societies, and suggest ways in which the myth might be successfully used as a liberating sacred story.

Author: Christine Hoff Kraemer

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