[On the ancient Venus figurines:] If the central religious figure was a woman giving birth and not, as in our time, a man dying on a cross, it would not be unreasonable to infer that life and the love of life - rather than death and the fear of death - were dominant in society as well as art.

— Riane Eisler

The most terrific Riane Eisler quotes that are easy to memorize and remember

For new ideas to be translated into new realities requires not only clarity of vision but also the opportunity to change old realities.

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We are rapidly moving into the post-industrial age, when we must redefine what is "productive" work, as more and more jobs are being replaced by automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence.

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The only life many of the leaders of the anti-family planning movement seem to care about -- indeed obsess about -- is life before birth and after death.

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Can we really expect adequate funding for programs to clean up our environment and care for people's basic needs as long as the socially essential work of caretaking and cleaning is relegated to women for little or no pay?

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Obviously there is pain in childbirth.

But giving birth is also a moment of awe and wonder, a moment when the true miracle of aliveness, and of a woman's amazing part in that miracle, is suddenly experienced in every cell of one's body. It is in that sense truly an altered state of consciousness.

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For as long as human beings are forced to live in a system that at every turn impedes the fulfillment of their basic human needs - not only for love but for creative and spiritual expression - they will try to compensate for this in other ways, including the compulsive acquisition of ever more material goods.

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If we are serious about breaking cycles of poverty, we have to change this (economy).

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there are only two basic ways of structuring the relations between the female and male halves of humanity. All societies are patterned on either a dominator model - in which human hierarchies are ultimately backed up by force or the threat of force - or a partnership model, with variations in between.

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We urgently need an integrated progressive political agenda if we are to have foundations for a more equitable, sustainable, caring world.

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For both Adam Smith and Karl Marx the essential work of caring for people, starting in early childhood, was "just women's work" - and in their minds not even classified as "productive work."

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Marshall Rosenberg has a genius for developing and teaching practical skills urgently needed for a less violent, more caring world.

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It is not coincidental that for so-called religious fundamentalists - whether they are Western or Eastern, Muslim or Christian - rigid male dominance and "holy wars" are priorities. Or that competing sects of the same religion, such as Sunni and Shia, are at each other's throats. In these cultures, women are rigidly controlled by men.

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About Riane Eisler

Quotes 47 sayings
Profession Writer
Birthday 1937

Nonviolent Communication is a powerful tool for peace and partnership.

It shows us how to listen empathically and also communicate our authentic feelings and needs. Marshall Rosenberg has a genius for developing and teaching practical skills urgently needed for a less violent, more caring world.

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Religion supports and perpetuates the social organization it reflects.

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...gender relationships, which are tough for people to deal with, are key to whether a society orients to domination or partnership in all its relations.

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Women represent 70 percent of the 1.3 billion people in our world who live in absolute poverty. Consequently, as Joan Holmes, president of the Hunger Project, points out, any realistic efforts to change patterns of chronic hunger and poverty require changing traditions of discrimination against women.

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Contemporary nations such as Sweden, Norway, and Finland, where women are half of the national legislatures, have more caring policies, less violence, and more environmentally sustainable policies. These are connections we must pay attention to if we are to build a better future for us all.

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Rather than being any longer a threat to the established androcratic order, Christianity became what practically all this earth's religions, launched in the name of spiritual enlightenment and freedom, have also become: a powerful way of perpetuating that order.

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We humans are wired for empathy by evolution, but when children grow up in dominator families they internalize this male over female template for relations early on. They then automatically apply it to other differences, whether based on race, religion, sexual orientation, and so forth.

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While there were many factors in the 2016 election, from false news to voter suppression and Russian hacking, the question is why so many people responded to Donald Trump's demagoguery.

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Many young people are hungry for new thinking.

So I invite them to use the tools and other resources we have developed to accelerate the shift from domination to partnership.

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Care work is still primarily done by women for free in families and for poverty wages in the market, and this is a major reason that worldwide women are the mass of the poor and the poorest of the poor.

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Care work produces public goods, and should be supported in families by policies such as paid parental leave and caregiver tax credits, and by investments in good training and wages for caregiving, including early childhood education, in the market.

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For most progressives, what happens in families is a matter of "just" women's issues and children's issues. So progressive movements have focused primarily on dismantling the top of the dominator pyramid (politics and economics) and left its foundations (domination in family, gender, and other intimate relations) in place.

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war and the 'war of the sexes' are neither divinely nor biologically ordained.

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to change our realities, we also have to change our myths.

As history amply demonstrates, myths and realities go hand in hand.

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At the core of every child is an intact human.

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We can learn a great deal from whales.

It is the same lesson we can learn from our close genetic relatives, the bonobo apes of the Congo. Here mothers have a great deal of authority, there is very little violence (with no signs of sexual violence against females), and their society is held together by sharing and caring rather than by fear and force.

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As long as women and the "feminine" such as caring and caregiving are devalued, we cannot realistically expect more caring economic policies. Young people have a major role to play in creating a caring economics.

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I pray for a world where we live in partnership rather than domination;

where "man's conquest of nature" is recognized as suicidal and sacrilegious; where power is no longer equated with the blade, but with the holy chalice: the ancient symbol of the power to give, nurture, enhance life. And I not only pray, but actively work, for the day when it will be so.

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The bad news is that the movement toward the partnership side of the social scale (and it is always a matter of degree, as no society is a pure partnership or domination system) has been fiercely resisted and countered by periodic regressions. So domination systems have rebuilt themselves in different forms - be they secular or religious, eastern or western, leftist or rightist.

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Difference is not equated with superiority or inferiority, dominating or being dominated, being served or serving.

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That both Muslim fundamentalists and the Christian right are today focusing their attempts to regain control in a rapidly changing world on frantic efforts to maintain control over women, particularly over women's sexuality. Moreover, given their mythologies about "holy wars," it is also understandable that they should use "divinely approved" violence to do so.

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This notion that man can, and should, have absolute dominion over the "chaotic" powers of nature and woman...is what ultimately lies behind man's famous "conquest of nature" - a conquest that is today puncturing holes in the earth's ozone layer, destroying our forests, polluting our air and water, and increasingly threatening the welfare, and even survival, of thousands of living species, including our own.

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The link between intimate violence in the home and the international violence of terrorism and war is as tightly bound together as the fingers of a clenched fist.

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In our age of nuclear and biological weapons and the ever more efficient exploitation of nature, the mix of high technology and an ethos of domination could take us to an evolutionary dead end.

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When the status and power of women is greater so also is the nation’s general quality of life; when they are lower, so is the quality of life for all.

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Neither capitalism nor socialism is capable of meeting our unprecedented global challenges. Both came out of early industrial times, and we are now well into the post-industrial age. Both came out of times when the West still oriented much more to the domination side of the social scale, so both these theories did not pay attention to caring for people and nature.

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What happened in the US is a regression to the domination side of the social scale. Trump claimed that he, as a "strongman," would solve all our problems, and was elected by fanning fear, hate, scapegoating, the debasement of women.

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And this exclusion of "women's work" continues, despite United Nations data gathered since 1975 (the beginning of the UN Decade for Women) indicating that women globally contribute two-thirds of the world's work hours, for which - given the imbalanced, unjust, and truly peculiar nature of the accounting characteristic of dominator economics - they globally earn only one-tenth of what men do and own a mere one-hundredth of the world's property.

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To heal ourselves we also have to heal society.

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People from authoritarian, male-dominated, punitive families tend to vote for "strongman" leaders and for "hard" punitive policies (prisons, wars) rather than "soft" caring policies (healthcare, childcare). Not everyone from this background does. But many people do. And this conditioning can be exploited, as Trump's campaign did, especially in times like ours of economic, social, and technological upheaval.

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We can't just tack on environmental balance to a fundamentally imbalanced system.

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For Islamic fundamentalists male "honor" is equated with control over the women in a man's family - to the extent that killing a woman who makes her own sexual choices (like marrying without her father's consent) is considered honorable, rather than criminal.

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Schools in which students and teachers relate as partners-where Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication is part of every interaction are communities of learning, rather than top-down, impersonal factories. Young people begin to see school as a safe and exciting place of exploration where they can share feelings and ideas, and where each child is recognized, valued and nurtured.

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For most of recorded history, parental violence against children and men's violence against wives was explicitly or implicitly condoned. Those who had the power to prevent and/or punish this violence through religion, law, or custom, openly or tacitly approved it. .....The reason violence against women and children is finally out in the open is that activists have brought it to global attention.

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