History Main / WomensMysteries

26th Jan '16 12:48:23 AM gallium
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* The ''Literature/{{Imperium}}'' series features the rituals of the "Good Goddess" ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bona_Dea Bona Dea]]), which are female-only, to the extent that Terentia wears a cloak buttoned up to her neck to prevent Cicero from seeing her robe. A great scandal occurs when Clodius sneaks into the ceremony DisguisedInDrag and is caught. See RealLife below.
21st Nov '15 8:44:20 AM nombretomado
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* One ''BloomCounty'' strip features a conversation between Hodgepodge saying, "I tell ya, there's a conspiratorial air about females! Like those suspciously vague commercials that never say just what they're about. What exactly is 'feminine protection' anyway? A chartreuse flamethrower?"
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* One ''BloomCounty'' ''ComicStrip/BloomCounty'' strip features a conversation between Hodgepodge saying, "I tell ya, there's a conspiratorial air about females! Like those suspciously suspiciously vague commercials that never say just what they're about. What exactly is 'feminine protection' anyway? A chartreuse flamethrower?"
2nd Nov '15 7:18:16 AM StFan
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* Parodied in ''ComicBook/CartoonHistoryOfTheUniverse''. In a sequence depicting the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution (which women are widely thought to have initiated), an exhausted woman farmer tells a man the women could use some help and asks if he'd like a job. He covers his ears and says, "[[LazyBum Silence!]] These mysteries are not for the ears of men."
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* Parodied in ''ComicBook/CartoonHistoryOfTheUniverse''.''ComicBook/TheCartoonHistoryOfTheUniverse''. In a sequence depicting the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution (which women are widely thought to have initiated), an exhausted woman farmer tells a man the women could use some help and asks if he'd like a job. He covers his ears and says, "[[LazyBum Silence!]] These mysteries are not for the ears of men."
13th Oct '15 1:22:14 PM StFan
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* In Creator/AlanMoore's ''ComicBook/TomStrong'', the young Tom ''does'' manage to see the women's mysteries, and so does the reader. Then he's caught, and since he saw the woman's mysteries, he's declared a honorary woman until the next moon. HilarityEnsues. (Presumably, the author of ''{{Promethea}}'' reckons there's nothing mysterious about women being inherently mysterious.)
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* In Creator/AlanMoore's ''ComicBook/TomStrong'', the young Tom ''does'' manage to see the women's mysteries, and so does the reader. Then he's caught, and since he saw the woman's mysteries, he's declared a honorary woman until the next moon. HilarityEnsues. (Presumably, the author of ''{{Promethea}}'' ''ComicBook/{{Promethea}}'' reckons there's nothing mysterious about women being inherently mysterious.)
19th Sep '15 11:20:13 AM Morgenthaler
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Added namespaces.
* Inverted in Jean M. Auel's ''[[EarthsChildren Clan of the Cave Bear]]'', when the heroine secretly follows some male shamans into a deep cave and witnesses their secret rituals.
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* Inverted in Jean M. Auel's ''[[EarthsChildren ''[[Literature/EarthsChildren Clan of the Cave Bear]]'', when the heroine secretly follows some male shamans into a deep cave and witnesses their secret rituals.

* In the ''WheelOfTime'' series, the very nature of magic is split into separate male and female halves, saidar and saidin, making every female channeler's weave (i.e. spell she casts) a complete, utter mystery to men, and vice versa.
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* In the ''WheelOfTime'' ''Literature/WheelOfTime'' series, the very nature of magic is split into separate male and female halves, saidar and saidin, making every female channeler's weave (i.e. spell she casts) a complete, utter mystery to men, and vice versa.

* The novel ''ConjureWife'' (originally appeared in ''Unknown Worlds'', April 1943) by Creator/FritzLeiber relates a college professor's discovery that his wife (and all other women) are regularly using magic against one another and their husbands. Interesting story as it is set in the real world around the idea that women practice magic but not only keep it secret from all men but almost from themselves, as they just act as if it really isn't anything important but just superstitious meaningless acts, like not walking under a ladder. It was filmed three times:
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* The novel ''ConjureWife'' ''Literature/ConjureWife'' (originally appeared in ''Unknown Worlds'', April 1943) by Creator/FritzLeiber relates a college professor's discovery that his wife (and all other women) are regularly using magic against one another and their husbands. Interesting story as it is set in the real world around the idea that women practice magic but not only keep it secret from all men but almost from themselves, as they just act as if it really isn't anything important but just superstitious meaningless acts, like not walking under a ladder. It was filmed three times:

* In Creator/TerryPratchett's ''{{Nation}}'', the Women's Place is a giant mystery (and taboo) for men, who aren't allowed in under any circumstances. And the women in there have the secret... of beer. The Men's Place is equally taboo for women, and mostly revolves around their rituals of ancestor worship. The Women's mysteries sound like a lot more fun don't they? * ''TheRedTent''. Unlike most versions, they're spelled out in detail to the readers, but [[{{Squick}} you might wish they hadn't been]].
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* In Creator/TerryPratchett's ''{{Nation}}'', ''Literature/{{Nation}}'', the Women's Place is a giant mystery (and taboo) for men, who aren't allowed in under any circumstances. And the women in there have the secret... of beer. The Men's Place is equally taboo for women, and mostly revolves around their rituals of ancestor worship. The Women's mysteries sound like a lot more fun don't they? * ''TheRedTent''.''Literature/TheRedTent''. Unlike most versions, they're spelled out in detail to the readers, but [[{{Squick}} you might wish they hadn't been]].

* In the ''[[MarcusDidiusFalco Falco]]'' novels (set in 1st century Rome), the protagonist's mother-in-law is involved with the cult of the Bona Dea. Falco notes that Roman men do wonder what these respectable matrons get up to during their meetings, but concludes that they're probably better off not knowing.
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* In the ''[[MarcusDidiusFalco ''[[Literature/MarcusDidiusFalco Falco]]'' novels (set in 1st century Rome), the protagonist's mother-in-law is involved with the cult of the Bona Dea. Falco notes that Roman men do wonder what these respectable matrons get up to during their meetings, but concludes that they're probably better off not knowing.

* Literature/CiaphasCain: when talking to a female techpriest, Cain learns she has several cybernetic augments that allow her to think of several different things at the same time, which she refers to as "multitasking". Amberley's comment is that this is an ability shared by women since time began, to the utter befuddlement of the average male.
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* Literature/CiaphasCain: ''Literature/CiaphasCain'': when talking to a female techpriest, Cain learns she has several cybernetic augments that allow her to think of several different things at the same time, which she refers to as "multitasking". Amberley's comment is that this is an ability shared by women since time began, to the utter befuddlement of the average male.
17th Sep '15 9:22:22 PM SvartiKotturinn
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Very rarely gender reversed - or, rather, male versions (involving hunting, circumcision, warfare, initiation etc.) are treated very differently. The most notable difference is that Women's Mysteries almost always remain mysterious to the audience. This DoubleStandard probably results from their being mysterious to the author as well since MostWritersAreMale. Related to the idea (apparently held by many men) that women are [[MysteriousWoman somehow inherently mysterious]]. Also, secret societies with exclusively ''male'' initiates tend to be treated as a BrotherhoodOfFunnyHats, while the female version is much, much less likely to receive this treatment.
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Very rarely gender reversed - or, rather, male versions (involving hunting, circumcision, warfare, initiation [[ManlyMenCanHunt hunting]] and [[ARealManIsAKiller warfare]], [[GroinAttack circumcision]] or any other traditional male RiteOfPassage, etc.) are treated very differently. The most notable difference is that Women's Mysteries almost always remain mysterious to the audience. This DoubleStandard probably results from their being mysterious to the author as well since MostWritersAreMale. Related to the idea (apparently held by many men) that women are [[MysteriousWoman somehow inherently mysterious]]. Also, secret societies with exclusively ''male'' initiates tend to be treated as a BrotherhoodOfFunnyHats, while the female version is much, much less likely to receive this treatment.
3rd Aug '15 7:31:52 AM Odon
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Added DiffLines:
* The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindmarsh_Island_bridge_controversy Hindmarsh Island Controversy]] involving Aboriginal beliefs about "secret women's business".
19th Jul '15 9:33:35 PM VanHohenheimOfXerxes
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* In Norse tradition, prophetic magic (''seiğr'') was considered female territory, presided over by the goddess Freyja (while rune magic was considered male territory, presided over by the god Odin[[In [[Myth/NorseMythology the myths]], Odin actually mastered both schools of magic; he learned ''seiğr'' through [[DisguisedInDrag obvious means]].[[/note]]). Although male practitioners (''seiğmenn'') existed and were solicited for services, they were generally considered outcasts. According to Norse beliefs, a "real man" would confront his enemy face to face, using strength instead of ''seiğr'' (although rune magic was still okay).
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* In Norse tradition, prophetic magic (''seiğr'') was considered female territory, presided over by the goddess Freyja (while rune magic was considered male territory, presided over by the god Odin[[In Odin[[note]]In [[Myth/NorseMythology the myths]], Odin actually mastered both schools of magic; he learned ''seiğr'' through [[DisguisedInDrag obvious means]].[[/note]]). Although male practitioners (''seiğmenn'') existed and were solicited for services, they were generally considered outcasts. According to Norse beliefs, a "real man" "[[NoTrueScotsman real man]]" would confront his enemy face to face, using strength instead of ''seiğr'' (although rune magic was still okay).
19th Jul '15 9:30:23 PM VanHohenheimOfXerxes
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* In the Nordic tradition, only women could learn seidr, the prophetic magic. Odin got around this through [[WholesomeCrossdresser obvious means]]. The reason for this was because it was considered unmanly. A real man would confront his enemy face to face, using his own strength to succeed. There were plenty of instances of Sithmathr, men practicing Sithr, though they were practically reviled by society. This didn't stop people from using their services though. By contrast, rune-magic was largely seen as the province of men. Then again, the god of runes was Odin. The godess of seidr was Freyja.
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* In the Nordic Norse tradition, only women could learn seidr, the prophetic magic. Odin got around this through [[WholesomeCrossdresser obvious means]]. The reason for this was because it magic (''seiğr'') was considered unmanly. A real man female territory, presided over by the goddess Freyja (while rune magic was considered male territory, presided over by the god Odin[[In [[Myth/NorseMythology the myths]], Odin actually mastered both schools of magic; he learned ''seiğr'' through [[DisguisedInDrag obvious means]].[[/note]]). Although male practitioners (''seiğmenn'') existed and were solicited for services, they were generally considered outcasts. According to Norse beliefs, a "real man" would confront his enemy face to face, using his own strength to succeed. There were plenty instead of instances of Sithmathr, men practicing Sithr, though they were practically reviled by society. This didn't stop people from using their services though. By contrast, rune-magic ''seiğr'' (although rune magic was largely seen as the province of men. Then again, the god of runes was Odin. The godess of seidr was Freyja.still okay).
2nd Jun '15 10:25:50 AM nombretomado
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* In contrast to the ''Tom Strong'' example above, in JackChalker's ''Soul Rider'' series a teenaged boy is punished for spying on Women's Mysteries with "honorary woman" status ''for life'' by way of ''castration'', followed by an involuntary GenderBender. [[FreudianExcuse Hilarity definitely does ''not'' ensue.]]
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* In contrast to the ''Tom Strong'' example above, in JackChalker's Creator/JackChalker's ''Soul Rider'' series a teenaged boy is punished for spying on Women's Mysteries with "honorary woman" status ''for life'' by way of ''castration'', followed by an involuntary GenderBender. [[FreudianExcuse Hilarity definitely does ''not'' ensue.]]
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