Monday, July 16, 2012

Winner's choice giveaway & Saidak: Feminism, Patriarchy & Gender Issues

The winner of this week's giveaway from Sandra Saidak will get to choose either her latest release, SHADOW OF THE HORSEMEN, or  the first book in the series, DAUGHTER OF THE GODDESS LANDS.

HOW DO YOU WIN A FREE COPY OF ONE OF SAIDAK'S PREHISTORIC EPIC BOOKS?  To enter the contest, simply leave a comment or question on the Writers' Lens blog between now (July 16) and midnight July 21, 2012. Please include your email so we can reach you if you win. The more comments you leave, the greater your chance of winning the contest. If you refer others to The Writer's Lens who mention your name in their comments, I'll enter your name again in our random number generator along with theirs, also increasing your chances at winning! Good luck and comment often!

Daughter of the Goddess Lands--Abducted by a tribe of violent horsemen, Kalie, daughter of a peaceful, goddess-worshiping society, escapes from slavery and returns home, only to find her trials are just beginning.  When her warnings of an upcoming invasion go unheeded, Kalie seeks sanctuary in a temple of healing.  Here, she learns to help others, yet is unable to heal her own pain or stop the nightmares.  When the horsemen return, it is up to Kalie to find a way to save her people from slavery and death, while at the same time, finding the courage to confront the ghosts of her own past.

Shadow of the Horsemen continues the saga of Kalie, the intrepid heroine of “Daughter of the Godess Lands.”  Kalie is rising in status and influence among her captors, the horsemen that control the rugged steppes of prehistoric Europe.  Now she seeks the weapon that will save her people, but time is running out as Haraak the Kingmaker, forges a mighty federation of tribes, intent on invading Kalie’s rich and peaceful homeland. Kalie finds, an unlikely ally in Riyik, a powerful warrior whose crippled son Kalie has been treating with her healing skills.  Forced to work together, the two find themselves growing closer than either had intended.  But in the violent, chaotic world of the steppes, love can be a dangerous thing. As alliances shift and warriors battle for dominance, Kalie must use all her abilities see her enemies defeated and create a new life for all of those she has come to love. 

Available at Amazon:  

Feminism, Patriarchy and Gender Issues: 
How did we get to where we are now?
By Sandra Saidak

How did male dominance come to be?  I remember asking that question of my college Anthropology professor.  He rolled his eyes and said, “Oh, God, I don’t think anyone knows for sure.”  He then proceeded to rattle off a half dozen theories.  The interesting thing about all that, I thought, was the simple, unexamined assumption that everyone in class held: there is nothing natural about one gender dominating or oppressing the other.  It was engineered.  It was (please forgive the pun) man made.  It came about because people chose it (although not necessarily consciously.) 

The theories that I have learned while researching this subject include:
1.      Men’s jealousy of women for the power to create life (Self-explanatory, I hope.)
2.      The discovery that men do have something to do with procreation (This theory posits that early in human history, humans did not get the connection between intercourse and childbirth.  While men were ignorant of their contribution, they felt no sense of ownership of offspring, nor any desire to control their mate’s sexual behavior.  Once they got the connection, all of that changed.)
3.      The invention of agriculture (This theory suggests that once humans settled down and began farming, their relationship with Mother Earth changed from one of worship to one of ownership.  Also, a settled way of life made people dependant on a piece of land—to lose that land meant starvation.  The need to defend it from others led to warfare, an increased sense of ownership, and the belief that it was part of the natural order that the stronger should dominate the weaker.
4.      An increase in material possessions (Similar to #3, this idea claims that with more property came the desire of men to pass on what they owned only to their own offspring.)
5.      Economic conditions (this one suggests that when resources are plentiful, people simply get along really well and don’t try to dominate each other.  Scarcity leads to fighting and a strictly enforced pecking order.  Also, constant fear of starvation or enemies taking what little one has makes people vulnerable to charismatic leaders who step forward and say: “God has spoken to me.  Follow me and everything will get better.”  Those situations are almost universally bad for women—and everyone else who is not part of the prophet’s inner circle.   
I have never found the first two theories very credible.  I believed the land/property ownership theories until I did enough research to discover that many agricultural societies have been peaceful and egalitarian, while others have been violent and misogynistic.   
This is why the economic theory makes the most sense to me.  When life gets bad, it seems it’s just human nature to oppress someone.  Why a man would make that someone his mother, sister, wife or daughter…?  That one I’m still working on. 

What do you think? Remember, your comments will enter you in this week's "Winner's Choice Giveaway" for one of Sandra Saidak's books.
SANDRA SAIDAK graduated San Francisco State University in 1985 with a B.A. in English.  She is a high school English teacher by day, author by night.  Her hobbies include reading, dancing, attending science fiction conventions, researching prehistory, and maintaining an active fantasy life (but she warns that this last one could lead to dangerous habits such as writing).  Sandra lives in San Jose with her husband Tom, daughters Heather and Melissa, and two cats.   Her first novel, “Daughter of the Goddess Lands”, an epic set in the late Neolithic Age, was published in November, 2011 by Uffington Horse Press.  Learn more at

Be sure to check out Sandra's previous posts on The Writers' Lens:
Why I decided to self-publish
Kalie's quest for vengeance becomes journey of healing & redemption

 This is T.W. Fendley. You can find me at and on Twitter @twfendley.

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