Although the respective roles of men and women have varied and reversed over time and place,the civilization imposed by men kept women at home and in garden, and men in the politicalarena and in the battlefield. This gender segregation was conducive to the development of twoforms of communication, or languages. It is no great leap to the eventual conclusion that menwound up speaking the public language of "reason" while women spoke the private language of emotion, or that men are more objective and women are more subjective in their affairs.Given their intimidating circumstances, it is hardly surprising that females relied on tacticalweeping, sulking (including suicide) and on throwing fits to get their message across rather thanresorting to direct confrontation. These seemingly irrational and spontaneous outbursts were of course associated with the bloody secrets of birth, menstruation and other occult subjects better avoided by men, hence the feminine mystique deepened over time into a mystical sort of religion. We have here the "hysterical" (hystero: uterus) woman as opposed to the "reasonable"(ratio-calculating) man. Not that woman was a fool, not by any means: she was as wise as theserpent. Men wanted her and needed her. She was, first and foremost, their mother. As for her hysterical mystical power, later associated with romance, men worked on appropriating that for "reason" until they were able to convince themselves that enthusiasm (god-possession) isreasonable in a man, but in a woman it is mental illness: "hysteria", "uterine furor", and even"nymphomania", the teenager's favorite myth. Cultivated men would eventually get away withromantic weeping, with wearing makeup, gowns, wigs, frilly blouses and such, while retainingtheir reason and machismo.The PythiaBe that as it may, the occult powers of so-called hysterical women were respected and feared inancient times, which brings us to "the hysterical maiden perched on the tripod (who) gives birthto ambiguous oracles for men to contemplate" mentioned in my "muttering" here discussed. I amreferring to the prophetess at Delphi in ancient Greece, called the "pythia". She was so namedafter the female (later poets performed a sex change operation on her) dragon Python, whomApollo slew when he seized the temple from the Earth Mother cult. The dragon was guarding theusual treasure, the Egg ir Navel of the universe. The office of the pythia was established after theseizure as a sort of compensation to the old matriarchical interests. The pythia was originallysupposed to be a young virgin because virgins allegedly retain their innocence and can deliver unstained messages from the glorious god. Since the oracle at Delphi, located in the center of theGreek world, symbolized the unity of the Greek states, the pythia was the untouchable nationalvirgin. However, a Thessalian named Echecrates fell in love with her, swept her away and hadhis sacrilegious way. After that, it was duly decided than only a matron of fifty could fitly serveas the pythia.