Religions Tell Us To Hate Women

Posted by on March 31, 2012 in Featured, Thoughts | 15 comments

In the beginning, God created women to be despised by men.

From the very first moments of the Old Testament, it tells us that man was created in God’s image, and that women were an afterthought, made from a man’s rib for his company. From these grim beginnings we are told that woman destroyed paradise bu disobeying God’s command not to eat of “the tree of knowledge of good and evil”.

From this precedent we see that women are not only inferior (made from a part of a man), but cannot be trusted, after all they went against God’s word. According to this “wisdom”, all the hardships on earth can be traced back to this one simple act. I cannot stress enough the importance of this one section of the Old Testament, setting up this one premise from the outset. (Rather than fill my blog with cherry-picked biblical excerpts, here is a good collection of biblical examples of misogyny.)

Now, of course this never happened, but it sets up the justification for the hatred of women from that point onward, in both Christianity and Islam. Women are thereby punished with the sin of disobedience by the pain of childbirth and the monthly bleeding given as a reminder of the sins of Eve. During this time, women are unclean and sinful and should not be touched by anyone, lest they too become unclean. Before the disobedience of Eve, the world was free of sin, disease, torment and hardship. Because women can’t be trusted, we now have all these things.

The subjugation of women from the biblical precedent spans the gamut of human rights. Because they are blamed from the outset, men must therefore take full control over them. Women became property of the man. In Islam, the men see any trespass against tier women as a shame upon their families, and often feel compelled to kill these family members in order to be able to show their faces in public again. Women are traded off like cattle, with girls as young as 5 being married off to men much older than they. The precedent here is of course the case of Mohammed’s child-bride Aisha, which makes it okay to marry and have sex with pre-pubescent girls.

Instead of asking the men of Islam to have some respect for their women, instead of being asked to control their “rape-urges”, instead of having respect for the rights of others, they cover their women from head to toe, obscuring the view of any flesh that might cause a man to go on a raping spree. The men justify this by claiming that if they didn’t cover their women, then someone might rape them.

I don’t only blame men for all this, though I must say, it was men who started this whole mess by writing some of the most uninspired fiction in human history in such a manner. Women, female believers, also play along with this. It’s the “Stockholm syndrome” of religion, learning to love the captors.

To top it all off, the Bible and the Koran make it difficult to say anything against these edicts by telling us that it a sin to disbelieve.

The USA is experiencing an backlash against women as we speak, with reproductive rights on the table right next to taxes and health care. Afghanistan is the worst place on earth for a woman to live.

Whether you believe in the story of the bible literally, or whether you think it’s just a nice story to get the ball rolling, the very opening stanzas of the religious texts makes it very clear that the purpose of these ideas is to keep women under control, and we live with this despicable precedent right up to the modern day. I’d say that pretty much every hardship that women have experienced in modern life stems from these ideas, and if more people understood this then I think more people might question why it is that the war against women continues.

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15 Comments

  1. Maybe it’s just my feminism speaking, but I think this is one of your best posts. Thank you.

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  2. Here’s some more fun things that society has put in today thanks to Partiarchy/Religious Patriarchy:
    -Denial of Female libido: Women aren’t allowed to like sex, enjoy sex, or have sex–but every time a guy does, even if he’s highly religious, people look the other way, and excuse it with “well he’s a man, that’s how men are.” It erases guys who -aren’t- highly libidinous, and hold men to an unfair standard of “SEX MAN WOMEN OR YOU’RE NOT A MAN!”–and then women to an unfair standard of “Never have sex or NO MAN will want you!”. We can trace this back to the biblical ideas that men are the only ones who enjoy/want sex, and it CONTROLS THEIR ENTIRE BEING–which is freaking insulting as hell towards men.
    -Women are considered property in the bible–they are governed by the same laws that property such as horses or goats were traded under–now, today that has changed–but women are still often treated like property and “decorations”–in movies you see the main male character rewarded with the female of his choosing(which tricks many young men into thinking that their life is a movie and they’ll be “rewarded” the girl of their choosing), and then you see cars, and beer, and well…just about anything marketed to men with a woman draped over it, like a shiny ribbon–not a person.

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    • @JonelB But you have to look at it historically. They didn’t have birth control back then, so it was assumed any woman who had sex was pregnant or had been pregnant. Since a man would want to make sure the children his wife were having were his own (for evolutionary reasons), he would want to have a wife who was a virgin.

      Of course, this kind of thinking today is very misogynistic. And to deny birth control to couples is so wrong (Catholics…). I’m sure the reason why women are thought to not want or think about sex as much as men is because of what I discussed in paragraph one.

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      • It didn’t let me divide my comment into paragraphs after I posted it. Oops.

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      •  @IntellectualsAreSexy  That’s easily fixed by tracing Matrilineage–you may not know who the father is without a DNA test, but you’ll always know who the mother is. Several cultures, including the Hopi Tribe, actually trace Matrilineage rather than Patrilineage.
        Patriarchy deems women as unimportant and insisted that women don’t do anything important for children or in an evolutionary sense–Yes, you can’t be sure who the father is, but why is that important, while in the bible a man could have several wives, and then only trace the Patrilineage–we see that in the bible as well.Tracing via Matrilineage makes more sense anyways, as women are usually the primary caregivers in most cultures, and the children remain with the mother even through most divorces.
        But today even equality–(in marriage, a man keeps his name, and a woman keeps her name), is treated as a “dangerous” attack on religion/society.

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  3. The story must have changed many times before written.
    Both parties got the fickle finger of fate.
    Time to change the story.
    Good writing Martin.

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  4. I’m so glad to see some light being shed on this subject. Some highlights from the bible for me would be about women who are menstruating being ‘ritually unclean’ and about women having to marry their rapists.

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  5. WHenever I am debating with any theist, they are inevitably the first one to bring the word “hate” into play.  As in, “Why do you hate god?” or, “Why do you hate religions?”  They seem to be so obsessed with hate they are projecting it as part of everyone’s motives.  Rather strange considering they so often preach love and tolerance. 

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    • @James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil The golden rule is love thy neighbour, by driving out those you hate from your neighbourhood.

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      •  @blamer LOL, Good one!  Accurate, too.

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  6. Today’s religious leaders aren’t in the business of “improving” their sacred text to make it less confusing or misleading to its readers.
     
    What looks to us to be “misogonist” could be taken out of context. Or God breathed. Or their theologians might interpret it differently to the layman or academic scholar. Or future generations might consider gender equality to be a passing ethical fad. Or the living word of god might be more valuable than the living readers.
     
    Nobody can argue with their logic.

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  7. Great post Martin.  I think I have blogged on the topics of sexism and birth control more than any other topic in recent months.  Religions have an atrocious record when it comes to women.  And this trend shows little sign of abating, at least we don’t burn them as witches in the western world anymore….hardly an improvement to get excited about.
     
    I agree completely with your “Stockholm Syndrome” analogy.  I have asked numerous Christian women I know how it is that they can keep going to Church on Sundays.  I have yet to get any answer worthy of restating here.   I think for some people it is just much easier to continue on in the way that they always did.  It is far more comfortable that way.  To question religion, is a tough road.  As you point out, first, people must get past the whole “sin” aspect of things, then the really hard work begins.  People have to think and reason on their own…about so many things.  Once you realize it is okay to question, they questions keep piling up, at least they did for me when I was still a catholic. 
     
    I would argue that men are responsible for this mess, but it is religious women who need to stand up and take good hard look at what their religions say about them–then do something about it.

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    •  @reasonbeingblog Good reply.  I think the Stockholm Syndrome comes down to, “Better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t.”  I think that’s what keeps women with abusive men.
       
      Some years ago I did some work with a women’s shelter and was able to sit in on some group therapy sessions.  I frequently heard two things, “I must have done something to set him off” and “What will I do now?”
       
      Perhaps that’s happening in the religious circles, too.  “What will people think?” and “What will I do now?”  Women seem to be more dependent upon social interactions and relationships than men and for many, the church has been presented as exactly that.  For certain, the problem is likely far more complex than we know.
       
      I agree, we are not burning women as witches any more, at least in the USA>  IN other parts of the world, they are still being murdered for the same reason.

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      •  @James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil Very interesting take comparing the religious to battered women.  The questions you raise do some compatible with both…”What will I do now?” and “What will people think?” absolutely seem to be common to both groups.  I also agree that the problem is far more complex for us to solve here, but would make for an interesting study.

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        •  @reasonbeingblog   The way I see it, abuse is abuse.  Mental or physical, or both.  The source can be a spouse, religion, a workplace, or nearly anything.
           
          While I am convinced that evolution is real, sometimes it seems it should work faster. 

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