How much harm has primitive male dominated societies done to women’s potential over the past millenniums? How long have women suffered as oppressed second class citizens? What would history look like now if the Western god was a woman? What if males were not indoctrinated with a notion of superiority and prejudice against the opposite sex over all these years?
The history of slavery in the United States is well known, but there is another piece of history that should not be forgotten. Black men received the “Constitutional” right to vote 50 years before White women. Would women have received this same right as men much sooner if it weren’t for god being a man? Would this have happened without scripture dictating that women be submissive? Imagine if the Prophet Mohammed had been a female warrior like Joan of Arc instead of a man. Imagine Adam being created simply to provide companionship for Eve. Envision Jesus Christ being God’s only begotten daughter. Imagine if the god of Abraham was made in the image of woman.
Envision a history filled with countless powerful women such as Hatshepsut, Cleopatra and Queen Victoria. Imagine if female leaders such as Margaret Thatcher, Julia Gillard, and Angela Merkel were not merely a recent norm. Imagine hundreds of generations of women being expected and encouraged to receive an education and hold positions of authority.
How much harm has been done? To be fair, not all societal oppression of woman can be blamed on religion. After all it was male dominated societies that created a male chauvinistic god, not the other way around. That society had to exist first. And there are religions with powerful goddesses that didn’t include equal rights. Despite the powerful goddess Isis, women in ancient Egypt were not allowed to be pharaohs, a tradition very seldom broken in 3,000 years of history. It could be that physical strength translated to male dominance in ancient societies when muscle mattered far more than it does now.
Western religious scripture still holds a large degree of responsibility for woman suffering; a degree that should be recognized and hopefully eventually vanquished in all parts of the globe. We hope that this injustice will ultimately fade from memory with other forms of oppression as our human species and society evolves. Let us have faith that we continue to advance and be mindful that what was gained in human progress can be lost if we’re not diligent.
References: Bill of Rights Amendments and examples of woman oppression in Judaism, Christianity and Islamic scripture
United Stated Bill of Rights
Passed by Congress February 26, 1869. Ratified February 3, 1870.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude--
The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Passed by Congress June 4, 1919. Ratified August 18, 1920.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
King James Bible (http://bible.cc)
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
(Willingly sacrificing two daughters so that angels didn’t get raped)
Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant (slave), she shall not go out as the menservants do.
If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.
But if he has chosen her for his son, he must treat her like a daughter.
If he takes him another wife; her food, her clothing, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.
And if he does not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.
And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;
Then you shall bring her home to your house; and she shall shave her head, and trim her nails;
And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.
And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.
If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her,
And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid (virgin):
Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate:
And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her;
And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid (virgin); and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city.
If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her (rape), and they be found;
Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.
When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draws near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smites him, and puts forth her hand, and takes him by his private parts:
Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her.
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
1 Corinthians 11:3-11:6
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
1 Corinthians 14:34-14:35
Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
The Qur’an (http://quran.com)
Your wives are a place of sowing of seed for you, so come to your place of cultivation however you wish and put forth [righteousness] for yourselves.
(Men have a degree over the women)
Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have more right to take them back in this [period] if they want reconciliation. And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. But the men have a degree over them [in responsibility and authority]. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.
(A woman is treated as half of a man in court)
And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men [available], then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses - so that if one of the women errs, then the other can remind her.
(A man’s son inherits twice as much as his daughter)
Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females.
(A husband has the right to hit his wife)
Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.
(Waiting period for divorce including girls who have not hit puberty)
And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women - if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not yet menstruated. And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth. And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him of his matter ease.
var _gaq = _gaq || ; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-29068020-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);