Friday, February 10, 2017

Gods and religions have oppressed women

The Bible god started women's oppression. He places the majority of the blame on Eve for tempting her husband to eat the forbidden fruit and speaks  to Eve, “thy desire is to be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Genesis 3:16). "Eve (and all women who come after her) will suffer and bring forth children in pain." Women are considered evil in the Bible. "Of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all die."

 "If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and if he rapes her and if they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her…" Deuteronomy 22:28-30 The compensation for raping a woman is paying a few shekels to the father of the girl!  Why does god give compensation to her father and force her to marry the man who savagely attacked her chastity?

“If a man rapes an engaged virgin who doesn’t cry loud enough to draw attention, the community should consider the attack consensual if it took place within the city. The whore must be stoned to death as per god’s instructions. The man will be stoned to death as well, not because he committed a brutal atrocity against the woman, but only because he violated another man’s wife.” (Deuteronomy 22:24).There are two standards in raping a woman with a husband and without. 

Read Leviticus 21:9 "And the daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire." Brides, who were not virgins or who did not have their hymen intact had to be killed.  “If, however the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death.” Deuteronomy 22:20-21. There is no prostitution without the involvement of men. Why does the adulterer go free? 

In the Bible, collecting more wives and sex slaves was a sign of status. King Solomon had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines... (1 Kings 11:3). Gideon, Elkanah, David, Rehoboam and  Abijah had many wives too. God looks upon them favorably. Solomon was a great hero of the Jewish people. Women were just like any other possession. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything of his" Exodus 20:17.

When Moses wins the war with the Midianites, as God wanted, his army takes many war prisoners. “Now kill all the boys, kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man." Numbers 31:14-18. Even God receives 32 virgins as his share of the spoils, but they’re handed over to the priest.

 A woman is given away as a prize (Judges 1:12-13); another offered as a sacrifice (Judges 11:29-39); married daughters given to other people (Judges 15:2). In Judges 19:22-30 we see how a mob rape, murder, and mutilate women. There are several instances of abduction of women ( Judges 21:7-230 and buying of wives (Ruth 4:10 and 1 Samuel 18:25-27).  God allows David’s sons to sleep with his wives and concubines who later get punished. (2 Samuel 12:11-12, 16:22, 20:3)    

Women oppressed in the New Testament too. St. Paul puts women under men. Peter also agrees with him in that women should submit to their husbands. He can divorce her but she cannot. She has no choice but to comply with her husband’s orders. The books of Peter also forbid women to wear any type of jewelry (1 Peter 3:2-6). He refers to women as the weaker vessel of the couple (1 Peter 3:7).

Paul is adamant in his belief that women are for sexually satisfying their husbands. He spreads this belief in a letter to the Corinthians by declaring man to be the head of the woman, as Jesus is the authority figure for men.Women are glory of men and men glory of Christ.(1Corinthians11:3-9).

"Women should learn in subjugation and silence. They do not have authority over men and they should not teach. Women must keep silent in Churches. It is shameful for them to open their mouths therein. If they have a question they should ask their husbands before going to church and then their husbands will ask for them in the church. She should always cover her head while praying. If a woman prays with her head uncovered then she must shave her head.1 Corinthians 14:34, Colossians 3:18, Ephesians 5:22-24. Why?  Paul continues: " I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. Adam and Eve were not equal. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. He was created in the image and glory of God and Eve in his image. . Adam neither got deceived nor sinned but Eve did both (1 Timothy 2: 11-15).

Father Tertullian, an early Catholic theologian says: You [woman] are the devil’s gateway." St. Augustine says: ‘Woman is a snare, her heart is a trap, and her hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but she will ensnare the sinner. While it is possible to find one upright man in every thousand, it is impossible to find even one single upright woman.’

Even after the protestant rebellion, women are discriminated against. The reformist John Calvin said: “Woman is guiltier than man, because she was seduced by Satan, and so diverted her husband from obedience to God that she was an instrument of death…….This is reason enough why today she is placed below and that she bears within her ignominy and shame.”

Women have not been ordained as priests in Christianity, Hinduism or Islam. They could be sex slaves in places of worship to serve the male priests. In Hinduism they had to jump into the pyre of the husband as they had no right to live without him! Religious heads like Mohammed considered them inferior to men although it is proven women have more EQ and SQ. 

Up to the 20th century women were denied even the right to vote! Wikipedia mentions that Denmark granted women's suffrage in 1915. ... Propertied British women over 30 had the vote in 1918, Dutch women in 1919, and American women won the vote in 1920. Irish women won the same voting rights as men in the Irish Free State constitution in 1922. 

Even today, Islamic societies practice polygamy, but there is no polyandry. The polygamous husbands can go for prostitution and 'temporary marriages for pleasure.' The woman has to be confined within the four walls of her home waiting for him. If she goes out she has to cover herself in a dark burqa from head to foot even in scorching heat with two slits for eyes. 

Woman can be killed even today if she chooses a husband on her own.                                             BBC news of July16,2016 mentions a social media celebrity, Qandeel Baloch,  killed by her own brother as 'honor killing.' BBC news of June16, speaks of a Pakistan mother burning her 16-year old daughter for marrying a man of her choice. Cases of women being killed for dishonoring family is common in Pakistan, BBC notes. This may be the case in many  Islamic and African states.  

The New York Times reported in 2005 that a man ( Mr. Simbeye) sent his 11-year-old daughter, Mwaka to his neighbor Kalabo as he could not pay his debt to him (2000 Kwacha-$16).  She was sent to be a servant of Mr. Kalabo. But soon she had to become bed-partner with him who was 3 decades older than her.  Later she ran away. The girl called Jeevti was just 14 when she was taken from her family in the night to be married off to a man- as her family owed him $1,000. Her mother, Ameri Kashi Kohli, is sure that her daughter paid the price for a never-ending debt. Such forced marriages are common in many African and perhaps Asian nations.

Female genital mutilation- the ritual removal of all of the external female genitalia is found in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. UNICEF estimated in 2016 that 200 million women alive today in 30 African and Asian countries had undergone the procedures! Religions have denied women the natural pleasure nature has bestowed on them.

Women have been suffering all the time. The only way to live a better life, is to throw away religious beliefs and live like humans. Many females are still living, perhaps in house prisons or within the four walls of the house breeding, looking after kids, working, cooking and suffering. When will  women start living as dignified  human beings equal to men in all spheres of life building the society together? 

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