2012 was a tumultuous year of great achievements and horrible tragedies for women. Here are some of its biggest moments: a year in women.
Women are inching ever closer to equality, but the statement made famous back in 1995 by Hillary Clinton: “Woman’s Rights are Human Rights” is still foreign to many men who think that a woman’s place is beneath that of a man and consequently deserve to be abused and denied an education. Globally, 1 in 3 women will be physically or sexually assaulted by men in their lifetime, these statistics are a black mark and a shame on the male gender. The violence against women has a variety of causes, but one thing is clear it needs to STOP! Women make up half the worlds population and give birth to the other half, consequently every male on the planet owes his life to a female, so why the oppression, violation and denial of human rights? There is no simple answer, but the place a solution needs to start is with the education of men. Men should be taught by other men that it is shameful to treat women in an abusive and degrading way, and anything done against another person without their consent is considered a violation of their human rights, even in marriage. There is never, ever any excuse or justification for any man to raise a hand against a woman except in self defense, yet the violence continues and the majority of men who have a voice to speak remain silent. For women to heal, and to thrive in this world, gender based violence must be stopped, and women must have full human rights in all areas of life. A woman’s body belongs to herself and no one has a right to violate it in any way.
In honor of Malala, Jyoti Singh Pandey, and all the women who have suffered violence, or lost their lives because of being a female, I would like to proclaim 2013 to be The Year of the Woman. What greater tribute could be given to all the women of history, then to declare to the men of the world that a year is being dedicated to acknowledging women as equals? If every woman stands up along side the men they love who are their equals and together they declare the equal rights of all humans, the world would change overnight. The world needs to wake up to the fact that women and girls are not the problem, they are the solution!
On February 14, 2013 a worldwide event organized by Eve Ensler is going to take place, called One Billion Rising. On this day women from all over the world will rise up and dance to bring attention to the fact that 1 in 3 women suffer abuse at the hands of men, which means one billion women experience some form of violence because of their gender. There is hope, but every woman needs to rise up and make her voice heard, to break the chain of violence. Let 2013 be the year when once and for all women and men of the world stand up and say NO MORE VIOLENCE!
It is well known that women are oppressed worldwide and discriminated against for the sole reason of being female…in the majority of those cases the basis for that oppression is religion. Most religions throughout history have emerged out of patriarchal societies, having their origins in the imaginings of the male mind that seeks domination. This includes the three major religions of today…Judaism, Christianity and Islam which directly trace their genesis to the authors of the Old Testament scriptures called the Torah, or the five books of Moses, named after its supposed author. One of the commonalities that these religions share is their overt oppression, discrimination and subjugation of women, supposedly commanded by their male god. The degrees of oppression and subjugation vary, but they all share one common theme…their bias against women that traces back to the Garden story of Adam and Eve…where it says the woman was deceived first. Each patriarchal society that adopted and followed these beliefs subsequently imposed their own interpretations onto it. Why does religion have such an abysmal record when it comes to growth in the areas of human knowledge and liberty of thought? The Dark Ages is a good example of a period in history that was caused by religious doctrines and dogmas suffocating the ideas of creative thought. Anytime a segment of society stifles and suppresses the pursuit of its thinkers to expand and reach for new horizons everyone ends up suffering. A good definition of patriarchy is given by Allan Johnson in his book The Gender Knot, “A society is patriarchal to the degree that it promotes male privilege by being male dominated, male identified and male centered. It is also organized around an obsession with control and involves as one of its aspects the oppression of women.” Read the rest of this entry »
Moral truths fall into the camp of justice, there is nothing that is considered moral that is not also just. Justice lies at the very foundation of all that is right and good. From this truth it becomes easy to classify universal “objective” morality in terms of justice. Moral truths refer to the class of morality that stands no matter what the circumstances. Justice is realized as fairness and is the outcome that exhibits equality for any given situation, if anything less than that is achieved justice has not been reached. This is why one has a very hard time of defining many biblical actions as being just according to the standard of fairness. Morality that comes from religious doctrines do not have to give reasons as to why something is moral or just they only need to posit that “God decreed it!” whereas morals that are defined by a standard of justice and fairness can give reasonable and logical arguments for their validity.
Every human wants individual rights, so acting in accordance with justice all humans must be given the same rights, thus realizing equality. The pillars of morality rest upon a foundation of justice and fairness…if justice and fairness are not realized then morality is absent. Moral obligations and accountabilities are imposed upon us by ourselves, meaning that if we as humans think we ought to be treated justly and fairly, then we are obligated by our own standards to treat other humans the same. Thus, by the very fact of being self-aware we are accountable to ourselves to treat others morally. Morality is not defined by social conventions or proper etiquette; it is the consequence of what it means to be human, to be aware of the humanity of ones self being the same as another. Read the rest of this entry »
This month is the third anniversary of my blog which means its time for my annual progress report. My endeavor in writing has been to share with others what I have found in my search for understanding and truth and hopefully in some small way to better the world we live in.
My blog continues to be an active journal of my metamorphosis from the cocoon of Christianity to the freedom of a non-theistic butterfly. When I began my journey three years ago I never in my wildest dreams expected to end up as a person totally free from theistic bondage, but here I am flourishing with hope. In this past year I have continued writing articles on empowering women – calling 2013 “The year of the woman” – and creating a logo called “Empower Women, Educate Men”, I also finished my booklet on the Male Bias of the Bible. Until there is a global unity between the genders and the violence against women ceases the world will never truly attain its potential for peace. It is time to celebrate women instead of violating them. Women make up half the population of the world and give birth to the other half, so it’s time for every individual to be allowed to freely blossom into their full potential, without the constraints of men pushing them down. Sad to say most religions have done nothing to help and much to hurt the plight of women because of their support of patriarchal rule, which by its very nature oppresses women and denies them equal human rights.
Those who are content to remain in their belief system – as I was for many years – will never ask the tough questions, nor seek their answers…consequently they will remain safely inside their insulated boxes never venturing beyond its security. As long as one is content with where they are at there will be no pressure to move forward, so you will remain inside the confines of your belief system. If you ever begin to truly question the many problems contained within the religious system you are bound in and will settle for nothing less then truth for an answer, you will emerge from your cocoon and experience the freedom that I have found.
The reason I continue to hammer the fact of the Bibles inequality towards women is because of the immense damage and harm that biblical teachings have done to women and girls. Because the Bible has such a privileged status in Western civilization it is many times accepted without question, which is why in my case it took so long to see through its delusions.
*GIRLS* Celebrate them, don’t violate them!
Religion remains a huge stumbling block with regards to the equality of women, there is not one place on earth where women have gained equal rights with men through religion, in fact quite the opposite has taken place. For as long as civilizations have existed and men have invented gods and human freedoms have been taken away because a supposed deity has decreed it so. Usually it is women and children who fare the worst in these patriarchal religions and never do they fare better. Wherever one looks down the long road of history invariably one finds in every male dominated culture women must fight for equal human rights. Isn’t it long past time for humanity to wake up and realize what religious indoctrination has and is doing to peoples minds? Only when the genders are treated with equality because that is the right and moral thing to do will humanity truly rise to its potential. As men become aware of the immense suffering that has been imposed upon women because of lack of compassion and empathy promoted by religion the world will become gentler and kinder.
The stories of hardship inflicted upon the female gender by men have continued to be the focus of my attention throughout this last year. In the best of times life is more difficult for women than men, but it has been made many times worse because of biblical teachings. During a good portion of church history men have greatly exacerbated the suffering of women by denying them access to help that would alleviate hardship. These purposeful actions of men that create greater than necessary suffering are unconscionable, but this male mindset is still alive and well on the planet today and being taught from the pages of Scripture. Decisions on the care and use of a woman’s body should always be made by the woman, except for the medical advice of her doctor.
Bottom line: men need to be educated. It is critically important that men realize women are not their enemies and that working together with women in all areas of life is beneficial to everyone. If men could learn that a girl’s life is to be celebrated instead of violated the world would immediately be a much kinder and gentler place to live. Biblical violations against the female gender that are approved by its god include:
- Sex Trafficking (buying and selling of women)
- Forced marriages
- Lack of equal rights
It is time to call upon all of humanity to end gender discrimination and the oppression of women by religion.
The inevitable consequence of being self aware is the sense of being eternal. Once the self emerges into existence it becomes inconceivable to itself that it will cease to exist at some point. The fact of being aware of oneself creates a witness that perceives itself. To be self aware is to have knowledge or information about oneself and be able to communicate with ourselves. The only way we can understand anything is by how it interacts with something else or ourselves giving a point of reference and forming a relationship. To be able communicate and have a relationship with oneself and others is the essence of self consciousness.
Consciousness seems to arise from the complexity of interconnectedness in that we observe inorganic compounds to be much less complex than organic compounds. As organisms become more and more connected and complex, a greater degree of communication is manifest, thus what we call consciousness emerges and evolves to higher and higher levels. Everywhere we look in the natural world one sees growth from simple to complex and what all forms of matter (having more than one part) have in common is some form of connectedness, beginning at the most primitive level. This is what I propose to be a key in understanding how consciousness arose out of matter; when a critical level of complexity is attained consciousness is manifest. Read the rest of this entry »
In the recorded history of humankind there has never been a society where men or boys were denied an education simply because of their gender, but women and girls throughout history in patriarchal societies have not fared so well, continually struggling to gain human rights denied them by men. Women do not try and take human rights away from others as men have done to them, so why the disparity? It seems like the more power men in patriarchal societies gain the more they try and rob women of their human rights. Something is deeply wrong with men who think that they should own and control women’s bodies. It is truly a great shame upon the intelligence of men who continue to view the female gender as being inferior to their own. Some of the biggest offenders that have reinforced this erroneous thinking have been those in various religions. The founder of the Christian faith, the apostle Paul is a good example of how readily men follow these unethical and gender biased teachings without using their intelligence to condemn them. No man would ever be elected to any office today in a democratic country that held to the subjugation of women as taught by Paul in the New Testament. It is only fundamentalist religious groups that still adhere to the primitive male idea of dominating and controlling women. Those who hold to the idea of biblical authority are by default accepting all the bias, oppression and blatant sexism that the Bible promotes and supports. Jesus, Paul and all the other apostles and church leaders uncritically endorsed the laws of the Old Testament and taught compliance with the god spoken of in its pages…what does this tell us about them? What becomes very obvious is the intelligence level of men like Jesus and Paul, because for anyone to endorse the subjugation of women and deny them equal human rights reveals a serious lack of critical thinking. The mindset that is imported by default when one adheres to biblical teaching is evident in men who believe that ruler-ship over women is their god given right and that the Bible gives them the authority to rape women by saying god ordained it. Read the rest of this entry »
- I challenge anyone, to find me a girl/woman who would not want the choice of whether or not to get an education.
- I challenge anyone, to find me a girl/woman who would not want to choose IF or WHOM she marries.
- I challenge anyone, to find me a girl/woman who would not want to choose IF and WHEN she has children.
- I challenge anyone, to find me a girl/woman who would not choose to have control over her own body.
- I challenge anyone, to find me a girl/woman who would not say that women’s rights are human rights.
- I challenge anyone, to find me a girl/woman who would not want to decide whether or not she was genitally mutilated?
Of course this is a challenge that no one will take, because there are no women to be found that do not want the freedom to make their own choices about what is done to their bodies. The same freedoms that are afforded men in every country on this planet are denied women in a large percentage of them…this is beyond unacceptable, it is outrageous in the extreme. How did our world get into such a condition as to deny half the population equal human rights? Why would any man ever think that his humanity is somehow deserving of more freedoms and that his gender gives him rights over another persons body? Has the intelligence of men become so twisted, as to think it is reasonable to assume that half the population, which brings forth the life of the other half, is somehow inferior?
While it is girls and women who are denied the rights to schools of education, it is men who are in desperate need of being educated in the area of equal human rights. The challenge women face is not only to gain empowerment, but also to educate men on what human rights mean…after all, we all belong to the same team…the human race!
Here is the thing. It is men who rape. It is men who protect and defend the men who rape. It is men who badger and bully and force women and abused children not to report the chief, priest, sangoma, uncle or other relative who has committed this crime.
The problem therefore lies with men. That is where our efforts should now be directed. Over and above some serious legal action – strengthening the police’s domestic violence, child protection and sexual offences units, plus special rape courts with properly trained prosecutors – we need wholesale re-education of men. ~ Justice Malala
Oppression of women is rampant in most of the religions of the world, it is time for men and women to stand up and expose these human rights violations wherever they are found.
Their intellect a resource
Their bodies give life
The key to a better future for all humanity means empowering women and educating men. To be assured of a world where humans can thrive and flourish, the greatest resource we have needs to be empowered.
Empowering women means:
- More educated women.
- Less unwanted marriages, pregnancies, and abortions.
- Lower population growth.
- Improved quality of life for everyone.
- Greater intellectual resources.
- Increase in ethical and moral values.
- Less violence and abuse.
Educating men to:
- Respect all people’s human rights.
- Learn that violence is never okay except in self defense.
- Treat women as you wish to be treated.
- Work together as equals for the benefit of all.
- Act in an ethical and moral way to women.
- Take responsibility for and control your own actions.
- Understand that women’s bodies are their own, they do not owe you sex.
The history of patriarchal rule shows that it has failed to establish a society where all people live up to their potential and flourish. Men need to grow up and take responsibility for how they treat women; they need to use their intelligence to empower women to work with them as a team instead of cutting off half the population. Cutting off half the resources of a population can be compared to only allowing a power generating plant to run at half capacity, thus producing only half of the energy needed to supply the whole population…this would be utterly ridiculous, but that is exactly what men are doing when they keep half the population from living up to their full potential. Too many men use religion as a tool to control women, without realizing they are diminishing the quality of well-being for the whole community. It is only when women are empowered to walk in their full capacity as human beings will the world realize its full potential. EMPOWER WOMEN to walk in their full potential – EDUCATE MEN to respect women as equals.
Losing my Religion for Equality is an excellent article by former president Jimmy Carter, describing why he left the Southern Baptist Convention. I have reposted the article in full and bolded the sections which I have chosen to comment on.
“Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.”
While it is true that women and girls have been discriminated against on account of biblical teaching, one does not need to do any twisting to find passages of Scripture that are biased against women denying them equal rights. While I agree that the minds of those that want to dominate and control women are twisted, the Bible lends itself readily to their misogynistic whims.
“I HAVE been a practicing Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.”
The reason men can claim that women are responsible for original sin is because that is what the Bible clearly teaches. The apostle Paul states in 1Tim.2:13&14 that Adam was created first and Eve was the one who was in the transgression, he also states that women are to be subservient to men. The nature of many men in positions of authority is that they will use any opportunity available to them to dominate and control women, but the Bible has been handed to them on a silver platter containing everything they need to justify their control of women, this is because its words were written by men. Read the rest of this entry »
Humanity thrives on it
Anything that helps to alleviate suffering in this world, no matter how small is considered a good thing; whatever unnecessarily adds to suffering is considered bad. This is the value of well-being. As can be clearly seen from examples in the Bible, unnecessary suffering caused by a tyrannical deity that demands worship and praise at the expense of well being, and metes out punishment when it is not received, does nothing to promote human flourishing or alleviate suffering. What good parent ever causes their children to suffer needlessly, or inflicts cruel punishment upon them because they do not praise or honor them, yet this is what the Bible teaches as acceptable, with its deity being portrayed as a father who instructs his children in this manner. The parenting lessons one learns from biblical instruction are at best unjust and unfair with rules being meted out according to ones gender or status. A good example is that of David being excused of the crime of murder because of his status as king, and Bathsheba being punished by having her firstborn son stricken with sickness for seven days and dying all because of David’s sin. If a high value is not placed on human well-being and fairness, moral integrity begins to decline. Read the rest of this entry »
Women’s bodies are not a commodity as many patriarchal societies believe, and no man has a right to violate the integrity of her body in any way. Throughout history the value of a woman has been placed upon her sexual purity and it is when men violate her integrity that she becomes devalued. There is no such devaluation for a man, because it is men who have set the standard of a woman’s worth and it is men who created the division of inequality between the genders. The Bible clearly reinforces this practice of division between male and female in all areas of life which reveals its human origins. What starts out in the second chapter of Genesis with male and female being as “one flesh” quickly devolves into the woman being ruled over by the man and becoming his possession, thus setting clear lines of division between the genders and making certain natural functions of a woman’s body considered unclean and shameful. Even in the New Testament Jesus makes it clear to his audience that the best condition for man is to be unmarried (separated from the woman), as does the apostle Paul who confirms the sentiment that it is only good to marry if one cannot contain their sexual desires, but the best way is to remain unmarried as he is. This does nothing but exacerbate the already existing division between male and female, which is also contrary to the idea of unity put forth in Genesis 2. Read the rest of this entry »