Below is a portion of a comment I received the other day on a blog article I wrote, titled Women: Disrespected and Dishonored in the Bible. One line from her comment jumped out at me and I chose to use it as the title of this article, because it describes so well the role women play in the Bible … that of submitting to the man and being used as an instrument for his happiness.
“Women are disrespected in the bible. It is dishonest and quite a spin to claim otherwise. How many men want to line up and submit to their wives? How many husbands want to have to always surrender their wants, wishes and desires to those of their wife? How many men want to be told that their wife has the right to control every single aspect of their life? How many men want to be told they must obey their wife and to do otherwise is to sin. I don’t think too many men would volunteer for that. However, since God created us I guess He can decide which vessels are for honor and which are for dishonor and obviously the women is the vessel for dishonor. God made us and that is His right. You can deny this but you are not being honest. It would be better to just admit it and then work on how to make it as painless as possible for women. Obviously men are God’s favorites and everything He did is intended to help them achieve happiness. Women are merely instruments for men’s happiness and if they want to go to heaven they must accept their lowly position.”
I am saddened that a woman, who sees so clearly the male-bias of the Bible, has chosen to resign herself to the fact that it must be true. I know this is the case for countless women who have been indoctrinated from the teachings of the Bible, into thinking that they must take the submissive role in male/female relationships. For many years I too was a firm believer in the teachings of the Bible as the word of god, but my eyes were finally opened when I began to look deeply into the strong biases against women that are found throughout the Old and New Testaments. Verses such as the one below epitomize the role of women in fulfilling the desires of men.
Deuteronomy 21:10-13 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare 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.
The Bible is filled with such verses, which have only served to propagate the idea that a woman’s sole purpose in life is to fulfill the desires of men, no matter what suffering and misery is inflicted on her. I consider myself a human rights activist whose mission is to expose the gross violations of women’s rights found in the Bible. Even though I may only be one voice crying in a wilderness of religious delusion, I feel hopeful every time I read the comments of those who at least acknowledge the inequalities found in the Bible, even though they have not yet broken free from their hold. I spent 28 years of my life trapped in the teachings of the Bible, so I well understand that these things take time. A religious mindset is a monumental task to overcome, thought patterns get established and influence how we view the world around us and ourselves … breaking free is a huge challenge. The first step is to acknowledge the truth of what the Bible actually says and then deal with one issue at a time. In the stillness of your own mind, ask yourself hard questions like “Why do I believe what I do?”, “what evidence is there for what I believe?” and “does it seem plausible that a book full of human rights violations and gender bias is valid?”
One big clue pointing in the direction of the Bible being a construct of the male mind is the statistics on violence against women. By nature men are more violent than women and many times that violent nature is directed at women. Global statistics state that one in three women will suffer abuse and violence at the hands of a man in their lifetime, usually from a family member, friend or acquaintance. This fact should immediately cause the question to arise of why the Bible has given authority and headship to the gender that is the most abusive. The question is easily answered when one looks at who is responsible for writing the Bible … men.