Posts Tagged ‘women’

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

 

As long as a woman regards the Bible as the charter of her rights, she will be the slave of man. The Bible was not written by a woman. Within its leaves there is nothing but humiliation and shame for her.   ~ Robert Ingersoll

 

For far too long women have settled for second best when it comes to rights afforded them in the Bible, because they have been deceived by men. The same lame reasoning and tired excuses are used over and over again, such as “The Bible gives women more rights than they had in other cultures of the same time period”, or “God’s natural order is for men to be the leaders”. These and countless other worn out justifications used by men to deny women their equal human rights, need to be rejected and exposed for what they are…constructions made from the minds of men who want to control women. It’s time for the women of the world to know that they are indeed entitled to the same human rights as men and to stand up for those rights, regardless of what an ancient book like the Bible says. The first place to start is by taking a second look at the masculine nature of the biblical god. Read the rest of this entry »

Sex trafficking is in the news quite a lot and a significant problem in today’s world, but did it exist in biblical times and if so what does the Bibles say about it? After doing a careful study into the matter of sex slavery in the Bible, the conclusion that seems inescapable is that the god called Yahweh not only allowed sex-trafficking, but supports it and promotes it as a legitimate means of gathering women for the Hebrew men. I am presenting a handful of biblical verses that more than adequately covers the practice of taking women captive for the specific purpose of sex. The first verse I will examine comes from Deuteronomy; it specifically lays out the procedure of how a man may capture a beautiful woman whom he desires and keep her for sexual purposes until he tires of her. Read the rest of this entry »

 

I have a dream that someday all women wherever in the world they live and whatever religion they practice, will stand beside men in equality. For far too long man’s religion has governed and ruled what the role of women should be, leaving the woman herself out of the equation. As a woman, my heart longs for the day when my sisters can breathe the fresh air of freedom as partners with their brothers, instead of gasping to breathe the polluted and stale air of inequality that is suffocating them. No matter how advanced our civilization becomes, or how egalitarian our governments are the Bible can never change its words, because they are forever frozen in the era in which they were written. That is the grave error in limiting and confining a creator to the pages of an ancient book, without room to change and grow. The words of Paul will forever constrain a woman to be in subjection to a man and keep her from expressing full human equality with him, and say that it is better for a man not to touch a woman, but to live a life of celibacy (if one wishes to view the Bible as inspired by God).

 

Looking back at Christian history through the eyes of men who shaped its views, one finds that it is littered with hatred and disgust for women…from the words of Clement of Alexandria in the second century AD, “Every woman should be filled with shame by the thought that she is a woman“, to the words of Martin Luther in the fifteenth century “The word and works of God is quite clear, that women were made either to be wives or prostitutes.”,  it is quite clear how Christian men have perceived women. Great insight is given into the intent of Scripture when men throughout the ages have interpreted them in a similar manner when it comes to the rights and equality of women. Having religious texts that purport to be inspired by a deity, is the main reason that religions remain mired in primitive thinking, the only way to escape their grasp is to simply ignore large portions that are outdated. A true deity would never be locked into a mindset that is limited by the whims of the human intellect, which is why a dark shadow is cast upon the credibility of the biblegod being real. The only way women can be freed from this ominous cloud of religious oppression, is to use their wisdom and reject myths that keep them in bondage to the tyranny of men who wish to control their lives.

All history attests that man has subjected

Woman to his will, used her as a means to

Promote his selfish gratification, to

Minister to his sensual pleasures, to be

Instrumental in promoting his comfort; but never

Has he desired to elevate her to that rank she was created to fill.

He has done all he could

To debase and enslave her mind;

And now he looks triumphantly on the ruin

He has wrought, and say, the being he has

Thus deeply injured is his inferior” ~ A.K.

 

 

There is no excuse that will ever justify the status that the Bible has placed upon women of being denied equality with men. No matter how much good people say the Bible has done to elevate women’s roles from those of non-Christian nations, and supposedly how much better they are treated than their non-biblical counterparts, women are still relegated to “second place” in Scripture. It’s on par with saying “it’s okay to have slaves as long as they are treated well”…I say: NO it’s not okay to own another human being no matter how well they are treated by their masters.

 

If the Constitution of the United States, written by men has contained within its declarations that “All men are created equal” (which I know had to be worked out to get into men’s heads that the words All Men meant both men and women), I see no reason why a book that is supposed to be inspired by God, could not have had within it pages an equally powerful statement. Instead what do we find at its very beginning? A decree from its god that men are to rule over women…Gen.3:16 “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.”, that tells me that the founders of this country had much higher standards than what was attributed to the biblegod.

 

The harm that has befallen women because of the license that the Bible has given men to dominate them and own them as property is beyond measure. History would have taken an entirely different course if men and women could have stood side by side as partners developing ideas that would shape a common future. Instead of allowing women to choose their own path and make their own choices, the Bible gives men the right and free reign in running women’s lives and since it tells men exactly what they want to hear in terms of having power and control they adamantly say it must be from god. An old Chinese proverb says that “Women hold up half the sky”, it is time that the female gender rightfully take their place as equals beside men, and that men acknowledge a woman’s rightful place as their equal in all areas of life.

 

“The truth is male religious leaders have had, – and still have –  an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the later. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world”  ~ Jimmy Carter

Many Christians hold the teachings of Jesus to be of the highest value in promoting human rights and equality. I also fell into that category when I was a Christian, but upon closer scrutiny I now see that many of the teachings of Jesus have led to needless suffering. For example, the teaching of Jesus which says anyone who divorces and remarries is guilty of adultery, has caused untold suffering especially for women. Not only does it keep a woman locked into an abusive marriage, but if she is divorced (which under Jewish law men could do at will) she can never remarry.

 

Luke 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

 

The Old Testament law was bad enough considering a man could divorce his wife at will, but at least she could remarry if her husband divorced her. Under the New Testament law proclaimed by Jesus, if a woman is divorced by her husband she is locked into remaining single for the rest of her life, or until her husband dies if she does not want to be accused of adultery. Even though this teaching also applies to men, it is much more harmful to women because according to the Bible women are to be in subjection to men, who in turn deny women equal opportunities to support themselves. Also, since men are deemed by god to rule over women, they can take away her children leaving the woman completely alone. So, in many ways the New Testament teaching on marriage has elevated the hardships women have to endure instead of decreasing them.

Like half the population I was born female, with the same desires to learn and grow to my full potential as my male counterparts. Why is it then that so many religious men believe that the intelligent mind that created the universe is a male god who chose to create the female of the species explicitly to be ruled over and subject to the capricious whims of men? Many Christians believe that the plan of God from the beginning was to set up a hierarchical order which places the man in complete control and ownership of the lives of half the population. Supposedly these men have nowhere near the intelligence of their god, yet this god chose to cater to their more aggressive and dominating nature by handing over to them the well being of the female gender, which is on par with a parent giving their young son complete rule and authority over his sister. Men, who don’t give a second thought about fulfilling their own desires, somehow feel that women who have those same desires should be denied them according to “the man’s discretion.”

 

The vast majority of the 2 billion plus Christians on the planet today would say that slavery is wrong, even though it was condoned in the Old Testament; the same goes for stoning people for adultery which was commanded by God, yet somehow the subjugation of women still persists in the minds of fundamentalist men today as being part of the biblegod’s order. Many Christian men, who would reject slavery and stoning outright, see no problem whatsoever with depriving women of equal human rights. It makes a rational person wonder if these men aren’t just picking and choosing those things which they can get away with. The Old and New Testaments are fraught with human rights violations that are condemned by most modern Christians, yet there is no such condemnation of the secondary status that many women continue to be subjected to in the Church. It is time for Christians to open their eyes to the great disparity that is being taught, and call it what it is – “A human rights violation.”

Here is a list of the Declaration of Sentiments composed by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, as presented at the first women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls, NY. If one looks over these statements carefully it can be concluded that these “denied rights” are for the most part drawn directly from the Bible.

 

  • He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.
  • He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice.
  • He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men – both natives and foreigners.
  • Having deprived her of this first right as a citizen, the elective franchise, thereby leaving her without representation in the halls of legislation, he has oppressed her on all sides.
  • He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.
  • He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.
  • He has made her morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes with impunity, provided they be done in the presence of her husband. In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming, to all intents and purposes, her master – the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty, and to administer chastisement.
  • He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes of divorce, in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given; as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of the women – the law, in all cases, going upon a false supposition of the supremacy of a man, and giving all power into his hands.
  • After depriving her of all rights as a married woman, if single and the owner of property, he has taxed her to support a government which recognizes her only when her property can be made profitable to it.
  • He has monopolized nearly all the profitable employments, and from those she is permitted to follow, she receives but a scanty remuneration.
  • He closes against her all the avenues to wealth and distinction, which he considers most honorable to himself. As a teacher of theology, medicine, or law, she is not known.
  • He has denied her the facilities for obtaining a thorough education – all colleges being closed against her.
  • He allows her in church, as well as State, but a subordinate position, claiming Apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry, and, with some exceptions, from any public participation in the affairs of the Church.
  • He has created a false public sentiment by giving to the world a different code of morals for men and women, by which moral delinquencies which exclude women from society, are not only tolerated but deemed of little account in man.
  • He has usurped the prerogative of Jehovah himself, claiming it as his right to assign for her a sphere of action, when that belongs to her conscience and her God.
  • He has endeavored, in every way that he could to destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make her willing to lead a dependent and abject life.

 

The Bibles promotion of sexism is one of histories greatest long term injustices, which has caused untold suffering for women at the hands of men who believed they were carrying out the will of the biblegod.

Excellent talk on TED by Sheryl WuDunn author of Half the Sky. Our century’s greatest injustice is the discrimination of women by men! It’s time men stop abusing their mothers, wives, sisters and daughters and realize women are humans deserving equal rights just like them.

 

If I were asked to state what I thought the single most important message I could share with the world was, my unequivocal answer would be “women’s rights are human rights”. Down through the centuries women have been denied equal human rights with men solely because of their gender. Some of the biggest perpetrators have been institutions founded on the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The doctrines promoted by these religions teach that women are to be in subjection to the men, who in turn deny women the basic human rights that they themselves enjoy. These doctrines deny women the right to be educated as men, or to even be able to teach men. They teach the idea that women were made by God for the pleasure of men and must be subject to him, when in reality men are created from woman.

 

1Cor.11:7-9 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

 

Gen.2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

 

Instead of woman being flesh and bone of the man as the Bible teaches, all humans come from and are literally part of the flesh and bone of the woman. A good comparison is that of constructing a building, both male and female contribute to the plans or “blueprint” (DNA) of the building, but it is the woman who supplies all the materials (flesh, and blood) to construct the building.

 

As long as lies concerning the equality of women are taught as God given doctrines by men, women will continue to be denied their equal rights as humans. The message that “women’s rights are human rights” is a message that needs to be preached from every pulpit and spoken from every mouth, until we live in world where all humans are treated equally regardless of race or gender.

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