Sunday, November 06, 2005

Sexism in Religion

Considering that I'm the only female contributor to the blog, I think I've got the right to bring up the issue. Sexism certainly has distinguishable roots in religion. Example: Garden of Eden, Adam isn't punished for eating the fruit, he's punished for listening to his wife. Since obviously, it's her fault that he decided to eat the fruit, we women are just so incredibly tempting.

Another example: Think about any older movie you've seen where two people get married. What does the presiding clergyman say? "I now pronounce you man and wife." The implications of the statement are that the man owns the woman. The woman is just another one of his possessions like a chair or a dog. Not everbody today realizes why this is so offensive, but it is, and people still say it and may even believe that women are the property of men.

And people today when they refer to original sin, often take the prerogative to refer to women as original sin. It's sinful to be with a woman because she has no sense of right or wrong. I guess my question is, why aren't more men fighting against sexism?

My theory is, there are plenty of people that are alienated by biases and prejudice. They'll always fight back, but in reality, they shouldn't have to. White people should fight against racism; Christians should fight against anti-semitism; and Men should fight against sexism. It's pretty simple, once guys start realizing that sexism is so prominent in our society due to its use in a more religious context.

So even if you never would look at the Bible or the Torah as serious historical documents, you can see that they have cultural and moral effects regardless of their historical accuracy. That is, and always will be, the danger of a religious text.

33 Comments:

At 11/06/2005 12:04 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay said...

Yea, but in the religious mindset, woman submission is okay because the man provides for her and cares for her. You know, just like masters care for their slaves. Also, everyone must worship Jesus, so in a sense everyone is enslaved.

 
At 11/06/2005 12:23 PM, Blogger Enil Edam said...

Of course it's okay in a religious mindset. In modern mindset, it's wrong. Religious doctrine certainly promotes sexism. Sexism is still wrong though.

 
At 11/06/2005 3:50 PM, Blogger Pyro_Shark said...

During an argument about sexism with one of my friends, I printed up about a dozen bible quotes about man being more important than women. TI was pretty funny. I'll have to find it and post it here.

 
At 11/06/2005 7:21 PM, Blogger Aeger said...

Yes, by all means do.

good post, maddy.

 
At 11/06/2005 8:21 PM, Blogger Pyro_Shark said...

http://pyroshark.blogspot.com/2005/11/sunday-school.html

Bon appatit. (I can't spell)

 
At 11/07/2005 12:12 AM, Blogger alpha_gamma said...

as most of the others said it is the religous mindset that causes that sexism, but on the other hand at that time men were the only ones allowed to work in a "true" job that made substantial money causing the women to pretty much rely on the men

 
At 11/10/2005 8:15 PM, Blogger El Penguino said...

well some of the exampls arent as bad as u make them seen but i agree, its because of the adam and eve thing that people went around burning witchs, but i guess today its made up for, since women have so much power over men and we dont even know it, think about it, all we men think about is beer and looking at things naked, women control our wants and needs

 
At 11/10/2005 9:14 PM, Blogger Enil Edam said...

I guess one could say that women have political influence but don't necessarily have political power.

 
At 11/14/2005 9:49 AM, Blogger alpha_gamma said...

Policital power isn't nesessarily a good thing, and if you get a woman in office and she's a first, she better be damn good otherwise people in general won't vote for women for a long time. And also with political influence you can change more things than you think.

 
At 11/14/2005 6:36 PM, Blogger Lucy said...

Where in the world are all of you getting these ideas? Go back and read Proverbs 31:10-31. Does that really sound to you like a woman who is treated like a piece of property?

1 Peter 3:7 - "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers." God is basically telling the husbands, "If you want me to listen to you, listen to me.........treat her right."

Colossians 3:19 - "Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them."

Ephesians 5:25 - "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her......." Christ loved the church sacrificially and that is how God is telling husbands to love their wives. (vs.28) - "...husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies."

Submission has nothing to do with who is more important. It has everything to do with order.

Read Judges 4. Deborah was a Judge (appointed by God) and a prophetess.

I can tell you first hand....I didn't become a Christian until 4 years ago. I can't even begin to tell you how much better my marriage is since becoming a Christian. I have absolutely no complaints at all.

 
At 11/14/2005 8:04 PM, Anonymous Saliba said...

Thanks a lot lucy. I almost suspected this entire blog was about atheists telling each other how stupid religion is. Wouldn't that would be pointless? Almost as pointless as attempting to prove nonexistence.

 
At 11/15/2005 8:15 PM, Blogger Advocate of the Browns said...

Prophet is nongenderal. Prophet applies to males and females.

 
At 11/15/2005 8:58 PM, Blogger Lucy said...

Yes, the word "prophet" can mean a man or woman. I chose to use the word "prophetess", which is a female prophet. Do you have a point?

 
At 5/10/2006 7:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excuse me, how can u say EVERYONE MUST folow jesus..how dare u...not onli is THIS RELIGION false...its sexist and Sectarianism ...whoever said we must believe in him... that isnt even what the christian community represents you shoudl be ashamed

 
At 5/29/2006 7:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

we have to view holy books in the cultural, historical context which they were written in, which no doubt sized to be a patriarchal and hostile environment for women, so is it any wonder y women are exemplified as inferior or completely marginalised, within the books and religion. just the fact the the books are written by men excludes the female perspective!!

 
At 12/06/2006 4:53 PM, Blogger Dtjson21 said...

Religious prioritizing of men over woman is seen world wide in cultures and belief systems far earlier than christianity. Given the primitive capacities of early civilization human beings relied on brute force and i slightly more....sophisticated sence of territorial behavior. In religion this went from basic behavior to a belief structure where men had the opurtunity to solidify their stance as the dominate sex. This passed on from earliest messopotamian culture, egypt, deep africa, early european and asian expansion. All of which translated to religions that would follow, including Judism. So even in todays world this recycling of beliefs in newer generations continues, even though we have a far more sophisticated understanding of life, science, and existance. The basic beliefs are not bad at all, Christianity, like Hindu, Judism, Islam, and buddism, teaches people the basic concepts of good moral living and how to treat people and life generally with respect (even though that lesson is ignored 90% of the time). However, the old traditions are what need to be weeded out, which are followed far more than the lessons themselves. The degridation of women, minorities, homosexuals, and those of differing beliefs, all of which are still supposed to be treated with love and respect even if we dont agree with their beleifs or practices.... i think that was the general point Christ was trying to get across. BUT since we dont even try in most cases because those in power enjoy it too much, no one challenges it. So people blindly get caught up in it, especially women, because to except the bible and every word in it as the truth of christianity, is to except the fact that women were created, and shall always exist as merely a fraction of what men are,...after all genesis tells us that woman is just a rib. I don't in anyway way agree with it, after all the biology of humanity exists by TWO EQUAL PARTS, A MAN AND WOMAN. But it is up to humanity to finally let go of our securities, challenge these old ways, and realize that the bible is ridiculous (sorry for my spelling) and know that god's grand design is far more complex than any man or woman claims to know, but to understand it requires far greater open mindedness and understanding of each other and all humanity. After all neither god the father or christ the son wrote any books, we did, and im sorry but humanity at this present state is way....WAY wrong!

 
At 12/06/2006 11:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand where most of you are coming from. If you don't throughly read through the Bible and understand the context each passage is written in, then you might believe that Christianity is a sexist religion. However, my belief is that most people who have read through the Bible and still believe it to be sexist only read what they want to read. If you actually read like it was supposed to be read, then we wouldn't be having these problems today.

 
At 2/09/2007 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i dont mind the bible being sexist, i just dont like the idea of passing it on to the young. i also dont like the idea of religion practicing it. the bible can say whatever, but we can do things ourselves

 
At 2/12/2007 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would just like to sya thank you to EVERYONE who has contibuted in this. i am currently writing an essay for school on sexism within religion and this has been the most helpful thing by far...please keep going!!!

 
At 5/19/2007 6:53 PM, Anonymous Catherine said...

hmmm .... I've been a christian since 2001, Married since 2003, no kids and I work outside the home. How, again, am I property of my husband and/or a slave? Oh - wait - I'm neither.

 
At 7/27/2007 3:08 PM, Blogger Linda said...

I always asked myself, How come nobody question those facts from the bible? Why was i looked at wrong when i questioned it! I am so glad someone actually did it because im not the only one. You made my day and now i am going to write about it for my Sociology final project.

 
At 7/27/2007 3:15 PM, Blogger Linda said...

I also would like to say that i am not religious but im not atheist. i have always believed that the bible has been re-written to meet the standards of "MEN" women have alwyas been infirior to men and why did god if there is a such person or spirit want it like that, was god a sexist as well??? but whatever that will turn into a big debate!?!?!?!
I'm only 18 but i grew up with surroundings of chritianity, catholosism, jehovah's witness and many other religions and i always hated the fact that women were in sense worse than dogs ('MANS' best friend)

 
At 10/05/2008 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually you cannot argue that the bible was written on the basis of the perspective of men and within the different culture of their time because it is claimed to be infalliable and inspired by God.
In the old testament when Israel was still going to be established, God gave the laws to Moses. Within those laws there are definate double standard between the gender, slavery was legal, polygamy was ok and women were treated as property. If God intended for both gender to be equal, he could have given laws that treats women equally but it was not so. Another thing to consider is that the New testament subjugate women to men in everything, reason being that man was created first and that woman sinned first. It has the order from top to bottom as God-men-women. Women are excluded from church leadership and they are under the authority of their husbands. The bible says what it says. It is very clear as to its view on women.

However, I would like to point out that sexism is not limited to Christianity because most world religions are male dominated since most are founded by men.

 
At 2/04/2009 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/

If you pay attention to the beginning of this movie you'd all realize that most if not all mainstream religions are different masks over the same face, to put it simply. And that face is simply one primitive version of praise and adoration, not to an almighty deity, but to our sun. Would you ask the sun to grant your wishes, heal your wounds or guide you through your life? I sure as hell wouldn't.

Also, I am not Atheist. The very minuscule Atheist population that isn't just fronting it to be popular or the centre of attention believes that there is no ultimate theism and that there is no spiritual side to life. We Have what we see, basically. I, however, would consider myself Agnostic. While I do believe in many spiritual things, an overruling theism is not one of them. I believe that we will most definitely not go to heaven or hell depending on how much we please our "father", but instead we will enter another very finite reality just as this is.

Everything has an explanation. Why is it that we don't hear of any modern day prophets anymore? Oh, that's right...we now realize that is schizophrenia, not God. Did it ever occur to any of these devout Catholics/Christians that maybe instead of a set of a scripture, or parables...it was just a book of wisdom? History passed down from generation to generation through the sanctity of stories, perhaps.

On another note, religion is also THE most prominent source of war. Invading countries and telling them everything they know is now false and that one book contains everything we need to know about ourselves and our master isn't exactly what I would call Christ-like. Believe what you will, criticize me if you like, but if you gain nothing from reading this at least put your foot in the door of truth I've just opened for you.

If you whole-heatedly and honestly believe in this world wide excuse for everything it opposes in itself, how can you claim to be in control of your own mind?

 
At 2/24/2009 9:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...men were created from what? "dust of the earth"...but women were created from a rib! Who is really inferior?

 
At 3/02/2010 2:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I can totally see where all of you are coming from. Sexism is something I will not stand for (I beat up anyone who suggests that men are better than women!), but it isn't just Christianity that is at fault here. Look at the Muslim. The women have to wear those veils!

 
At 11/19/2010 9:13 AM, Blogger Frederick Victor Paredes Añana said...

According to 1 Timothy 2:11–12 "A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be
silent."
- That seems to be the MOST STRAIGHTFORWARD PROOF of such sexism.

Long ago, during the reign of the Holy Roman Empire, there were ALMOST no female rulers with solo authority over their kingdom. After ENGLAND founded the Anglican Church, Queen Elizabeth legally reigned as an UNMARRIED ruler.

I ADMIRE England for going against Bible sexism, although I am not sure if it was one of their intentions. The Aglican Church allowed DIVORCE which gave women a chance to be independent.

I am a MAN and I'm ALSO AGAINST sexism.

 
At 3/11/2011 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These veiled women have the right to vote, to own property, to keep their family name, to divorce, to work.... for more than 1400 years.
And you limit your opinion at a piece of fabric.

 
At 5/26/2011 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Lucy... you quoted the following:

1 Peter 3:7 - "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers."

Note that in that quote there is already a sexism remark, namely "as the weaker partner"

Yes, you could interpret it as a man being physically stronger than a woman, but does that really justify it? No. Even though men are physically stronger than women, it does not give ANYBODY the right to claim that women are weak.

Thank you and goodbye.

 
At 10/12/2011 4:07 PM, Blogger Yakita315 said...

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At 10/12/2011 4:28 PM, Blogger Yakita315 said...

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At 10/12/2011 4:30 PM, Blogger Yakita315 said...

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At 10/12/2011 4:32 PM, Blogger Yakita315 said...

I agree that the bible is unethically sexist and would not want to spiritually associate with a short sighted religion that advocates male chauvinism. However I believe that when the bible refers to the "weaker woman" it is not necessarily sexist. The maternal mortality rate was extremely high before modern medical science. Medical science has liberated women from their biological vulnerability of conceiving a child. Thank Heavens! This obsession of men controlling women could be an instinctual impulse for survival. to preserve our species because of the high maternal mortality... great topic!! hope more comments pop up....

 

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