The Devil made me do it
Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom are the editors of Butterflies and Wheels, the best atheist site on the web. In Does God Hate Women? they forensically dismantle the last respectable misogyny. They argue: “What would otherwise look like stark bullying is very often made respectable and holy by a putative religious law or aphorism or scriptural quotation . . . They worship a God who is a male who gangs up with other males against women. They worship a thug.”
Every major religion’s texts were written at a time when women were regarded as little better than talking cattle. Their words and commands reflect this, plainly and bluntly. This book starts with a panoramic sweep across the world, showing – with archetypal cases – how every religion has groups today thumping women down with its Holy Book.
There are people in all religions who have – through theological contortions – managed to leave behind literal readings of the text and invent a less foul God to believe in. It is not for atheists to say that one group of believers is right and the other is wrong, as we think they’re all wrong. We can note that the less literalist a believer is, the easier he is to live beside, but we will only discredit literalism and force reform if we are honest about the words of the texts, rather than trying to soft-soap believers.
By the end of this book-length blast, Benson and Stangroom have left religious hatred of women in rubble. Anybody not addled by superstition will have to conclude that such bigotry deserves neither respect nor deference. It does not deserve the taboos that today surround it. It deserves the opposite: contempt – and relentless, unyielding opposition.
Also, too often, in many cultures, the measure of a man is ... how many children he sires. (Fooled ya.)
That's obviously a simplistic distillation but it will do for the purposes of this blog post.
The thing about religion is, it's man-made -- and almost always patriarchal. God is always male, the priests and rabbis (except in very progressive churches and temples) are always male, and the dogma always favours males.
It always turns out badly for women.
Case in point: Those whacky Christianist movements now spreading in the US which are all about women staying home and making babies. And let's not even get started on the crazy Islamists, or the out-there ultra-religious Jews.
So anyway, how come virtually all of the anti-choice commenters on this blog are men?
UPPITY WOMAN DATE: Almost forgot to h/t Chrystal Ocean.