Sexism and religion

United States
August 11, 2008 8:51am CST
Why is it that many religious books speak of women as if they are property and not people? The bible says women should not speak in church, as though they are not human enough to have an opinion, it says women were made to serve men like we are nothing but slaves, it speaks mostly ill about women yet so many people follow the religion! Now, I'm not trying to convert anyone or anything, I'm just wondering how people, exspecially Christian women, feel about this. Does it bother you that the bible speaks so much ill of women and talks of women as though they are lesser than men? Or do you just brush it off due to the era in which the bible was written? Also, are there any passages in the bible that speak well of women besides in the role of mothers? I know there's the story about the woman who would rather give her child to another woman than see him harmed but besides mothely love, does the bible ever speak well of women? If so what verse as I would like to read up on it.
3 people like this
17 responses
• United States
12 Aug 08
pauls words told women to bw silent !we do not worship paul we worship Jesus who often surrounded himself with women and even thought them important enough to give them the good news of his resurection to take to thier bretheren if you realy study the scriptures you will find that jesus did not discriminte at all after all was not Mary magdeline one of his disciples?
1 person likes this
@ParaTed2k (22971)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
12 Aug 08
That's the thing, people read what they want to find.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Aug 08
so do most organised religions I feel if Jesus were to return his brand of christianity would be unlike most of these churches
• India
16 Aug 08
I don't care for any religion, because I have noticed that they are not in favor of women. So, as a woman, I would be stupid to have any part in these religions. Religions are sexist coz they were written by male chauvinist ***s. That is the only reason.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Aug 08
One of the reasons why I'm Pagan, the Pagan religions have a lot of respect for women. The sexism was one of the things that made me abandon Christianity.
11 Aug 08
Hi victoria, Well women were always a second class to men women were only there for the purpose of men to serve them and to bear cheildref for them and no they didn't have a voice. When men are in the same room as a woman she had to leave the room and the bilble was written by men. It was a mans' world. When I was young I was always told to respect men and my question was why? if they respect me then I respect them and no man will tell me what to do. Tamara
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Aug 08
Indeed, respect must be earned not handed over on a silver platter....
@patms1 (522)
• United States
11 Aug 08
There is a book called When God was a woman. It tells about the time when woman were the religious leaders. Its one of the most interesting books you will ever read. When my daughters were old enough I made sure they had it. Mans answer to ever thing is to kill it. This sounds nasty but I am sad to say its true. If you have read any history you know that war is the only thing men understand. Woman see the horror in this so men choice to keep us under their thumbs. Thank God we have reached a time in our history that woman may be able to save the world. This is if men don't destroy it first. I have always believe that the Bible and other holy books was written by dirty old men who had no use for woman other then as maids or some one to take care of them.
• United States
11 Aug 08
I'm going to have to red that book, thank you for mentioning it. I noticed the female ran societies were actually the most peaceful and least greedy....I know it is certainly a pattern.
@ParaTed2k (22971)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
12 Aug 08
When you teach your daughters about the evils of men, make sure you don't propagandize them to the point that they think no women in power have ever been violent oppressors. Here are a few examples of modern women leaders who wouldn't fit your stereotype... Khertek Amyrbitovna Anchimaa, (leader of Tuva,40-44). During WWII she was a propagandist for the Soviet Union, her last official act as leader of Tuva was turning the country and people over to the Soviet Union and Joseph Stalin. María Estela Martínez Cartas de Perón (Argentina, 74-76), issued an order to annhilate subversive elements throughout the country. Sylvie Kinigi (Burundi 93-94). In fairness, she didn't start the Burundi, but she did lead in a war where 300,000 people were killed between October 21, 1993 - August 2005. Apparently she knew how to "kill it" as well as any man. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga (Sri Lanka 94-05) Agreed to share power with Prime Minister Wickremasinghe. While he was on an official visit to the United States, Kumaratunga suspended Parliament and deployed troops to take control of the country. She then joined forces with the People's Liberation Front. Ruth Sando Fahnbulleh Perry (Liberia 96-97) Took power as a result of a military coup against Samual Doe's government. After the civil war they tortured and killed Doe, broadcasting it for the world to see. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_elected_or_appointed_female_heads_of_state
@patms1 (522)
• United States
13 Aug 08
First, the question was about the Bible and yes I know that some woman can be as evil and cruel as a man. I am not teaching my daughters to hate men but I am teaching them that not all men are good. If you would be honest you would have to admit that through the millenniums woman have had to stand buy and watch their children, family's and whole villages raped, murder or sold into slavery before they themselves were raped, killed. I am surprised that woman haven't revolted against men.
1 person likes this
• India
11 Aug 08
To be honest there are some verses in bible which gives less importance to women when compared with men, but remember that in genesis god created eve from Adam's rib, which says men and women are equal and there are also female prophets in bible, so don't get carried away by those things, because some people use to take those things in a wrong manner, a very good example is the word called jihad.
• United States
11 Aug 08
Female prophets? Who were they? I would like to learn more about them if you have any links with info on the subject.
• India
11 Aug 08
yes there were female prophets Miriam (Exodus 15:20) Deborah (judges 4:4) Huldah (2 kings 21:24) Noadiah (Nehemiah 6:14 ) Anna (Luke 2:36)
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
11 Aug 08
Genesis is a parable to try to teach an incomprhensible event to the unlettered people of a distant time! There are many such stories in the Bible. Shalom
• Sri Lanka
12 Aug 08
In Buddhism women is given a great place. When it comes to achieving the ultimate objective in Buddhism there is no difference between men and women. Both can achieve it if they have the determination and work towards it. No matter what, there are differences between men and women. Based on that in Buddhism also there are certain restriction for women but that does not ill-treat women. Buddhism considers women must be protected and cared by men.
• United States
12 Aug 08
But that doesn't always hold true in life, there are times when the women must protect and care for men, this often holds true for larger, stronger women like myself, I kind of find it offensive when someone says men must protect women because it is not true in my life for I am normally the one protecting myself.
• Sri Lanka
14 Aug 08
Victoria, What you say is correct. What I said is not always true and there are exceptions. Generally the physical protection is provided to women by men. At the same time there are instances where women are stronger in facing problems than men. Specially in problems occure in life. They weep but face the problems better than men.
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
11 Aug 08
Shall I be sexist and say that Women were the most important people of Biblical times and men were actually afraid of them. Hashem created all, but as far as they could see Women created children. It took a very long time for folks to figure out exactly how babies were conceived, and even after they did, there was still an element of superstition surrounding the conception and birth. That is why women had so many rituals surrounding their mensus and birth. In primative cultures that have little or no contact with modern man, these rituals continue to this day. Some of them are very simular to the ancient ones even though there was no way they were ever exposed to the people of our ancient times. Why? Shalom~Adoniah
• United States
11 Aug 08
What about the sect that was on the news awhile back? What was it called? I do not understand this way of living.
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
12 Aug 08
Please be more specific; I do not know what you are refering to.
• United States
11 Aug 08
I do believe in God, but I have alot of problems with organized religion. One of them, is exactly what you state. Yes women in America, have a lot more rights, than they used to, but we are still considered inferior to men, mostly I believe because of religious teachings. I do not believe that Jesus treated women as inferior to him, nor did he teach that. However, since Jesus was from the middle east, these teachings would have been foreign to what others around him would have believed. I think alot of the Bible is some of Jesus teachings, mixed in with what organized religion wanted us to believe. Religion is all about control. Men have always been the controllers, and organized religion wants to keep it that way. I do believe in God, and teach my children the basic teachins of the bible. I do not however affiliate myself with any one religion or church.
• United States
11 Aug 08
I guess what upsets meabout it is the fact that some men still use religion as an excuse for being controlling over women, my grndfather is one of those..... I guess peoplelike that are just hypocritical pains in the..........well you know where I'm going on that one, lol.
• United States
11 Aug 08
This is what they have been taught for millions of years. That men are superior to women. Dont blame your grandfather, maybe someday he we will see the negativity of his ways.
@efc872 (1078)
• Jamaica
31 Aug 08
When you speak of women were made to serve men, I assume that these are married. There is a saying that when a woman is married, her existence is temporary suspended as long as she remain in the marriage. Check it out, technically it is not practiced openly in western cultures but if a man exercises this technicality then the only option to regain her existence is a divorce. Religion say also that when a man takes a wife they are both one - him.
• Philippines
20 Aug 08
The women cannot be a head of a church, thats what say in the bible. It is only in the church but not outside of the church like everyday life
@Ravenladyj (22920)
• United States
13 Aug 08
In all honesty, even though I've not been a Christian in ages..one thing to remember is that not only was the bible written by MEN BUT it was also written in a time when women WERE LESS THAN....Way back in the day, women WERE considered to be beneath men on all levels....BUT..what boggles my mind is the fact that there are women in TODAYS world that still hold that sort of mindset to be true and right....I personally would like to slap the stupid out of all of them...but thats just me
@TravisE (444)
• United States
12 Aug 08
I don't believe it is a brush off to take into account what era the bible was in. The simple face is that the world/people/culture have (very thankfully in a lot of cases) evolved and developed since the writing of the various books of the Bible. Taking that into account set the wisdom contained in those books into a better, more useful, context. Taking what is useful from a text, and leaving behind the outmoded portions that no longer serve any use (if they even ever did) is not a "brush off", it is a fine example of skillful means.
@academic2 (7005)
• Uganda
12 Aug 08
I think, the whole thing stems fom the nature of man itself-God created man first-then a woman was crafted out of man's rib, and from then, women have been considered less than a full human being-which to me is bul*sh*t
• Philippines
12 Aug 08
Actually there are but I'm too lazy to look for. Just check the keywords at biblegateway, you'll find some there. Now, in regard of status of women in the bible. You have to consider that the writers of the NT (where you took your verse), were purely patriarchal. I believe that the reason as well why women are not valued as they should be is because it is the design. No other reason, I just see that it pleases God that way.
@color210 (34)
• United States
11 Aug 08
I believe the docturin you are referring to is often misunderstood. Yes, it does say that a woman should obey her husband, but if you would read further into those teaching you would see that a man has many responsibilities toward his wife. You also must look at the context in which the bible was written. The time period in which it was written. Women at that time were seen as less then men. The books of the bible atcaully talk about elevating a womans status. It talks about how a husban must treat his wife like a princess. It is his responsiblity to take care of the woman. And it is the woman's responsiblity to take care of her husband. The bible often speaks well of women. Jesus himself took a woman as a disciple (something unheard of at the time in history). If you truly care about what the bible is saying, you have to read more that one line at a time. You have to read the background behind what is being said. One verse taken out of context does not give you a whole and correct picture of what is going on. For example: the most misquoted bible verse is this "Money is the root of all evil." But in truth the correct verse says "The LOVE of money is the root of all evil." As you can see, by missing the first three words of that verse, you have really lost the meaning of the verse.
@ParaTed2k (22971)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
11 Aug 08
I think you're putting the cart before the horse here. First of all, The Bible is either the Word of God or it isn't. If it isn't then it doesn't matter how sexist or enlightened it reads, it's just a book of fables. If it is then it doesn't matter how sexist or enlightened it reads, it's the truth. Rejecting truth because it makes us feel uncomfortable doesn't do us any good. If there really is a heaven and hell, rejecting truth will be much more painful than a little discomfort over perceived sexism. Now, as for the perceived sexism. Yes, there is sexism but most of it is based on the culture of the time. The other sexism is more perceived because we look at it through the prism of modern Western culture. We do our future generations a disservice when we try to change the past because we don't understand why they did things the way they did. As far as women being of little value in the past. Think about why? The pat answers are "Because governments and cultures were run by men". But that isn't exactly true (although it isn't completely false either). There have been cultures run by women. Were the women of Cleopatra's Egypt treated any differently than during other dynasties? Was the Helenic period of Egypt any better for women than the reign of the Caesars? In modern times, have the women any of the 26 nations who have had a female head of state seen a difference in how they are treated in their societies? Not to be crude or anything, but one of the biggest reasons women weren't considered equal to men throughout history is, they were basically homebound for 1 week out of the month. For reasons I won't get into right now, I did a pretty extensive study of feminine hygiene in different cultures. My findings showed that it wasn't the suffragettes or the women's rights organizations that secured more freedom for women... It was actually two men... Dr. Earle Haas and Dr. Kermit E Krantz... and a patented product first sold by a company called Tampax.
@Wolfechu (1193)
• United States
11 Aug 08
Because they were written centuries ago, when women WERE property. Now, if they're horribly outdated in this respect, you might think they'd notice other aspects are kind of outmoded too, but no...