“Women should not be enlightened or educated in any way. They should, in fact, be segregated as they are the cause of hideous and involuntary erections in holy men.” – St. Augustine
Misogyny is defined as a hatred, contempt, dislike or distrust in women – especially by a man. In American society, misogyny is rampant and is the sole reason why there exists gender inequality in almost every area of life. It started with and continues to revolve around the dominant religion of our country, Christianity, and its projection of guilt about sex, its insistence on female subjugation and its dread of female seduction. The sole instigator is a character in the Christian book of myths (The Bible) named Paul of Tarsus, or Saint Paul for all you purists out there. The epistles that are attributed to Paul contain horrifically misogynist statements.
I Could Be Wrong, But…
I can understand the women that were raised in a deeply traditional religious family where it was taken for granted that women were viewed as unequal to a man, or equal but with different roles. But what about those who were not raised with the indoctrination to be Christian? Why would they choose a religion that would immediately put her in a position of subjugation to another human being?
Now mind you, I am not a psychologist, but after doing a little research and thinking about it for a while, I started to consider the possibility that many of these women may have been either physically, mentally, sexually or verbally abused by their husbands, fathers or other influential men in their lives. Some of them may have even been victims of several or all of these assaults. In one way or another, a man has let them down, abandoned them or hurt them in one way or another.
It would not be that difficult to convince a woman who is already in a vulnerable state that the main character in Christian mythology known as Jesus Christ would make a perfect replacement for an abusive husband, boyfriend or even male sibling. Yahweh would make a perfect replacement for an abusive father figure, be it a biological father, a step father, guardian uncle, etc. After all, Christian mythology teaches that the Christ character is not just a man, but a demigod who will never leave them or forsake them, has nothing but pure love for them and will stand by them in times of trouble, strife and despair.
This is an area where I welcome comments from those who are better credentialed in this aspect of psychology. Any shrinks out there care to either validate my thoughts or school me where I might be wrong?
You Can’t Polish A Turd…
The simple and fact is that misogyny is fundamental to the basic writings of Christianity and it is such an intricate part of religious society that it took massive social movements to achieve the advances that women have made throughout US history. The right for women to vote, testify in court and own land are more recent than many people are aware. Women are still paid less than men who hold the same jobs and most of the Christian women that I know freely admit that they are subject to the authority of their husbands, much to the delight of said husbands. Edith, where’s my beer?
In the bible, women are basically commanded to accept a role of inferiority and to be shameful for the simple fact that they are women. Misogynistic biblical verses are so common that if you open a bible to a random page, the odds are pretty good that you’ll find one wherever your finger lands. What makes me shake my head is that Christian women will defend these passages, and many times will use apologetics that were written by misogynist Christian men. They easily justify it by trying to reason in various ways, but in the end, it always comes down to ‘because god said so‘
This is especially true for the first part of a passage in Ephesians, chapter five, that states, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church. . . .” Yes, there is the second part about men treating their wives as Christ treats the church, which is largely ignored. This is probably a good thing because Christ has pretty dim view of his church.
The bible is filled with all kinds of wonderful tidbits such as “These are they which were not defiled with women” from the book of Revelation (14:4), and “How then can man be justified with God? Or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?” from the book of Job (25:4) Tertullian, one of the early church fathers, took misogyny to new heights when he wrote:
“In pain shall you bring forth children, woman, and you shall turn to your husband and he shall rule over you. And do you not know that you are Eve? God’s sentence hangs still over all your sex and His punishment weighs down upon you. You are the devil’s gateway; you are she who first violated the forbidden tree and broke the law of God. It was you who coaxed your way around him whom the devil had not the force to attack. With what ease you shattered that image of God: Man! Because of the death you merited, even the Son of God had to die. . . . Woman, you are the gate to hell”
Many Christian men are part of a long history of treating women as chattel. Up until recently, it was still legal for a man to beat his wife and be exempted from prosecution. I won’t even get into the five-hundred year-long period of Church history that saw unending and perfectly legal torture and murder of “witches” because Exodus 22:18 says, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”
Just Shut Up…
Women have always (and continue to) hold subservient positions in Christian churches. Most denominations do not allow a woman into the clergy, particularly the role of pastor. The denominations that have acquiesced to female pastors are few and far between to be seen as little more than tokens. Christian men will argue that the church has made many advancements over the years, but this is simply untrue. The patriarchal church still views women as property and this is glaringly obvious with respect to the control a woman has over her own body. The Catholic Church still has reservations about contraceptives and has put considerable time, money and energy into supporting further restrictions on abortion laws.
I Own Your Ass…
The bible is rife with misogyny and degrading passages about women and often relegates them as equal to slaves. It treats them as property and chattel to be traded for a variety of things in ways that can only be described as prostitution and/or human trafficking. It is very clear that the life of a woman does not hold the same value as that of a man, and that men are the only ones who are to hold any positions of authority. The Christian views the bible as the inerrant, infallible and sometimes literal word of their god. For the life of me, I cannot understand why any self-respecting woman would choose to be a Christian.
I have assembled the following passages from “the good book“, Protestant and Catholic versions, to illustrate my point:
- “No wickedness comes anywhere near the wickedness of a woman…..Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die” (Ecclesiasticus 25:19,24).
- “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I don’t permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner” (I Timothy 2:11-14).
- “The birth of a daughter is a loss” (Ecclesiasticus 22:3).
- “Keep a headstrong daughter under firm control, or she will abuse any indulgence she receives. Keep a strict watch on her shameless eye, do not be surprised if she disgraces you” (Ecclesiasticus 26:10-11).
- “As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” (I Corinthians 14:34-35)
- “When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. Whoever touches her bed must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Whoever touches anything she sits on must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Whether it is the bed or anything she was sitting on, when anyone touches it, he will be unclean till evening” (Lev. 15:19-23).
- “If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her saying, ‘I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,’ …and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of the town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.” (Deuteronomy 22:13-21)
- “A bad wife brings humiliation, downcast looks, and a wounded heart. Slack of hand and weak of knee is the man whose wife fails to make him happy. Woman is the origin of sin, and it is through her that we all die. Do not leave a leaky cistern to drip or allow a bad wife to say what she likes. If she does not accept your control, divorce her and send her away” (Ecclesiasticus 25:25).
- “Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God…A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head” (I Corinthians 11:3-10).
- “They called out to Lot and said, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Send them out to us so we can have sex with them! Lot went out to them at the entrance and shut the door behind him. He said, “Don’t do this evil, my brothers. Look, I’ve got two daughters who haven’t had sexual relations with a man. I’ll bring them out to you, and you can do whatever you want to them. However, don’t do anything to these men, because they have come under the protection of my roof.” (Genesis 19:5-8)
Real Crimes Against Nature…
Misogyny has been responsible for some of the most heinous crimes against women in history, and in many ways the Christian misogynist not so dissimilar to his Muslim counterpart. As long as American society upholds the bible as a moral guide, misogyny will exist and women will continue to be disrespected by never-ending sexism, objectification and discrimination in almost every area of life.
Pastor’s all across the nation continue to advise abused women to stay with their husbands and Christian children are taught misogyny to be perfectly acceptable every week in Sunday schools across the nation. These children grow into adults who continue to perpetrate this dogma toward their wives, mothers, sisters and daughters.
The misogynist would like nothing better than to take this country back to the days of television “Father Knows Best” and “Leave it to Beaver” which kept women at home, in the kitchen and subject to the authority of their husbands with little or no thought of pursuing a higher education and “interfering” with things that are better left to the menfolk.
Yes, I know that Jamie and Adam did, indeed, polish a turd. But it was useless.
If you want to search for an image on Google that is relevant to misogyny, avoid using search terms like “man spanking woman” or “female slaves,” unless you are into that sort of thing.
I removed the comment about Paul probably being openly gay or a latent homosexual because the inclusion of this statement caused many of my readers to think I was suggesting that all homosexuals are misogynists. I had a point in there, but it is not important enough to the article to try and spend several hundred words explaining it. Plus, anyone who knows me realizes that I am a very strong and outspoken supporter of the LGBT community, and I do not want anyone to think I support a notion as ridiculous as what my sentence apparently construed.