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“The idea that sex is something a woman gives a man, and she loses something when she does that, which again for me is nonsense. I want us to raise girls differently where boys and girls start to see sexuality as something that they own, rather than something that a boy takes from a girl.”

— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Religion was created by insecure men to oppress women

Religion was created by insecure men to oppress women

Religion shapes the ideals and values of our society. If your religious and cultural indices advocate human sacrifices like the indigenous Americans, then you will not be hesitant to kill a man and offer him as a sacrifice.


I was listening to Mutabaruka’s Television Show called Simply Muta when he said that religion was created by insecure men to oppress women. According to the cultural intellect and black Pan African advocate, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism were fashion to subdue, oppress and devalue the feminine gender.



I do not have personal experiences with Judaism and Islam but from accounts I got when we did religious studies in school, I discern that women were not considered equal in the Islamic society. I read reports that suggested that husbands could maim their wives if she showed her face in public. I remember my female classmates and I staring at each other in disbelief and awfully glad that we were born in the western hemisphere when our religious education teacher told us that if we lived in the certain parts of the world we would have been married with children. We looked at each other incredulously and with a sigh of relief.



Women were taught to cover their bodies and subdue to the will of her man in an intensely patriarchal society. If a young girl was suspected of having pre marital sex, her arranged fiancĂ© could kill her without a trial. Infidel women would be thrown in jail or murdered by their husbands. Girls are denied an education because they are considered second class citizens made solely for masculine sexual gratification and child bearers. The woman’s importance is confined to the domestic sphere; her movements and actions intensely monitored and kept in checked.



Some books went on to state that girls were treated like properties by fathers who sold them to the highest male bidder and the family received money in return. A wife who did not produce a male son would be considered less of a woman. A woman who was not married by the time she was in her mid twenties would be considered a social outcast and a disgrace to her family. What I found most barbaric about these societies govern by deep religious practices was the gender bias regarding girl babies. It is as if women are deemed inferior from the fetal stage.



I read a magazine once that said in a certain religion, if the mother discovers that the fetus is a girl, she would abort the pregnancy. When I was doing Caribbean cultural studies, I read that in a certain Caribbean country with a major eastern religious influence, a wife is scorned, disrespected and deplored if she is unable to produce a male child even though science have proven that the male chromosomes determines the sex of the child and not the female.



Christianity has shed a bad light on the female role models. I remembered when I came of age and had a boyfriend. I found the idea of intercourse unclean and immoral. I was socialized by the church to believe that sex was immoral and primal. I was conditioned to subdue my sexuality and to resist the yearnings of the flesh because it would void my quest for eternal life.



According to my pastor, it was created to be enjoyed with baptismal cleansing. I was taught that I should obey my husband because the bible says he is the head of the house and I should subject myself to him. I found that rather ironic since the same bible says that a woman should not open her mouth in the church and my pastor was a female. I conceded that everything she said was deemed nullified because she was a woman and the deity did not approve of her teachings in the temple.




How could we forget mother eve, who introduced sin into the world smirched the spiritual character and capability of the woman. From Eve betrayed God and Adam by eating the forbidden fruit, men have become distrustful of women and have sought to subdue the females to ensure that women do not mess up the second chance that men received at a shot at eternal life. I believe women were oppressed to ensure that they could not interfere with man’s quest to achieve immortality. Women have always been blamed for the sins of the world. I guess men did not trust us after that. My mother says that we were made to feel pain and men were made to suffer. According to religion, dysmenorrhea and pain during child birth is a constant reminder of the punishment god place on the sex for introducing sin into the world, betraying the male deity and his male servants.



Delilah and Jezebel we feared the most. They epitomize the disgrace of the gender and we strive to ensure that we were not like them. Delilah is responsible for weakening the strongest man that ever lived and women turned wise man Solomon into a fool. Men had to control women by conditioning the society to accept feminine inferiority.



But what if this was not case? What if men are weak to women? It is universally accepted that a man’s weakness lies in his loins! What if the documents and archives of religion reflected the opinions of patriarchal society govern by men? Why was the gospel of Mary not included in the King James Version of the bible when Constantine collated the Bible during the Roman era?



The few women the bible advocates such a Mary, the mother of Jesus, today’s women could not emulate her. Chances of a virgin birth (artificial insemination) is a slim chance for today’s women who are under the misguided notion that they still need to give atonement for the sins of Eve and Delilah.

Do you believe that religion was created by insecure men to oppress women?
And if that is the case…
How has religion reassure men?

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