Religion Week, 4 : Men

by stephenpalmersf

All religions despise women. All religions fear women. All religions are disgusted by women. All religions make women second class. All religions exploit, dominate, bully and oppress women.

Religion – the urban, masculine form of spirituality – is intimately linked with nation and patriarchy. Religion tells the stories men want to tell, stories of spare ribs, of snakes and apples, of women either as mothers or whores. Two available identities: a very deliberate dehumanisation.

Even Buddhism separates men and women on the false assumption that the two are intrinsically more different than similar. But as with every other major religion, the fluffy, pleasant, written-down theory is different to the practice. Nuns are subject to far stricter rules than monks. According to the eight Garudhammas, women must respect monks, even those newly ordained. Nuns have to undergo extra training in discipline, and they can’t worship in a place where no monk is present.

But it is with the Judeo-Christian religions that misogyny reaches its nadir. Hate, disgust and fear are the bedrocks of these three religions. It’s encoded into every law, every pronouncement, every image. Every story tells men what they should know about women and women’s place in the world. Every story is a prison cell, every book a jail. In the beginning was the word, and that word was spoken by a man.

Women entering religion is turkeys voting for Christmas. God is never going to come off his cloud and turn into a woman. He’ll be a man for as long as Christianity continues.

Actions speak louder than words. Watch what men do, not what they quote from texts.