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Dear Girls -- Here's Why Nasty Old Religious Men Are Terrified of You


Society & Culture  (tags: abuse, americans, culture, dishonesty, education, ethics, freedoms, gayrights, government, law, media, politics, religion, rights, safety, society, women )

Kit
- 847 days ago - alternet.org
Women are powerful beyond words, because they threaten to unravel the control of corrupt men who abuse their authority.



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Comments

Kit B. (276)
Saturday May 26, 2012, 9:19 pm

You are powerful beyond words, because you threaten to unravel the control of corrupt men who abuse their authority.

In the United States last week there were people who wouldn't let boys play a baseball championship final because a girl was on the opposing team. She'd already had to sit out two games because of their demands. Why? Did she, a competitive athlete and a member of her team, chose to? Was she being good and respectful when she acceded to their demands? Why were they not asked to forfeit their games? What messages were sent to her and her teammates? This is not complicated. It sent the wrong messages. Confusing messages. Incoherent messages. You need to know that she should have been allowed to play and not have had to sit out two games. These people, and others like them, all over the world, led exclusively by religious men, are scared of you and will not let you be. You worry them constantly.

If you were not powerful, they would not take you so seriously and they take you very, very seriously. You should, too. You can set the world on fire.

It doesn't feel this way, I know. If that were true, you think, I would not have to sit out baseball games out of respect for religious beliefs that require my subservience and call it a gift. I would not be turned away from serving God with my brothers. I would not be taught that I'm an evil temptress or the virtue keeper of boys. I would not have virginity wielded as a weapon against me and my worth determined by my womb. I would not be spat on and called a whore by men when I am eight because my arms are bare. I would not be poisoned for going to school. I would not be forced, at the age of 9, to carry twins borne of child torture. I would not have to kill myself to avoid marrying my rapist. If this were true, they would pursue my rapists instead of stoning me for their crimes. I, and thousands others, would not be killed for "honor."
****


AlterNet / By Soraya Chemaly

Great read, enjoy a slightly different look at the war against women.
 

Shelly Peterson (213)
Saturday May 26, 2012, 9:54 pm
It is 2012, isn't it..?..I just checked my clocks and calendars..and yes, these autrocities are going on all over Planet Earth, as we speak.....thnk the Universe for #1) the ability to communicate world wide , with a computer, so WE can share with one another #2) Thank the Universe for Care2, and all everyone does to adress , effectively all issues and create the "change" with wisdom that all humans, with a "soul" seek....
The ugliness in our World, no matter where you live and whatever the issue....is labeled.."as "Evil"..and the definition I choose to accept and use when i use this "word"..is , .."the disruption, possable prevention, of each indiviguals gift, of their own unique Life, and how it can and or could help each other, contribute effectively and just plain enjoy this beautiful planet..and LIFE ITSELF, and each other and all living beings and recognition, that EVERYTHING THAT EXISTS!!..JUST PLAIN EXISTS!...AND SOMETHING CREATED EXISTANCE!!... I cll it God/Universe and everything is math to me, as I believe that math is God's/the Universal language...(that is why we "think mathematically..unfortunately, people make up their own math...real quantum physics is key to understanding...(but even in this community, everyone is at odds with each other as the egos are all about getting "published", rather than down to the truth!!

Life , on Planet Earth, is "being in school everyday, no matter what your age"!!..whether you choose to recognize it or not!...as I learn, I grow..and I as I learn more truth!..I am secure enough, to change my opinion!..I go with what I know today..and I hold back on so much, as I just plain donot know enough yet, but am not afraid to say, I am learning!...and when I was wrong, and have learned the truth, I am not afraid to say I am sorry, I was wrong..I AM A PERSON OF INTEGRITY!!...and that is what life is all about, ..(stop, look, listen, think..and if you want to be proactive, take the responsability!!...and may you do it WELL!!
 

Glenn Byrnes (192)
Saturday May 26, 2012, 9:58 pm
Women are the ones who usually get the worst of it in religious socieities.
 

Kit B. (276)
Saturday May 26, 2012, 10:06 pm

When men create a god that looks like them, women then take a back seat to men. Too bad because women contribute far more then birthing children. We are the foundation of society, we are the calm in the storm, we make the home, care for the men and children and advance the technology of the modern world. We are doctors, scientists, lawyers, politicians, teachers, librarians, workers and lovers, treat women well and world thanks you.
 

Susanne R. (249)
Saturday May 26, 2012, 10:33 pm
It is a woman who gives birth to every single male on this planet, and it is up to her to make sure that, by word and example, she teaches her son to love and respect members of the opposite sex and to treat them as equals. I realize that this is difficult --if not impossible-- in some cultures, but we have to start someplace. If not, people from Afghanistan and other Islamic countries will never emerge from the dark ages --and women will always be seen as nothing more than breeders and beasts of burden. The minds of the old, women-hating men described in the article were being poisoned throughout their lives by their own fathers and grandfathers. They are ignorant, insecure and filled with hate. Their religious beliefs are nothing more than an excuse to carry on the behaviors of their fathers. Ignorance breeds ignorance.
 

Shelly Peterson (213)
Saturday May 26, 2012, 10:38 pm
Hear, here, Ladies!!
 

Roger M. (0)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 12:21 am
Agreed, of course. Thanks for posting.

But I can't help noticing that in this week's Egyptian elections one of the two leading candidates is an Islamist. Women have the vote in Egypt. I can only conclude that they are voting in very large numbers for their own suppression. This is a complete mystery to me. Anyone like to have a go at explaining it?
 

Janelle Wong (71)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 5:51 am
Maybe we could start an OOB movement - Occupy Our Bedroom. Naturally some man would come along and want to put a "B" in front of it. Then we would be known as boobs. Sounds like some man hating rhetoric with a spoonful of anti religion thrown in for good measure.
 

Mike S. (86)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 8:22 am
Thank you for this great article Miss Kitty. Here is a link to Gwynne Dyer's 1994 documentary on patriarchy, civilization, militarism and democracy. I think you will find it eye opening at the very least. (note: the first 10 seconds of part 1 are a bit glitchy)
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL26D402A2FC2927EA&feature=plcp
 

Charles O. (209)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 11:01 am
I agree wholeheartedly with just about everything in the article. The only thing I really disagree with is the first sentence:

> You are powerful beyond words, because you threaten to unravel the control of corrupt men who abuse their authority.

Whatever they do, however they dress, women are powerful beyond words because they are divine. What they "threaten to unravel" is secondary. How they REact to patriarchy is secondary. How they ACT is primary.

I have a strong sexist bias in favor of women. I see Eve as a heroine: It is she who set us free from the Garden of Mindless Obedience. Consciousness is her invention.

> God seeks comrades and claims love; the Devil seeks slaves and claims obedience.

-- Rabindranath Tagore, "Fireflies", 1928

Like Adam, cowardly men are still trying to appease the Dictator and apologize for Eve's "Transgression". They are afraid that women will rock the boat and bring down the Dictator's wrath. They are slaves at heart.

Go for it, Eve! Rock the boat! Set us free!
 

Kit B. (276)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 11:18 am

I don't hate men, I love them, they are my brothers as women are my sisters. I do not and can not approve of the many new legislation's that are not only anti-woman, but if one gives careful scrutiny they are anti-personal freedoms for everyone. The girl that was not allowed to play baseball was, for me reminiscent of when I was in high school. Jump into my "Way Back" machine, I was the only girl on the debate team, acceptable in my own high school and something that seemed great fun to me. Then the team began to travel to other schools. Some had me sit in the back of the room to observe others present my work, others made me stay out side of the building. Things have changed you say? No, only superficially, one does not have to look to deeply to see that for most women sitting in the back and waiting to be acknowledged is still the norm.

While men and often even women pass laws that are overtly and some times cruelly oppressive, they seem to forget that oppression of one quickly becomes oppression of the many.
 

pam w. (191)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 11:28 am
Roger asks ". Anyone like to have a go at explaining it? "

++++++++++++ In the past 2,000 years (or so,) the Abrahamic religions have demanded overtly or subtly that women take a secondary role to men.

Look at the way women are treated in Islam.

Look at the way women's bodies are considered "impure" enough that Orthodox Jews demand a ritual bath after each menses.

Look at the "love, honor and OBEY'' vow which has only recently been ignored by so many modern brides.

My belief is that Abrahamic religions really DO fear the fertility of women and the ancient goddesses of fertility known to so many of our ancestors. We are mysterious...our bodies bleed and we give birth.

Men tend to control what they fear and they very often do that through physical intimidation. Being physically smaller and having to protect children, women learned the art of appeasement....obedience. Religion (with its male power structure) combines with individual men to demand it! (Look at the Catholics....the Vatican lives in splendor and demands poverty and obedience for nuns. It's their IDEAL WORLD, isn't it?)

Keeping women pregnant and caring for children means she's dependent on men....religion wants to control our fertility because it can control our hearts. (Of course, increasing the "flock" increases the power religion holds over its world.)

In evolutionary terms, obedient women survived while their more independent sisters either had to live without male protection or were raped and subdued. Look at Islamic "honor" killings....they're about control and they serve as lessons for those who might be tempted to actually control their own destinies.
 

Susanne R. (249)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 12:10 pm
Beautifully written, Pam! I wish I could send you a dozen stars, but one will have to do!
 

pam w. (191)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 1:10 pm
Thanks, Susanne! Like Kit, I love many men and ONLY want to see equality for us.

"Sounds like some man hating rhetoric with a spoonful of anti religion thrown in for good measure." (Janelle) This is just a gross oversimplification and refusal to see the complexities of the issues.
 

Dandelion G. (382)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 2:01 pm
In the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (Iroquois) it was traditional for my native ancestors, for the women to make the moccasins worn by the men who were going to war. If the women did not want war, they did not make the moccasins.

Women were much more respected in our ways, women had great say in the society at large and often, as in going to war, had final say, after all women were the lifebearers, who better to understand the pain of childbirth and the pain other women would also feel upon loosing their sons to war.

While in Dominent Culture the non native women struggled to obtain rights that native women already had, a voice in who they would marry, a voice in the community, a voice in peace and of war, a right to their lodge, instead of how non native were treated as part of the chattel with no rights to their own homes, a say in their communities, or a right to have a voice in voting until many years later.

Unfortunately, native men now have become confused from the Dominent Culture that many have lost their traditional ways, and have become more like Dominent Culture. Very unfortunate. But so too have the women lost their knowledge, is one of the reasons I hold a Women's Circle, to give back to as many women I can a connection that they lost.
 

Charles O. (209)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 3:46 pm
Biology has made women the source of pleasure. Women give pleasure to themselves and to men.

The condemnation of pleasure in patriarchal religion may derive from a need to undermine the influence of women. Why else would patriarchal religion be so obsessed with sexual repression?
 

Kit B. (276)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 3:49 pm

Oh Charles - you have hit on some thing that may well be considered source material. Great comment!
 

Robert Hardy (67)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 6:37 pm
Has our world really come to this? Why?
 

Janelle Wong (71)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 6:44 pm
My experience has been that "most" of the female gender are put on a pedistal and indeed worshiped by "most" men. Perhaps those females that aren't should question themselves first. For the others of the masculine gender, go to Hell!
 

Kit B. (276)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 7:43 pm

I like standing with my feet planted firmly on the ground and have no desire to be on any pedestal, the fall down is a long one. With the exception of height and physical strength, I can stand one on one with a man. Then again, who needs to play the competition game? This about equality, fairness and acceptance.
 

Janelle Wong (71)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 8:05 pm
Perhaps given our blessing of being a woman we should not seek to to stand one on one with a man. We are woman!
 

Kit B. (276)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 8:11 pm

Yep, we are women and I see no reason that women and men should not stand side by side, one on one. I have no desire to diminish either a man nor a woman.
 

Glamour Girlcat (28)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 8:15 pm
Thank you, Charles, for your comment All About Eve. I never thought of her in this way before. In the past, I have thought of her as a mere airhead, (Adam, does this fig leaf make me look fat?), but now you have given me a new appreciation for her. I would also like to acknowlege Pandora, who also played a significant role in giving humanity our freedom, by teaching us to think "outside the box".
 

Glamour Girlcat (28)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 8:22 pm
Kit - Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this article!

~~ Sending a Green Star is a simple way to say "Thank you".
You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last week. ~~
 

Kit B. (276)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 8:31 pm

Well let's not forget Lilith - a woman who said "no" to Adam. That is if we are going all out for mythology; in which case I have a good one for ya.

Brunhild, in the Nibelungen, is "a royal maiden who reigned beyond the sea:

"From sunrise to the sundown no paragon had she.
All boundless as her beauty was her strength was peerless too,
And evil plight hung o'er the knight who dared her love to woo.
For he must try three bouts with her; the whirling spear to fling;
To pitch the massive stone; and then to follow with a spring;
And should he beat in every feat his wooing well has sped,
But he who fails must lose his love, and likewise lose his head."

I do like the Norse mythology, strong women and gallant men.
 

Antonia Windham (6)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 8:32 pm
There are some great men out there. But some like to feel secure in the knowledge that no matter how low they are they're always better than the best woman. Those are the stupid ones.
 

Kit B. (276)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 8:33 pm

You're welcome Glamour Girlcat, once I began reading I couldn't let go, then decided to share it; not to be arrogant or insulting but because I liked the article.
 

Kit B. (276)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 8:35 pm

Welcome to Care2 Antonia, I hope you enjoy the site. Thanks for your comment.
 

Charles O. (209)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 9:29 pm
Love it, Glamour G.!

But I'm not so blithe about Pandora! Pandora, I think I can do without.

Then again, I recall the words of Emerson in "Compensation":

> In general, every evil to which we do not succumb is a benefactor.

So maybe Pandora was trying to do us all a favor! We should try to forgive her -- assuming we do not succumb, first.

. .

I do see a parallel between Pandora and Eve, now that you mention it. But Eve has a more pivotal role. She changed our whole way of thinking.

Eve stole an apple from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. That says it all! After that, Adam and the Dictator parted company, and Adam, if he had a bone of decency in him, opened his worshipful eyes and saw Eve! And after that, he never looked back!

It's a terrific story!
 

Kit B. (276)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 9:41 pm

The Pandora myth first appears in lines 560–612 of Hesiod's poem in epic meter, the Theogony (ca. 8th–7th centuries BC), without ever giving the woman a name. After humans received the stolen gift of fire from Prometheus, an angry Zeus decides to give men a punishing gift to compensate for the boon they had been given. He commands Hephaestus to mold from earth the first woman, a "beautiful evil" whose descendants would torment the race of men. After Hephaestus does so, Athena dresses her in a silvery gown, an embroidered veil, garlands and an ornate crown of silver. This woman goes unnamed in the Theogony, but is presumably Pandora, whose myth Hesiod revisited in Works and Days. When she first appears before gods and mortals, "wonder seized them" as they looked upon her. But she was "sheer guile, not to be withstood by men." Hesiod elaborates (590–93):

From her is the race of women and female kind:
of her is the deadly race and tribe of women who
live amongst mortal men to their great trouble,
no helpmates in hateful poverty, but only in wealth.

Hesiod goes on to lament that men who try to avoid the evil of women by avoiding marriage will fare no better:
He reaches deadly old age without anyone to tend his years,
and though he at least has no lack of livelihood while he lives,
yet, when he is dead, his kinsfolk divide his possessions amongst them.

Hesiod concedes that occasionally a man finds a good wife, but still "evil contends with good."
*****

Once again woman cast as evil, Charles I don't think many would agree with you that Adam had a great women in Eve, though her brightness compares richly with Adams dullness.
 

pam w. (191)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 9:52 pm
You're right, Kit. We've been cast as "the evil influence" just about as often as the SNAKE. Snakes have held important positions in virtually every mythology...many of them highly benevolent.

BUT...Freud would tell us that snakes represent the sexual instinct....and look who Evie chose as a companion. Perhaps the snake was a more interesting conversationalist?
 

pam w. (191)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 9:56 pm
PS...I'm convinced the phallic connection with snakes is very deep in our "old" brains! I can't tell you how many times at the zoo I've had to coax a woman into touching a snake.

We're taught that they're dangerous, slimy, aggressive, etc....so, in a sense, women are taught to be afraid of a phallic symbol.
 

Charles O. (209)
Sunday May 27, 2012, 10:00 pm
Thank you again, Kit, for posting this article and initiating this discussion. This article is a welcome reprieve from the desperate and relentless struggle against the war-makers.

I'm also enjoying the "9 Great Freethinkers and Religious Dissenters in History" thread. Somehow, these discussions bring to mind the great salons of France, prior to the 1789 Revolution. How would you like to be a Salonnière?

Such salons were present in the Arab world as well!

I want to learn more about Lilith. Brunhild reminds me of Artemis, my "patron" in the Greek pantheon.
 

Charles O. (209)
Monday May 28, 2012, 12:24 am
Kit writes:

> Once again woman cast as evil, Charles I don't think many would agree with you that Adam had a great women in Eve, though her brightness compares richly with Adams dullness.

. .

The Gnostics -- and even the Muslims -- might disagree with you here, Kit.

> Eve too has different roles within Gnosticism. For example she is often seen as the embodiment of the supreme feminine principle, called Barbelo (from Arb-Eloh), barbeloth, or barthenos. As such she is equated with the light-maiden of Sophia (Wisdom), creator of the word (Logos) of God, the "thygater tou photos" or simply the Virgin Maiden, "parthenos". In other texts she is equated with Zoe (Life).[18] Again, in conventional Christianity, this is a prefigurement of Mary, also sometimes called "the Second Eve". In other Gnostic texts, such as The Hypostasis of the Archons (The Reality of the Rulers), the Pistis Sophia is equated with Eve's daughter, Norea, the wife of Seth.

> As a result of such Gnostic beliefs, especially among Marcionites, women were considered equal to men, being revered as prophets, teachers, traveling evangelists, faith healers, priests and even bishops. . . . .

> [In Islam] Eve is not blamed for enticing Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, and nor is there the concept of original sin. As a matter of fact, the Quran indicates that Adam initiated the eating of the fruit but God simply blames both of them for the transgression as they both ate the fruit.

> "Then Satan whispered to him (Adam); he said, "O Adam, shall I direct you to the tree of eternity and possession that will not deteriorate? And Adam and his wife ate of it, and their private parts became apparent to them, and they began to fasten over themselves from the leaves of Paradise. And Adam disobeyed his Lord and erred." (Quran - 20:121-122)

-- "Eve", *wikipedia*

I've now read the story of Lilith. This woman's initial offense is her unwillingness to be subservient to Adam. But from there, she goes steadily downhill, lusting after men and devouring babies. I'm not even going to try to rehabilitate HER. Let's face it, Kit: Some women really ARE demons. Fortunately, not many.
 

Phyllis Baxter (40)
Monday May 28, 2012, 5:22 am
The only soldiers the Roman legions feared were the Celtic women of Britain, who fought alongside their men with great ferocity. I am a descendant of Celts and Druids. My heroines are Grace O'Malley and Boudicca.

The women who defer to men and allow their children to be tortured, killed and raped for cultural or any other reasons are sickening speciments of humanity.

It's time for women to stand up and be counted- we have been silent for too long and let self centred 'feminists'- who seem to have ramdom thoughts and no ideas- have run the agenda.for far too long with no visible benefits to women- in fact, we are being worked into the ground in the name of 'equality'.

 

Craig Pittman (45)
Monday May 28, 2012, 7:23 am
Religious tracts, societal rules and legal cods have worked against women throughout history. To me its about power and control and likely this was based on fear. Men who continue to make and enforce rules that subjugate women are insecure, small-minded, anachronic twits who desperately need to be shouted down and pushed aside. The fact that this kind of nonsense continues to exist in this day and age is a sad commentary on our values and collective intelligence as a society. It's time for a massive, sweeping change to the status quo.
 

Bianca D. (86)
Monday May 28, 2012, 8:21 am
Hopefully, this will get some people - both women and men - thinking. And will shine a light for girls and women who have been told, shown and conditioned to think and feel less than.
Excellent post Kit.
 

Charles O. (209)
Monday May 28, 2012, 9:23 am
These conversations on Care2 are fabulous! Each new comment brings new insights, new perspectives!

Yes, Bianca D.! Shine a light for girls and women. And we boys can help, by inviting girls to lead, inviting girls to find themselves and free themselves and be true to themselves and celebrate themselves and seize their independence!

We are conquered because we keep ourselves divided, but co-dependency also keeps us down. Girls depend on boys and boys depend on girls and together we go in circles to nowhere, the blind leading the blind! Aaargh! This needs to change, and girls and boys together can make it change, by demanding a socially-conscious relationship based on mutual independence and appreciation.

I often write about the image on the Tarot Card for "The Lovers". The man and woman are not kissing or embracing. They are not even facing each other! Instead, they are holding hands and facing the world together, the angel over their heads urging them forwards.

Lady Gaga or some other popular singer needs to do a song about this -- MANY songs! When the lovers face each other, they consume each other, and then the romance withers. To keep love alive, one needs a steady influx of energy from something larger than oneself. Just as one needs to care about more than just oneself, so too one needs to care about more than just the other. The lovers, after all, do not live in a vacuum. Together, they need to care about the world they live in, and as they work to save this world, they deepen themselves and deepen the love they have for each other.

So what can we tell girls? That they are more likely to attract quality boys if they make themselves larger? That nothing attracts like joy, and joy comes from engaging the world? That cosmetics can't take the place of inner strength and beauty? That the sensual and the spiritual are one? That spirit is something that even us boys can appreciate?
 

Lindsay Kemp (1)
Monday May 28, 2012, 10:03 am
Oppression of anyone by anyone is wrong. Men and women are equal but different. That men see women as a source of temptation says more about men and their ability to behave properly than it does about women, at least in general.

the sooner we all learn to understand, respect and care for each other, the better for everyone.
 

Charles O. (209)
Monday May 28, 2012, 10:23 am
Let's put our advice to girls into a song! Let's have a song-writing competition! (Does anyone here know HOW to write a song?)

I went to a site that provides Lady Gaga lyrics. Ugh!

Here is a quote from one of the songs:

> Hey there sugar baby
> Saw you twice at the pop show
> You taste just like glitter mixed with rock and roll
> I like you a lot lot
> Think you're really hot hot

-- Lady Gaga, "Boys Boys Boys"

Well, that's discouraging!

On the other hand, surely we can do better than this. Here's a preliminary attempt, written in 30 minutes:

Girls, girls, girls
each of you unique,
each of you a point of view,
Doing what you're told to do?
No, no, no! Break out, break out!
Be somebody new!
Don't get old,
shatter that mold,
make the world your own,
set out all alone,
lead the way,
and let boys follow you!
Use your mind to grow,
use your heart to know
the joy that's everywhere
for those who dare to care!
Girl, girl, girl,
be true
to the universe and you.
You're not alone.
The boys who matter
love truth too.
Lady Gaga
doesn't have a clue.
 

Kit B. (276)
Monday May 28, 2012, 10:30 am

The early Britons,and many before them worshipped only those "gods" that had meaning within their societal structure, the need for agricultural, the need for fertility, even on occasion the need for war. Many of these gods were female. Some used the image of Isis. Women, historically did stand side by side with men, in work for the community and in war - mutual respect.

We see the changes develop with the onset of the Council of Nicea. In some readings Constantine was chosen to see the miracle of the cross, and then ordered the Council to prepare a bible that would allow his subjects to come to the "true" religion. Other accounts are very different. Constantine was in dire need of combining the west and east fractions of the Roman empire, Christianity was dispersed in small sects, the best known today are the Gnostic's and the Copts, each followed their own path to find goodness within. Mary was worshipped on an equal footing with Jesus, as was Mary Magdalene. Many historians believe that the books they used were far older then even the Dead Sea Scrolls. Either way, by decree all books about Jesus were soon banned and even burned to force all to follow what would be the Catholic or universal belief. Constantine was successful for a time, the formation of the church would not be recognized in today's world. It did, however, aid in unifying the empire. Here too we see a the changes begin in the later times of the Roman empire, women become second to men, where at one time the Romans respected the religions, customs and languages of those they conquered, now they began destroying the goddess images and forced people to become Christian. I need not repeat the many stories of the brutality used to force people to come to the god of the Roman, then European Christian church, I feel sure most have knowledge of that force.

This is not present in the Islamic religion, one need only remember that Mohammed's first wife was his financial life line while he pursued his spiritual journey. The differences are within tribal customs and can be found within both the Judaic Torah and the New Testament. Woman is to be subservient to man. There are many theories about exactly when and how this happened, why only four testaments were chosen, whether this had a relationship to Constantine and his mother, or was simply a way of subjugation of the newly conquered.

Of one thing we can be certain, these changes wrought the beginning of a belief that man was superior to woman. In very long time line of human history this is a relatively new phenomena. As it was changed once it can be changed again, as Charles said and others have said so eloquently, only when man and woman are side by side is there harmony.

So, no, I have no desire to be on a pedestal, nor do look down on or elevate men. I chose to see us as equal humans that share mutual respect.
 

Janelle Wong (71)
Monday May 28, 2012, 10:56 am
Kit B. writes "So, no, I have no desire to be on a pedestal, nor do look down on or elevate men. I chose to see us as equal humans that share mutual respect.

And your conclusion is that there are some bad apples out there which this thread addresses or that most men believe that "man is superior to woman"?
 

Charles O. (209)
Monday May 28, 2012, 1:15 pm
Men too are harmed by this one-sided system, Janelle.

Under patriarchal monotheism, the male deity functions as a Dictator, infinitely superior to His human subjects. The contrast between the God and the human being is so start as to render the latter worthless and expendable. So the relationship between the two is that of Master and cringing slave.

This relation then becomes the paradigm for other relations in society. Man relates to woman as Master to slave. The tribe relates to other tribes as Dictator to subjects. Domination, punishment and banishment (exclusion) come to be seen as the operating principles in life.

It is not healthy for the slave (the woman), and it is not healthy for the Master (the man) either. The Master succumbs to arrogance, intransigence, vengefulness, jealousy, childishness. All of the aspects of the Old Testament god come to afflict the man as well. Moreover, the man loses out on the opportunity to enjoy the company of woman as an equal. The dialogue between slave and Master is spiritually impoverished and artificial.

That's why I prefer a polytheistic cosmology, where the gods and goddesses are social beings who are too busy interacting with one another to exact vengeance against us human beings. The deities in polytheism seem a lot more human and accessible to me. And one doesn't have to wonder whether god is male or female: Both sexes are represented in the pantheon!

The pantheon of the saints in Catholic tradition replicates aspects of the polytheistic outlook.
 

Angelika R. (143)
Monday May 28, 2012, 1:37 pm
Time to end (warmongering) patriarchy and let's ring in a century of (peaceloving) matriarchy- at least for as long as it takes to reach full equality for a coexistence in harmony.
 

Dandelion G. (382)
Monday May 28, 2012, 1:59 pm
Aho to that one Angelika!
 

Ancil S. (175)
Monday May 28, 2012, 2:51 pm
I love all the comments here.I was reared,from childhood to love and respect all human kind,men,women,old,young,white,black,etc. I believe a true civilized society should love,care,respect all peoples,and not hate,repress,or otherwise take advantage of people who are disadvantaged.I love everyone,even my enemies,and I pray for them,and everyone.Call me a old fashioned,but that's the way I was brought up by my mom and dad,who are now passed away,but I live my life in this way,to honer them,and,to do the right thing by my fellow man.
 

Moira P. (0)
Monday May 28, 2012, 3:23 pm
Good Post. Thanks. Yes it has been going on for centuries and is still going on as you point out and people do find all sorts of reasons to explain why this is so and of course it is not right and of course we should stand up for individual rights and freedoms irrespective of gender.
 

Eternal Gardener (743)
Monday May 28, 2012, 4:51 pm
If it wasn't for women, men would not exist...
 

Janelle Wong (71)
Monday May 28, 2012, 6:38 pm
Eternal Gardener (555)
Monday May 28, 2012, 4:51 pm

"If it wasn't for women, men would not exist.."

Excellent point. Do you think that if it weren't for men, women wouldn't exist?. Keep those pearls of wisdom coming.
 

Kit B. (276)
Monday May 28, 2012, 6:40 pm

Janelle/Paul/Hans/Lilith whatever name your using at the moment...bored with you.
 

Janelle Wong (71)
Monday May 28, 2012, 8:12 pm
Kit B. (272)
Monday May 28, 2012, 6:40 pm

"Janelle/Paul/Hans/Lilith whatever name your using at the moment...bored with you"

Perhaps you should seek help -

Paranoia [ˌpærəˈnɔɪ.ə] (adjective: paranoid [ˈpærə.nɔɪd]) is a thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and delusion. Paranoid thinking typically includes persecutory beliefs, or beliefs of conspiracy concerning a perceived threat towards oneself. (e.g. "Everyone is out to get me.") Making false accusations and the general distrust of others also frequently accompany paranoia. For example, an incident most people would view as an accident or coincidence, a paranoid person might believe was intentional. However, just because an individual is paranoid does not necessarily mean his or her suspicions are false, as noted in Catch-22: "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you."

.
 

Kit B. (276)
Monday May 28, 2012, 8:25 pm

Thanks for proving my point and using the same exact copy and paste as you have before. Paul - no two people will use the exact same style, wording and syntax, all of your characters do, it's so easy to compare. I just wish I had noticed before others sent me messages with a heads up, glad you entertain yourself but not really interested in anything you have to say. Finished with you.
 

pam w. (191)
Monday May 28, 2012, 10:59 pm
Ahhhhh....outed again! Good "catch" everyone!
 

Rose NoFWDSPLZ (273)
Tuesday May 29, 2012, 12:13 am
Kit you always amaze so thank you !
 

Shan D. (49)
Tuesday May 29, 2012, 12:23 am
"Jump into my "Way Back" machine, I was the only girl on the debate team, acceptable in my own high school and something that seemed great fun to me. Then the team began to travel to other schools. Some had me sit in the back of the room to observe others present my work, others made me stay out side of the building." - Kit B. -

I can't wrap my head around this. Back in my high school days (1979), there was a debate tournament being held at my school. I wasn't part of the teams, but got a unique look at it from the point of view of being a judge. They'd run short of teachers willing to give up time on a weekend to judge, so the librarian suggested me (I was working in the library office at the time). At the tournament there were definitely girls there, in full participation. I just can't imagine girls being excluded from such an activity, merely for being female.

But then there's not a lot I have ever been able to imagine being excluded from merely for being female...
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday May 29, 2012, 1:03 am
I was so moved by the film "The story of 'M'". A film about the stoning to death of a girl in Iran. At the same time I had a job working in a village where a woman was stoned to death. This affected me beyond words. It actually affected me so much I had to paint away the pain and fear.

I wish I could agree with the article when it states that: You are powerful beyond words, because you threaten to unravel the control of corrupt men who abuse their authority.

This may have a basis in fact but the sheer brute force of men against a woman is a force that women find difficult to address. I hope that we as women collectively can address it and I feel we must. We must not only for our own safety and future but for generations to come and for world peace.

Individually one woman here and one woman there can be beaten, burnt, stoned or disenfranchised. It is only through banding together that we can prevent the machismo attacks that deny all of us our rights and freedoms (that includes men too).

Thank you for publishing this article.
 

Tonya M. (71)
Tuesday May 29, 2012, 1:34 pm
Noted. Thank God I was raised for awhile by a single mother and my grandmother. It taught me the true power of a woman. I have a very different view on life than had I not been raised for awhile by strong, independent women.
p.s. I love my step-father. He's the best man I've ever met. He never tried to harbor my mother's strengths but always supportered her. I've married a similar man. :)
 
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