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12 Ridiculous Anti-Woman Myths From The Dark Ages That Conservatives STILL Believe

Society & Culture  (tags: abuse, activists, americans, culture, dishonesty, education, family, freedoms, law, media, politics, religion, rights, society, world, women )

- 1707 days ago -
Have you ever been reading or watching a report about a conservative man who said something so incredibly backwards that you swore he was living in the Dark Ages? Well, you're not so very far from wrong.

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Kit B (276)
Friday October 18, 2013, 11:36 am
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Have you ever been reading or watching a report about a conservative man who said something so incredibly backwards that you swore he was living in the Dark Ages? Well, you’re not so very far from wrong. The Dark Ages were dark partly because education was discouraged and science was suspect, leading to some astoundingly silly things being taken for fact. Like, for example, that the heart was the seat of intelligence. Or that frogs spontaneously generated from mud. As fun as those sort of ideas are to explore, this article will be dealing with beliefs about that strange and inscrutable being: Woman.

Medical knowledge has become so easily obtained nowadays that it’s hard to imagine not knowing things like what the kidneys do or that penicillin kills bacteria. Heck, bacteria weren’t even known until comparatively recently. Before the 19th century, it was believed that contagious diseases spread through bad air or “seeds.” What we know today built upon discoveries of different cultures and scientists, over the growth of human civilization.

Throughout most of history, vivisection of the human body for educational purposes was at least, frowned up and, at worst, a cardinal sin. So learning about the body was a slow process. But we did learn, so there is no excuse for anyone, least of all doctors, to be so archaic in their knowledge of the human female. As we will see, these beliefs are sometimes very ancient and so very, very wrong.

Ignorance is bliss… for the Church: The ancient world was actually doing a pretty good job of discovering how our bodies work. Eastern doctors practiced Ayurveda, acupuncture and herbal medicine. Two Alexandrian surgeons, using criminals as subjects, did the first vivisections. But all of that knowledge vanished with the advent of organized Christianity, as the campaign of keeping knowledge from the people got into full swing. Keeping the masses ignorant was how the Church controlled them. One particular subject of attack were midwives: they were seen as a challenge to the authority of the Church (they were female and educated, you see) so, as much as possible, they were marginalized, even killed. With them went the only real knowledge of how women’s bodies worked. If this fear and loathing of powerful women sounds familiar, you’ve probably watched Fox News recently.

One reason conservative men are okay with rape: As far back as the second century it was believed that a woman’s “seed” was necessary for reproduction, and that if a woman did not achieve an orgasm during sexual intercourse, there could be no “seed” produced and, hence, no pregnancy. While this had some clear advantages for women, it is demonstrably untrue and it has left a lingering belief that pregnancy cannot result from rape. This idea was put forward most recently by Todd Akin. You knew it was backward, but probably not that it was that backward!

From woman-centered to male-centered, just the way they like it: Most ancient societies were matrilineal, passing titles and properties down through the female line. Because the role of the male was not understood then, there was no other way to be certain of who you were related to save through one’s mother. In those days, women instigated relationships, married who they liked and divorced them at will. They decided when to have another child, holding it off by nursing one child for up to several years. Once men discovered that they had a hand (so to speak) in procreation, they began to flip how society worked. In patriarchal societies, women are treated as lesser beings, their female functions – what made them women – were demonized and vilified. Just ask Rush Limbaugh.

Men became more important to the fetus: Men, it was now taught, gave the child its soul with his seed. Women were nothing more than the fertile field in which he sowed it. To this end, women were considered the gatekeepers of “morality,” and it fell to them to keep suitors at bay. Rather than making men responsible for exercising self-control, women were expected to be modest and never lead a man on. That her very presence was considered to be a seduction was her problem. We see this attitude, still, in the rape-friendly atmosphere that is so prevalent in our country. Blame the victim is still, sadly, the default setting for most conservative men like Bill O’Reilly.

Women must feel an emotional connection to enjoy sex: There is a persistent myth that women – but not men – must be in an emotionally fulfilling relationship in order to enjoy sex. Even though this has been scientifically disproved with regularity, this idea that women and men are inherently different in regards to sex and love refuses to die. Part of this myth is that women are “naturally monogamous.” One has only to look back to those ancient societies to see that this is false. But conservative men want it to be true so they cling to and keep repeating the myth, maybe hoping that if they say it enough it will suddenly be true. The idea here, is to discourage women from enjoying casual sex while freeing men to stick it wherever they want, whenever they want.

Ignorance of the female body was the norm: Until the 18th century, the process of pregnancy, including conception and childbirth, was surrounded with some pretty stupid ideas when seen through today’s lens. First of all, women were seen as inferior: in every aspect, men were naturally better. Women were “cold” whereas men were “warm,” which was viewed as the better way to be. Women were considered to be so cold that they could not extrude a penis, which would instead inverse itself to become a vagina.

Understanding of the uterus was next to nil: The uterus was believed to wander around the body, becoming quite vexed if it were not used for its proper purpose which was, of course, childbearing (but not sexual pleasure, NEVER that). It was even thought to have two (or more) chambers: cold ones where females gestated and warm ones where the males grew. Conception was known to arise from intercourse, but the mechanics of it were unknown for a relatively long time. The man’s seed, as previously mentioned, was what gave a child its soul. But it was on the woman to grow the child – if she miscarried or the child was stillborn, it was never even considered that the man might be to blame. As the Rh factor was unknown until the 20th century, there are hundreds of generations of women who were falsely blamed for these occurrences. In some circles, they still are. After all, a man that can’t conceive isn’t a “man” in our society. To be fair, this isn’t strictly a left/right problem but the right is more concerned with “manliness.”

Do modern conservative men believe in magic?: As we learned earlier, it was believed that men gave the fetus its soul with his semen, which brings up an interesting theory about the conservative antipathy towards abortion. Ancient men thought that anything that had been a part of him could be used to practice dark magic against him. Hair, fingernails, spittle, urine and, yes, semen, were considered to have a psychic link to their owners. Sympathetic magic used these personal items to cause harm to the owner. The current underlying fear of abortion may very well be a vestige of this primitive belief. It also has the delightful bonus feature of painting women as predatory, even on a subconscious level.

During the Dark Ages, and ever since then, women were considered property: They were defined by their relationships to men (flipping the ancient matrilineal code on its head). Their father, husband or even brother could make demands of her and she was bound to obey. Most marriages were arranged, even in the lower classes. A wife had no separate legal status apart from her being married to her husband. Women, with few exceptions, could not participate in public life, politics or the justice system (unless she was the accused). A woman was pretty much expected to stay at home, keep house and have kids. Especially the latter, as the interpretation of Genesis 3:16 (and other parts of that book) was that women were compelled to have as many children as they could, even at the cost of her or the children’s welfare. This is still the way some men feel.

Misogyny was taught by the Church: The Church was, in fact, the source of most of the misogyny that went on until very recently – unless you’re a certain kind of conservative man, then it’s still going on. Priests told women that they should be under their husband’s foot, acquiescing to him in all matters. She could not initiate sex but she could never deny it to her husband. She could never accuse her husband of rape even if he used violence and forced her to have sex. It was believed that, because of the frequent physical abuse, a woman could never really love her husband. In a way, women were sex slaves, no matter who they were or their social status. Young, single girls and widows were the only women who were exempt from this subjugation. For most women, though, her body was not her own.

Women’s children didn’t belong to them: They were even told that their children were God’s and not really hers. Is it any wonder, then, that unwanted babies were left by the thousands at Church-run hospitals and foundling homes? And what do you think they did with those babies? They killed them. The death rates at foundling homes were as high as 90%. But that was okay – as long as it was men who were making that decision. It is still this way with conservatives. They may not be doing the deed with their own hands, but they are certainly doing it with their policies.

Women should suffer: The Church also taught that women sinned more than men, so her suffering was deserved. She should be unhappy and bring forth children in pain. The latter was one reason Victorian and Edwardian doctors refused to give women ether or chloroform when they became available: God said that women should suffer, so no remedy for her pain was offered. Today’s conservative men heap humiliation on the pain, forcing women to have unnecessary procedures and treating them like children who must have their decisions made for them. That’s actually how women used to be classified for legal purposes: right there with minors and idiots. And that’s how certain men still see women.


When John Adams was working with the Continental Congress on plans to govern the new nation they had created, his wife, Abigail, wrote to him:

“…remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.”

While her husband may have considered her words, his colleagues did not. It wasn’t until 1920 that American woman were allowed to have that voice. After that, women began to make headway against the archaic and misogynistic laws and attitudes that kept us under the thumb of our opposite gender. Many men help us with our struggle. But there are some men, most of them conservative and Republican, who still think like their ancestors did. They would love it if they could go back to controlling women: their lives, their status, their bodies. Which means we have to fight harder and remain vigilant. Returning to the Dark Ages is a terribly bad idea.

By: T. Steelman | Addicting Information |

UPDATE: It appears that some question my research and sources. In that this is a subject which I have studied for many years and my sources are valid, I stand behind it. Anyone who wishes to refute this material is free to do so but I expect the same level of sourcing and research. Simply relying on the Bible as a source is unacceptable. I look forward to any legitimate rebuttals. Thank you.

Arielle S (313)
Friday October 18, 2013, 11:59 am
Ha - obviously, there were a few Bible quoters giving objection. This is sad stuff but totally believable, especially with all the nonsense coming out of GOP mouths lately. Good thing we didn't live in those Dark Ages - these are hard enough. Thanks, Kit.

. (0)
Friday October 18, 2013, 12:42 pm
When John Adams was working with the Continental Congress on plans to govern the new nation they had created, his wife, Abigail, wrote to him:

“…remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.”

Angelika R (143)
Friday October 18, 2013, 3:04 pm
Excellent article, explaining a few of nowadays' peculiar dealings and remarks by those yesterday's men.Thx Kit.

Past Member (0)
Friday October 18, 2013, 3:18 pm
Good reading Thanks

JL A (281)
Friday October 18, 2013, 3:52 pm
Definitively illuminating

Virgene L (52)
Friday October 18, 2013, 5:15 pm
Well, it's obvious that some (if not most) of these conservative men definitely have Dark Ages beliefs. Thanks for the history. Maybe in their next life they will be born as Muslim women!

Trina Hawkins (24)
Friday October 18, 2013, 5:26 pm
Noted ! Yes,even though we are in 2013, some men still think they are Lord and Master ! I raised my 3 sons to Respect All Females ! They had a mom and a sister,and Dad wouldn't tolerate any Disrespect from the boys,and neither would I ! Times have Changed ,for the Better ! Equality for All ! And the Light SHINES ! :) Thanks !

Karin Abraham (27)
Friday October 18, 2013, 8:51 pm
Very illuminating! I knew about some of this but I just learned a whole lot more of this nonsense. I was raised in the Roman Catholic religion and do recognize many of the mentioned beliefs. After my first divorce, followed by an illness that resulted in a total hysterectomy when I was 24 and then my father committing suicide (horrors according to the church), I did talk to a priest about my getting remarried soon. I also happened to mention that I was no longer able to have children. He told me I had absolutely NO reason to do so because there was absolutely no reason for me to have sex again. I looked at him and said, "You mean to tell me that I, at 26 years of age, according to you, can never have sex again for as long as I may live?" His reply was an astonished "Yes!" I glared at him, stood up and said: "Father, you can go to hell!" and I walked out of his office, out of the church and except once since, have never been back to a Catholic church. Now, 41 years later, I still very much believe in a Higher Power but I am a Metaphysician and see Spirituality within me and all around me. I do NOT miss the church I was devoted to for the first 18 years of my life.

Candy L (473)
Friday October 18, 2013, 8:52 pm
What to Know More: Read The Book "When God Was A Women", by Merlin Stone Changed my life!

Terrie Williams (798)
Friday October 18, 2013, 9:55 pm
Now y'all understand why sane people, especially women, down here in the South call them 'Throwbacks'. They have never left the Dark Ages and yearn for their return.

ewoud k (68)
Saturday October 19, 2013, 3:33 am
Speaking of ridiculous & outdated: the first "recommended article" cited just below this text isn't bad either:

And as a bonus it proposes a solution concerning the overpopulation of american prisons....

Thanks Kit!

Lindsay K (6)
Saturday October 19, 2013, 4:17 am
This article does explain some of the daft things that have been said recently! Unbelievable that people should still believe them - particularly about rape and conception!

pam w (139)
Saturday October 19, 2013, 8:23 am
Having trouble typing uterus has wandered into my elbow and, understand.

Reading this makes me wonder if some men's BRAINS wander around in their bodies....say....maybe they're SITTING on them?


Gene J (290)
Saturday October 19, 2013, 10:16 am
" But all of that knowledge vanished with the advent of organized Christianity, as the campaign of keeping knowledge from the people got into full swing. Keeping the masses ignorant was how the Church controlled them."

And THIS is why I have long believed that religion, Christianity first, but now including Islam, is the root of all evil. That the greatest harm ever done to humanity was the invention of religion. Marx was right, it is the opiate of the masses. It relieves one from having to think for oneself. It is much easier to believe all one need do is give some money to a religious body and let another speak to their Creator for them. As if any parent worth her salt would refuse to speak to most of her children deigning only to speak to a few. Most people are like sheep when it comes to religion, even today. It is much easier to let someone else think for you than to consider the world around you and come to your own conclusions, accepting personal responsibility for them, about what is and is not right, or wrong, moral or not. Religion is and always has been used to keep the populace docile and compliant. We have, as a group, never done anything worse to each other, than to allow this idiocy to exist, let alone control our lives against all reason. It is time humanity had a monster sized wake up call. I think one is coming. I hope I live to see it.

Kit B (276)
Saturday October 19, 2013, 10:41 am

Hysterectomy - A way to remove the hysteria from a woman.

Angelika R (143)
Saturday October 19, 2013, 10:47 am
You just can't beat Pam's comment! :)

Barbara V (51)
Saturday October 19, 2013, 2:33 pm
If the Tea partiers and Right Wing had their way, all these Medieval customs would still be going strong. These people are not only fools, they are dangerous fools. They are so obviously anti-woman, it's pathetic. Women are is definitely a threat to them. They want to keep us in the Dark Ages and things functioning like they did then. The church still tries to maintain its hold on women. Yet evil abounds everywhere. It's time that women fought all this ridiculousness--all of which is alive and well.. Another tragedy is the fact that even the law is against women who have been raped. The rapist is practically a hero. But you see, in a sick society such as this, all this garbage is to be expected. The lawmakers and many men are extremely sick with the emotional plague and don't even know it.

Barbara V (51)
Saturday October 19, 2013, 2:41 pm
By the way, the Tea Partiers and Right Wing who demand that a woman go through with childbirth even if raped by a rapist or a family memberare insane. I repeat: INSANE. They hold on so tightly to their Puritan and/or Medieval ideals that they have lost the power of healthy reasoning. Abortion has become this great big political issue all of a sudden, and I'm really sick of hearing it. The world is full of miserable children who shouldn't have been born because they're not wanted, and no one has the right to push their screwed-up beliefs onto others.

Birgit W (160)
Saturday October 19, 2013, 3:35 pm
Control and brainwashing of the masses has not changed much over the years unfortunately.

S J (130)
Saturday October 19, 2013, 3:35 pm
And they also believe that intelligent women are witch and that they have to burn all clever women. The men (who also have power with them) feel they are so much threatened, aren't they? No wonder they have to do everything, including those of dirty and stupid games. I am scared for all of you here! Please take good care of yourselves. I am off, OK?

Thank you very much, Kit for all of your very enlightened article.

Lois Jordan (63)
Saturday October 19, 2013, 4:11 pm
Noted. Thanks, Kit, that article made a lot of sense to me. And Pam's comment just cracked me up! They are absolutely sitting on their brains much of the time. Misogyny in today's Catholic church was the final straw that broke the camel's back for me, and was why I finally quit decades ago. But, it seems it only empowered other religious fanatics to push misogyny throughout politics.....especially this past decade. And, the number of women who've joined with these men just has my head spinning. I've always known of their existence.

There have been a couple who wrote books and were high profile in the media for awhile. Apparently, they had a following that was fostered and allowed to grow, nourished by the rightwing. But, I've wondered how women like Michele Bachmann, who like to play the "2nd class citizen" to garner more supporters, can come to terms with the fact that she's a working politics, no less...which is the antithesis of their platform.
This "Old Boys Club" needs to be shut down. Their time is over. They've made the world a battlefield, supporting the War Industry, profiting off sending other people to war. Their insistence on fracking, mining, drilling, destroying, poisoning, cheating, stealing.....because they believe "those who die with the most toys win"--- needs to shatter into a million pieces. We need a worldwide Green economy of peace. Science & technology need to be pushed for the betterment of humanity, not for the creation of new weapons. I believe because women give birth, only we really can feel that urge to protect and survive. Yes, there are many males who understand peace.....I've raised my own to respect women and "think things through calmly" rather than ever resort to violence of any kind. But, those who are in power just want to keep the status quo. I'm in for the long haul in this fight for peace and the empowerment of women. We just have to keep at it in every way we can.

Winnie A (179)
Saturday October 19, 2013, 5:48 pm
The conservatives need to get a life, use their brains and come into the 21st century. A mind is a terrible thing to waste and the conservatives could give PHd classes on it.

Joanne D (38)
Saturday October 19, 2013, 7:52 pm
I love Pam's comment, but she left out that men's brains way too often migrate into their little heads (as opposed to their big heads).

Helen P (39)
Sunday October 20, 2013, 1:15 am
Yep, sounds like my slaveries.

My first marriage was when I was 16. My aunt's husband who told me he could not get me pregnant....well.
They decided I would have to marry him. He was 50 and my aunt's husband. I was not consulted. I was told. I remember in the Justice of Peace Office choking on the words I do.

Then followed a pimp.

Then followed a gambler who owned me.

But, today, I'm free. I'm happy and I'm free.

My daughter is married to a wonderful man who honors her. One time, they were playing and he accidentally hit her too hard. He spent the entire week scared she was going to leave him My
daughter is no fool. She agreed to remain with him. He learned his lesson well. Michelle respects
him but she also makes sure he knows he had better respect her. They're very happy together.
She's smart enough to keep it that way.

Women who have been abused and escape somehow, tend to get into another
abusive relationship. They need to be very careful and possibly even get
counseling or join Co-Dependents anonymous.

Otherwise, they're likely to get into the same slavery again. Self confidence needs to be restored. They
need to get a voice and learn to use it. They need to learn to walk free.

Craig Pittman (52)
Sunday October 20, 2013, 5:48 am
Perhaps the only way to change this outrageous thinking is to haul these clowns off to a vet to be neutered.

Chrissie H (23)
Sunday October 20, 2013, 10:01 am
Sad to think that the cavemen mentality is still alive and kicking in some quarters. Noted.

M B (62)
Sunday October 20, 2013, 10:22 am
America's married women are called by the name of their husbands, like "Mrs. Edward Jones", etc., in Belgium women keep their surnames. Children get their father's surname.

Kathleen R (138)
Sunday October 20, 2013, 1:29 pm
Thanks for this article.

Rose Becke (141)
Sunday October 20, 2013, 5:44 pm
I like Craig s comment

Bette-Ann Libin (11)
Sunday October 20, 2013, 6:27 pm
Better not share what I really want to say here....

Women hold up half the sky~

Love them, care for them, nurture and nourish them for they are Goddesses. Each and every woman on this planet plays by shocking and often diametrically opposed set of rules, boundaries, limitations and consequences than the men who impose the rules....

It's all about power and fear, plain and simple. How unbecoming a man who denies women THEIR right to a full, prosperous and loving existence under what ever guise he imposes. My thought is, If a man does not believe in your dreams as much as he does his flag, run and don't stop until you find your strength....

Sheila D (194)
Sunday October 20, 2013, 11:09 pm
A moving uterus...I've dated a few guys who didn't know where to put it I know why!
Again, have to say this would be funny if only so many men, and women, didn't believe all this garbage.

Twyla Sparks (208)
Monday October 21, 2013, 9:48 am
Thank. You. Noted

Virgene L (52)
Monday October 21, 2013, 2:55 pm
No rebuttals from me--but Christianity has nothing to do with this. In the Bible, Jesus is quoted as saying "husbands love your wives as yourselves". He had many women who were friends where he preached, on one occasion raising his friend Lazarus from the dead at the bequest of Lazarus' two sisters. The problem is with some men's unhealthy interpretation of what they "think" is in the Bible.

Ben B (20)
Tuesday October 22, 2013, 2:28 am
Misogyny, whatever the source, is nonsensical. How can anyone hate half of humanity?

In Jewish culture women are celebrated, there are many stories of strong and independent women in the Tanakh, e.g. Sarah, Ester, Deborah. It's just that ignorant men misinterpret, misrepresent and mis-apply what they mis-read or manipulate from the Bible or any other source that they can find to justify bad behaviour and oppress women.

It would be funny if it weren't true.

Irene S (69)
Tuesday October 22, 2013, 3:42 pm
I sometimes woner, WHAT conservatives want to conserve. Now I got the answer!

Giana Peranio-paz (398)
Tuesday November 5, 2013, 12:46 am
Very interesting article that the conservative republicans will most probably not read, because it's much better to be ignorant and not have to deal with reality...
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