Harming Half Harms the Whole

Woman silencedThe National Review Online posted this suggesting a repeal of the 19th Amendment.

The 19th Amendment prohibits any United States citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex.  This is the 21st century and yet there are some who have yet to evolve beyond the Iron age.  This is not an isolated incident.  There’s more.  Thankfully, many men are in touch with their humanity and see the bigger picture.

I was reading through WordPress blogs today and I stumbled upon a posting titled “One Flaw in Women“.  I honestly didn’t expect it to be so positive but what struck me was the last line:


How quickly people forget history.   With the ongoing battle to cast off the shackles of oppression, is it any wonder why some can sometimes “forget their worth’?   Tertullian, an early church father who played a primary theological role in Western Christianity wrote:

Tertullian - the Dark Bible“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.”

Martin Luther (1483-1546) wrote:

“Women should stay at home, keep house and bear children. If a woman dies from childbearing, let her die. That is all she is here for.”

John Knox (1513-72) wrote:

“Woman was made for only one reason, to serve and obey man.”

John Wesley (1703-91) wrote:

“Wife: Be content to be insignificant. What loss would it be to God or man had you never been born.”

Miguel A. De La Torre (today) writes:

“Why would a smart, gifted woman be attracted to a Christianity defined by men attempting to preserve and justify their patriarchal authority?”

In Psychology Today, “Why Men Oppress Women“, Steve Taylor writes:

“What sane species would treat half of its members — and the very half which gives birth to the whole species — with such contempt and injustice?”

Below are excerpts from a paper published by James W. Prescott, Ph.D.

Violence Against Women:
Philosophical and Religious Foundations of Gender Morality

The reasons that civilization is failing is because we have failed the children of the world and this failure includes all the major religions of the world. An analysis of the roots of this failure has lead to the discovery of its most significant root: the failure to address the unique role of Woman and of Woman as Mother in world societies. The condition of children in the world is clearly inseparable from the condition of woman in the world. And so we must first examine and understand the condition of children in the world and of civilization itself.

It is from dualistic moral philosophy and theistic doctrines that woman is formally declared by fiat as being unequal, inferior and subordinate to man including her moral inferiority to man. Even the enlightened Aristotle had his flights of irrationality when he affirmed the inherent inferiority of woman to man and the justification of human slavery:

“Also, as regards male and female, the former is superior, the latter is inferior, the male is ruler, the female is subject” (Politics Bk. 1, Ch. 4)


“He is by nature a slave who is capable of belonging to another.” (Politics, Bk. 1, Ch. 4.)

And Pythagoras gave explicit moral characteristics to gender. “There is a good principle which has created order, light and man; and a bad principle which has created chaos, darkness and woman.” {Quoted in Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (1953)}. The moral philosophy of gender morality is reinforced in the theistic theologies of gender morality. For example:

“Woman is the origin of sin, and it is through her that we all die.” (Ecclesiasticus 25:24)

This view of woman as the embodiment of sin and wickedness is also reinforced in:

“As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten.” (St. Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica)

The dualistic philosophy and theistic theology of gender morality, has had and continues to have devastating consequences for woman and her children. As death of the body is necessary in some  religions for salvation, re. the Crucifixion, so too is the death  of woman (and her body) necessary for the death of sin and wickedness.

For example:  “…I took this woman (in marriage) and slept with her and did not find proof of virginity in her’, then the girl’s father and mother shall take the proof of her virginity to the elders of the town, at the town gate…if, on the other hand, the accusation is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity is found, then they shall bring her out to the door of her father’s house and the men of her town shall stone her to death…She has committed an outrage in Israel by playing the prostitute in her father’s house; you shall rid yourselves of this wickedness.”  (Deuteronomy 22:14-21)

Should it be noted that no man has been stoned to death because he failed to be a “virgin” on his wedding bed?

In this theology of sin, death and salvation, woman also dies another death. In “The Gospel According to Thomas” (Log 114:21-24), the following words are ascribed to Jesus Christ:

“See, I shall lead her, so that I will make her male, that she too may become a living spirit, resembling you males. For every woman who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven.”

The death of Woman qua Woman is now complete. Was this borrowed from Pythagoras?

It is emphasized that there is not a single major religion of the world which has affirmed the full equality (moral, social and political) of woman with man and that this “existential reality” reaches back to the darkest ages of antiquity. And we have yet to progress from those dark ages. Why? And what are the consequences that this arbitrary “Gender Morality” has upon the children of woman?

The moral tradition that human life begins in sin and with sinful woman: “Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalms 51:5) not only characterizes woman as the “prima genitor” of evil but it also burdens the innocent newborn with “original sin” which brings violence upon the child for the sin and evil that is within him/her: “Withhold not correction from a child; for if thou strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell (Proverbs, 23:13-14).

The “body as evil” ethic is again portrayed in Romans 8: 13, “If you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the spirit you put to death the evil deeds of the body, you will live.” This war against the “evil body” and the death of the body for the sake of the “soul-spirit” and given its tragic Pythagorean gender equation has made woman and her children its primary victims of violence.

Religious doctrines that equate woman with evil and man with goodness established the inherent inequality of woman with man and provides the moral basis for her subordination to man. This gender inequality is affirmed again and again in various ways in both the Old and New Testaments. As early as Genesis 3:16, we witness the following:

“To the woman he said: ‘I will intensify the pangs of your childbearing, in pain shall you bring forth children. Yet your urge shall be for your husband, and he shall be your master”;

and “for man did not originally spring from woman, but woman was made out of man; and man was not created for woman’s sake, but woman for the sake of man.” 1 Corinthians 11:8-9

The virtual human universality of these moral traditions which have preordained the fundamental inequality of woman and man – of female and male – of body and spirit – must represent the single greatest flaw in the histories of human religious morality and thus, must command the universal indictment of the world’s religious which espouse these human inequalities. This inexplicable philosophical/religious moral disorder of male-female inequality has brought violence upon woman, her body, her children and the body politic of all humanity.

It is for these reasons that not one major religion of the world has been successful in the moral education of its members to avoid violence against the body of woman and of her children.

Until woman is affirmed as fully equal to man; has complete and autonomous control over her own body, particularly her sexual body, it will not be possible for woman to become mothers by choice and to give birth to only wanted children who are nurtured and loved – the foundation for a peaceful, harmonious and egalitarian humanity.

via  http://www.violence.de/prescott/women/article.html

A heartfelt thank you to every man who supports a woman’s right to be fully human. ♥






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23 thoughts on “Harming Half Harms the Whole

  1. Untill I read it from the link, it was unbelievable that any one could propose repeal of Constitutional Amendments which make USA what it is. But it appears that Michael Walsh appears to be person who has not read beyond the history of American Civil War. I am sure he will catch up in few more decades. In fact he gave an opinion which contains no reasoning at all not even a single reason. Reading his Blog, I think we should re consider putting some rider on free speech of people who give opinion without any reasoning. I generally do not react to any buffon opinion. They must be left alone with their delusions.

  2. Hi Sandeep. Thanks for your comment. You said: “I generally do not react to any buffon opinion. They must be left alone with their delusions.”

    Here in America, we can’t afford to leave people alone in their delusions, because those delusions negatively impact the masses, but especially women and their families.

    In 2011 and 2012 there was an unprecedented rise in the passage of provisions related to women’s health and reproductive rights. In 2011, right wing extremists, in State legislatures across the United States, introduced approximately 1100 provisions. Those that are doing this are religious zealots who want to legislate via their own interpretation of a 2000 year old religion.

  3. Excellent post. I’m glad that most of those horrid quotes were from men hundreds of years ago. I am not affiliated with any religion, nor am I am expert on any of them. However one major religion, the Bahai Faith holds men and women equal. As a matter of fact, their prophet said that if, due to resource availability, a choice had to be made, females should be educated before males, since they were the first teachers of the children. Of course, they also don’t let women in their “house of justice”, so how equal do they really hold them?

    And I’m not sure that Buddha ever said males were superior to females. I think he said they were equal. I know he gave them full religious freedom and allowed them to join the holy orders.

    There have been several times in my life where I have just been absolutely disgusted by men and wonder why we have put up with their behavior for so long. They kill us and our daughters, rape us, torture us, abuse us, enslave us, demean us. The reason I finally vowed to stop watching TV was because I couldn’t stand to hear the stories any more. What have we ever done to them to deserve such treatment? The only common, undisputable thing we have done is give birth to them.

    On the other hand, of course, most of them ARE caring and compassionate toward us, at least in the civilized countries. My heart weeps for our sisters in the UNcivilized countries where they are routinely treated with abuse.

    • Carrie, thanks so much for your thoughtful and astute response. Unfortunately, the attitudes that many males have towards females are culturally induced, not innate. No male child is born with disdain towards his mother, the giver of life, nurture, and nourishment. It’s learned behavior as they become indoctrinated by their culture.

      In her article “Relying On Human Goodness”, Margaret Wheatly wrote:

      “Oppression never occurs between equals. Tyranny always arises from the belief that some people are more human than others.”

      In his study “Female Objects of Semantic Dehumanization and Violence”, William Brennan, Ph.D., wrote:

      “Although not all violence perpetrated against women can be attributed solely to a patriarchal mentality, the ideology of male supremacy is so deeply ingrained in many societies and cultures that it cannot help but have a profound impact on how men view and therefore treat women.”

      Thankfully, there are many men who have not bought into this inhumane ideology, but women still have a ways to go, globally, before they are valued as equally as men.

  4. Thank you for writing this! I know from experience Women forget their worth so often. I see it in my mother, in my sisters, in my friends, and definitely in myself. Thank you for writing about this problem so clearly.

  5. Another fine posting! As always a treasure trove of useful information, very troubling for those of us who are men and feel that taint of power and even misogyny in our hearts from time to time though we are not subscribing to it. This vein of thought you are immersed in is very powerful and very relevant and you are doing a great job in articulating it. And your posts are always a dossier of useful references and links. I’m saving ’em all!

  6. What do you think of all the misogyny in the ranks of atheists such as Hitchens, Dawkins, and Maher? I can’t stand those guys for their horrible words about women, lesbians, muslim ladies and hate fucking conservative women! Half of the time I don’t know if I’m hearing the words of modern free thinkers or quotes from the Torah. My husband thinks I should do a post on this. I’m too chicken. I used to think that the ultra religious were hate mongers, but I think guys like that make Pat Robertson look like Mister Rogers.

    (I’m sorry to drop a F-bomb on you. I didn’t want to censor what was actually said about women.)

    All of this makes me want to not even use the atheist title at times. That’s probably why I am so thorough in telling other non-believers my story of becoming one by default, due strictly to no longer believing in God.

    I think true, genuine humility, a listening ear, and some respect would do us all some good. I just hate seeing everything turned into a boy’s game. This is NOT the world I am training my boys for at all!

  7. I wasn’t aware that Hitchens and Dawkins were misogynistic. If you have any sources you can cite I’d appreciate it, or do that post your husband suggested. It would serve to encourage discourse. As Dr. William Brennan wrote, the belief of male superiority is ingrained / indoctrinated in most of society. Upper body strength does not equate to superiority, much less intelligence, but it has been used to justify this superiority complex.

    Interesting enough, neurological studies show that without the love and nurture from a primary caregiver, usually the mother, humans would have smaller brains, less neural connections / gray matter.

    Positive experiences early in life attributes greatly to the well being of our species. Misogyny and male superiority complexes have historically created hostile conditions for mothers and children, which has hindered the evolution of our species.

    Btw, never apologize to me for dropping the f-bomb. 😉

    • Hi,

      I don’t know when, but it looks like I need to do that post after all. I will be taking a week or so off for my family beginning tomorrow. I also think that the break from all things religious and atheistic would do my head some good.

      When I write the article I will try to cite as many sources as possible, especially straight from the “horse’s mouth” when I can. I’m sure that you of all people can understand my hesitation in following any leader.

      Until that time enjoy your summer.

      • Hi Charity, I completely understand why you need to take a break from “all things religious”, which is why I delayed responding to your post.

        No need to respond. I hope you are enjoying your needed break, and enjoying your summer as well. Thank goodness for air conditioning. 😀


      • Hi Charity,

        I’m interested in this future post of yours, too.

        Can you post a link to your blog here? For some reason there’s no link on your name here for me to click to get to it (on the android WP app, at least). Thanks.

        • Hi ratamacue0,

          I’m sorry that I didn’t see your comment until now. I completely took my blog down the beginning of this year. It was only up for half a year or so. At the time I realized that my energy was better spent on my marriage, health and my little boys. This was also right after my (Pentecostal) dad outed my non belief to my six younger sisters and their families at Christmas. And he was (is) convinced that I needed deliverance. Grant it, my blog was never as great as the blogs of other deconverts such as Victoria, Matt, Ruth or Nate. Now I pop up once in a while on said sites, as well as Debbie Mitchell’s blog on raising kids without religion and Makagutu’s (Noel’s with the koala gravatar).

          I’ve been an atheist for over two years and live in an area so red that it makes Texas look blue (western portion of Tennessee). I am trying to be kind and open minded to the best of my ability while being married and a stay at home mom. It’s not always easy being a non traditional person with the role that I have and at the location where I live. Still, I have a GREAT life. I don’t lie about who I am to the locals, but at the same time, I rarely discuss religion, politics and morality with anyone because my views are so different.

          I know this was lengthy, I hope it explained some things for you. Got to take advantage of down times when everyone else is a sleep.

          Take care and have a fantastic weekend!

          • Hi Charity,

            Thanks for the reply, and for sharing a little of your story. It’s nice that you’re able to still read and contribute some comments, even if you’re not as active in the blogosphere as you may have initially intended. I’m glad you were able to prioritize.

            No problem about the delay; I did get notified of your post, and I’ve been quite a bit worse about replying to people, even on my own blog lately…

            About your story, may I ask, is your husband a believer?

            About the post you plan to write regarding misogyny among the “new atheists”(?), if you don’t have your own blog anymore, where will you post it?

            • Hi ratamacue0,

              I will more than likely never write that paper, not any time soon any way. In all honesty, I’m having to play catch up right now. I’m sorry, I just can’t picture it happening at this time.

              Jim and I both deconverted in the spring of 2012. It has been quite difficult, but we’re pressing through. I feel as though there’s much more honesty in our marriage since we became atheists. That may sound strange to believers, but it’s true. We left Christianity a year before he retired from 20 years in the military. Our deconversion began two years prior to leaving our faith. We didn’t realize it at the time. In fact, we began further researching things that we had already known about US History, World History, our government and the military at that time, not realizing it would be the beginning of the end of our religious faith. We started to see how so much of it all is connected to religion. During this revelation we began going to Church even more and studied scriptures more than we had in a few years. We were striving to connect to God in a closer fashion in our realization of how evil people can be. Our dive into the Bible came up with treasures that were not so shiny or beautiful. We found more ugly truths and realized how we had been duped into an empty fairytale for many years. God was our rock, he was everything we based our lives upon, individually, and as a couple. We felt the foundations of our marriage shift, as you can imagine.

              Currently, we’re dealing with our let downs with ourselves and each other. We’re also made well aware, thanks to Victoria, of Jim’s short training time with explosives a few years back. You can follow the road map of our biggest marital issues and it’ll almost always take you back to that year.

              Life is short, I had very little to blog about in comparison with the time I needed to set aside for myself, my marriage and my little boys. So much was left unattended, if not, completely ruined during my Jesus decades. The mind, body and emotions need constant tending to as a result.

              Hope you have a great Fourth. I hope you find much peace and rest on your journey.


              • I will more than likely never write that paper, not any time soon any way… I’m sorry, I just can’t picture it happening at this time.

                Bummer, but thanks for your honesty. In the meantime, if you’re able to provide any pointers or sources or search terms, feel free.

                Jim and I both deconverted in the spring of 2012. It has been quite difficult, but we’re pressing through. I feel as though there’s much more honesty in our marriage since we became atheists… God was our rock, he was everything we based our lives upon, individually, and as a couple. We felt the foundations of our marriage shift, as you can imagine.

                Charity, thanks so much for sharing more of your story. I’m glad to hear you’re not “unequally yoked”, and that your marriage was able to weather the storm.

                I can understand the loss, at least to an extent. I’m single, so I have to imagine some parts.

                We’re also made well aware, thanks to Victoria, of Jim’s short training time with explosives a few years back. You can follow the road map of our biggest marital issues and it’ll almost always take you back to that year.

                I don’t understand the first sentence. Feel free to explain/elaborate if you want.

                Life is short, I had very little to blog about in comparison with the time I needed to set aside for myself, my marriage and my little boys. So much was left unattended, if not, completely ruined during my Jesus decades. The mind, body and emotions need constant tending to as a result.

                Completely understandable. Personally, I want to write some stuff about it, and then move on to other things. It probably won’t quite go like that, though. We’ll see.

                The “tending”…I know less about. I’m sure I could use some, but I wonder how much I’ll be able to figure out.

                Hope you have a great Fourth. I hope you find much peace and rest on your journey.

                Thanks. Back at ya. 😉

        • Hi there, ratamacue0,

          I wrote out a decent size reply here on my phone, but somehow lost it.

          I’m sorry, I took my blog down half a year ago. It was short lived and could never compare to Victoria’s, Ruth’s, Nate’s or Matt’s.

          I hope you’re doing well on your journey.

          Take care and have a great weekend,

  8. The first part of that Gospel of Thomas quote is something like “Peter said, Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life”. The interpretation I take away is that Mary shall not be submissive and downtrodden, but independent- like a man. It is a text of liberation, though expressed unfortunately.

    • That’s an interesting interpretation, Clare. In a culture that was male dominated, and where women were devalued, dehumanized, I can see how this would be viewed in a negative light.

      All scripture is up for interpretation, as we really weren’t in the minds of the writers, who ever they were, when they wrote these things. Could have also been copied wrong or embellished by scribes, which was so common. Who knows. That’s probably why there have been over 41,000 Christian denominations with their own interpretation of scripture. It’s just all confusing as hell, lol.

      Would have been nice for them to just be straight forward. Imagine that? 😀

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