With the exception of Sikhism and Islam, all the other major religions have denied women their basic human rights or they have perceived women as less in worth than men. In Islam, women are granted equal rights as men (equal with separate roles), and achieved positions of status as far back as the 7th century. In Sikhism, woman can lead armies into battle. Then we look at religions such as Christianity, where in the 6th century the Council of Macon decided that women have a soul by one vote. In Buddhism, nuns who have resided in a monastery for over 30 years are still subservient to a monk who has only been in the monastery one day. Is this the result of patriarchal societies, or is it something deeper?
asked 24 Apr '10, 19:48
Perhaps it's not the religions themselves, but the way people practice those religions that is called into doubt.
Christianity (as it is described in the Bible, especially in the book of Proverbs and in the New Testament in general) is a fairly pure idea, and few doubt the veracity of its basic principles. It is in the execution of those fundamental principles that the waters become muddy.
As a simple example, consider the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill." Pretty simple, isn't it? If it was followed absolutely, there would be no murders and no wars. People would simply have to find other ways of solving their problems.
Or the commandment, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." Which means do not lie. It doesn't say, "Do not lie, except when it will hurt someone's feelings." It doesn't say, "Do not lie, except when the truth is inconvenient." It simply says, "Do not lie." Period. Yet we go through all sorts of mental gyrations and justifications so that we can continue to offer the people around us something other than the truth.
As to why there is a specific bias towards men, I would say that it is in the psychological nature of men to conquer things. Evolution has made men the hunters. Men are equipped with specific physical skills and eyesight acuity that help them spear and overpower game. They have specific features of eyesight and eye-hand coordination that allow them to hit animals with spears. It is why they are more prominent in sports that involve throwing or kicking a ball. This predisposition towards hunting extends to things like starting a business, setting goals and hitting targets, and overpowering competitors.
Women, in contrast, have evolved to see a broader picture, to nurture the family unit and to provide security and stability for the household. They are much better at establishing relationships and building alliances, and have a keen understanding of the way people's minds work.
The strongest and most stable of societies see equal value in both perspectives.
Great question, MoonDragon and here's my take on things.
I have my own opinions about religion that most people might find offensive and that's fine. I was "into" all of that at one point in my life, but I just decided to start questioning things and religion has a very big question mark besides it.
Why is that? Because it's not natural. I believe that we are the co-creators of everything in existence with an unconditional love called All That Is, which doesn't judge us for our imperfections and choices.
It's not a guy floating in the cloud feeling jealous or angry at us. Why would he do that? Why would a being that is all love demand us to kill each other just to prove our love for him? It's just doesn't make any sense to me so right now I'm not against any kind of religion; I'm just not a big supporter.
But getting back to the question. Sure I could write about that men are the dominant ones, that it's all in our psychology, our need to be right (that's why we don't ask for directions when we get lost) and so on, but I feel you will here those answers anyway at some point in time. So I want to give you something else, something that made sense to me a while back.
I was listening to an audio book called "Conversations with God", where the guy claims to have a dialogue directly with God. He just writes answers to the questions he asks from a deeper perspective. It's a very beautiful and inspiring peace and you can listen to it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekFar7i6n4c
This is the book 1 of 3 books that have the same title, so I don't know in which part the information I will be giving you comes from or how accurate it is. I'm just remembering it the best way I could.
So there are things being said here about many different things - spirituality,living in the Now, relationships and so on, including religion. So here's what this book has to say about that.
It says that thousands and thousands years ago ONLY women were priests and sacred beings. They in fact were the ones that were "running" the society as we know it. You can say that men were like a "work force" for them; they used them mainly to work and procreate.
It was like this because the Nature of the Universe is feminine. What that means is that feminine is movement, constant change, and masculine is stillness, quietness, support.
So as men were supporters for thousands of years they grew tired of it. They wanted to change things, they wanted to be "on top". So one of those guys started spreading a "rumor" about how God is in fact a men and that only men could communicate properly with him.
It was of course a process which took hundreds of years to convince women that it was so, but finally all of them were convinced and the roles have switched dramatically from that point forward.
So now men have "the power" to talk to God and they don't want to give it away. Why? Because they knew how it ended the last time. They subconsciously know that women have maybe not stronger, but a different connection to God, All That Is, Infinite or whatever you want to call it, so giving them the opportunity to exercise those feelings would jeopardize what they were fighting all along for all those years - power.
And I don't have to tell anyone about "power" in today's world, how addictive it is.
Anyway you might find more about this in this book which I highly recommend.
Oh, and for all the guys that will be commenting that "it couldn't happen that way", let me tell you, don't kill the messenger :)
answered 25 Apr '10, 06:52
The bible is a symbolic story, yet many choose to believe it literally. Literal interpretations do not see all as equal; it may go back to the story of Genesis and what is believed to have happened, or the lesson to be learnt.
answered 26 Apr '10, 23:50
If you are seeing this message then the Inward Quest system has noticed that your web browser is behaving in an unusual way and is now blocking your active participation in this site for security reasons. As a result, among other things, you may find that you are unable to answer any questions or leave any comments. Unusual browser behavior is often caused by add-ons (ad-blocking, privacy etc) that interfere with the operation of our website. If you have installed these kinds of add-ons, we suggest you disable them for this website