Humanity as a whole has struggled with the issue of gender equity in the modern era. Combined with the teachings of the majority of the holy scriptures of today’s major religions, progress is slow in coming. Of course, there are nations classed as non-religious or secular nations where women are also viewed as second class citizens. However, I should point out that it is not their lack of religious beliefs driving this belief but more the views and traditions of that particular culture.
Similarly, theism itself does not classes women as second class citizens but the beliefs of specific theist religions. In fact, one can be a theist and believe in gender equity just as one can be an atheist and believe the opposite.
A core value of this blog is that we:
Afford the same access rights, privileges and power to both genders
This is in sharp contrast to the beliefs of many of the world’s major religions. Here are a few verses from the Christian Holy Scriptures on their view of women:
Genesis 3:16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
Ephesians 5:22-24 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
1 Peter 3:1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
1 Corinthians 11:3 Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
1 Corinthians 14:34-35 Let women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.
Here’s a verse from the Qur’an:
4:34 Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.
These views are in sharp contrast to our core values. John Stuart Mill, generally taken to be an atheist or agnostic per the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, wrote these profound words in his essay “The Subjection of Women” (1869):
“The principle which regulates the existing social relations between the two sexes – the legal subordination of one sex to the other – is wrong in itself, and now one of the chief hindrances to human improvement; and that it ought to be replaced by a principle of perfect equality, admitting no power or priviledge on the one side, or disability on the other.”
– The de-Convert