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Maximiliano Herrera  -The Editor

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Rights, Women, Religion

I'd like to address the link between patriarchal religion and human rights, including those of women.
It is generally accepted that many societies were, some thousands of years ago, less mysogynistic than they often are today.
Looking at the western Mediterranean, including the Near East, you can see that before about 1000BCE there were female deities who often shared power with male deities.
In Greece the role of a supreme male god, Zeus, relegated female goddesses to subservience. This supreme male god idea also developed or was loaned to a developing religion in Canaan, where the local hill god was promoted to the supreme sole god. ( Note that Egypt had flirted with male monotheism earlier but the country had rebuffed it).
Judaism, Christianity and Islam all follow the Canaanite god and therein lies the skewing of society.
This god is male in all these religions. He is thus the pattern for humans who are created in HIS image. We see this with the story of the first man being created and women coming from that man's rib; a reversal of biology.
Men are the ideal and women are secondary. Of great importance is the elimination of women from the priesthood. Even today the Catholic , Muslim and Orthodox Jewish clergy are, by definition, male.
Men make the rules in these religions. They interpret religion for the people. This accounts for the inordinate interest in these religions on regulating the sexuality of women. Stress - and punishment - is placed on things such as female virginity , sexual fidelity, and divorce.
Men are made the legal head of the family and sexual modesty in dress reaches absurd levels. If the sight of a woman tempts a man to have sexual thoughts then the blame is placed on the woman(!). Even a raped woman is considered tainted , as though she somehow brought about the event. Beating of wives is institutionalized as just chastisement and correction.
Women become the property of father or husband.
Such societies have skewed the balance between women and men. Whatever restraint women might exert on behavior is lessened and the sight of male mobs, chanting hate, becomes common on the nightly news.
Since these are revealed religions which claim that their strictures came directly from the male god, they consider any other religion as being "a priori" , false.
In effect the 3 patriarchal faiths are like three selfish children, each arguing that daddy loves me best.
Where one holds sway, all other religions are penalized and oppressed. The myth of a golden age in Muslim Spain is proved false when we understand the dhimini system where all religions were equal but Islam was more equal than others.
Secular Western Europe shows the result of the fading of patriarchal religious influence. Where, 500 years ago religious armies slaughtered millions, there are now nations where women have near complete legal equality.
BTW, the Nazi regime was an example of a patriarchal religion and it's effects. The male god was Hitler and the role of women was diminished to such an extent that they were never even employed to full extent in the war industries.
The justification in Nazi Germany, as it is in patriarchal faiths, was to protect women. Women needed to be kept at home so they could concentrate on raising children and serving their husbands.
Sadly, there is a psychological weakness in women where they interpret the male desire to possess them and keep them away from other men is seen as "cherishing" them. "He loves me so much he wants to keep me all for himself."
The hareem of Islam, as it was in Classical Athens, appeals to many women. Secluded in the home they become "respectable" ; a consideration of tremendous importance to many women.
Freedom is not easy. A coercive society, replete with defined rules for every behavior, is actually a comfort to many people.
In America we still see the strength of patriachal religion in the lives of many. They want the quick answer which they need not think about since it is divinely ordered.
It is up to those who understand the ultimate justice of freedom to keep working to help it spread.
We are, by definition, more innovative than those who depend solely on religious rules.
There is no substitute for freedom.

Re: Rights, Women, Religion

I agree with you.
The quest for freedom may take hundreds of years and tons of blood but there is no substitute to it.
It is an universal value.