Let’s set the stage before I dive into this topic. For 8 years of my early life, I was in Jehovah’s Witnesses cult. At age 14 I stopped going because my father supported me indirectly. I was damn lucky.
This shit show of an experience led me to question my relationship with God, the Divine, and Spirituality. I went on a spree of studying different religions. I wanted to learn about Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Shamanism, Wicca, other Pagan-related ones, and Islam.
What I’m about to share is going from memory as I haven’t revisited them all except for Shamanism, but the one thing that always sticks out for me is that the popular modern-day organized religions are a raw deal for women.
Women are subjugated in some form or another.
Nobility of Religion?
If your first reaction to the last two sentences above is “Not In My Religion! We Love Women!” Then let me explain.
On the surface, all these religions have noble causes. Their claim is to want to help us find a relationship to the Divine. The majority of us call it God, Allah, or Nirvana. Some of us are atheists and freethinkers, some of us use philosophy as a guide, others worship many Gods/Goddesses, but the majority of us worship a single male God.
However, when you dig deeper and include more humans into the mix, these religions start to take on power structures. As I learn more about our patriarchal society, it starts to fill in the missing pieces of my mental puzzle.
It starts small, a handful of people worshiping something. Then they set a day aside for worship. Then dress codes. Then they start snipping foreskins and mutilate female genitalia, cause that’s what “God” wants.
Then more rules to follow and people to shun — because they don’t follow the rules (I’m looking at you JW’s). Then wars to liberate Holy lands or slaughter indigenous people in the name of (insert your God name).
These religions become more violent, more controlling, and more mentally damaging to everyone, but much worse for women. Why? Because a woman in control of her sexual agency is explosive and we can’t have that. We can’t have a woman on equal footing with a man because it disrupts the order we men have built to control everything.
You Were Asking for it Women
Your connection to the Divine got co-opted by religion with a pyramid power structure. Old white-haired men are running the show, telling us Plebians what to do. They’re at the top, pulling the strings on how you should behave and with whom. European history is littered with the ruling class and religious structures clashing for control of the common people.
They love to control us, they use guilt and sell salvation. They lay it on thick, just ask any ex-Catholic or non-practicing one, but the insidious nature of this control comes down on women harder.
The following are excerpts from Watchtower online repository.
Women, did you get raped? Bummer, but you were probably asking for it. You tempted a man because you didn’t follow the rules for modesty and temptation.
screenshot from r/exjw
Or better yet if you did get raped, you better treat your rapist with respect because he’s a fellow human.
screenshot from r/exjw
If that doesn’t make you want to throw whatever device you’re reading this on out of a window in anger and disgust then you’re part of the power structure and don’t see the violence on women.
Oh, I forgot this gem:
If there’s a problem that you want to bring up in your place of worship you best ask for permission and not interrupt the menfolk.
screenshot from r/exjw
Men Need to Lead here
I believe that Spirituality and connection to the Divine is not a bug in humanity, it’s a feature. I think we all have a desire to believe in something bigger and grander than what see in front of our very eyes.
I also believe that paradise is right here, right now. There is no heaven, it’s right here with all the animals, plants, oceans, and birds. I do believe, for the most part, in the goodness of humans BUT I can’t, in good conscience, ever support organized religions that subjugate women in these hideous ways.
It goes against my connection to the Divine and it should go against yours. I can’t have a deep and rich relationship with the Divine if women aren’t afforded the same equal footing as men. I don’t want them walking behind me but at my side.
There are so many horror stories of rape, abuse of all types, genital mutilation, cult programming, and general misery that we, men, need to step up here and help put a stop to it.
The power structure of these religions is very strong and many women cry out to us for help. They alone can’t tear it down, we have to come to their aid. Together we can.
Why? Because we built it to enslave them. It’s time for us to tear it down.
Special thanks to Elle Beau for inspiring this post.