Feminists believe religion is a patriarchal institution which functions on a hierarchical pyramid-based structure or food-web whereby men hold dominant positions that subjugate women to adhere to specific dress codes, restrict their expression and contribution within sacred religious settings. Religion is believed to promote biased supremacy towards men while limiting the decision making role of women on a spiritual and belief consensus.
Like all ideologies the feminist ideology ranges among moderately accepted feminism that advocates gender equality in terms of opportunities for women, female participation in various activities, female involvement in all academic fields and equal wages/salary. Then there is the radical feminists who are female chauvinists who have intense hatred towards men, believe in superiority of women over men, have unrealistically high standards and expectations of men and often diminish and dismiss the role of the father in the home.
I am not a feminist, nor have I ever felt the need to have to label myself as one because I have always believed in women’s rights and equality. Despite been raised in an oppressive, misogynistic and patriarchal culture whereby men are believed to be superior to women; I can say I am fortunate enough to not have faced oppression by my culture as much as some of my counterparts living in the Middle East, North Africa and even those in the West. I have enjoyed many luxuries in my life which are supposedly ‘only for men’. This is partially because my father believes in and supports women’s rights. My father is a retired Microfinance Professor and Microfinance was specifically designed to target and empower illiterate and less fortunate women, specifically in rural areas. Unlike many Arab/Muslim men my father never forced my mother to wear a hijab (headscarf) and he even threatened to divorce my mother the day she asked me to wear one when I was 12 years old.
Throughout my childhood until now, my father and mother have always advocated the importance of both genders complementing each other. The believe neither gender should dominate the household but rather, they should complement, support each other and cooperate in establishing a functional home. Unlike other Middle Eastern women (in general), Iraqi women are strong, influential leaders who are charismatic, many are educated and they are anything but oppressed. Even the elderly Iraqi women who are illiterate possess strong characters and personalities which strike harder than iron (some of their husbands are even afraid of them). The mainstream media often favours portraying Middle Eastern and North African women as male-dominated figures who are oppressed and typically expected to be homemakers and child-bearers.
Contrary to the religious bloodbaths of Pagans, the deadly Abrahamic faiths built their religions from pre-existing Pagan teachings, traditions, legends and mythologies which religious people then condemned, demonised and bashed repeatedly. Examples of religious practices and symbols robbed from Pagan beliefs include circumcision, wearing a wedding band (which symbolised the ring of Saturn for Pagans), the Crucifix was a Pagan symbol which signified Sun-worship, as well as an instrument of torture and execution, the Ka’aba where Muslims perform pilgrimage was a Pagan Arab Shrine, Allah (the God of Islam) was the name of a Arab Pagan Moon God, the rosary or tasbeeh Catholics and Muslims use to praise God was stolen from Tibetan Mala Beads used for meditation and the concept of resurrection was stolen from Egyptian mythology.
These are just a few examples of how religion has stolen from Paganism, this list goes on and on. Even Ramadan itself was a Non-Muslim Pagan Arab festival — Taslima Nasreen wrote an excellent blog entry on that which you can read here. If one was to compare clay tablets, artifacts, pottery and carvings of ancient civilisations who were Pagans; I guarantee you would find striking similarity between the imagery of Pagan heliographics and religious symbols/images/attire.
Islam is in fact, a plagarised religion much of which is built on Pre-Islamic patriarchal misogynistic beliefs/practices of Pagan Arab Bedouins. Arab Bedouins regarded women as inferior to men and often measured a woman by her virginity and fertility. Arabs used to bury their daughters alive when they were born and refused to allow women to receive inheritance. Many Muslims claim Islam promotes ‘Women’s Rights’, I disagree, however on a Arab patriarchal standard, Islam does promote women’s rights if you were to compare Islam to Pagan Arabs traditions based on their previous standards.
The Islamic concept of Hijab (headscarf) which constitutes modesty is problematic because it paved the way for patriarchal society to define a woman who wears a hijab as modest and a woman who does not wear a hijab as immodest. I have repeatedly said, that modesty is not defined by a piece of material that covers your hair. Modesty is 90% attitude, character and behaviour; and only 10% dress. Simply put, some men in our society sees girls who do not wear hijab as whores, and girls who wear hijab as noble, modest, chaste women – which is not always the case.
Feminists often argue that all Gods of major religions are male, except Hindus who have some Goddesses. Women have fewer options than men and receive less favourable treatment. Religion fuels patriarchy, patriarchy fuels religion, God created woman because man felt lonely, women are responsible for been thrown out of the Garden of Eden are examples of how Abrahamic religions promotes hatred towards women.
In his novel The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown explains how many Pagan civilisations were previously Matriarchal societies and Christianity later converted the world into patriarchal societies as a propaganda that demonised ‘the sacred feminine’ which annihilated the ‘Goddess’ concept forever from modern religion. Brown claims that 2000 years ago we lived in a world of Gods and Goddesses. Women in most cultures have been stripped of their spiritual power. Christianity destroyed and killed women, but Paganism affirmed them. This can be said about the ancient Greek and Roman Pagan civilisations, but cannot be said about the Pagan Arabs.
Paganism believes Divinity cannot be limited to a single being, it also cannot be limited to a single gender and exists equally in both genders. “God” comes to us in the nurturing love of the divine mother, as well as in the caring love of the divine father. This bipolarity also allows us to receive that divine love as passionate and erotic when we need it, reflecting and affirming that we were created as passionate and erotic beings. Pagans are fully and joyfully sexual people. God created people in God’s own image: male and female God created them. All advanced forms of life on our earth have the two genders, and this fundamental part of the way we see the world also effects our view of the Divine. In Paganism, Mother Nature is seen as female the Goddess who is regarded as the creatrix and sustainer of life, the mother of us all which makes all the creatures on the planet our siblings.
War is a primary patriarchal contribution to culture almost entirely absent from the matriarchal societies of the Neolithic and early Bronze Age. Women were portrayed as Goddesses in shrines; they were often portrayed as giving birth to the ‘Divine Child’, her consort and seed.
I am strong believer in the Oriental teachings of Duality like Yin and Yang in Chinese culture. Duality cannot be established based on gender domination because each gender has different characteristics require the other gender’s characteristics to complement that other gender. In other words women have characteristics such as nurturing, dependant, self-critical, emotional, passive, soft, sensitive, sexually submissive, quiet, graceful, innocent, weak, accepting and flirtatious. While men have characteristics such as independent, rebellious, non-emotional, aggressive, tough-skinned, competitive, clumsy, experienced, strong, active, self-confident, hard and sexually aggressive. Female characteristic traits can overlap male characteristic traits and vice-versa. This duality concept establishes the basis of which the spiritual bond between man and woman are established.
A basic rule regarding the relationship of yin and yang is: Yang (man) protects Yin (woman); Yin nurtures Yang and together they form a complete whole. Men are more yang, in body, temperament, and behaviour. Women are more yin. All of us have both Yin and Yang energies. With us, our Yang protects our Yin. The Yang’s protective energy is a powerful force which maybe increased at the expense of repressing the yin. Patriarchy imbalances this energy.
Personally, I believe the reason why today’s world is in turmoil is because the universe is imbalanced, because women have forgotten their divinity because of patriarchal religions. Patriarchy from religion has led to the social construction of male and female societal roles.
The Catholic Church demonised and defamed the reputation of the Divine Lady, Mary Magadelene as a prostitute when in fact she was one closest disciple of Jesus who had her own book in the Bible and was a Prophetess. And people wonder why there are no female Prophets. The original copies of the Bible were destroyed by the Catholic Church were very different from modern day copies of the Bible, because in fact they taught people how to “seek the God within them” and were very much about inner spiritual reform rather than seeking the God that exists seven heavens above the universe in the sky. There is so much more to Mary Magadelene I would like to learn. I saw this documentary on her life and I found it amazing.
The fact the Catholic Church defamed such a noble woman only makes you question the true agenda and motives of the Catholic Church. Suppressing and demonising Magadelene only proves organised religions are there to deny, strip and demolish the existence of female divinity to imbalance, control
and exploit the earth.
This short documentary is a Must See as well… it proves the Abrahamic faiths are nothing but oppressive recreated juxtaposes of Paganism used to manipulate, control and indoctrinate large masses of people. Monotheistic religions are all fake.
I hope this post was OK… I tried my best to write it well… I know I am capable of writing it much better… anyway, I hope it gave you all some ‘food for thought’.
Much love, xoxo ~ Sarah.