Sitting across the road after travelling for four hours down the central eastern coast of Aus. Highway 1, while on a ‘Revive and Survive’ coffee break today, I was watching the demolition of a mosque… a centre for religious faith. (We gauge travel by hours… not miles in Aus.)
I had watched this mosque at Woolgoolga NSW being built over the decades and now it was being torn down… to me it epitomized religion in general. It was the second Mosque that I knew of in this little country town, a town renown for the ‘Elephant Mosque’ (it and I have been around since pre-politically correct days btw). It was built within a spit of that other one that graces the township and today it is being torn down. Riddled with the deadly asbestos it has now seen its last days. It’s a lethal Rot!
In the Middle East, which is the home of these religions, women are delegated to grotty corners to pray, or put in cramped spaces and behind screens hidden from the eyes of men and separated from men for whatever reason. I have heard that Aus. is different, in that women worshipers are better accommodated and while women are still segregated to a lesser place than men, as in they still do not worship shoulder to shoulder with their men… I have guessed that they are considered lesser beings as with most religions. They are not eligible for a front row seat… or crouch, not even eligible to go unwrapped… unclean is another word used. I have often thought that men should just learn not to be so base’ and in a phrase… SUCK IT UP … control yourself for Gods sake!
When I posed this suggestion to the faithful I was told it was a dictum of their faith, uniformly; regardless of what faith it was. It was considered a means by which to protect women. Hmmm… I think they said the same of slaves in compounds or women in harems. The reality is they are considered lesser mortals in general within religion. Not only Eastern religions but most religions.
They go veiled in the Catholic faith as with the cloth on head brigade, and in most if not all other faiths are delegated to the congregation only, or to the menial tasks such as cooking and serving, childcare and cleaning etc. Even where they are accepted into the ministry… a recent event… they are exceptional to the rule. They are also usually masculinized.
So if women do not have an equal place before God, as equal as men… then he isn’t a God I would want much to do with. The strangest thing is that God was seen in the most ancient text (where there are text in existence) as a female, or at the least an asexual individual. Have you ever noticed that there ain’t many female primary deities’ around the place? Strange that give that we are more than half the population.
It was then that Yahweh or Ge (sp?) was seen as an identity, masculinized by the Religions of the world. They then gave him a general name when they interpreted the ancient text as ‘God’ ‘Allah’ or whatever, to align him with their patriarchal views and they also allocated him a sex.
Wouldn’t it be a scream if He was actually a She. She would be mightily pissed I think at how religion has treated her sisters! Women are after all the cradle of civilization… literally.
This has led me to consider that Religion… as created or modelled by some male prophet or group, is really a means by which men have used an opinion, faith or collective group to govern by right of gender. Sound familiar? Yep… they do it in politics, religion, commerce and the general social structures of the day. This too is a lethal Rot!
I do not ask that women dominate these spheres of occupation… religion, politics or commerce as men now do… nor do I ask that we exclude men, as women are now excluded by the glass ceiling etc… by deign of the burden of bearing and raising young, nor by the domination of war mongering which is seen as a masculine occupation.
I ask only that we share the burden of government, responsibility and faith… as well as the burden of decisions, choices and policy. Is that really so much to ask for your sisters, your mothers, wives and daughters?
Equal opportunity and equal pay are issues in society today but I have seen that current system at work. Women are classified into the lowest of pay positions and when men are bought into these positions they suddenly find they are reclassified.
I have personal experience of this in Government employment. Women are no less breadwinners than men, yet they are allocated part-time positions generally at lower awards for no other reason than they are MORE responsible for the future generations. What a crap position management supports. In a just world they should be paid more… not less! It certainly isn’t the women that are running the show!
Think about it.
- Equal in Faith: Women Fast for Gender Justice in Religion by Lorie Winder (feminismandreligion.com)