Make me a rib
It's no wonder that the three big monotheistic religions are misogynistic when they all believe that the first woman was created not the same way as the first man, but actually from the first man's rib. That her whole existence is to be a "helpmeet" for him. That without him, she wouldn't even exist.
A huge first happened two days ago. The LDS church has had a semi-annual conference ever since it was first formed in 1830. From that time until October of last year, every prayer offered in every sessions of every conference was given by a man. This past Saturday was the first exception. For the first time in the history of General Conference, a woman prayed. I have several liberal Mormon friends who were very excited about this. It got me thinking. Why is a woman praying in the year 2013 so exciting?
The history of religion is dirtied with a litany of abuses against women. Many churches, including the LDS church, currently teach that women should not enter the workforce, that they should remain in the home and be full-time mothers. Jews used to teach that women were property, that marriage was a business transaction between a groom and the bride's father.
The first woman ordained as a bishop in the Church of England was in 1989. That's in my lifetime. Many churches, including the Catholic church and the Mormon church, still do not ordain women to the priesthood. Interestingly, Jehovah's Witnesses consider someone to be an ordained minister upon being baptized. Thus, every baptized member is ordained to the priesthood, including the female ones.
The LDS church actually had a ban on women praying during its weekly meetings, which it calls "sacrament meetings". A bulletin was printed in 1967 stating that only priesthood holders (which can only be boys and men) should be allowed to pray in the meetings. As far as I know, this policy was in place until 1978.
Why is it that women are oppressed? Why is it that they're pushed to the side or treated like property? Why do the women themselves so often accept the place they have been put in by the men ruling over them? Really, the only thing I can think of is the pre-historic and barbaric fact that men are physically stronger and bigger than women and therefore can exert their will over them with brute force (and I personally know a couple women who were in abusive relationships and this is literally what happened to them).
In the LDS temple ceremony, the first covenant (promise) which is made is that of obedience. Every other covenant made in the temple endowment ceremony is the same for men as it is for women. But for the first one--for the "Law of Obedience", there is a difference. The men in the room promise to obey God and God's law. The women in the room promise to obey God, but they also promise to obey their husbands. This is misogyny.
Let us be rational. Let us end the needless oppression of women. Let us treat all people equitably. Let us cast aside all these silly beliefs that a woman can only have a fulfilling life if she belongs to a man. Let people decide what to do with their own lives. Let women work, if they want. Let them pray, if they want. Let them be priests, if they want.