For a book that is supposed to be about love and tolerance, the Bible contains an incredible amount of sexism. It makes repeated reference to how women should be subjugated to men and are not entitled to equal rights. In numerous instances they are blamed for tempting men into committing sin, even if a man is an equal partner in the act. For centuries the Bible was quoted in defence of treating women as second class citizens.
The sexism begins at the very beginning of the Bible where man is crated first (the implication being as he’s more important). Woman on the other hand is created from a small part of man’s body (his rib) as “a help” for man (Genesis 2:18). The standard argument to justify sexism for centuries quoted Genesis claiming God himself intended women to solely attend the needs of men. Just to make it clear when Adam and Eve are banished from Eden (note how in the story Eve is the guilty one while Adam is innocent, further justification for sexism) as punishment god declares that Adam “shall rule over thee”. (Genesis 3:16) This we have the beginning of the justification for the second class treatment of women.
It only gets worse. Women are not to have any influence; in fact it is preferable that they do not even speak. 1st Corinthians (14:34-5) says “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak: but to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame to speak in the church.” So not only should they not speak but they should also obey their husbands (the only cases where I have heard the use of obedience in the house is for children and dogs). They should also be kept ignorant of anything their husband doesn’t want them to know. Way to go Bible on degrading the status of half the world’s population!
Just in case I’m using an extreme or obscure example, I’ll give more examples. Ephesians 5:22-5 “Wives submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.” So your husband is like God and should be obeyed as such. This arrogance is clear proof that the Bible was man-made. Colossians 3:18 also declares “Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.” So hear that ladies, God is telling you to do everything your husband tells you.
This is not all; in fact I’m only getting going. 1st Timothy 2:11-5 says “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” This is probably the most offensive and sexist comment of them all. It combines forbidding women to speak, keeping them in subjugation (according to the dictionary this means to bring under control or to enslave), declaring they can never be above man (presumably then always beneath him) and tops it off by proclaiming they have nothing worth listening to.
Then there is Romans 7:2 which says “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth.” St Peter (the one who founded the Christian Church) said (1st Peter 3:1-3) “ye wives, be in subjugation to your own husbands.” This is a practice the Church continues to promote to this day.
I could go on quoting all night, but I’ll save you the time and give summaries. There is the view that women are inherently unclean. Leviticus 12:2-5 says that when a woman gives birth to a boy she is unclean for seven days. But if she gives birth to a girl she is unclean for two weeks. It is not explained what is unclean about a perfectly normal natural act. Even worse, during a woman’s monthly period a woman is unclean but so is anyone who touches her (Leviticus 15:19). If periods are so bad then why did create them? This sounds more like immature boys than the teaching of an all-powerful and all-loving God.
Then there is just the absurd, like the verse which says that it is an “abomination” (Deuteronomy 22:5) for a woman to wear clothes that men wear (trousers for example). Then there is Leviticus 27:3-7 which declares women are not equal to men. In fact they are only three-fifths the value of men.
(Just in case some try to argue that women were treated badly in the past but then Jesus made this right, most of these quotes are from the New Testament)
While people often comment on the poor treatment of women in Islam, many do not realise that Bible shows just as little respect towards women. They are blamed for many problems even when it does not seem to be their blame. They are more or less written out of the Bible with all the main characters being male while the women are rarely even named. They treated as inferior to men, discouraged even from speaking, condemned as unclean and forced to obey their husband regardless of their own will.
I cannot reconcile a supposedly loving, caring God with one who is so blatantly sexist. This is one of many problems I have with the Bible.