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In the discussion thread: We need to talk about misogyny [View all]

Response to The Traveler (Reply #18)

Sun May 25, 2014, 08:58 AM

32. Not just daily political life but daily religious life

In countries around the globe the two often overlap. The fundamentalist influence on politics with regard to women's lives becomes more and more evident every day. When powerful religious leaders preach that women don't even have the right to the autonomy of their own bodies we witness its political effectiveness in the rollback of reproduction rights and the shutting of clinics. These are legislators who use God to justify outrageous levels of misogyny and fashion it into law. These same men who think women have no place in the leadership of the church also believe women have no place as equal partners in the home, the workplace, the country. They know this because the Bible tells them so, at least in their version of it. They've got to preach it in the schools, implement it in the workplace, enforce it in the bedroom, legislate it in the halls of Congress. The following example is just one of the most outrageous examples of how this works: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/02/16/426850/democratic-women-boycott-issas-contraception-hearing-for-preventing-women-from-testifying/

Some might say I'm straying from the topic here but I disagree. What frustrates me is that there seems to exist either a lack of recognition of or an unwillingness to confront the unholy alliance of church and state in creating a misogynic society. We tiptoe around the subject as to not hurt someone's feelings. Well that's just bullcrap my friends and it's exactly what the purveyors of misogyny count on -- that we'll react well, like "women", not wanting to bruise anyone's delicate ego especially if it involves religion, even to the point of silencing ourselves. Right here on DU there are those who would contend that we have a choice -- we can support the war on poverty OR women's rights. We can fight for environmental protections OR women's rights. Etc, etc, etc. But not both. So women are asked to choose either the planet or their rights, or between the poor and their rights, or between income inequality and their rights. The arguments are posited as a choice for which women must make the sacrifice and too often, some do just that. Anything else is called selfish. I see it all the time on what is touted as a progressive forum. The fact that it should be a choice at all is a ridiculous, manipulative fallacy. It's apparently an effective one because once again I find myself embroiled in just such a debate on DU, watching way too many women fall into that same old trap, rushing to the defense of an avowed and powerful misogynist and homophobe because we must sublimate the cause of our basic human rights to whatever causes supersede them... and that list seems endless. I've got news for some of those folks --as long as we are so willing to make the sacrifice there are those who are more than willing to take it. Our turn will never come if we validate and empower the very people whose aim is to oppress us. Those in power will not grant us respect for being acquiescent; they will only despise us the more for it.

If we want to formulate strategies for how to reform a society shaped by misogynic dogmas that are in turn enforced by legislated policies, we simply must face the fact that patriarchal religions have way too much influence in the political sphere. (That holds true no matter where you go or what you believe.) We can't afford to ignore this elephant in the room, hoping that if we don't make eye contact it will miraculously disappear. The more we hint at any trepidation in confronting this issue the more WOMEN WILL DIE. Not at some point in the distant future -- TODAY, tomorrow, and every tomorrow after that. They will die because too many boys and men are indoctrinated from birth that women are lesser human beings, that women's lives and bodies were created to service their needs, that a woman's value can only be measured by the degree to which she is willing to sacrifice herself on the altar of what we are told is "the greater good".







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