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Woman, know thy place - Comments

skiles1's Avatar Comment 1 by skiles1

Brilliant article. Thank you.

Wed, 13 Apr 2011 23:07:13 UTC | #615196

ocallaghanbohrdt's Avatar Comment 2 by ocallaghanbohrdt

Brilliant Paula. Last paragraph is iconic.

Wed, 13 Apr 2011 23:09:59 UTC | #615197

alaskansee's Avatar Comment 3 by alaskansee

Yup, good solid work from Kirby and still women continue to be the greatest fans of religion. Baffled

Wed, 13 Apr 2011 23:24:40 UTC | #615202

johnthomaskooz's Avatar Comment 4 by johnthomaskooz

"Amen!" xD. Truly brilliant article. I skimmed it and will read it more closely later. I love the articles that just royally smash and obliterate religion, holding nothing back, not treading lightly. But even more I like the articles on science, as those are certainly moving forward. At best, the articles on religion (even they're anti-religion) are usually neutral, imho.

Wed, 13 Apr 2011 23:25:53 UTC | #615203

Rikitiki13's Avatar Comment 5 by Rikitiki13

Wonderfully put, Paula.

I wonder...it shows the "3:58 PM" as the time on the piece, and by my clock here (Oregon) it is 4:27 -- yet there's NOT ONE COMMENT!

Methinks the religious are unable to counter Paula's truth with even more of their lies - good.

Wed, 13 Apr 2011 23:27:42 UTC | #615206

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 6 by Neodarwinian

Wow, just wow!!

Wed, 13 Apr 2011 23:40:30 UTC | #615208

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 7 by God fearing Atheist

That packed quite a punch.

Wiki: Circulation 545,345 Daily, 764,666 Sunday[1]

and quite a spread!

Wed, 13 Apr 2011 23:47:21 UTC | #615210

Chris Roberts's Avatar Comment 8 by Chris Roberts

Wow, tell it like it is Paula, don't hold anything back!

Talk about strident!

You really should know your place by now.

Great article by the way, should rattle a few cages.

Wed, 13 Apr 2011 23:48:23 UTC | #615211

danconquer's Avatar Comment 9 by danconquer

A thought provoking and interesting article. Some critical observations I have though:

The opening paragraph states "Many traditions teach that while both men and women are equal in value, God has ordained specific roles for men and women." However, this is far from being an exclusively supernatural position. One can equally make a compelling argument that evolution has 'ordained' specific roles for men and women, based on the clear evidence of gender distinctions that exist throughout the living world. Are we to believe that humans, almost uniquely, do not have distinct gender differences? Well, we know that some people do indeed hold just such a political position!

Complaining that the New Testament is "woefully short of female characters" is also an unfair criticism, a bit like bemoaning a lack of openly gay characters in Shakespeare plays! The prominence of men in the Bible is a reflection of the time in which it was created. However, it does reveal an important point: Namely that religion did not create gender discrimination in the first place. Religion arose within societies that were already highly patriarchal and controlling of women. What religion has done is entrench that discrimination, replicating it into the modern world, which would otherwise have done better at eliminating it.

I think care is required because I do not believe that gender difference automatically amounts to gender discrimination in the way some feminists argue (which, I appreciate, may not have been this authors intention). As someone working in a field which is 95%+ male-dominated, I think that certain hobbies, trades, professions, etc will always attract an imbalance, one way or the other, arising from biological differences in the genders. Just so long as no individual is actually being prevented or discouraged in any way, it need not be a cause for concern.

Wed, 13 Apr 2011 23:58:50 UTC | #615214

dust2dust's Avatar Comment 10 by dust2dust

Again...absolutely terrific article. I wish your last one on freedom hadn't disappeared. That too was excellent. I'm glad to see this whole article reproduced here.

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 00:03:13 UTC | #615215

mmurray's Avatar Comment 11 by mmurray

Outstanding as always Paula.

Michael

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 00:03:25 UTC | #615216

SoHelpMeReason's Avatar Comment 12 by SoHelpMeReason

Beautiful! I LOVE it!

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 00:09:02 UTC | #615220

nancynancy's Avatar Comment 13 by nancynancy

Paula, thank you so much for this powerful and beautifully written article. Since the burqa ban has just been implemented in France, I think it's important to remind people of why this outward symbol of female sexual suppression threatens the hard won freedom of women in the West and throughout the world.

Muslims and their apologists claim women choose to wear these garments and that burqa clad women have "lively personalities" and "interesting jobs." But they never say burqa clad women are free to express their sexuality in any way, whenever they want, and with whomever they want. Instead they accuse the West of having a "hypersexualized culture" that "degrades" women. They claim their culture "honors" women and "preserves their dignity. Nothing could be further from the truth.

A woman's right to determine her own sexual behavior without restrictions or interference from anyone else is the cornerstone of every other freedom women have. Without the fundamental right of sexual freedom, a woman has no honor and no dignity.

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 00:15:41 UTC | #615223

Karen Hill Anton's Avatar Comment 14 by Karen Hill Anton

Wonderful -- and thank you again for another great article!

Karen

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 00:17:00 UTC | #615225

Andrew B.'s Avatar Comment 15 by Andrew B.

"Comments are closed."

Hm...why would that be?

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 00:21:00 UTC | #615226

mjwemdee's Avatar Comment 16 by mjwemdee

A wonderful piece of writing. Its logic is clear and irrefutable; its use of rhetoric (particularly the last paragraph) exemplary.

Well done Paula. And as Alaskansee says above (Comment 3) - the baffling thing is why so many women buy into this religious BS.

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 00:28:53 UTC | #615227

Daz365's Avatar Comment 17 by Daz365

Good last paragraph but a few errors, Mary Magdalene is not and never was a prostitute, a common misunderstanding, she's sometimes confused with the unnamed woman taken into adultery mentioned in this piece, although this is also a late addition and not in the earliest versions

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 00:31:19 UTC | #615228

HappyPrimate's Avatar Comment 18 by HappyPrimate

Impressive and powerfully stated. I so much enjoy Paula's articles.

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 00:50:04 UTC | #615231

green and dying's Avatar Comment 19 by green and dying

The Catholic Church would forbid abortion, even when the mother’s life is at risk if she continues with the pregnancy.

Not mother, woman. Or girl.

I love everything else though. Particularly this bit:

And at the same time we are offered as our ideal, our aspiration, our role-model – the eternal virgin: sexless, locked forever in a childlike state; devoid of sexual passion or sensuality; obedient, self-sacrificing, selfless: a woman, in other words, from whom all that would make her fully human, let alone fully woman, has been stripped.

Wonderfully written and true.

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 01:10:25 UTC | #615234

locutus7's Avatar Comment 20 by locutus7

Well done, Paula. Last para was indeed iconic.

When atheists complain that christians frequently lie for their religion, I point out that when your entire belief system is build on a lie, lying comes easy.

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 01:16:59 UTC | #615236

johnthomaskooz's Avatar Comment 21 by johnthomaskooz

Reread this and must say, a very necessary and vicious diatribe. I really liked how the the author illuminated the fallacious bifurcation of virgin or prostitute (allowing for no promiscuous grey area), that is completely invalid. You can see how fear of those false either-or ends echoes in society (even western society) with women fearing being perceived as "slutty". I always was amused how such a label was limited to women but not really applicable to men, but never would have guessed that it's derivations were biblical! (Actually, on second thought, should have known, most lunacy and offensively illogical cultural taboos have their origin in the astonishingly dumb tenets of religion).

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 01:35:55 UTC | #615239

erindorothy's Avatar Comment 22 by erindorothy

Thank you Paula. Wonderfully said. I will post this all over the place! Keep up the very good work.

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 02:03:09 UTC | #615245

Zelig's Avatar Comment 23 by Zelig

Excellent piece of writing. Written with passion, purpose, and clarity, and a willingness to confront people with some ugly truths. And, I may add, written with a genuine and justifiable sense of righteous indignation, in stark contrast to the usual affected moralism that is so prevalent today. More power to you!

Courage and clarity, a wonderful combination.

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 02:16:04 UTC | #615251

quarecuss's Avatar Comment 24 by quarecuss

I'm sending this to many. Brilliant article as always, Paula.

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 02:32:46 UTC | #615257

raytoman's Avatar Comment 25 by raytoman

It's women who cut away the clitoris and inner labia of young girls. It's women (in France now) who are fighting to still wear the burka. It's women who stone to death girls who are raped (sex outside of marriage don't you see).

Anything invented thousands of years ago and defended from change under pain of torture and death will of course be a load of out of date crap. No surprise there.

And don't just blame the fundamentalists, blame all members of these sick organisations. Paying tribute and remaining a member simple supports the worst aspects of these Jewish Religions. 3 billion or so members if you count all of the sects with the jesus sects and the muhammad sects being the largest. Of course you could discount the Roman Catholic jesus sect since it is more like a paedophile organisation, but they do claim to be a religion.

It's like one gigantic battered women syndrome. They don't just refuse help, they will kill and die to remain slaves to their master. How can you save 1.5 billion women if they are in thrall to the male leaders of their particular brand of superstition. The Roman Catholic women didn't even seem able to save their children from the perverts - gods messengers on earth don't you see and HE does move in mysterious ways.

I fucking hate religion!

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 03:00:41 UTC | #615263

Tim Hendrix's Avatar Comment 26 by Tim Hendrix

It's a good article, and that last paragraph strikes like a hammer-blow.

Can someone please explain to me how the conclusion has been reached that "the Abrahamic religions fear women"?

Do they fear them? I would think it's more complicated than that, so I completely understand if it's just a useful shorthand, but surely it's got more to do with the fact that they just want to be able to control them, have them as slaves, control their reproduction, and control access to their sexual favours (was going to say 'organs', probably would have been more appropriate, actually)than an actual fear of them.

What is it they are frightened women will do?

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 03:07:59 UTC | #615269

silverwolf7's Avatar Comment 27 by silverwolf7

Wonderful article. Cheers to Paula, I saw her speak at an atheist conference last year and she was brilliant there as well.

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 03:22:32 UTC | #615272

njwong's Avatar Comment 28 by njwong

Another excellent piece, Paula, and nicely timed for Easter, which is really about celebrating the lie that a dead man came back to life. Lies. Lies. Lies. Religion is full of it.

I am reminded of the very funny segment on the Colbert Report where Stephen Colbert mocks an anti-abortion American senator's (Republican Jon Kyl) claims that 90% of services provided by the organisation Planned Parenthood is for abortion. In reality, it is only 3%. Lying is truly second-nature to these religious types. It is something that religion actively promotes and encourages (#NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement).

Stephen Colbert on Jon Kyl

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 03:24:51 UTC | #615275

sanban's Avatar Comment 29 by sanban

A thought provoking and interesting article. Some critical observations I have though: The opening paragraph states "Many traditions teach that while both men and women are equal in value, God has ordained specific roles for men and women." However, this is far from being an exclusively supernatural position. One can equally make a compelling argument that evolution has 'ordained' specific roles for men and women, based on the clear evidence of gender distinctions that exist throughout the living world. Are we to believe that humans, almost uniquely, do not have distinct gender differences? Well, we know that some people do indeed hold just such a political position!

There's no doubt there are more than two genders, among humans and among some other species. And the jury's still out on whether sexual difference equals gender difference. We are human beings, much more than our genes, we are persons, social beings and thinking beings. We can choose to be what we are. Biology gives us reproductive organs, but that doesn't mean we all MUST be mothers and fathers. There's no reason a boy can't be taught to nurture and a girl to lead, no reason an individual can't choose to raise llamas instead of children.

I think care is required because I do not believe that gender difference automatically amounts to gender discrimination in the way some feminists argue (which, I appreciate, may not have been this authors intention).

If you mean in the public, political or economic sphere, then I disagree. "Separate but equal" was discarded long ago. If my possession of a uterus makes you see me and treat me differently at work, at the voting booth, that's discrimination.

As someone working in a field which is 95%+ male-dominated, I think that certain hobbies, trades, professions, etc will always attract an imbalance, one way or the other, arising from biological differences in the genders. Just so long as no individual is actually being prevented or discouraged in any way, it need not be a cause for concern.

But is that true? Do boys really do better at enginerering things? Do girls really do better at teaching kids? Or could it be that we're ignoring the engineering aptitude in girls and the teaching aptitude in boys because of our preconceived ideas of gender roles?

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 03:31:54 UTC | #615279

yanquetino's Avatar Comment 30 by yanquetino

Paula: I can't even begin to tell you how much I admire your candor and courage. Thank you so much! Wonderful article --as always.

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 04:42:39 UTC | #615292