My Mother’s Day Message
May 11/12, 2013
What’s wrong with the biblical ideology of the subordination of females is
that it makes females less than the other, less than human. It removes from
them the positive power that all human beings should possess and exercise.
It subordinates them to another being and makes them the property of
another. It obliterates their power to exercise freewill and choice. It
keeps them under subjection as less-than-mature human beings all their lives
in all spheres of life—the public and the private spheres.
It tips the balance of power in favor of the male. It makes the male a “demi-god,”
but a demi-god with less empathy, with the power to punish and reward and be
the ultimate and sole decision-maker, protector, and provider. It degrades
and corrupts both the male and female. Therefore, this opens the door for
abuse of power which can be demonstrated in sexual, psychological,
financial, and religious violence against women. Some examples of this are
rape, incest, sexual assault, female genital mutilation, honor killing,
marital rape, denial of basic human rights, discrimination in the workplace,
sexual harassment, poverty, illiteracy, denial of property rights, denial to
pass on citizenship, denial of inheritance, dowry practices, child bride
practices, polygamy, financial emotional neglect, immolation of women and
children, prostitution, human trafficking, and the list goes on.
In fact, this is evidenced in the Bible itself. Just check the practices of
the cultures in which women were subordinated to men, starting with the Jews
and Israelites. The concept of the female as property is enshrined forever
in the Ten Commandments. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.” A
wife is listed with the other things which are considered a man’s property.
Yet, Christians think nothing of it and have stupidly internalized this
notion. The crime of rape, in the Bible among the Jews and Israelites, was
not an offence against the victim, but against her owner—her father or
husband. That’s why reparation was paid to the father or husband. When a
virgin was raped, to repair the family’s honor she was forced sometimes to
marry her rapist. These are the practices found among the Jews and
Israelites—the people of God.
Those who wrote the books of the Bible belong to those cultures and held the
same notions and biases; therefore, it is inevitable that these notions and
biases be reflected in their doctrines, ideologies, and theology. That’s why
the Bible is not for the “simple.” You’ve got to be able to reason,
discriminate, recognize harmful beliefs and practices for what they are and
In countries where women enjoy greater freedoms, exercise their full range
of human rights; they are subjected to much less violence. In fact, those
countries are more likely to be more prosperous because women are more
likely to be educated and play an integral part in owning and generating
On this Mother’s Day, let’s rejoice in our femaleness and personhood and
resolve to get more involved in the struggle for gender equality and reject
the harmful and discriminatory theological doctrine of the submission of
women. No woman is free anywhere until all women are free everywhere.