Thursday, April 16, 2009

Episode 38 Women

Women have suffered more from organized religion than any other group. So for this episode the Doubtcasters examine the scriptural roots of male dominance in both the Bible and the Quran. We also take a look at the “quiverfull” movement, which condemns birth control and encourages women to view their “wombs as weapons” against secular society.

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Martin Bell said...

I'd like to know how Catholics justify not allowing female priests, while worshiping female saints? Male and female saints also seem to be treated equally. In fact, female saints might be more popular, thanks to Saint Mary.
It seems to me that saints have powers superior to the pope's. Saints can perform miracles (both before and after death), and they are prayed to for guidance. Of course, female saints only provide good guidance after death. Is it the uterus that makes them so unreliable in life?

Kelly said...

I haven't finished the podcast yet (had to come back in to work, boo!) but the part on quiverfull certainly caught my attention. I've been reading a somewhat interesting blog written by two ex-quiverfull women. It's pretty amazing the level of patriarchal dominance in that group and emotional abuse they suffered (not to mention physical issues- continuing to get pregnant and insist on natural childbirth against doctor's orders and after serious complications...)...

Anonymous said...

I would like to say thanks for your informative and entertaining podcast. It's great hearing such intelligent male viewpoints. Living in Las Vegas the intelligent male mammal is often hard to find and I get a little femi-nazi about it sometimes. Most of religion really grosses me out and it's sad that so many people get taken in by it. It really is hard to not lump those people into the "unclinical mentally challenged" category because so many seem like intelligent and caring people. I once dated a guy that, after several successful dates, stated he was so sad that I wasn't Christian because I would go to hell and burn and that made him feel bad. A weaker, more desperate, or less intelligent woman would have taken the bait and signed up for I love Jesus camp but I ordered a shot of tequila and walked out on the guy. It makes ME sad, however, to know that the majority of women would not have done that. I'm sure he's somewhere on this earth happy with a barefoot wife and a "quiver full". Yuck! I really appreciate the male perspective you have expressed on this issue and hope to hear much more! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Re: the jail sentences for the Tuninter pilots, listening to the CVR it sounds like the praying angle is being oversold as a cause of the convictions. (It's on youtube and elsewhere.) I don't really hear much that sounds like they weren't focused on trying to start the engines, find a good place to ditch near a ship to help with rescue, etc. It sounds more like the convictions were due primarily to their failure to follow procedure with checking the fuel levels, especially before takeoff.

Juju said...

I'm a 28 year old female who was raised in a highly fundamentalist Christian environment --homeschooled, etc., complete with a mother who feels tremendous guilt for using birth control after nearly dying due to her last pregnancy.

After a few years as a more liberal Christian, I went through a difficult deconversion process and found myself an agnostic with atheist leanings. I've never been more excited about my life! I have just completed the first two years of college, and I'm planning to move forward with a BA in the fall. I feel very empowered and full of possibilities.

Not all people who are planned as an "arsenal against the enemy" choose to comply with this lot in life. :) Just wanted to encourage anyone who worries that these types of people are incapable of change.

Lostie said...

I will begin by saying that I love your work and that I believe organised religion does significant harm in respect of the rights of women.


My criticism of the RD team is that the phase "legalisation of rape" is the same emotive, reactive, ill-conceived response that we often associate with Christian apologists when they scream "Atheists demand the right to the murder babies" with reference to the pro-choice position.

There is a significant difference between requiring someone to fulfill a promise on penalty of punishment and 'legalising rape'.

There was nothing in your article that suggests that a man could "enforce" his right (i.e have sex with his wife) in the absence of her consent (I assume that the consequence is that the man is permitted to get a divorce or that the wife is chastised for breaking the commitment that she made to have sex). A consequence that was known before the couple chose to get married.

If the position of the new legislation was as follows:

"If a person refuses to participate in sexual intercourse with their partner on more than 4 consecutive days that partner may:
(a) seek a divorce, or
(b) seek a public decree than the person has broken their wedding vows by refusing to have sexual relations for a period longer than permitted by law, or
(c) seek a divorce with certification that the person has broken their wedding vows by refusing to have sexual relations for a period longer than permitted by law."

I would argue that there is no 'legalised rape' (you may argue that you disagree that the law should exist, but I struggle to see how it is legalised rape when the sexual activity may never occur). I agree that it gives the partner a simple choice fulfill your promises or be divorced. (I am assuming of course that the time of marriage the law provides terms similar to those outlined above, i.e. that being married has certain obligations. Your positive action to enter marriage is an agreement to be bound by those obligations).

To some extent I support that view, primarily because I believe in "fault divorce" rather than the current no responsibility option.

Anyhow I digress. As above I don't think that the policy in it's own light is the problem. I think the fact that it is 4 days for one part of the community and 4 months for the other is the real gender issue. I agree that the afghan law as imposed (with differing rules for men and women) is discriminatory - on that basis you have no argument from me.

But the point remains that we should apply the same intellectual vigour to the 'bad' things done for religious purposes as we do for the arguments 'for' religious observance. We should not run emotive arguments that misrepresent the apparent facts.

On a side note, all else remaining equal: were I woman in Afghanistan I would, in this regard, have more "rights" I would as either a man or woman in the western world. Specifically open recognition that the partners lack of willingness to comply with the LEGAL obligations (i.e one person, for life, to the exclusion of all others) imposed by marriage, and other promises made in anticipation of marriage, is 'wrong' and that there should be consequences for that. I dare say that we in the western world can learn something from that.

Abby said...

Great podcast! My only complaint about this episode is the amount of time you spent on birth control and sex (more than half the podcast, I think). These issues pertain to women, but also to men. We all know how fundamentalist Judeo-Christian/Muslim people view sex. I'm much more interested in the rights (or lack thereof) that women in religion face.

It seems fundamentalists in many religions see the womb as a weapon, in that they plan to out-breed the evil competitors.