Ignoring the Misogynist Plank in Christianity’s Eye


Matthew 7:3 is a verse about hypocrisy. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” it asks. Audrey Russo at BarbWire ignores that verse, along with many others in an insipid column about the Isla Vista shootings in which she tells feminists that they should be focused exclusively on Islam as the source of misogyny.

Rodgers’ mindset: “Wah-wah-wah…I’m wealthy, handsome and privileged. Why don’t women want to go out with me? Women refuse to have sex with me…I guess I’ll just have to murder and maim some innocent people because life is so unfair!”

Well, if you’re a feminist (which I’m not, thank God), you have once again found your target: A Misogynist, merely because he happens to be MALE.

Oh yes, of course. We consider him a misogynist “merely because he happens to be male.” Not because he left behind videos and a manifesto jammed full of misogyny and said quite bluntly that he was going to kill women because they refused to be his sex toys. Nope, it’s only because he “happens” to be male.

If feminists were REALLY concerned about he-man woman-haters…they would be focused, like a laser, on the ideology of ISLAM.

A totalitarian system that puts women at half the value of a man. And here are just a few of the ‘joys’ of being a woman under the draconian fist of Islam:

Allah prefers men (Quran 2:228)
A man is like God to a woman (Sunaan Abu Dawud 11.2135)
Women are inferior to men (Quran 2:282)
Women are like animals & slaves (Sunaan Abu Dawud 11.2155)
Menstruation is a disease (Quran 2:222)
Women should be below a man in : Age; height; wealth & lineage.
Women are harmful/devilish/crooked/damaging, which is the reasoning behind their “Gender Apartheid” policy (Shahih Bukhari 7.62.113)

Ah, there’s that plank, conveniently being ignored (in this case, both religions have a misogynist plank, of course). Let’s take a look at some of the blatant sexism in the Bible.

A man can sell his daughter:

Exodus 21:7: “If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do.”

A woman is “unclean” twice as long after having a female baby than a male one:

Leviticus 12: 1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Say to the Israelites: ‘A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. 3 On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised. 4 Then the woman must wait thirty-three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over. 5 If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding.

Women who become prostitutes should be burned to death:

Leviticus 21:9 “If a priest’s daughter defiles herself by becoming a prostitute, she disgraces her father; she must be burned in the fire.”

A woman suspected of adultery has to go through a bizarre test to prove it false. There is no such procedure for men suspected of adultery.

Numbers 5:11-31 11 Then the Lord said to Moses, 12 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him 13 so that another man has sexual relations with her, and this is hidden from her husband and her impurity is undetected (since there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act), 14 and if feelings of jealousy come over her husband and he suspects his wife and she is impure—or if he is jealous and suspects her even though she is not impure— 15 then he is to take his wife to the priest. He must also take an offering of a tenth of an ephah[c] of barley flour on her behalf. He must not pour olive oil on it or put incense on it, because it is a grain offering for jealousy, a reminder-offering to draw attention to wrongdoing.

16 “‘The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the Lord. 17 Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water. 18 After the priest has had the woman stand before the Lord, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder-offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse. 19 Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, “If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. 20 But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband”— 21 here the priest is to put the woman under this curse—“may the Lord cause you to become a curse[d] among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. 22 May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries.”

“‘Then the woman is to say, “Amen. So be it.”

23 “‘The priest is to write these curses on a scroll and then wash them off into the bitter water. 24 He shall make the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse, and this water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering will enter her. 25 The priest is to take from her hands the grain offering for jealousy, wave it before the Lord and bring it to the altar. 26 The priest is then to take a handful of the grain offering as a memorial[e] offering and burn it on the altar; after that, he is to have the woman drink the water. 27 If she has made herself impure and been unfaithful to her husband, this will be the result: When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry, and she will become a curse. 28 If, however, the woman has not made herself impure, but is clean, she will be cleared of guilt and will be able to have children.

29 “‘This, then, is the law of jealousy when a woman goes astray and makes herself impure while married to her husband, 30 or when feelings of jealousy come over a man because he suspects his wife. The priest is to have her stand before the Lord and is to apply this entire law to her. 31 The husband will be innocent of any wrongdoing, but the woman will bear the consequences of her sin.’”

Women who do not bleed on their wedding day, and thus presumably are not virgins, are to be stoned to death:

Deuteronomy 22: 13 If a man takes a wife and, after sleeping with her, dislikes her 14 and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” 15 then the young woman’s father and mother shall bring to the town elders at the gate proof that she was a virgin. 16 Her father will say to the elders, “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. 17 Now he has slandered her and said, ‘I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.’ But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.” Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, 18 and the elders shall take the man and punish him. 19 They shall fine him a hundred shekels[b] of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.

20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.

If a man rapes a woman, he can buy her from her father and force her to marry him:

Deuteronomy 22:28 28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[c] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her

One could go on and on, of course. The Bible is a deeply misogynistic collection of texts.

Comments

  1. says

    Ugh, I was saying something, probably as unimportant as anything else I say, when the power went off for a half-second. Apparently my UPS is dead.

    Er, yeah, so focus like a laser on Islam, and ignore misogyny everywhere else, because Islam has a monopoly on it, apparently. Do that thing we claimed you were doing, but to Islam. Never mind that Rodger wasn’t a Muslim, but was a racist* as well as a misogynist.

    *Islam, of course, is not a race, but this is irrelevant to racists and the constellation of things they hate and which they implicitly link with race. You know, the thing which is almost entirely defined by racism and not by the realities of human genetic variation.

  2. alanb says

    The Bible is a deeply misogynistic collection of texts

    Yes, but if you’re focused, like a laser, on the ideology of ISLAM, you won’t see them. Problem solved.

  3. plutosdad says

    I have read a possible explanation of the bitter water is that it is some tea made from herbs meant to induce a miscarriage or abortion. These ancient abortion were of course pretty dangerous for the mother . But if that is true then it is pretty bizarre that the Bible contains forced abortions, just like the Christians rail against China for doing.

  4. colnago80 says

    It is highly likely that Islam inherited the misogyny in the Quran from the Christian and Hebrew scriptures. There is evidence, for instance, that the prohibition of consumption of pork and the practice of male circumcision was inherited from the Jews,

  5. =8)-DX says

    Ah! But in the Bible, that’s just ancient custom for a different, more brutal time, where disease and strife within the tribe were a matter of life and death!

    Totes no misogyny at all.

  6. eric says

    If feminists were REALLY concerned about he-man woman-haters…they would be focused, like a laser, on the ideology of ISLAM

    This seems like going after a proxy measure of bigotry when the actual measure of bigotry is available for targeting. If you’ve got bigotry existing in a variety of sects and cultures, doesn’t it make more sense to focus on misogynistic beliefs and practices wherever they occur, rather than focusing on a single sect or culture? If you’re trying to stop thievery and someone tells you “Spartans are thieves,” that’s still a really bad justification for going after Spartans if your societal tools allow you to go after thieves directly.

  7. =8)-DX says

    @F [i’m not here, i’m gone] #1

    *Islam, of course, is not a race, but this is irrelevant to racists and the constellation of things they hate and which they implicitly link with race. You know, the thing which is almost entirely defined by racism and not by the realities of human genetic variation.

    Which is why bigotry against muslims is racism (race is a cultural construct), I don’t think one has to be apologetic about this.

  8. abb3w says

    “If ________ were REALLY concerned about ________, they would focus only on that OTHER problem rather than this one.” Neglecting that this other problem may be less easily improved, or that it may have less local detrimental impact.

  9. jba55 says

    @5 =8)-DX: “But in the Bible, that’s just ancient custom for a different, more brutal time,”

    Problem is I see Christians using this argument all the time and far too often skeptics only have Old Testament examples to use. I think when arguing with Christians it would be best not to use OT because, right or wrong, too many of them dismiss it and won’t listen when you base an argument on it. I frequently hear that the New Covenant invalidates the OT’s laws but what I never hear is why then they keep giving such reverence to the OT.

  10. iknklast says

    jba55: I hear that too, but there are some passages where Jesus states that he came to uphold the law and the prophets. So, like everything else, it’s ambiguous and contradictory. But there are also plenty of NT texts that aren’t so nice, either. Everyone wants gentle Jesus, so they ignore the nastier things that are attributed to him.

  11. busterggi says

    But Christian misogyny is different.

    Just like Christian slavery or Christian genocide or Christian execution of heretics are different. Because Jesus.

  12. Michael Heath says

    The most misogynist point I recall in the Bible is the one that has God* claiming that Eve is to blame for the imperfection of humanity; and the mere supposed fact she happened to be a woman somehow justifies discrimination against all females. Talk about motivated reasoning and non sequiturs.

    The god(s) of the Bible continues to struggle with idiotic reasoning and a failure to communicate.

    *It’s “God” if you assert the Bible is the inerrant word of God, “Paul” if you conclude otherwise.

  13. thebookofdave says

    The Book Of Audrey is sold with a beautiful handcrafted wooden bookmark. To fully appreciate the meaning within her writings, it must be firmly wedged into one’s eye while reading. A sample from her other articles:

    Mahogany 5:4

    It takes Humility ( a concept entirely foreign to the Left) to admit you are wrong.

    Spruce 3:2

    To the chagrin of Islamists and their little Leftist helper monkeys: Slavery was brought to the West by Islam.

    Gopherwood 10:1-7

    West – equality under the US Constitution: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (The “Creator” being the Judeo-Christian God…NOT Allah.) All are equal under the law.

    Islam – equality is a concept that is foreign to Islam, due to the ideology’s superiority complex. Women are not equal to men. Any converts to Islam who are not Arab Muslims (who are considered the true Muslims), are looked upon as lesser-than. Unbelievers are not equal to believers. Islam itself is considered above all other religions (which are considered false and deserving of hell fire). So, equality refers to Muslim men ONLY.

    Cottonwood 11:1-2

    Slavery is a divine institution in Islam, enshrined in the Quran and immutable for all time. For a Muslim to admit that slavery is a mistake is to admit the inerrancy of the Quran and brings its divine origin into question

    thebookofdave has some commentary on her work:

    Written for an overwhelmingly Christian audience, Audrey Russo’s columns are not written specifically as a hypocritical critique of beliefs and traditions of Islamic societies, so much as a marketing pitch for westernized religious intolerance and misogyny. Instead of seeking to eliminate the justifications for barbaric practices enshrined in holy books, she sets out to reinforce confidence in her readers that their bigotry still wins hands down over the other brand, in order to protect the market share of Judeo-Christian Values™.

  14. says

    If feminists were REALLY concerned about he-man woman-haters…they would be focused, like a laser, on the ideology of ISLAM

    Surely, the best way to deal with misogyny in one’s own culture is to focus laser-like on a completely different culture that has virtually no influence here.

    I wonder sometimes what wingnuts would do without Islam as a “but we’re not as bad as them” excuse for all of their bad beliefs and habits. They’d probably have to invent it.

  15. laurentweppe says

    I wonder sometimes what wingnuts would do without Islam as a “but we’re not as bad as them” excuse for all of their bad beliefs and habits.

    They’d blame Jews

  16. John Pieret says

    Those examples are good but, as a number of people have pointed out, the Xians dodge them by saying we don’t do them anymore. More modern examples would be denying women the right to control their own reproductive health, denying girls a vaccine against cancer because SLUTS, denying women who love another woman the right to marry, saying girls who have sex are sluts while boys the same age are “just being boys,” saying women are “under the authority” of their husbands, and the like.

    And while those things are not as bad single acts as what some Muslim men do to women, the intent is the same: to keep women subservient and dependent.

  17. laurentweppe says

    More modern examples would be denying women the right to control their own reproductive health, denying girls a vaccine against cancer because SLUTS, denying women who love another woman the right to marry, saying girls who have sex are sluts while boys the same age are “just being boys,” saying women are “under the authority” of their husbands, and the like.

    Shhhhhush: you’re talking about Behavior, and Behavior doesn’t matter: what matter is to proclaim one’s own inherent superiority to recent migrants and foreigners.

  18. jba55 says

    Iknklast: “but there are some passages where Jesus states that he came to uphold the law and the prophets. So, like everything else, it’s ambiguous and contradictory. But there are also plenty of NT texts that aren’t so nice, either. Everyone wants gentle Jesus, so they ignore the nastier things that are attributed to him”

    Absolutely, but in my experience they have harder time justifying it with the New Testament since they can’t say “pfft, that’s the Old one, I don’t even need to address that.”. I’ve personally found that you have a better chance of having a point stick (or at least frustrate them with an indefensible bit of scripture) if you don’t use the Old Testament, it’s far too easy to dismiss.

  19. D. C. Sessions says

    They may pull the “that was the old one” excuse, but when it comes time to legislate (or slut shame, or …) those old obsoleted-byJesus passages are the ones they insist are binding.

    Yeah, binding. Just the word for it.

  20. Ichthyic says

    Surely, the best way to deal with misogyny in one’s own culture is to focus laser-like on a completely different culture that has virtually no influence here.

    Their god has terribly bad aim. They’re just being good followers and adopting the same behavior.

  21. Ichthyic says

    Good to see Dawkins in such good company.

    now that’s a nice bit of bait.

    good luck with your fishing expedition!

  22. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    .. in which she tells feminists that they should be focused exclusively on Islam as the source of misogyny.

    I wouldn’t say focus exclusively on Islamic misogyny but we definitely shouldn’t ignore it or overlook it and pretend Christianity or pretty much any religion isn’t better than islam for women -and most other human beings for that matter.

    On the good- bad-worse-worst spectrum of looking at things Islam is clearly in that “worst” category and that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

  23. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    For instance talking about a Christian taliban is going to be inaccurate unless the Christians in question are actually shooting schoolgirls in the head fro wanting and education or stoning women in dishonourable cowardly “honour killings” or supporting the planned genocide of Israel and homicide-suicide bombings.

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