Religion is like a rapist’s penis. It attacks women.


Religion is like a penis. It’s fine to have one and it’s fine to be proud of it, but please don’t whip it out in public and start waving it around… and PLEASE don’t try to shove it down my child’s throat.”


Taliban poisons  drinking water. 150   schoolgirls were hospitalized in Afghanistan  yesterday. Girls education was banned under Taliban rule (1996-2001). After girls schools are  reopened, periodic attacks occur against girls, teachers and school buildings. It is not the first time Taliban poisoned girl’s school’s water, they did it before. In 2010, more than 100 schoolgirls and teachers were sickened in similar poisonings.

Taliban’s poison gas attack  is well known. In August 2010 it was revealed through blood tests that a mysterious series of cases of mass sickness at girls’ schools across the country were caused by a powerful poison gas.

Acid was thrown at the girls while they were  walking  to school. Taliban  have been blowing up girls school in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They  threaten to blow up girl’s schools if they refuse to close.   Taliban wages war against girls education.  They try everything to  destroy girls educationThey  burnt down  over 125 girls schools   calling women’s education un-Islamic.

“Female education is against Islamic teachings and spreads vulgarity in society,” Shah Dauran, Taliban leader said. Muslim Khan, Taliban spokesman said, “Female education is against Islam. They (women and girls) are required to sit at home and not venture out.”

The relationship between religion and patriarchy is deep-rooted. Patriarchy  wants   woman to  stay   at  home and  to  protect  her chastity.  A woman is nothing  but   her husband’s property.  It is  men’s   responsibility to provide food for his wives  and children and it is  women’s duty to obey her husband. It is only recently after decades of  feminist movement that women get the opportunity to go to school, to get  an education, to find   a job,  to make  money and to become economically independent.


Whenever Muslim fundamentalists flog women for wearing trousers or stone women to death for adultery,or punish girls for getting education, there are people who would  say, ‘it is not real Islam’. What is real Islam? Does real Islam believe in women’s equality?  Is real Islam pro-woman?   If real Islam is so pro-woman, it would not have said  woman was made from the rib of man  (Surah Nisa 4:1) or one of her bones was crooked. If real Islam is so pro-woman, it would not  ask  men to beat women.( Surah Nisa 4:34)  If real Islam is so pro-woman,  it would not say, a male shall inherit twice as much as a female ( Surah Nisa 4:11) , and the testimony of one man  would not be equal that of two women. If real Islam is so pro-woman,  women would get equal rights  in  marriage, divorce, and child custody, it would not permit  men to have  four  wives  (Surah Nisa 4:3)  and  it would not reward pious men  with 72 virgins in heaven and pious women  with nothing but the same old husband.


The life of Khadija, the first wife of Muhammad, tells us that  the   status of women was quite good  during  pre-Islamic period.  Khadija  was a rich businesswoman. Women could own and run a business. She was a widow.  She married Muhammad who was  15 years younger than her.  She had the right to hold and inherit property and was free to enter into a nuptial contract with the person she chose. Her polygamous  husband   could not marry any other women as long as she was alive.

It is true that Islam is not against women having ‘religious education’ but it definitely discourages women to leave home. It says, woman’s pray at home is better  than going to mosque. Woman should take the permission of her husband before going out. Evils are behind unnecessary socializing of unveiled women . Woman should not wear perfumes. Women  should wait behind men. Women should not walk in the middle of the road. Wives have great duty towards their husbands. Angels curses the disobedient wife. Woman should be grateful to her husband. Women should not imitate men in dress, movements, and way of speech. Women should cover her face in the presence of strangers and men who are not her close family members.


Despite all the  attacks of  the religionists, women in the Muslim societies are leaving home for schools or for  work, it happens not because  they embrace  Islamic rules, but   because  they disrespect  Islamic rules. Like all other religions, Islam is also anti-women. Today, Islam looks more intolerant and barbaric than  other religions.  It is because Islamists have been preventing  people  from being  evolved and enlightened. Time to change.




  1. alexmartin says

    Evil Buddhists. Evil Hindus.
    They actually allow their women-folk to be educated.

    And the worst of all, (expletive deleted) Christians (-hissed through clenched teeth): they allow THEIR women to be educated and to drive cars and walk about freely in public uncovered without caning them or stoning them to death when obviously necessary and to hold political office and to have REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE (!).


    Evil damn religion.

  2. Sarah says

    Much better! If you’re going to post unevidenced wildy aggressive claims that claim to describe all situations while only describing the very worst, you should attack religion, not sex work.

    Hypocrites who would attack you for the same intellectual failings when attacking the latter will give you a pass if you attack the former. You’ll fit in nicely if you remember never to criticise the wrong things in this anti-rational manner, only the allowable ones.

  3. StevoR says

    Powerful stuff, thankyou Taslima Nasrin.

    Can we give the women and girls of Afghanistan back into those Taliban hands?

    Can anyone who belives in feminism, in treating women and secular folk fairly and decently seriously be fine with letting the Taliban win?

    Or are they an evil that cannot be permitted to take over again whatever we have to do to stop them?

    What do you think we can or should do here?

    • thewhollynone says

      You know, I feel bad that I haven’t done more to help those girls in Afghanistan, or the women of Iran and Saudi Arabia, but I have more than enough work to do just trying to help the females in Mississippi. One old woman can do only so much.

  4. alexmartin says

    Somewhat unparesable, Sarah. A bit arcane. Somewhat unclear to your meaning. However, I must state that I’ve not addressed “sex work” or the like, and am a bit miffed by the author’s allusion to the penis as a weapon.

    Tired of it actually. She has painted with broad strokes in this post and, though off-topic, still I tire of being demonized for being male. In my opinion, misandry, which this author seems to evince, is just as bad as misogyny and just as destructive to society.

    • interrobang says

      In my opinion, misandry, which this author seems to evince, is just as bad as misogyny and just as destructive to society.

      Spoken like someone who isn’t on the receiving end of thousands of years of systemic discrimination. If misandry actually meant anything in this world, women would be routinely killing or sexually violating the bodies of men because of their behaviour. And it just doesn’t happen, not on the same scale as the same type of violence systemically directed toward women, all over the world.

      Also, nobody said you were a rapist. Although since apparently your conscience is bugging you over the comparison, maybe you are. People who don’t have issues generally don’t make a fuss over comparisons which blatantly don’t apply to them.

        • karmakin says

          I would more argue that it’s a case of we’re not talking about individuals but the culture as a whole. I don’t like the framing that if you don’t do that then you should know that people are not talking about you because it opens the door for sexist/racist speech of all types.

    • Robert B. says

      Say rather, that misandry would be just as bad as misogyny, if we had just as much of it in our society. Which we emphatically don’t.

      Of course, that’s not to say we need more misandry.

      Taslima, it’s not okay to have a religion or to be proud of it. Not just because of the misbehavior you point out (“all religion is patriarchy” is a slight exaggeration, but not by much) but also because it’s factually false. I know you don’t really think it’s all right to have religion. People are allowed to have religion, but if they do they are incorrect and ought to get rid of it.

      So I wish that you wouldn’t include a quote that compares something that you know is wrong and ought to be done away with, to a body part that (for good or ill) typifies half the human race. Your title, in contrast to the quote, specifies a rapist’s penis. That’s better. But… well, rape is a womens’ rights issue, the statistics and the culture make that very clear. But it’s possible to say that, and fight accordingly, without erasing male rape victims and female rapists from the discourse.

      To be very clear, the thesis and the main body of this article are correct, and I agree with them. The evidence-free, unrefutable nature of religion makes it even more susceptible than other power groups to the evil that oppresses women (and everyone else, of course, but it’s good to give misogyny special mention). I applaud you for speaking out against this evil.

      But I wish you wouldn’t start articles by trying to make people angry for the wrong reasons. No amount of good reason, correct argument, or just and appropriate rage is ever going to erase the visceral punch of that bad first impression.

        • Robert B. says


          Now, would you like to address the substance of my argument, or shall we continue pretending that nuance is a ceremony for talking to ghosts?

      • mynameischeese says

        “But it’s possible to say that, and fight accordingly, without erasing male rape victims and female rapists from the discourse.”

        But this article isn’t about attempting to address the full discourse around rape. It is specifically about religiously sanctioned violence against women. Many religions sanction males raping females. No major* religion sanctions females raping males or even males raping other males.

        Unless there was a bit in the Bible where Jeus says, “Go forth and rape gay men!” and I just missed it?

        *I’m pretty sure no religion at all sanctions men getting raped, but I added “major” just in case someone digs up some obscure religion practiced by 10 people four hundred years ago that sanctions men getting raped.

        • Robert B. says

          First of all, thank you for replying to me directly. This may sound like a silly formality, but I really do appreciate that.

          Now, as you say, the point of the article is not about rape. In fact, the body of the post doesn’t happen to talk about rape at all.

          Then again, I wasn’t arguing against the body of the post. That part was excellent. I took issue specifically with the title and the opening quote. As you point out, the article’s not about rape at all, so there’s no real reason to mention rape in the title. It’s just a rhetorical flourish. My guess is, the word “rapist” was added to the title to try to mitigate the offense of the quote that begins the post. (Because from an atheist writer addressing a mostly atheist audience, “religion is like a penis” is certainly an insult to men. In the quote’s original context it was probably intended as an insult to religion.)

          But despite the no-doubt good intentions, putting that word in the title backfired. Now she’s talking as though rapists all have penises and their victims are always women. As Taslima herself said, rape is a human rights issue. Most rapes are by males against females, and the reasons for that have a lot to do with the patriarchy. But that’s no reason to erase other victims from the discourse, or to put all the blame on only some of the perpetrators, especially when the only reason to bring the topic up at all is to soften an insult against men that was itself entirely unrelated to the point!

          I’m not talking about offending opponents. I’m not even talking about offending wishy-washy middle-of-the-road apologists who will listen to what a feminist/atheist has to say as long as she or he isn’t too “shrill” or “confrontational.” That title and opening quote are insulting even to people who agree 100% with all of Taslima’s own ideas and arguments, because the insults were both irrelevant and unjustified. I think the intent was just to start with a clever joke, but it came out as a couple of cheap shots, and that’s beneath a writer of Taslima’s caliber.

          • mynameischeese says

            But that’s only true if I accept your reading of the title and quote, which I don’t. Talking about *a* rapist as a “he” isn’t the same thing as saying all rapists are male. It’s quite conventional in English to gender general categories as male. For example, a sentence from a manuel on my desk right now: “A student must keep his own lab work in order.” Does it really imply that all students are male? Nope. It is simply the convention in English.

            And there is furthermore nothing wrong with comparing any kind of weltanshaung with a penis. It happens all the time in our culture, so often that you probably don’t notice it and certainly you don’t go around railing against it. Why? Because most of the time the comparison is a positive one. For an example of this, just pick up any poem by Yeats (taking my inspiration from the title of this blog).

            99% the gendering of general things works out in favour of men, so it’s a bit disingenuous of you to rail against it only when it happens to be the 1% of the time you don’t like it.

          • Robert B. says

            “He”? What “he”? Did you copy-paste this from another argument? The word that indicated masculinity was not “he”, it was “penis.” Go ahead and hit ctrl-f, and search for ” he “. Taslima doesn’t even use the word. Nowhere in the article. So your little lecture on the conventions regarding the word (of which I was well apprised, thank you) really do nothing except to wreck any credibility your reading of the offending passage may have had.

            I’m still happy you’re actually trying to make arguments to me directly, but you’re not very good at it.

          • mynameischeese says

            Look, I can’t help you with your reading comprehension issues, but I want to point out that I used 2 examples. One where “he” is used, and one where the penis is used as a positive symbol of all that is civilised (Yeats). It would be really easy to list a million other examples of the penis standing in for a concept that lacks gender, but since you don’t want to read Yeats or any other of the great male poets, I’m going to go with a visual example instead:


            Hey look, civilisation = an erection.

    • Stacy says

      In my opinion, misandry, which this author seems to evince, is just as bad as misogyny and just as destructive to society

      Yeah, except for that whole, misogyny actually keeps millions of female human beings powerless and subjugated while misandry mostly amounts to a bit of rhetorical excess, thing.

      Other than that they’re exactly equivalent.

  5. mynameischeese says

    You get a lot of flack in the comments for stupid reasons. So I’m just commenting to say carry on. The internet is great in that it’s so democratic and it allows you to interact with readers and get feedback. The drawback is that 90% of the feedback you get will stem from dick-waving contests between internet philosophers.

    Oh shit. I said, “dick-waving contest.” Now I’m an evil misandrist who is oppressing men. Teh poor menz. Oh no! I weep for their plight.

    • Bjarni says

      Agreed (though I’ll admit, dick waving can be fun on occasion and in the right circumstances).

      Thanks Taslima, for making some good points. I remember reading some of your work years ago and am very glad to see you on FtB where I will stumble upon your work more often 🙂

    • msironen says

      The drawback is that 90% of the feedback you get will stem from dick-waving contests between internet philosophers.

      If that’s how you characterize for example Richard Carrier’s reply to Taslima, you are a particularly oblivious misandrist if not necessarily an evil one.
      If you don’t give two shits about what the other half of the population thinks, fair enough. Just don’t claim foul play when the sentiment is reciprocated.

        • msironen says

          Well your reply certainly puts anyone with any intellectual pretensions in their place. The only thing that’s puzzling to me is whether you consider your “misandry doesn’t exist” position to be logically or evidentially unassailable. I grant the latter is more defensible, but not by much.
          Personally I’m just waiting for Amanda Marcotte to publish a book that remedies all the shotcomings of Daniels/Dawkins/Harris/Hitchens while conclusively showing that all men are aspiring rapists.

          • thewhollynone says

            While you are waiting for Marcotte’s book, have you read Riane Eisler’s The Chalice and the Blade published in 1987?

    • Who Knows? says

      mynameischeese, I agree. Taslima writes about women’s rights issues and there is no reason to include statements about the oppression of men in every one of her posts.

      Reddit has a place for discussing the oppression of men, it’s called r/mra or something. Those who are concerned about how bad men have it, can go there for all the support they need.

      • Robert B. says

        And where shall I go if I intend to argue against both misogyny and misandry? Because I can’t do that by sitting here and quietly accepting cheap shots against my sex. And I certainly can’t do that by joining the raging reactionary women-hating crapwits who call themselves MRA’s.

        Your comment about “there is no reason” applies better to the title and italicized first paragraph of the OP than it does to me. Or even to alexmartin, who, for all that he went beyond what is accurate about misandry, was responding to Taslima and to another commenter rather than introducing any topic himself.

        • mynameischeese says

          Arguing against misandry is a bit like arguing against racism against whites. Misandry isn’t really a thing and neither is racism against white people.

        • Who Knows? says

          I’m wondering who appointed you the defender of all the males on earth? But say you are the appointed one. I’d say you’ve taken offense, where none should be taken.

          You’ve latched on to one small part of the entire post and missed the point.

          • Robert B. says

            “I’m wondering who appointed you the defender of all the males on earth?”

            Oh, we took a vote. The world’s entire guy population sent in ballots by mail. There was this big ceremony last year at the Indy 500 where I was sworn in. I have a special hat and everything, which also doubles as a beer dispenser. I don’t really like beer, but apparently it’s a guy thing.

            Was it like that when they appointed you the defender of all the bloggers on Earth? Cause you are, right? I mean, you must be, because why would you ever try to argue about anything unless you saw yourself as the One True Official Defender of some large heterogenous group. That’s why all these internet arguments are always between the same eight or ten people – you gotta be official. Right?


            … seriously, is the idea that if the arguments against me are terrible enough, I’ll get bored and go away? Because it’s starting to work.

  6. Urmila Mathondkar says

    Oh! I have tears in my eyes. Why are women treated like this? Just because they do not have penis?


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