Why Religion is Anti-Women

Martin S Pribble is my guest today. He is an Australian atheist- feminist. He has written this post for my respected readers. I hope you would like his opinions.

‘I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that I am an atheist. All this means that I hold no belief in God or gods. I could be called an “anti-theist” because of my distaste for organised religions and the harm caused by them. I am also an “a-superstitionist”, a humanist, an environmentalist, and a male feminist. These are all separate to my atheism, but the edges of these “ists” cross over in several areas.

For instance, my dismissal of superstition crosses over into my atheism in the fact that religions are built upon a bed of superstitions, and all superstitions are equally false. Humanism and atheism cross over in areas where atrocities against people are bolstered by religious dogma and doctrine, or where religions are used as an excuse to kill and torture people. Environmentalism and atheism cross paths where dominionist groups such as The Cornwall Alliance use their belief in god to justify the pillaging of the earth’s remaining resources, all because the Bible says that it’s OK to do so.

But the biggest crossover occurs between atheism, Anti-theism and feminism. This is because most religions hold women to be second-class, and some even go so far as to blame women for all the evils in the world. Particularly in the Abrahamic religions, the ones I am most familiar with, women are blamed for the “fall of man” in the garden of Eden in the genesis chapters of the Old Testament, and it’s all downhill from there.

Throughout these holy books, women are mere secondary players in their versions of the origins of humankind, with all the “good” and “big” things being played out by men. With the exception of Mary, who was a mere receptacle for the unborn Christ, no other women are attributed with doing anything “good” in these stories. In fact one could say that women are often blamed for such things as seduction and “leading men astray” with their evil feminine prowess.

This is all back-story, however, and matters little in today’s world, unless you try to figure out why women are treated badly when under the control of a religious society. What matter is what is happening now, in the name of religion, and in the name of culture, that hinders the rights and positions of women.

Under the guise of religion, attempts are being made to control the reproductive rights of women, claiming that since god put a soul in a woman’s womb, that it’s god’s will that a baby be born. Under the guise of religion, women are expected to shave their heads and wear a wig, because their real hair is seen as evil or “a temptation”. Under the guise of religion, girls as young as nine are forced into arranged marriage, using the example of Mohammed and Aisha as justification. Under the guise of religion, women are denied the right to become a religious leader, and in some cases, are not even allowed into a place of worship.

In all of these examples, religion is used as an excuse, or a reason, for the subjugation of women. Yet in most cases the religions that people use to justify them make no mention of these practices directly, either in a ritualistic sense, or in an allegorical sense. In fact, what we see is the translations of ancient texts into whatever language the people within a society speak, then at the behest of the men in charge of the region, cultural practices are inflated out of these ideas. And this is not something that happened by chance, it happened by design.

Culture then holds onto these practices to keep them alive. This makes some kind of sense, for men are the ones in power, and it is in their interest to keep all people in a state of powerlessness. So by instantly discounting 50% of the population, half the job is already done, and it just leaves the men to get on with whatever business is at hand. If ever challenged on these practices, all a man need do is point at the holy book and threaten, not only from their own man-made power structure, but from the powers of the almighty god. Women are to be subordinate. The Bible says so.

The point here is not whether the old books explicitly state that women are to be treated as second-class citizens. The point is that the religions are used as a justification for such acts, and that women bear the brunt of these interpretations of the holy books. When Pat Robertson spins hatred toward women, he does so with the apparent authority of God (tornadoes). When the mullah shows disapproval at the baring of women’s breasts, he does so under the name of Allah (earthquakes). When an Islamic man beats his wife, he justifies it using Sura 4:34, which allows this practice.

As a man, I can’t tell you how it feels to be the one discriminated against in the name of religion, for I will never know that. Neither can I tell you what it feels like to have the whole religious card-deck stacked up against you. What I can tell you is that I recognise it is wrong, and that I can do something about this. The systematic deconstruction of the anti-women tenets of religion is needed, and from this standpoint, we can then work toward destroying the cultural practices that use religion to justify their existences.

The humanist in me says that this idea goes for any and all practices that hold down men and women, and I know this is like trying to put out a wildfire with a water-pistol, but I feel starting with 50% agenda (i.e. that of women) is a better place to start than any other. This is because the anti-women rhetoric appears not only in the context of religion, but also in everyday society. If a practice impinged upon man and women both it would be much more likely to be addressed.

What we see here, and one of the main reasons why I am against organised religion, is the justification of age-old practices in a time when we know better. Not saying that the practices were ever right; they weren’t. However at the times of the writings of these holy books, there was no recourse for women. Now, we have the power, the numbers, the information, and the means to show that bronze-age patriarchal practices hold no place in modern society. This is the hangover from a time when religion held power, when the word of the priest was more important that the word of the scholar.’


  1. left0ver1under says

    Not to quibble, but since near all current religions are patriarchal, so I think we can say patriarchal religion is anti-woman. Any religion that claims males are the original or normal form of human deserve to be laughed at and ignored by anyone with an education. Females are the norm in nature, not males.

    How can anyone who claims to be educated (especially in the sciences) continue to support and believe fictions that fly in the face of fact? If the most popular religions still claimed the sun went around the Earth or the Earth is flat, they would be ridiculed, but not when they say this.

  2. Anil says

    The Human Females have evolved the world to today’s level. All Credit goes to Females or else we would have been roaming in Jungles like other Animals.

    The evolution of human consciousness is directly related to the evolution of human female sexuality and full time sexual availability signaled by the evolution of a permanent enlargement of the female breasts and buttocks thereby mimicking the signs of estrus in other primates, and her ability to choose her sex partners. When females became fully bipedal the breasts expanded in size, mimicking the patterns of the buttocks, thereby signaling to males and females alike her sexual availability when walking on two legs and standing upright. Through sexual selection breasts and buttocks expanded in size and became the norm. Female sexual choice served to weed out the most brutal, frightening, and less intelligent males who were denied opportunities to breed, whereas continual sexuality receptivity motivated male possessiveness and a willingness to provide females and her offspring with meat and protection on a full-time basis; all of which led to and corresponded with the establishment of a semi-permanent home base heated by fire and the first hearths for the cooking of food which became easier to chew thereby allowing the jaw to decrease in size. Coupled with improved nutrition and female sexual preference for the more intelligent males who would provide for her, the cranium and the brain increased in size. Female sexual choice also contributed to the evolution of an enlarged male penis which could also be easily viewed when standing upright. The female pelvis also increased in size to accommodate the birth of big brained babies, and which resulted in a permanent enlargement of the female hips and buttocks. With the evolution of breasts, buttocks, the big brain, and human intelligence, sexual consciousness evolved, and human females began mirroring the signs of estrus in other primates by inventing and applying cosmetics and perfume to their bodies. Males were also becoming domesticated, civil society began to evolve, and modern human consciousness emerged–a direct consequence of the first sexual revolution and the liberation of female sexuality.

    Sexually, the human female is unique. Unlike all other (noncaptive) females, she is continuously sexually receptive and can have sexual intercourse at any time, morning, noon, or night. Whereas other females of the animal kingdom have sex almost exclusively when in estrus or “heat” the human female can have sexual intercourse 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    The human female is the sexiest female on the planet, and she continually signals this fact as she has evolved an enlarged derriere and prominent breasts which remain swollen even when she is not pregnant, lactating, or sexually aroused. Those swollen breasts, and posterior protuberance, her buttocks, have been driving males wild with sexual desire for over half a million years.

    In many respects the human female’s sexual behavior is similar to other primates and mammals when they enter estrus or “heat.” Like other female animals who enter estrus the human female (young women in particular depending on cultural restraints) sometimes flaunts and aggressively advertises her sexual availability. And like other social primates, she is capable of experiencing multiple orgasms and enjoying multiple sex partners, one after another. In fact, she is most likely to seek sex including with men outside her primary relationship, when she is ovulating and likely to get pregnant; just like females of other species.

    A female in heat, behaves like a female in heat regardless of species, simply because biologically sexuality serves a single purpose: to attract numerous male sex partners which insures she becomes pregnant. Moreover, be it female cat, dog, wolf, or chimpanzee, all possess basically identical brain structures which mediate female sexuality, i,e, the amygdala and hypothalamus of the limbic system.

    The human female shares almost identical sexual traits and tendencies with numerous species, especially social primates, the chimpanzee in particular. This commonalty is a consequence of her primate/mammalian evolutionary heritage and the fact that female humans and female primates possess a “female” limbic system. It is the ancient limbic system which mediates love, and the four Fs: Feeding, Fighting, Fear, and Fuck.

    And yet, there are obvious physical sexual differences between human females and other female animals. Specifically, the adult human female has swollen breasts and an enlarged buttocks which signal her continual sexually receptive physiology and sexual availability. Other species of female may develop swollen breasts or genitals only when they are maximally sexually receptive, that is, when they are in estrus or heat; whereas for much of the year these sex organs are flat and hidden. Among other social primates, the posterior anatomy only becomes enlarged or changes color when the female is in estrus and most fertile: the purpose is to attract sex partners. However, because the human female is continually sexually receptive, she continually advertises her sexual condition.

    It was probably not until around 700,000 to 500,000 years B.P., during the latter stages of Homo erectus evolution, that human females became sexual receptivity at all times and evolved those secondary sexual characteristics to signal her availability, i.e. the permanently swollen buttocks and breasts. Likewise, it may have been around 500,000 years ago that the human brain significantly increased in size, which resulted in an increase in the size of the female pelvis, thereby resulting in a restructuring of the musculature such that the buttocks increased in size. Moreover, because the female legs became wider apart at the pelvis, this caused her to wiggle and shake her buttocks when she walks, thus drawing increased male attention to her enlarged butt.

    An increase in the size of the brain also endowed the human female with the cognitive and creative capacity to artificially emphasize and exaggerate her sexuality by applying natural pigments to her face and body, such as rouge obtained from red ocher. Thus, rouge and cosmetics may have first come into fashion around 500,000 years ago, and which served the same purpose as employed by present day females: to mimic the stereotypical colorful signs of estrus typical of other species when in heat, and to sexually signal and attract potential mates.

    Full time sexual availability as signaled by an increase in the size of the buttocks and breasts, also corresponds to and most likely lead to the establishment of the first home bases; that is, semi-permanent dwellings where males cohabitated with females who could provide them with sex in exchange for meat and protection.

    The human female shares numerous sexual, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral characteristics with other species, the chimpanzee in particular. For example, although there is considerable variation, the sexual behavior of the female human and the female chimpanzee increases at the time of ovulation, that is, at mid-cycle; though in humans there is a second peak just before and after menstruation . Moreover, human and group living (multi-male/female) hominoid females are capable of experiencing multiple orgasms and can have sex with multiple partners. Multiple sex partners ensures she will become pregnant, and multiple orgasms reward her with increasing pleasure for her behavior.

    These and other female chimpanzee/human commonalities appear to be due to a common genetic and evolutionary heritage and the sexual differentiation of the limbic system. It is this ancestral hominoid heritage and limbic system commonalities which explains not only the human female’s capacity for multiple orgasms, but the fact that her “monthly rhythm of ovogenesis, ovulation, estrogen and progesterone secretion, uterine stimulation, and menstrual bleeding follows the basic primate pattern”. Because they share common ancestors and a limbic system organized in a “female” pattern, female chimps and humans are sexually similar.

    The human female sometimes behaves similar to a female chimpanzee in heat and this is because our “human” ancestors of around 5 million years ago, were essentially apes. Indeed, given these primate origins and commonalities, the initial evolution of the human females’ unique sexuality is therefore best understood from a pongid perspective, beginning with Australopithecus whose social life was probably more ape-like than human-like.

    The skull of an Australopithecus and that of a chimpanzee, the Stone Age Hunters, since Australopithecus was more ape-like than human, it can also be inferred that these pre-human females were extremely sexually promiscuous and probably had sex up to fifty times a day when they entered estrus, as is typical of female chimps. Like other social apes, our pre-human female ancestors probably had sex with every desirable and high status male of the troop, and she likely snuck off to an adjacent troop where she would then enjoy a romantic vacation by again having sex up to fifty times a day with every desirable and high status male— a common behavior of female chimps.

    • Agni_B says

      You have expounded Anthropology – just scientific observation

      Author is discussing upshot of religion on woman- Past and present
      not female sexual Kama sutra .

      • Sneha says

        If females start doing sex with multiple males than will the males have any problem?

        Religions are just for regulating the sexual behavior of females and that is their nuclei!

        Religions have obsession in controlling the sexual life of females!

        • Trillion says

          Hey Sneha.

          I, a male, do not have any objection of females (including you) having sex with multiple males.

          • sneha says

            If your mother had done sex with multiple Men and than you took birth than what you would have been called?

      • Anil says

        You cannot have the problems of life departmentalized. I just wanted to explain that why Religions put restrictions on Women. Nature always gives answers to the complicated problems of life.

        There was nothing wrong in Females of any species craving for sex with multiple males as it is required for existence of that Specie. A female has to find out the best available male to father her offspring so that the next generation will carry forward the best qualities.

        If just one generation of females stop doing sex and that specie will be endangered or finished.

        Human Beings need assistance of others when it comes to delivering a child.
        Human Female needs assistance from others. Even for raising the child the Human Females needs assistance from others. Taking into consideration all these weakness of Human Female a support system was evolved which is called Family.

        Due to the above weakness the Human female was put in a family system where her Husband supported her for rearing and raising the kids. But Husband was not asigned to assist in delivery as it would finish the attraction of wife for him so a support system called Society was evolved from multiple families which gave her support in Delivery, etc.

        It may not be the weakness of Human Female as due to highly intelligent specie the Human Brain size is very big compared to its body so delivering an child with big brain may not be possible for Human Females without assistance.

        Human Beings are the only specie on earth which can increase its life span by utilizing various knowledge of life. So it was required to pass on such knowledge to the next generation.

  3. fork says

    Wow, that’s a lot to respond to, but I’ll give it the time and effort that it deserves:
    You’re such a pig, Anil.

  4. Not You says

    Why dont atheiest scolars gifts a new religion to the world where all gender are given equal preferences? If they cannot do this they dont have the wright to say that it is the time for general people or all people to follow or to listen to atheist scoholar only. Because if you succeed to take away people’s religion, people will make ‘you’ as their religion, (Which will be a very very bad thing) but religion will never die…

  5. Agni_B says

    ” a-superstitionist”, a humanist, an environmentalist, and a male feminist ,Atheist ”

    Very impressive credential- did you pass any exam to get it?

    what happened to Secularist- & Freethinker?

    Doing good is not a matter of thinking ,something need to be done-
    and have you done anything concrete improving the lives of women?

    Male feminist?? Cant feminist cope with ‘man bashing’ on their own?

  6. srinivas says

    It is just simple. Gods and religions were created by men. Women meekly followed. By the time women thinkers arrived on the scene, the men had established their gods and their religions.

  7. says

    Once again, a brilliant insightful piece by Martin Pribble.

    Clearly any negative “comments” were given by uneducated misoogynists. The reason this is clear is because their spelling is atrocious and their grammar is incoherent. The nonsense they choose to believe supports their hatred and desire for control over women. Their comments are easily dismissed as the rubbish they are.

    Excellent writing Marty.

  8. Anil says

    Religions have given us the family system. Religions have given us the sense of morality. Without family system and morality their will be anarchy world over and Human Civilization will collapse.

    It will be dangerous to finish the religions without having any sustainable alternative.

    Religions have put restrictions on sexual behavior of women as they are the basis of every family.

    Even family system is derived from religions so can Taslima give any alternative to family system which should be a Original idea? Which will give equality to men and women, which will give satisfaction to every human being, which will finish enemity between people, which will require women to be not dependent on men, which will finish the sexual attraction of females.

    If religions are finished than a vacuum will be created which if not filled with viable sustainable alternative than all human beings will start behaving like animals.

  9. Esmari says

    You employ one of the most common tactics among proponents of organised religion and its associated practices. Scaremongering. Try to not be so scared of life, you might find it liberating.

    • Anil says


      I do not want to scare but just want to know that is their any alternative to the Family System established by various Religions.

      Is there any viable, self sustainable alternative to Family System? In which the Females will not be dependent on Males.

      It will be win win situation for both males and Females!

  10. Esmari says

    Why should there be a single working alternative? True family values are about people loving each other and wanting to care for one another, not about a social construction with its root in religion. Such values can take many shapes and forms. I find that religious people find this scary, because most religions teach that it is wrong and not conducive to true “happiness”. Religion tells us that too much options are bad for you and then go ahead and limit free will and choice through consepts such as “sin” and prescriptions on what constitutes virtuous behaviour.
    Ultimately religion has its roots in fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of being alone and fear of death. That is not a good place to operate from.


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