Only something as actively ignorant as religion could come up with the concept of men giving birth to women. It takes a keenly stupid mind to look upon the biology of mammals across the globe and come to the conclusion that in the instance of humanity above all other creatures, man came first, birthed women into existence and then passed the buck on to her along with the pain of childbirth. Mixed in with this slight, also comes the dominion over women because of the belief that gods created the male gender first with apparent obvious favor.
It boggles my mind how "religious progress" is given so much praise as churches slowly opt out of stoning people to death for heresy and so rarely is this belief given the proper amount of hatred it deserves. This line of thinking seems to be abandoned to those who bare the titles "atheist" and "feminist" with equal weight and still mostly is is only addressed with a bit of a subtle eye-roll and a "how stupid can they be?" attitude. Am I missing a movement? Are there other women who find this opening introduction of women as disgustingly offensive as I do? Is there a female Dawkins screaming out her distrust of religion without being dismissed as another "angry feminist?"
I've seen the pamphlet "Why Women Need Freedom From Religion." Hell, I've given the damn thing out to people trying to get me back into the books. Yes, women are treated poorly, and it starts in the beginning of the holy books. The excuses for treating us poorly comes from men thinking we are nothing but an add-on to their lives. In the toybox of humanity, we are the accessories sold separately.
All this ire comes in the face of my current vantage point, where I want another child and fertility seems to be...complicated.
My religious friends and family are talking about prayers and having more and more children rather effortlessly and I am sitting here, smiling weakly and marking days on calendars and making appointments with doctors about options.
Options that my religious family has rather stupid opinions about. Oh the Catholic church and its opinions on birth control and abortions, we can go all day about those. Those stupid fucking ideas are in the open constantly. No one is surprised when they say something as stupid as being against condoms in an AIDS ravaged country... but then there is something only those well educated in the faith know. Most of the folks I talked to while I was a Catholic didn't know the church is also against fertility treatments.
My family is among those who can count themselves among the well educated, during Lent they actually fast in silence. Their Friday fish is usually a small serving of flavorless muck meant to remind them of sacrifice. I can't help but admit that I came to atheism along the same path as they do their faith... we read, we dissect and we progress in the truth we are presented with. It is why my atheism is rooted even when it is challenging. I read, I adopted the knowledge and made it mine. My family (the older ones at least) are not Catholic by easy habit, they are Catholic because they read and memorized all the answers to the questions they've ever been asked. It's very difficult to think that you are wrong when you have an answer to a question. I used to have a copy of The Catechism of the Catholic Church, it's a pretty large book with cross references, and if you're someone who's comfortable with encyclopedias, then the circular arguments and misdirections can keep you in the faith for years after that first nagging bit of doubt creeps into your mind...
The approach to women in the church leaves me in a boiling rage. It reminds me of an argument I once had while I was pregnant with my son. My husband had whined that he had helped create this life as well.
Before I continue on with what I am going to say, please understand that this is not a statement about being a father. My husband is a wonderful father who dotes on our child and teaches him wonderful things. It is because of my husband that my son has a healthy interest in science, the two of them share hearts filled with awe at the universe. Fathers certainly can contribute equally in the building of a person.
That being said, they do NOT contribute equally in the building of a body.
What men contribute to that is microscopic chromosomal matter. It takes a womb to build a healthy baby. It took me the better part of a year to build my contribution to the human race. Nine months of vomiting, pains and tears. Three trimesters of watching what I ate, how I slept and how I moved. If religion wants to speak of ribs, my son stuck his foot into mine during his last two months of residing in my body. At the end of all of that my religious mother talked an emotionally exhausted me out of pain killers for what turned out to be 23 1/2 hours of labor.
It was difficult, and I will openly admit that I want to go through it all again because I want to have another baby. So while my body creates challenges for that I cannot help but be filled with rage at the dismissal of my contributions to life by certain religions.
No one was ever born from the rib of a man. They are born from the wombs of women who are too often viewed as nothing more than an afterthought by religion. So for now, as I weep at another childless month and who knows how many more ahead of me, I would see all those books burn.