Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Make that not two, but three top ten lists!

As if we weren't proud enough as it was with our rankings for conservative religiosity and teen pregnancy, an article in The Oklahoman covers a study that ranks Oklahoma in the top ten for states where men murder women.

Apparently, though, we had fewer incident this past year than in previous years. Thank heavens for small favors! Louisiana topped this list. (gee, I wonder what we have in common with them from Monday's top ten revelations...)

All of these stats seem to add up to one thing in my mind: we have a dearth of respect for women in this state. Misogynistic religious views carry the day, and consequently, men have their way with women. They don't respect women enough to take simple precautions against pregnancy and they make women objects for abuse on which they take out their (no doubt holy, righteous, and god-fearing) wrath.

Responsible religion would teach everyone about the sanctity of life and empower women as the bearers of life, (the life-source of the planet, our planet's most precious natural resource as Eve Ensler terms them) but instead it stacks the deck in favor of men with male leaders, a male godhead, masculine language and terminology, and misogynistic literature. All this results in these sorts of bloody, if predictable, consequences.

One thing stays constant; in all these top tens, the powerless lose.


Anonymous said...

thank you Paul for your sharing.

The Imp of the Perverse said...

According to a book by Christine Leigh Heyrman (Southern Cross), Baptist and Methodist Christians originally (1740s-1830s) had a message advocating equality under God, with equal spiritual authority to women and blacks, until the majority of their converts turned out to be women and slaves (uh-oh?), and they quickly changed their message.

Now we have the familiar rhetoric that not only forces women into a purely domestic and subservient sphere, but allows for violence such as (apparently) thrives in this state, against women. While it's important not to stigmatize people for their religious beliefs, it's important to point to the source of the problem, and I think your "top ten" lists prove a valid, and scary, point.

There is power in your voice. Use it!