Another religious leader has been accused as having abused women looking up to him for spiritual guidance. Another woman has been killed because of religious precepts. And yet another woman is waiting in prison to be executed because of religious beliefs. And many other women are being abused and suffer extreme injustice all over the world every day in the name of religion. The amount of cruelty directed at women on religious grounds is unspeakable. I read these news and I wonder, every single time, how can women still tolerate these antiquated and thoroughly humiliating religious beliefs?
Yes, I can understand that some women cannot afford to choose their faith. I have complete sympathy and my heart aches for those women from poor social backgrounds or from cultural milieus where denouncing their religion would leave them without family and means of subsistence. But I do not understand those of us who can afford to make a choice to move away from a belief system that ascribes them less value than it bestows to men. Unless these women are trying to change the system from the inside. Which some of us do. Some of us, like those amazing Catholic nuns who worry the Pope.
All of us, however, regardless of our situation, could think of how to take a stand in any small way we can. I think we’ve reached an age when women don’t need to perpetuate the status quo or, which happens more often than you’d think, even be among its biggest defenders. Those times are over. We know too much now. We know we can do better. We are better than that. Even if it is to just teach our daughters that there are bigger answers and bigger ideas out there and that no faith is perfect, we can still do something. And we need to do it. We need to stop this long, long chain of injustice and crimes against women. Put an end to the hypocrisy in our hearts at least, if we cannot afford to do it outwardly. Teaching our daughters and sons to doubt and ask questions and think for themselves is probably the best thing we can do and it is entirely within our power.
I can almost see an age of beautiful women’s spirituality at the forefront of world’s faith scene, when atrocities such as those mentioned earlier would not happen anymore. To anyone. I know we are coming out of this crepuscular season of faith and entering another age, of spiritual enlightenment. I just hope it happens sooner. Because there is so much unbearable darkness all around us right now.