Does God Hate Women?

The blurb on the front  cover calls this a “joy to read”. Let’s get things straight –  a joy it is not!

Without a word of introduction or warning  Benson and Stangroom launch into a detailed catalogue of murders, rapes, torture and brutality against women; all carried out with the blessing and sometimes instigation of religious leaders. Honour killings, teenage rape victims stoned for adultery, children sent back into a burning building at gunpoint for dishonouring dress codes.

These are the extreme examples, but the authors critically examine and argue that religion is used as a tool in the oppression of women worldwide.  Benson’s and Strangroom’s arguments are clear, rational, logical, and convincing. Benson (editor of the delightfully provocative website Butterflies and Wheels) and Strangroom are philosophers, used to complex debate, yet their books are easy for the lay person to understand. This is a must read book for feminists (and non feminists) everywhere but not an easy one.  Readers who would like an easier introduction to Benson’s and Strangroom’s work might like to try Why Truth Matters (one of my favourite books) a more light hearted piece, but still an intelligent, philosophical and political discussion of rational thought in the modern world.  But for the more courageous amongst you, give this latest work a try, but be aware it probably is a case where you will read it and weep!

5 thoughts on “Does God Hate Women?

  1. Lynne 12 October 2009 / 6:00 pm

    God does not hate women, men do, and use Him (or his manifestation as a man) as a justification for cruelty and oppression. Perhaps if God was percieved as a woman he would be less popular with men and therefore less liable to be used as an excuse.

  2. Chris Lawson 14 October 2009 / 3:12 pm

    Lynne, that’s the point of the book. The title is confrontational in order to make people question their beliefs and ask themselves if a loving god really *would* make some of the gynophobic rules attributed to him.

    I would also add that it’s not just a male thing. Some of the most fervent abusers are themselves women (think of the nuns in Ireland, the women who get their girls genitally mutilated in Nth Africa, and so on).

  3. joyciescotland 14 October 2009 / 5:28 pm

    Great. So women hate women, God hates women and men hate women.
    Does anyone like women? Maybe kittens and puppies ..but I’m prepared to be wrong on this one

    • mikespeir 15 October 2009 / 2:21 am

      I like women! But…but I’m a man, so never mind.

      Seriously, though, this book is on my wish list. It looks like a must read.

  4. Marie-Therese O' Loughlin 15 October 2009 / 6:12 am

    Thinking of the nuns in Ireland (in the past) is exactly what you cannot avoid – if you log onto a December, 2006 article, called “The Goldenbridge Secret Rosary Bead Factory” @ Ophelia Benson, the editor of said article and wonderful site has given over much of her valuable time to highlighting atrocities which occurred in Goldenbridge Industrial school, Inchicore, Dublin 8. Victims/survivors of GB (like myself) are deeply indebted to O.B. for being benevolent and passionate over the years in giving them a voice to express their life-long, angst-ridden pain. Thank you very much indeed.

    I wish you and your co-author, Jeremy Stangroom all the best with your new book “Does God (if there is one) Hate Women”.

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