The fastest growing religions in the world: Islam and Mormonism, have opinions of women that are contrary to progressive thought in the modern world. It is a fact, nations with the least religious populations enjoy the highest levels of equality and happiness. There is no question, religious men still cling to the idea of female inferiority and recent events solidify this claim.
In Benghazi, Libya, Salwa Bughagis was fatally shot just hours after casting a vote. Bughagis was a women’s rights activist, murdered by an Islamist militant group who are largely fundamentalist misogynists. This is a week after four women from the city of Mosel, Iraq committed suicide because they were dishonored because they were raped. Rape, by no fault of their own, casts a stigma on the victim that haunts her privately while labeling her “unclean” in the eyes of Muslim society. Victim shaming is the worst form of mistreatment towards women.
Kate Kelly, co-founder of a group called Ordain Women was excommunicated from the Mormon Church after starting a movement to allow women to hold the priesthood in the church. I asked Ex-Mormon and second cousin to Mitt Romney, Park Romney, what he thought of the bizarre scenario where a women who wants to be a bigger part of the faith is excommunicated for doing so. He said,
In a word, the whole affair strikes me as absurd. Here we have a woman, who by insisting that the Mormon leadership is in error for excluding women from the priesthood takes the implied position that the Mormon priesthood is not, in fact, the exclusive authority to represent God on earth in such matters and questions… and therefore an invalid and fraudulent claim of Divine agency. Now, having taken such a position, she believes the world would be a better place if woman were more direct participants in this fraud.
Naturally, Park Romney, once a holder of the Melchizedek Priesthood, through research and careful examination of evidence, believes the entire faith to be fraudulent. His opinion derives from his immense cache of information that has come from voracious reading and studying. Park cannot understand why Ms. Kelly would want a part of a religion that holds her in such low regard. Women are not allowed to hold priesthood, much like the Catholic Church, and will be one of a man’s many celestial wives in the eternal afterlife.
Women who try to address matters of gender inequality are often the most persecuted in religious circles. Men will continue to exert their dominance aided by outdated social mores that go hand and hand with religion.