Meg Bowman gathered these quotations together in 1988 for her Dramatic Readings on Feminist Issues. When performed each sexist quote is burned after being read aloud. They were published in 1997 in Women Without Superstition, No Gods, No Masters, edited by Annie Laurie Gaylor**
Of course few people, even Christian clergy would agree with these quotations today, but they represent the history of the deep seated religious attitudes that lead to the still prevalent demeaning and ill treatment of women:-
1) One of the worst sexists was the revered sage Confucius. This respected religious leader said, "One hundred women are not worth a single testicle."
2) This respected authority on how to live wrote in the Confucian Marriage Manual (551-479 BCE) The five worst infirmities that affect the female are indocility, discontent, slander, jealousy and silliness ... Such is the stupidity of women's character, that it is incumbent upon her, in every particular, to distrust herself and to obey her husband
3) "The Hindu Code of Manu, dated about 250 BCE regulates social customs and lists detailed precepts for daily life, such as: "In childhood a women must be subject to her father; in youth, to her husband; when her husband is dead, to her sons. A woman must never be free of subjugation."
4) Also from this most impressive law book: "If a wife has no children after eight years of marriage, she shall be banished; if all of her children are dead, she can be dismissed after ten years; and, if she produces only girls she shall be repudiated after eleven years."
5) Tertullian, the founder of Western theology, said in A.D. 22: "Woman is a temple built over a sewer, the gateway to the devil. Woman, you are the devil's doorway. You should always go in mourning and in rags." He also wrote: "Do you know that each of your women is an Eve? The sentence of God - on this sex of yours -lives in this age; the guilt must necessarily live, too. You are the gate of Hell, you are the temptress of the forbidden tree; you are the first deserter of the divine law."
6) And the church father St. Clement of Alexandria wrote in 96: "Let us set our womenfold on the road to goodness by teaching them ... to display ... submissiveness, to observe silence. Every woman should be overwhelmed with shame at the thought that she is a woman."
7) St. John Chrysostom (345?-407), Patriarch of Constantinople: "Among all savage beasts none is found so harmful as woman."
8) St. Ambrose, author and composer of hymns, bishop of Milan (340?- 397): "Adam was led to sin by Eve and Eve by Adam. It is just and right that woman accept as lord and master him whom she led to sin." (I say, "Eve Was Framed!")
9) The "moral majority" has been around a long time. Listen to this early Christian church father St. Augustine (354-430): "Any woman who acts in such a way that she cannot give birth to as many children as she is capable of, makes herself guilty of that many murders ..."
10) Council of Macon: In the year 584,in Lyons, France, forty-three Catholic bishops and twenty men representing other bishops, held a most serious debate: "Are Women Human?" After many lengthy arguments, a vote was taken. The results were thirty-two yes, thirty-one no. Women were declared human by one vote!
11) The Koran, the catechism, the holy book of Islam, (Circa 650): Men are superior to women.
12) Daily prayer of the Orthodox Jewish Male (still in use today): "Blessed art thou, 0 Lord our God and King of the Universe, that thou didst not create me a woman."
13) The Old Testament book of Deuteronomy (22:20-21) notes that if a woman be found not to be a virgin, ". . . then they shall bring the damsel to the door of her father's house and the men of the city shall stone her with stones that she die."
14) Exodus 20:17 and 22:16-17 declares as law that if a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed (thus damaging the father's property)-he (the rapist) shall marry her. (Can you imagine having to marry your rapist?!) If the father doesn't wish this, the rapist shall pay money equivalent to the marriage/bride price for virgins.
16) Job a 5:4: "How can he be clean that is born of woman?"
17) Leviticus 12:1-2, 5: "And the Lord spake unto Moses saying: speak unto the children of Israel, saying: if a woman be delivered, and bear a man-child then she shall be unclean for seven days .... But if she bear a maid-child, then she shall be unclean for two weeks..."
18) In 1847, a British obstetrician, Dr. Simpson, used chloroform as an anesthetic in delivering a baby. A scandal followed, and the holy men of the Church of England prohibited the use of anesthetic in childbirth, citing Genesis 3:16: "God said to woman Eve, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy pain in childbearing. In pain thou shalt bring forth children ... and thy desire shall be to thy husband and he shall rule over thee. "
19) Ecclesiastes 7:26-28: "I find a woman more bitter than death; she is a snare, her heart a net, her arms are chains. No wickedness comes anywhere near the wickedness of a woman. May a sinner's lot be hers."
20 New Testament: I Corinthians 11:7-9: Man is the image of God ... whereas woman reflects the glory of man. For man did not originally spring from woman, but woman was made out of man; and man was not created for woman's sake, but woman for the sake of man.
21) I Timothy 2:9-12,15: I desire that "women should adorn themselves modestly and sensibly ... not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly attire ... Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or have authority over men; she is to keep silent. Yet women will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty."
22) I Corinthians r+3 3-36: It is shameful for a woman to speak in church. Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord. Women are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home.
23) The Coptic text of the Gospel of Thomas (these are the Gnostic texts discovered in 1945) translates: (r 14) Simon Peter said to them, "Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life." Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of heaven."
24) Moving into the Middle Ages, St. Thomas Aquinas, the well-known 13th-century Italian theologian, said: "Woman is defective and accidental... and misbegotten ... a male gone awry ... the result of some weakness in the (father's) generative power."
25) The renowned Protestant clergyman, Martin Luther (1483-1546), said: "God created Adam lord of all living creatures, but Eve spoiled it all." And: "Women should remain at home, sit still, keep house and bear and bring up children." Again: "If a woman grows weary and, at last, dies from childbearing, it matters not. Let her die from bearing; she is there to do it." [Die Ethnik Martin Luthers, Althaus, p. 100; or, this may have been said by Philip Melancthon, an associate of Luther.]
26) John Knox, sixteenth-century founder of Scottish Presbyterianism, declared: Woman in her greatest perfection was made to serve and obey man, not rule and command him.
27) Samuel Butler (r6r2-r68o), the English poet, wrote: "The souls of women are so small that some believe they've none at all."
28) French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712- 1778): The whole education of women ought to be relative to men. To please them, to be useful to them ... to make life sweet and agreeable to them.
29) Swiss Protestant theologian Karl Barth (1886-1968) said: "Woman is ontologically subordinate to man.
30) Pope Pius XII said in 1941 (He reigned I939-I958): "The pains that,since original sin, a mother has to suffer to give birth to her child only draw tighter the bonds that bind them; she loves it the more, the more pain it has cost her."
31) Dr. C. W Shedd, Presbyterian minister in Houston, Texas, wrote this advice in Letters on How to Treat a Woman (1968): "It seems to me that nearly every woman I know wants a man who knows how to love with authority. ... Our family airedale will come clear across the yard for one pat on the head. The average wife is like that. She will come across town, across the house, across the room, across to your point of view, and across almost anything to give you her love if you offer her yours with some honest approval."
More scriptural quotations on:-