Here we are again that very special day of the year when we honor our mothers. Our mothers made us who we are, how we think and how we act. Who and what we are today is very much based on the love of our mothers. I am not leaving out fathers, but this is mothers day. As of May 10, 2019 the National Retail Federation estimates that U.S. consumers will spend $23.6 billion on Mother’s Day this year. Last year, $14.3 billion, was spent on father’s day as a comparison.
Those numbers really do not depict the real picture how women have been treated throughout history. Granted progress has been made, but in reality, is it enough? Saudi Arabia implemented new rules in 2018 to allow women to obtain drivers without permission from their legal guardians nor will they need a male guardian in the car with them.
Women in Switzerland gained the right to vote in federal elections after a referendum in February 1971.
Egyptian women were guaranteed the right to vote and equality of opportunity was explicitly stated in the 1956 Egyptian constitution, forbidding gender-based discrimination. Labor laws were changed to ensure women’s standing in the work force and maternity leave was legally protected.
French women were disenfranchised at all levels before 1944. Women could vote from 1945, but only if literate. Restrictions on women’s suffrage were lifted in 1965.
In June 4, 1919 congress passed and later ratified on August 18, 1920, granting women the right to vote in the United States. These are just a few examples of women’s struggle in more recent times. Women have been suppressed by men for centuries and it started with religion. Unfortunately orthodox Christianity is not based on the teachings of Jesus, but on the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, which are entirely different. There are a number of reasons for this, the foremost of which is that Jesus was deliberately sidestepped in favor of the alternative teachings of Peter and Paul, teachings which were thoroughly denounced by the Nazarene Church of Jesus and his brother James. Only by removing Jesus from the frontline could the Popes and cardinals reign supreme. When formally instituting Christianity as the state religion of Rome, Constantine declared that “he alone” was the true “Saviour Messiah”, not Jesus!.
The only way for the Roman High Church to restrain the heirs of Mary Magdalene was to discredit Mary herself and to deny her relationship with Jesus. As a result, the Church portrayed Mother Mary as a virgin, and Mary Magdalene as a whore, neither of which description was mentioned in any original Gospel.
The Church’s only salvation was to deny women altogether; to deny them not only rights to ecclesiastical office, but to deny them rights to any status in society. Hence, the Church declared that women were all heretics and sorceresses! In this, the bishops were aided by the words of Peter and Paul, and on the basis of their teachings the Roman High Church was enabled to become wholly sexist. In his Epistle to Timothy, Paul wrote: “I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp any authority over the man, but to be in silence.”
In the Gospel of Philip, Peter is even quoted as saying that “Women are not worthy of life”.
The bishops even quoted the words of Genesis, wherein God spoke to Eve about Adam, saying “He shall rule over thee”.
The Church Father Tertullian summed up the whole Roman attitude when writing about the emergent disciples of Mary Magdalene: “These heretical woman! How dare they! They are brazen enough to teach, to engage in argument, to baptize. It is not permitted for a woman to speak in church, nor to claim a share in any masculine function-least of all in priestly office.”
So when we look at why women have been so mistreated during the centuries, all we have to do is look at the abrahamic religions. Others like Hinduism view the feminine energy as the essence of the universe, the one who creates all matter and consciousness, the eternal and infinite, the metaphysical and empirical reality, the soul of everything. The woman is celebrated as the most powerful and the empowering force in some Hindu scriptures such as Upanishads, Sastras and Puranas.
The Buddha gave women full freedom to participate in a religious life. The Buddha was the first religious teacher who gave this religious freedom to women. Before the Buddha, women’s duties had been restricted to the kitchen; women were not even allowed to enter any temple or to recite any religious scripture.
Men and women are equal partners in our world. Until we all realize and adopt that concept there will always be a struggle. Some men believe staying home and raising children is far less that than bringing home food for the table. Women see emotional intelligence far more important than physical intelligence but yet most have to call upon men to move or handle things that are highly physical. The problem may be we have become more competitive and see one more superior than the other, when in fact, both are equal. There have been many men that have had to raise their children and have done an excellent job. But there is nothing greater nor is there any substitute for the Mothers love for her children.