Religion is an incredibly controversial topic, specifically Catholicism as of late, but as someone who attends mass each Sunday and has come to acknowledge just how hypocritical the Catholic religion is, I wanted to take it upon myself to dissect one reading in particular and its blatant perpetuation of sexism and male patriarchy.
This passage comes from a letter by Saint Paul to the Ephesians (5:22-33). It reads “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”
Can I just start of by saying hell no?
As someone who studied women and gender studies in university, it is probable that you can imagine my frustration upon hearing this passage read in mass this past Sunday. This passage condemns women and their right to the ownership of their bodies and minds, rather stating that women should devote themselves entirely to their husbands with the implied understanding that men are are superior than women.
What perturbs me so greatly about this existence of blatant sexism in the Bible is the fact that male patriarchy and male superiority in contemporary culture has been fuelled by religious teachings for centuries. Who deemed it acceptable to reiterate these discriminant teachings regarding women and the expectation to ‘submit to their husbands in everything’? I find it infuriating that Jesus’ teachings have been morphed into what people interpret them to mean over time, when in actuality, Jesus teaches that we are all equal in the eyes of the Lord.
How exactly can we be equal when women are expected to submit to their husbands in everything? If a husband is ‘the head of the wife,’ how can she be expected to match his power over her?
Catholicism, in my opinion, needs a major facelift, and abolishing the level of sexism that exists within bible is a great place to start.