Religion, Hate and Culture

Jyoti Singh Pandey and Anene Booysen

23 and 17

India and South Africa

These two young women lived in different countries, were raised in different cultures and did not know each other, but they had something in common. Both of them got assaulted, raped and murdered by a gang of men and died by their injuries in front of the eyes of their families.

It doesn’t matter in which country you were born or behind which boundaries you were raised, the hate against women is always there. The question is why. Why do men think we deserve to be raped? What makes men think they can do this to us? How can you even manage to kill an innocent person? Were do all this disgust of the female gender come from? I have so many questions and so little answers. Sexism and violence against women come with religion and beliefs. I once spoke with a young man from the United States about homosexuality and found out that he thought it was  wrong and disturbing, not just because he himself was a heterosexual man, but: “It says so in the Bible”.

Quote from the Bible:

Lev. 18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”

Lev. 20:13 “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them” (American standard version, 1901).

That’s true; the Bible says it’s abnormal. But tell me this then: where in the Bible does it say that YOU should judge other people for their sexuality? It also says in the Bible that women, who are not virgins before they are married, should be stoned to death by the men in the town:

“20 But if this thing be true, that the tokens of virginity were not found in the damsel;

21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the harlot in her father’s house: so shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee.”

The young man got crossed when I asked him if this also was his opinion. He told me that he of course did not want anyone to be stoned and that the Bible consists of rules and laws from an ancient society and that the religion and the judiciary were almost the same thing back then.  He practically told me that the Bible doesn’t make sense in our modern society, which I thought was an interesting statement since he so passionately ventilated his hate and disgust against gay people. This is why violence against women makes no sense. Religion and beliefs are just reasons for something more complicated and people tend to use the Bible (or any other religious script) to justify their perverse and distasteful acts, because they can not take responsibility for their own decisions.  It is nothing wrong with the religion, wrong is what people do in the name of religion.

Every minute, 27 girls and women all over the world are getting raped and assaulted and the rest of the world refuses to see this. People are trapped by the society in constructed ideas and insane misconceptions. Jyoti Singh Pandey in India got beaten to death with a metal bar. Anene Booysen in South Africa was seventeen years old and got her intestines ripped out of her body. Why? Because this world needs to learn an important lesson: We were all born on this planet. We deserve to be treated as equals. How hard can it be? Women should not have to fight for their rights as human beings.

Women are as human as men.