Women are the female of the human species. Most women have two X-chromosomes. They also have different reproductive organs from men and normally can give birth. While on average women’s brains are smaller than men this is not an indication of a lower intelligence. Other morphological differences from men include a thicker layer of subcutaneous fat, a wider pelvis to facilitate carrying and birthing a baby, and have less fine vellus and coarse hair than men.
Men have typically two times more upper body strength than women, and around 50% more leg strength. Women have slightly longer average lifespans than men, which results in women overtaking men in population by middle age despite a 1.05:1 boy to girl ratio at birth in many countries, though the ratio differs in some parts of the world. Men are also more violent than women, according to conservative psychologist Jordan Peterson. Men also have higher levels of testosterone than women and this is associated with masculinity, while estrogen is one of the primary female hormones.
- 1 Women in history
- 2 Christianity and women's rights
- 3 Women in the Bible
- 4 Atheism and women
- 5 References
- 6 See also
Women in history
Most women, such as the Virgin Mary and most other women of the Bible as well as more well-known women in later history, have had positive impacts on society, like the wise woman of Proverbs 14:1).
The following is a selection the many famous women:
- Mary of Galilee
- Queen Esther, the Jewish heroine of the Book of Esther in the Old Testament
- Judge Deborah." Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time". Judges 4:4.
- Judith. See Book of Judith in the O.T.
- Theresa of Avila
- St. Joan of Arc
- Murasaki Shikibu, the Japanese author of the eleventh century The Tale of Genji, described as the world's first novel.
- St Hildegard of Bingen, medieval composer, philosopher, mystic,etc.
- Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 - 1654 or later). The most celebrated female painter of the 17th century.
- Clara Schuman, composer
- Isadora Duncan, the most famous dancer of her time.
- Georgia O'Keefe, major 20th century painter
- Jane Austen, a famous early novelist
- Emily Dickinson, American poet
- Hypatia c355-415, ancient Greek philosopher.
- Iris Murdoch, who was also a novelist.
- Hannah Arendt was a German political theorist and writer. Her works include The Origins of Totalitarianism, The Human Condition, and Eichmann in Jerusalem.
- Martha Nussbaum is a distinguished professor in the University of Chicago's Law School, Divinity School, and philosophy department.
- Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave and abolitionist who played an important role in the Underground Railroad.
- Susan B. Anthony, was an abolitionist, anti-abortionist, and campaigned for a woman’s right to vote.
- Queen Victoria. Queen of England for much of the 19th century
- Queen Elizabeth I of England
- Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Margaret Thatcher
- Empress Tsarina Catherine the Great of Russia
- Pharaoh Cleopatra of Egypt
- Prime Minister of Israel Golda Meir
- Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi
- Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto, the first woman to lead an Islamic republic
- United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. The first woman appointed to the Supreme Court.
- Candace Owens, Black activist, human rights spokesperson and entrepreneur
- Alaska governor Sarah Palin, She was John McCain's vice-presidential running mate.
- Phyllis Schlafly, a founder of the modern conservative movement
- Mary May Simon, Canada’s first Indigenous governor general.
- Florence Nightingale was the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society and founder of modern nursing.
- Amelia Earhart, the most celebrated of all women aviators.
- Rachel Carson,marine biologist, conservationist, and author of the influential book, Silent Spring.
- Dr. Sally Kristen Ride was the first American woman in space. She had a doctorate in Physics (Stanford, 1978), as well as a BSc in Physics, BA in English in 1973, and a MSc in Physics.
- Marie Curie, in physicist with her husband (1903, )and chemistry (1911). Curie's daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935.
- Barbara McClintock in 1983 for her research in genetics.
- Mother Theresa, who won in 1979
- Toni Morrison, prize in literature (1993)
- Alice Munro, prize in literature (2013)
- Peace Prize 2014, Malala Yousafzai, for her work “against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”.
- Louise Glück, American poet in 2020.
Negative role models
Women in the entertainment and media industries, politicians, other public officials, and feminists, because of their liberal, socialist, and other negative ideologies (like the foolish woman in Proverbs 14:1).
- Delilah, who betrayed Samson to his enemies the Philistines after weakening him by cutting his long hair
- Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, the corrupt king of the Northern Kingdom; she was so evil that her name has long since become associated with any woman who is evil and corrupt
- Margaret Sanger, racist, eugenicist, and the founder of Planned Parenthood. She promoted contraception in order to end abortion.
- Eva Peron, wife of Argentine leader Juan Peron; she allowed Nazis who had escaped from Germany following the fall of the Nazi regime to hide in Argentina
- Madalyn Murray O'Hair, immoral atheist activist whose actions led to the removal of prayer from public schools
- First Lady and Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton
- Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of the U.S. House of Representatives since 2002
- United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She wanted the law to treat women the same as men. She agreed with abortion.
- Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first African American female appointed to the Supreme Court, who refused to define what a woman is in confirmation hearings
- Catherine de Medici, Queen of France (1547 to 1559), was ruthless and violent and is often regarded as the mastermind behind the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre, directed against the Huguenots (French Calvinist Protestants) in 1572, in which 30,000 Huguenots lost their lives
- Mary Tudor, “Bloody Mary”, the very first queen of England (1553 to 1558), is remembered as one of the most evil women in English history. Known for her persecutions of Protestants and the executions of over 300 subjects.
Christianity and women's rights
Dr. Jeff Myers in his book Understanding the Culture: A Survey of Social Engagement wrote about Christianity and women's rights:
|“|| Christianity has done more for women’s rights than any other movement in history. Christianity sprouted in the seedbed of the Roman Empire, whose soil was nourished with the blood of the innocent. To say that Rome was distinctly anti-woman is an understatement. Families typically kept all their healthy boys and their oldest healthy girl. Other daughters were left to die as infants. Surgical abortion was available, and women often died from it or were left maimed. Surviving girls were typically married off at age twelve and were pressured into remarriage when widowed.
Christians opposed these practices. They took in abandoned infants, condemned surgical abortion, allowed girls to remain unmarried until they were ready, and provided support for widows. Welcomed by the church rather than shunned, women converted to Christianity at a far higher rate than men and rose to positions of leadership.Unsurprisingly, this led to a surplus of Christian women who, in marrying pagan men, provided the early church “with a steady flow of secondary converts,” as Rodney Stark drily phrased it. Also, because they accepted rather than rejected all children, Christians gained a distinct population advantage in producing the next generation.
Furthermore, Christianity’s acceptance of women’s dignity led to cultural innovations all over the world. In India, for example, it was only when Parliament forced the British East India Company to allow Christian missionaries into India that the practice of suttee was questioned. It took decades, but these missionaries, together with indigenous Christians like Krishna Mohan Bannerjee, eventually succeeded in having this gruesome practice banned.
In China, traditional culture held that tiny feet were a mark of status and beauty for women. In many parts of China, the feet of little girls were bound tightly to prevent them from growing. This broke the toes and bones in the arches of their feet, leaving many girls nearly crippled. In the 1600s, the Manchu emperors (who were not ethnically Chinese) tried and failed to stop the practice. In the late 1800s, however, Chinese Christian women, such as medical doctor Shi Meiyu, began agitating against this abuse of young girls and women and were eventually successful in making the practice illegal. Meiyu also exerted a transformational influence on China through her work in medicine and public health and the help she provided to opium addicts.
Historically in most cultures, women were often denied educational opportunities. Christian missionaries and indigenous Christian leaders changed that in country after country. In Japan, Nitobe Inazō, a scholar with five doctoral degrees and an innovator in Japan’s agricultural advancement, founded Tokyo Christian Women’s University and became its first president. Tsuda Umeko, a Japanese woman educated in the United States, became the private tutor of prime minister Ito Hirobumi’s children. She had such an influence on securing the right of women to education that Tsuda College, the most prestigious private women’s college in Japan, is named in her honor.
The Pentecostal Assemblies of the World's more than 60 dioceses now has two women bishops, Bishop Mona Reide and Bishop Gwendolyn G. Weeks ,"the first and second women to take on the full responsibilities of a bishop in the more than 100-year-old denomination".
Women in the Bible
Contrary to what many Liberals, Atheists, and Feminists like to say, the Bible does not devalue women. In fact, the Deuterocanonical law of the kinsman redeemer (whereby the entire gentile church was grafted in to God's family) is perhaps the earliest written law intended to protect women's rights. In the Book of Ruth a kind older man, Boaz, looked after Ruth and her mother, and eventually married her, fulfilling his role as kinsman redeemer. He is mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus.
|So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.|
|But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.|
Genesis further elaborates that God took a rib from Adam, the first man, and from it created Eve, the first woman, as a helper for Adam when the animals, which had been created for that purpose, proved unsuitable:
|And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.|
According to some biblical literalists, Eve caused sin and suffering to come into the world when she convinced Adam to eat from The Tree of Knowledge, an act directly forbidden by God Himself. As punishment for this, God declared that women shall experience great pain in childbirth.
New Testament statements on the role of women
Saint Paul also has much to say on the status of women in society, most memorably that women should submit to their husbands just as the church submits to Christ.     Most of these things are not believed by even the strictest Christians, and such views are considered extreme by even the most conservative Christians.
The New Testament contains several instructions regarding the role of women:
- Women are to dress modestly and not wear "broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array."
- Women may learn in silence, but may not be permitted to teach men. Some interpretations limit this rule to the teaching of doctrine.
- Women are not permitted to speak in church.
- Women are to be subservient to and follow the instructions of their husbands.
- Women "shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety."
These viewpoints are not widely accepted in secular, first-world nations, although some believers still adhere to them. However, Christians do not always agree on how literal or universal these directives are intended to be. For example, dressing modestly is interpreted by some Anabaptists to mean that women should only wear black or dull colors and that dresses should cover the entire arms and legs, whereas most non-Anabaptist Christians consider the directive to modesty as simply meaning that garments should not be wrongly provocative. The directive that women should not speak in church is regarded by some as being literal for all situations, but due to other New Testament passages which indicate that women were allowed to publicly testify in the early church, the most common Christian interpretation[Citation Needed] of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 is that women in the Corinthian church were in the habit of conversing casually and gossiping during the church service, and that the apostle Paul was telling them not to do that. However, that interpretation is at odds with the following Scripture passage:
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. 1Timothy 2:11-15 (KJV)
Another interpretation sees the silence of women being limited to the immediate context of the passage, namely the authoritative judgment of prophecy.
Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 1Corinthians 14:29 (KJV)
Some Protestants[Who says?] believe these verses can be taken out of context and applied too legalistically. They believe that the church can conform legitimately to modern egalitarian ideals without sacrificing the literal meaning of these passages.
Strong and important women in the Bible
Among the Bible's several strong and empowered women are Deborah, the only female judge and ruler of Israel; Judith; and Queen Esther, heroine of the Book of Esther. Ruth, the Moabitess woman in the Book of Ruth, claimed Boaz as a husband under the law of the kinsman redeemer and gave birth to what became the House of David. In the New Testament, Mary Magdalene and other women are disciples of Christ with whom He seems to have close friendships. The Virgin Mary is heavily revered in the Catholic and Orthodox churches.
Atheism and women
In 2016, Atheist Alliance International (AAI) conducted an annually reoccurring atheist census project and found:
|“||At the time of writing, the Atheist Census Project recorded that on average worldwide 73.2% of respondents were male. The result is consistent with other research... As such, the focus of many scholarly papers has been on seeking to explain this persistent observation."||”|
In November 2010, Discover Magazine published survey results published by the World Values Survey which showed significant differences between the percentage of men and women who are atheists for various countries with men outnumbering women in terms of adopting an atheist worldview.
- Gamble, T., & Zarkower, D. (2012). Sex determination. Current Biology, 22(8), R257–R262. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2012.02.054
- “Battle of the Brain: Men Vs. Women” Northwestern Medicine
- Medical News Today
- College women have 50 to 60 percent of the arm and shoulder strength and 70 percent of the leg strength of their male counterparts. Human Kinetics
- Pew Research,
- "The Tale of Genji: The world’s first novel?"
- Women's rights, Everystudent.com
- Women’s Rights: Advanced by a Christian Worldview for 2,000 Years
- Genesis 3:16
- Ephesians 5:22-24
- I Corinthians 11:8-9
- I Corinthians 11:4-7
- I Corinthians 14:34-35
- 1 Timothy 2:9
- Peter 3:2-6
- 1 Timothy 2:11-12
- 1 Corinthians 14:34-37
- Ephesians 5:22-24
- Colossians 3:18
- Titus 2:4-5
- 1 Peter 3:1-7
- I Timothy 2:15
- 1 Corinthians 11:5
- Multiple references:
- Kosmin, Barry A., et al. (2008). "American nones: Profile of the no religion population". American Religion Survey website [Trinity College, Hartford, CT]. Retrieved from Internet Archive.
- Britt, Robert Roy (February 28, 2009). "Women more religious than men". Live Science website.
- Khan, Razib (November 18, 2010). "Gene expression; Sex differences in global atheism, part N". Discover magazine website.
- Khan, Razib (November 18, 2010). "Gene expression; Sex differences in global atheism, part N". Discover magazine website.
- Myers, P.Z. (June 29, 2010). "The woman problem". Pharyngula [blog].
- AAI Position Statement - Gender Balance