"Religion is one of the most important sources of violence against, of the ideology for violence against women. It first gives us this idea of sex negativity. That sex in which women are really always implicated as the sex, we are the sexual ones. Be we mothers or prostitutes or temptresses or whatever. The whole story of Adam and Eve, that Eve was the one responsible.

Religion is absolutely fundamental in perpetrating violence against women. It is one of the key ways to communicate the ideology of male supremacy. First of all, God is male. There is no female principle. It was the people who demanded that Mary even in the Christian religion be given a place of honor. The cathedrals in Europe were built to her to recognize people's understanding that there is something feminine about the divine as well. But patriarchal religions would have us believe that all divinity is male and only male. And that coupled with the idea that female sexuality in women is evil, as for example in the Garden of Eden myth and that it is up to men to dominate both women and the earth, give us a script for all kinds of violence against women, which, of course, I connect up with violence against the earth in that the earth and women are seen as passive, as submissive, as out of control and thereby need to be controlled, dominated, etc. God tells Eve, "This is your husband, Adam, you will submit to him, he will lord it over you and basically you'll love it.” Yeah, right. That's the Bible."

Jane Caputi