In this modern age, it is nice to think that discrimination towards women is a habit of the past. One can go out and explore the far reaches of the planet and see females in high positions of authority and women who are financially independent. Women have even proved to any doubters that they are perfectly capable for military activity. Yet, despite all of the gigantic strides the world has made in women's rights, something is still sucking at society's neck like a leeching parasite, keeping human progress an unlikely goal and women in a man's world: Organized Religion.
One can't begin to mention misogyny and religion without bringing up Christianity. How can one call a religion that begins the story of human life with a woman being the downfall of mankind not at least a little insensitive towards females? For anyone who isn't familiar with the tale, Adam and Eve lived in a wonderful, green, garden paradise. The Almighty God had given them all that they needed, that is, with the exception of the Fruit of Knowledge. It wasn't long before the couple started wondering what was so great about the "forbidden fruit". Eventually, Eve has an encounter with a serpent, the Devil, and he convinces her to bite a chunk out of the luscious, flavorful Fruit of Knowledge.
She then proceeded to tell Adam how fabulous the fruit was, and so he gave it a try too. After devouring the fruit, the two realized that they were naked and decided to make themselves some clothes out of whatever they could find. Once God caught wind of this, he decided to inflict his wrath on the first human couple and banish them from the oasis that he had provided. But, before he did, he made sure he cursed Eve and all women after her with the pain of child-bearing, periods, and to forever be ruled over by her/their husband(s). They're chased out by an angel with a flaming sword, and then the story only gets more depressing from there.
So, without being a genius, one can see why someone would consider that wonderful story sexist. Not only is it suspicious that the tale of the first humans denounces knowledge, but it also burns the path for the theory of women's inferiority.
But don't think Christianity is the only religion out there that keeps women in low places, just take a look at how women live in Middle Eastern countries. Their faces are constantly covered and any sign of natural flesh is considered disrespectful. The Islamic religion is, no doubt, responsible for the women's treatment. However, "Original Sin" is not present in Islam. In very strict Islamic countries, such as Saudi Arabia, there are rules regarding men and women even being around each other, mostly inside a mosque.
Another fantastic example of misogyny is the practice of "bride burning" in countries located on or around the Indian Subcontinent. Bride Burning is the murder of a woman by her husband and possibly his family because her family refused to pay what is known is "dowry", which is income or other goods and riches that the wife brings into the relationship. The bride is usually doused in any handy flammable liquid and set ablaze.
But what's keeping women in this seemingly endless abyss of abuse? One can point out the influence of religion on traditional values across the globe, and then observe the misogyny in those values. As long as a woman believes that some higher source of power has purposely made her an inferior organism and the natural plaything for the males of the earth, she can never be free from the shackles of prejudice. As long as primitive and irrational traditions and religions have a significant impact on the way people live, some may never be able to crawl out of their own endless abyss.