It’s always awesome to hear male feminists condemn injustices against women—even more awesome when they’re one of the most powerful men in the world.
Writing in London’s Guardian, arguably the cuddliest ex-president ever, Jimmy Carter, said God would not be happy with how religion is used to sanction violence against women and girls, forced prostitution, and genital mutilation:
This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries…We need to challenge these self-serving and out-dated attitudes and practices…The truth is that male religious leaders have had — and still have — an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter.
Carter could have taken the wussy way out and been more polite to religious leaders, as not to offend. But he had the chutzpah to say this is not what Jesus would do.What’s great is that Carter doesn’t just finger one religion or one country as the culprit. Sexism is global, he says, comparing women in Islamic nations who are killed after getting raped to women in America who are paid less than their male counterparts. Any subjugation of women is “simply self-defeating,” he says:
It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for everyone in society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.
You get the gold star today, President Carter. Let’s hope other ex-presidents join him in speaking about issues like this. [Guardian]