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Does God Hate Women? Hardcover – July 21, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 1 edition (July 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826498264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826498267
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,324,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Frequent coauthors Benson and Stangroom (Why Truth Matters) theorize that God is against women, recounting in their short book horrific stories of violence against women. Benson and Stangroom categorically dismiss any arguments that patriarchal or sexist practices, like honor killings and female genital mutilation, are cultural. They vehemently insist that religion, which provides male perpetrators moral comfort, is to blame. Later, however, the authors, in one of the rare sections where they try to explain their theory more deeply, back off from their tough position by stating that it is impossible to distinguish religion and culture. Fixated on Islam, and in particular Pakistan, the authors include, for good measure, the Orthodox Jewish modesty police of Jerusalem, Hindus, the tiny Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, unreasonable restrictions on abortion in South America and some other examples. The authors fail to mention examples that disprove their theory, such as the successful eradication of female infanticide in the Muslim world and the plight of women in the developed world, who are undoubtedly victims of nonreligiously motivated sexism. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Author article (topic of book), book mention, The Observer. 31 May 2009.


Discussion of book, contents and potential impact (no review) concerning book's thoughts on Muslim female abuse and Mohammad's 'Child Bride', timesonline.co.uk. 31 May 2009.


Article on book in Muslim Weekly, 5 June 2009.


Article on book by Madeleine Bunting, Guardian, 16 June 2009.


Title and The Times article discussed in Private Eye, June 2009.


'Fans of Richard Dawkins will love it' - Sholto Byrnes, Independent on Sunday


'Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom are the editors of Butterflies and Wheels, the best atheist site on the web. In Does God Hate Women? they forensically dismantle the last respectable misogyny ... By the end of this book-length blast, Benson and Stangroom have left religious hatred of women in rubble. Anybody not addled by superstition will have to conclude that such bigotry deserves neither respect nor deference.' - Johann Hari, New Statesman


Reviewed in The Observer, July 2009.


Author Q & A and title mention in New Statesman.


'At a time when too many people bend over backwards to avoid offending the sensibilities of those with a belief in the supernatural, Benson and Stangroom provide a breath of fresh air. They subject the core beliefs of the world's leading faiths to the rigorous analysis they sometimes escape out of a misplaced fear of giving offence ... All this desperately needs to be said ... As this book reminds us, religion brings with it patriarchal ideas about gender difference which claim to honour women but almost always give men power over them.' - Joan Smith, The Independent



Reviewd in Morning Star, August 2009. http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/culture/books/non_fiction/does_god_hate_women

'The predecessors of today's critics would have hailed [this book] as a feminist classic.' - Standpoint


'We may want to react to the title of this book with a defensive "No, of course not." It will be more useful to acknowledge the challenge posed by the authors' refusal to avoid awk­ward questions. We should consider the extent to which the way, we think, we are presenting our faith matches what those out­side the Church actually perceive.' - Church Times


"As I read Does GodHate Women, I was impressed by the many probing questions that the writersfocused on in the three great monotheistic religions."
Network, February 2010


Reviewd in Morning Star, August 2009.  http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/culture/books/non_fiction/does_god_hate_women 

'We may want to react to the title of this book with a defensive “No, of course not.” It will be more useful to acknowledge the challenge posed by the authors’ refusal to avoid awk­ward questions. We should consider the extent to which the way, we think, we are presenting our faith matches what those out­side the Church actually perceive.' - Church Times

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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Taner Edis on September 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom very effectively point out how conservative religious doctrines on gender roles subordinate women.

I got the book not just because of Benson and Stangroom's excellent reputation as no-nonsense skeptics, but because I wanted a single go-to source I can use or cite as representative of secular liberal opposition to conservative religious insistence on confining women to the domestic and reproductive realm. Does God Hate Women? works very well for this. Not only does the book capture the disgust religious subordination of women often provokes among secular liberals, but the philosophical background of the authors lets them develop a case that has more depth than just an elaboration of discomfort.

The book does not do everything. For example, it will probably resonate little with readers who do not already take a secular liberal point of view. And its arguments opposing group rights and setting aside concerns for cultural integrity are cursory. They will not convince too many who do not already emphasize liberal individualism in their moral outlooks. But all this is not any criticism of Does God Hate Women?. Addressing all such concerns in detail is not the job the authors set for themselves. Instead, they appear (quite sensibly) to keep their argument short and to the point. If the very real suffering presented in the book will not move readers to stand more firmly against conservative religious demands to constrain the lives of women, little else will. A more in-depth analysis of multicultural views, for example, would of dubious relevance to that task.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By BooksJJS on December 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent overview of the ingrained hatred toward women found in Abrahamic religions. I've been waiting a long time to see a CURRENT book that doesn't mince words on the subject.

While there is some mention of Hinduism and Buddhism, the focus is primarily on Islam, and rightfully so. I would have liked to have seen more focus on the fundamental Christian revival of the idea that women belong at home, etc... but given current realities, the focus is in the right place.

I was especially reminded that the media pays no attention to the steady incursion of Sharia law into secular law. This is extremely dangerous to everyone, but especially to women. It's high time everyone wakes up and sees what's really going on. If women are going to be safe, respected members of American society, it is critical that this incursion be stopped here and in Europe.

Read this book. Pass it on to someone else to read next. We are living in very frightening times for women, no matter what pollyanna politically correct BS would have us believe.

Yes, the god the authors discuss hates women with a great and terrible passion. As they state, that god is a bully. Period. Christians and Jews should read this book too... both to be accountable for what misogyny exists in their traditional world views, and to see what is headed this way.

For additional reading on this particular god and his hatred of women, see older works by the incomparable Mary Daly.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. Pilgrim on July 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A powerful and necessary examination of the role religious ideologies have played in the subjugation and abuse of women. The authors provide timely examples, and successfully place the horrors perpetuated against women in the proper historical context. Most enlightening are their discussions of how religions exploit the differences between men and women, the emptiness of the term Islamphobia, and the need to recognize and protect the rights of autonomous persons rather than faceless groups or ideologies. This book should open your eyes as to how much damage has been, and continues to be done, in the name of religion.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Matthews on February 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I think it would be very difficult, contemplating the historical, anthropological and sociological record, to answer the question posed by the title here in anything other than the affirmative.
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7 of 64 people found the following review helpful By carynification on June 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have two words for this book. Truly. Awful. It is the feminist version of "Why Religion Ruins Everything" and is every bit as fundamentalist in its bigotry as a jihadist. The authors would never see it that way, but it is scarily true. From the very beginning they simply presuppose their truth claim rather than making a defense. The fact is that to ground their truth claims they would have to borrow on religious capital. Now this is not to say that there are not very legitimate points made. There most certainly are, but they are completely despoiled by the anti-religious bigotry and shoddy thinking. Here is one of the worst cases of eating one's own tail. The authors spend a goodly deal of angst-filled ink about how many religions cannot possibly have any legitimate say about women and the role of women because they exclude women from the positions of decision-making power. Ohhkaaay, but then you get this (from page 159):

"The committee responsible for "Islamaphobia: Issues, Challenges, and Action,' the Runnymede Trust's 2004 report, was also dominated by religious people. ... It would be easy to be lured into a polemical response to this sort of thing. Certainly there's something absurd about the idea that the best way to analyze anti-Muslim prejudice is to assemble a fairly random collection of religious apologists, all of whom have a vested interest in protecting religion from criticism...."

You see, for the authors, its tails they win, heads you lose. They believe the best way to analyze anti-women prejudice is to assemble a fairly random collection of feminists! I am not defending Islam. I find it to be false to its core, but that is coming from an objective grounding for a truth claim to compare it with rather than shrill arguments from outrage.
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