40 thoughts on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ women

  1. Good on the barmaid! I think she’s fighting a lost cause with those two, but that’s no reason not to keep fighting it of course.

    1. If all women stood up to religion it would end tomorrow. No fighting, just walk away from it.

      It’s 26 years old, but I still enjoy listening to Gabriel/N’Dour ‘Shaking The Tree’ but it falls sideways by not confronting religion as the main obstacle.

      1. I’m being picky, and this isn’t personal, but saying, “If all women stood up to religion it would end tomorrow.”seems a bit like blaming the victim to me.

        It’s mostly men who run religion -they’re the ones perpetrating the fraud on society, brainwashing people from childhood into their sick cults.

        And it’s pretty hard for anyone to walk away when they’ve been brainwashed since childhood and they genuinely believe that what they think is right, especially when the delusion is shared by so many billions of others.

        In many places too “just walking away” is a death sentence, or at least leads to social ostracism, whether you’re a man or a woman. Women are more likely to have children to look after too, which makes it harder. I have an ability to speak out about certain things because I don’t have any kids to worry if they’re bullied because of my tendency to be outspoken.

        1. Completely wrong. It’s *believers* who perpetuate religion. And they come in both sexes.
          Have you actually seen statistics on the sex breakdown of atheists?

          1. yes and most religions have greater expectations of women as believers – they are obsessed with controlling them – down to female nuns are supposed to do more observances (whether Christian or Buddhist) or Muslim girls must start praying and fasting earlier than boys. Religion mirrors traditional gender norms in premodern societies – which are concerned to control women. Its more acceptable for men to have outspoken views or to be independent – in women its more likely to be regarded as not nice and in past times something worse. Traditional society punishes women for not obeying these norms (witch hunts, honour killings etc).

            At the same time a lot of family services are offered via religious auspices (the more so the more conservative/religious the society is, versus offered by the state or by secular society). The latter makes it harder for religious women to leave.

          2. Also at a time when women stayed in the home, which wasn’t that long ago, church was the centre of their social life. Men got contact with people other than their family via work but women often had nothing else. Talking about doubts re religion for example, is not something that women in that situation would talk about. Men had a wider range of contacts and more mobility.

        2. I did not mean to imply it was not dangerous to stand up or walk away. Consider this 1913 suffragette writing to the Telegraph (*):


          Everyone seems to agree upon the necessity of putting a stop to Suffragist outrages; but no one seems certain how to do so. There are two, and only two, ways in which this can be done. Both will be effectual.

          1. Kill every woman in the United Kingdom.
          2. Give women the vote.

          Yours truly,
          Bertha Brewster

          The second way is self-referenced to men deciding the fate of women. That’s an insufficient solution, but clearly neither is the first way. There needs to a way in which men do not have a choice. And with regard to belief systems: when someone says they do not believe the cycle stops…unfortunately this can mean the end to the life of the believer.

          In the United States, if all women stopped believing, there would be some domestic violence, but on the whole, Christianity would be over.

          In other countries, if women stopped believing there would be moral bankruptcy the likes of which we have probably never seen before.

          (*) http://www.lettersofnote.com/2015/10/give-women-vote.html

          1. Yeah, I don’t pretend to know the answer. There’s obviously no simple or single response.

            Cool letter! Thanks for the reference. 🙂

    1. I don’t know, did not see any evidence of such.

      In my mind, right after Mo said “modesty” they got mooned, or flipped off. I’ll take either. 🙂

  2. Oddly, the Old Testament has two (or three if you count Apocrypha) books named after women (Ruth and Esther plus Judith from Apocrypha), but the New Testament has none.

    There is the heretical/Gnostic Gospel of Mary (Magdalene) but no gals books in canonical NT.

    1. I hadn’t thought of it, but you are right. And there are some women in the Old Testament who, though very briefly introduced, become dissidents: Lot’s wife who turns back to look at the destruction of her town, and Job’s wife who tells her husband to “curse G*d and die”.

      In the New Testament, I am appalled by the treatment of Mary. To put it mildly, wouldn’t pass any ethical committee.

      1. Quite a few Mary’s in the New Testament, and some uncertainty if some of them are the same person or not.

        Nothing in the New Testament identifies the unnamed repentant prostitute with Mary Magdalene (and identification made some 500 years later), nor is it clear if she is the same Mary who is the sister of Martha (at least in Luke and John).

        Jesus’ mother is definitely a separate individual, who IMO is a more fully developed character in Luke (composing a whole hymn), but remains largely an enigmatic cipher in all the other books.

        Which one did you mean, and why??

    1. We assume that in the third panel she said something to the effect that their priorities were off.

          1. @Craw The idiom “flipped the bird” & the action itself are not a Brit thing. The Author and The Cock & Bull are British…

          2. An older British (and European idiom) is “throwing a fig”. Dante’s circle of blasphemers are “throwing figs” at God.

            When Laurence Olivier’s film of “Henry V” was released in the United States, the Hays office demanded they edit out (or voice-over) all uses of the words “bastard” and “damn”, but the line “a figo for thee, Harry” remained since the Hays censors literally did not know what it meant!!

    2. The barmaid always comments back but didn’t here – a snub maybe compounded by pointedly walking off to serve another customer

  3. That’s almost word-for-word what you wrote here in a 2015 comment 🙂

    I’m not sure “figo” is British idiom unless you argue that every unusual word used by Shakespeare is English idiom! I wonder if Bill stole it from some other foreign written source [as seems to be the case for most of his plots], or from the Latin rather than hearing it about the streets. Perhaps he hung out with some Italian players

    Anyway I don’t think it’s the same as “the bird” – the gesture that accompanies “the figo for thee then” is the thumb pushed between two fingers using three digits of one hand, or it can be represented by the thumb put into ones mouth. It’s an overtly sexual gesture representing vanilla male/female intercourse, while “the bird” is often associated with a different orifice…

    1. But then I find this:

      The gesture was common in Shakespeare’s time [but not in England – see para 2] and was known as The Fig of Spain. […] Making the Fig of Spain is called in Spanish “dar una higa”. But the Spanish for “fig” is “not “higa” but “higo”. There is a pun here, because “higa” means the female genitals – which is what the thumb peeping out between the fingers of the closed fist is meant to represent. Exactly the same gesture and phrase occur in Italy: Italians call making the gesture “far fica”, but in polite speech it is bowdlerised to “fico”, fig, as in “Non vale un fico” (it’s not worth a fig). Polite Spaniards also bowdlerise it, as in “non darsele un higo” (not to care a fig)

      A more puzzling puzzle is how the English knew so much about the fig, as early as 1400. It is a fruit not native to England and grows there only in greenhouses (or hothouses). It’s hard to imagine that figs were abundant enough to be a symbol for worthlessness. It’s equally hard to imagine that the English used any indecent expressions based on the fig before Elizabethan times, when there was a vogue for all things Italian. As for the two-fingered salute, what became of the thumb? The Italian gesture is not a backwards V for Victory.

      1. I would assume that the Romans would have brought figs over during their occupation, possibly in syrup form, as either a laxative or sweetener. Of course, the British laxative of choice was rhubarb, but there was no way the Romans were sticking that up their arses; never mind the sting, it made the custard curdle something terrible.
        Either that, or Jesus had some with him when he visited Glastonbury* with his Uncle Joseph.

        *I do not vouch for the historical accuracy of that sentence 🙂

  4. Pew survey says Muslim Men more religious and in Christianity women are more religious –
    Presumably because women so excluded from particating in Islam they know less about it = back of the mosque, side entrance, prefer pray at home, stay at home etc and in Christianity its because women play a bigger role in the religion and are socialised to accepting its misogynist elements.
    Listened to replay of one of the religious programs on ABC radio national for International Womens Day. Of course, making out religions to be feminist because first wave feminists were mostly christian (as virtually everyone in the west was then) and ignoring the huge gains of the second wave. Then going on about how Islam is really woman friendly because *lie* “the tradition in Islam” is that women can be imams – yes in some Shia islam and only the lowest level imams and very, very occasionally in Sunni islam. They went on to crow of course that these female imams were soooo liberated they preached against polygamy and advocated divorce for the woman in cases of domestic violence.

    1. sorry muslim men and women have equal levels of religious commitment but men are more active in the religion (attend mosque) Christian women are more religiously committed than Christian men on the whole – including in church attendance

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