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India’s top court lifts temple’s ban on women who menstruate

 

September 28, 2018

HWH COMMENT: It’s hard to believe that massive numbers of people living in the twenty-first century, still try to marginalize and demonize women of child bearing age. Menstruating women are evil? Where does that even come from? And why on earth would half the human population of such countries go along with it? And even now that the ban against menstruating women in temples has been lifted, the men and many women won’t abide by it.

Do you know what happens when these anti-women-minded people flock to the USA? They bring that sexist culture with them. They are not here to assimilate. They don’t like American values, unless they benefit the men in their cultures. The women get more of the same, no matter where they reside. They are here to make more money. Oddly, most of the women embrace the same sexist mores as their male counterparts embrace.

The article states, “some religious figures consider menstruating women to be impure”. Just stop it. It’s part of their culture to denigrate women – all women. Menstruation is just an excuse to keep the men and women separate. Oh, I see. If a woman is menstruating, then she can’t get pregnant, so let us all separate the women from the men during these years, so they won’t be tempted by the devil leaving open a door to allow for adultery absent consequences. Yes, that solves that problem. It’s not the woman’s fault. It’s the devil leaving her open like that. So we keep the men away – as long as the devil is with her. But they need to go to temple to talk business. Then we keep the women away. They belong home anyway.

Nice try. Whoa, how long did that go on? Thousands of years? I’m losing my optimism about the future, given it takes so long for people even to recognize a wrong, much less remedy it.


Some religious figures consider menstruating women to be impure. But the court ruled 4-1 the practice of excluding women cannot be regarded as an essential religious practice. The temple argued the celibate nature of Sabarimala temple’s presiding deity Lord Ayyappa was protected by India’s Constitution.

The top court’s verdict is part a string of recent rulings that recognize more rights of women, challenging deeply conservative Indian society. On Thursday, it scrapped a law which did not allow wives to bring criminal charges against adulterous husbands.

Chief Justice Dipak Misra in part of Friday’s judgment said devotion could not be discriminatory and a patriarchal notion could not trump equality in devotion. “Religion cannot be the cover to deny women the right to worship. To treat women as children of a lesser God is to blink at constitutional morality,” he said.

Rahul Eswaran, an attorney for the temple, said its management would seek a review of the court’s decision. It noted girls and women of other ages were allowed in the temple without restrictions. Chhavi Methi, a women’s rights activist, hailed the court verdict, but said its acceptance by temple authorities remained to be seen.

“I am doubtful the temple authorities would take it in the right spirit. Women would accept it, but its implementation might pose a problem,” she said.

Sabarimala is surrounded by mountains and dense forests in its location at the Periyar Tiger Reserve in southern Kerala state. Up to 50 million devotees visit the temple every year.

Several temples across India have banned women, saying it is intended to preserve the purity of their shrines. The operators of a temple in Rajasthan state believe Hindu god Kartikeya curses women who enter the temple, instead of blessing them…

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