"The Story of Eve"
"Full woman, fleshly apple, hot moon."
- Pablo Neruda
Religions usually put heavy emphasis upon the veneration, teaching, and interpretation of ancient texts as a guide to modern living. Driving through the rearview mirror in this fashion has caused no end of trouble, since longstanding traditions so often endorse outdated, viciously prejudiced cultural values, especially as regards the relationship between men and women, respect for LGBTQ people, and tolerance for other classes of premodern untouchables.
For the most part, religions are created, perpetuated, and exploited by the males of our species. Consequently the spiritual status of women is often considered contingent and secondary, is conditioned heavily by their fidelity to men and due adherence to social role, and remains generally suspect.
Rabbis from the early centuries of the Current Era offer us the following explication of Woman, from the Genesis Rabbah 17:8. And things go downhill from there.
"Why does a man go out bareheaded while a woman goes out with her head covered? She is like one who has done wrong and is ashamed of people; therefore she goes out with her head covered. Why do they [women] walk in front of the corpse [at a funeral]? Because they brought death into the world, they therefore walk in front of the corpse... And why was the precept of menstruation (nidah) given to her? Because she shed the blood of Adam [by causing death], therefore was the precept of menstruation given to her. And why was the precept of “dough” (ḥalah) given to her? Because she corrupted Adam, who was the dough of the world, therefore was the precept of dough given to he