I’ve been discussing the concept of the ‘divine right of men’ to dominant and enslave women. We see much of that in our world, even now in the 21st century. In my story, I wanted to talk about this, but without raising the hackles of any religion in our world. I visualize this…disease, as I consider it, to be much like a religion, even without any of the ‘holy trappings’ of religion. Men, who believe that women are inferior, carry this concept as their religion. “It’s just the way things are,” they say. “Everybody knows women can’t drive.” I can’t count the times I’ve been in a car with a friend, and the comment he makes about another driver is, “Damn women drivers…” and yet, most of the time, if we pass the car in question, it’s being driven by a man! I’ve had men tell me that it’s impossible for a man to have a woman as a friend; either there’s sex involved, or she’s can’t be important. Now these might be extreme examples, but I’m using them to point out the fact that abuse, physical and emotional, is exactly like a religion to this kind of man. So, in my Steampunk/Fantasy world, “After Earth: Journey To The Black City”, and its sequels, this unbalanced need to dominate and subjugate women is expressed in the framework of a religion.
In writing the religion of the Cathedral for my Steampunk/Fantasy, I gave them a hierarchy—a Bishop, priests, and of course, their followers. I’ve made everyone in my books pagans in outlook—there’s a Goddess and a God in all the religions in this world. In the case of the Bishop and his followers, the Goddess…the feminine aspect of the divine, is marginalized into an incompetent being not worthy of worship. But She’s still there. Why did I do that? The answer is simple. I’m trying to point out the character flaw that gives someone the belief they have a right to abuse and dominate a woman simply because he’s a man…and she’s a woman. That’s the religion I’m speaking of. So, I don’t want anyone thinking that I’m referring to any particular religion in our world. I’m not. The finger I’m pointing is at the abuser, the dominator, the individual who thinks this is the way things are supposed to be.