Christian attitudes to women are well known. Ever since St Paul, in his best Elizabethan English, made the above comment (I Timothy 2:12), Christians have constrained women and their freedoms, always making them subordinate to an “owning” male – father, husband, or even grown sons. Christianity is not unique in this respect – Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and many other tribally derived religions have ossified on this strategy.
But we might have thought it would dissolve in our modern egalitarian post-feminist society. Apparently not. The Bristol University Christian Union has a policy, which apparently the’ve had for some time, that women may not speak at their meetings unless their husband is there. At a modern university. In a secular democracy. In Bristol.
But should we be surprised at this? Religions have a singular task: to determine who is in power. As a side effect of this, they regulate who may mate with whom, and how women may behave given that they are patriarchies. Any religious movement that deviates from this is likely to face severe sociopolitical reassures to move back, and we have seen this happen from the optimistic days of the 1960s and 1970s with inexorable inevitability.
Religion is, in my view, an outcome of our social dominance disposition as a species, under conditions of high population density and the subsequent social differentiation. In other words it’s a side effect of our mating strategies. So of course they have to control women. It’s why they exist.