Fundamentalist faiths are bad for everyone, but women undoubtedly suffer more than the men do. Whether they’re evangelical Christian, Mormon, or Muslim, the message is clear: If you’re female, God has a special, shitty role for you.
But every now and then, the women break free. They escape the faith — or at least the more extreme version of it — and serve as inspirations for others.
Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions (Seal Press, 2013), edited by Cami Ostman and Susan Tive, compiles several stories by these women. They write about the “pain that comes from the rigid expectations and diminishment of women so often built into religious orthodoxy.”
It’s as frightening and powerful a book as you might imagine.
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