In the beginning, Eve tempted Adam with an apple. Or was that just allegory or metaphor? Maybe she really tempted him with something else from the Tree of Knowledge that was a lot more interesting. The apple of carnal knowledge.
Ever since the beginning of Christianity when that story first appeared, Eve has been considered an ally of Satan, and responsible for the fall of mankind into sin and mortality. No wonder her name starts with the same two letters as “evil.” Evil Eve.
Early Christian societies considered women inferior to men, with virtually no human rights. They could not own property or hold any elected office. In fact, they were treated as the property of their husband, forced to surrender any personal wealth to their husband when they married. They could not divorce, but a husband could dump his wife whenever he tired of her.
Many societies prior to Christianity were much more enlightened about women. In fact, matriarchy was common in ancient societies, including African, Asian and even Native American.
Why was Christianity so cruel to women? It all goes back to the book of Genesis, and Adam and Eve and that talking snake that was really Satan in disguise. Eve was in cahoots with Satan to corrupt the perfect and sinless Adam. She and all of her female followers were never forgiven for that. For centuries in the Middle Ages, and even afterwards, a man risked falling under the influence of Satan by associating with any woman. That led to the Catholic Church’s promotion of celibacy, not just for priests. For all men! Even though they knew that if all Christians were celibate, the church would not last long. (The Shakers later proved that.) The cognitive dissonance resulting from that must have hurt the brains of church leaders who wanted their flock to grow, so they could increase their wealth and power, but were required by Church dogma to extol celibacy.But, of course, they knew that those corrupted sinners would continue to beget, so they probably didn’t worry much about running out of people to fill the pews and the collection plate.
That is all past history, of course, and the modern versions of Christianity are more enlightened about women’s rights. Ahem. Well, some sects more than others. Evangelicals still largely believe that the man is head of the household and the spiritual leader. Women should be submissive to their husband. There is a general opinion that women should stick to raising children and cooking the meals, and let the “important” decisions be made by their lord-and-master husband. This is probably one of the reasons so many evangelical women voted for Trump. Hillary is a “pushy” woman who doesn’t know her place. God made it clear that women aren’t meant to be leaders.