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In his Dec 19 article, “Why are monotheisms so sexually obsessed?,” writer Gwynne Dyer seems to make the common mistake of comparing Western monotheistic religions, with which he is familiar, with less familiar Asian traditions.

Contrary to the “grass is greener” view that many Westerners have about Asian religions, these faiths have historically been just as misogynistic and just as hysterically phobic about sexuality and the “pollution” caused by women as have the Abrahamic religions.

To give just one example among many available, even the most extreme fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia or Iran would never dream of binding feet from a young age so that girls grow up too deformed to walk properly. This was the custom in Confucian China until the early 1900s, and was based on a morbid fear of women just as severe as anything in monotheistic religion.

Comparisons need to be based on knowledge of the things being compared, rather than on mere feelings.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

jim makin

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