Sigh..... I was raised as a Catholic — but after I left home at 18 or so, I felt that I needed to explore the protestant sects… and even some other religious perspectives. So I learned what it felt like to be a Mormon (didn’t like it at all), and a few Protestant sects. Okay, but not as satisfying in the worship component as the Catholic Church. Then I branched off and did a lot of reading in the realms of greater mystical perspectives. I liked the Hindu teachings — they were good adventure stories with all kinds of gods & goddesses, etc.
What I discovered, overall, is that a large number of religious systems have a sizeable component of authoritarian philosophy, and a good measure of misogynist sociological values — women are routinely reduced in value to that of a cypher, or at most, the babymakers. “They” can’t throw us off a cliff — at least not until we’ve produced at least one baby, or perhaps 2, or 3, or 5, or (pick a number)… and THEN we can retreat to the kitchen and the broom closet… or outside to raise the potatoes and the turnips. As a woman, I learned that my value was greatly enhanced by my youth and my physical appearance. Beautiful women have immensely greater value than plain ones or ugly ones. Women who are fertile in their youth are likewise greatly valued. Otherwise, not so much.
I learned about Amazon societies in the Middle and Far East — a few in North America… and I read a few books by women authors championing Amazon women’s societies in the Science Fiction genre.
Ultimately, I gave up on finding “love” with a man — and I certainly wasn’t going to substitute love with a woman as a comparable substitute. Just not my cup of Joe.
I’ve spent most of my adult life living alone. I do have 3 grown children (2 daughters and a son). They are all happily married, so my personal asceticism has not ruined their outlook on love and marriage. I am thankful for this.
I’d love to have had a wonderfully loving relationship with somebody — but maybe there’s a heaven, and maybe I’ll have more friends, if I manage to make it to there. I can hope….