deborah king writes an article about the origins of our attitudes about abuse and women's place in society. i wholeheartedly agree. frankly, this exact issue is where so much of my discomfort with The Church stems from:
"The Southern Baptist Convention - added into their core teachings that a woman must be subject to her husband in all things, which they call "headship." The husband, no matter how much of an ignoramus he may be, must prevail."
religious tradition places the man at the head of, well, everything... and uses god's headship over the church as its model. the problem is, man is NOT god (and for that matter, god is not a man). so the whole theory of men's superiority is based on a false comparison, in my personal opinion. (actually, my personal opinion is that the theory is based on the desire for "power & dominion", to use a biblical term.)