On November 26, 2011, in Zagreb, eight women from the atheist community founded the Lilith Club, a feminist and freethinking circle.

The Lilith Club was named after a female character from Jewish mythology – Lilith, because the founders of the club were inspired by her fight for gender equality and rejection of divine and male authority. 

According to Jewish folklore, Lilith (hebr. לילית) was the first wife of Adam. She was created also from the Earth.

So God created man in his image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (The Bible, Genesis, 1:27).

Lilith and Adam immediately began to fight over who would be on top during sexual intercourse. Lilith said, “We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.” Lilith then pronounced God’s name and flew away into the air. At Adam’s request, God sent three angels to bring Lilith back, but she refused. God cursed her to become a demon. Once a source of fear, Lilith became an icon of personal and sexual freedom.

In the atmosphere of neoliberal capitalism, the authorities and religious institutions in many countries are carrying out the re-traditionalization of society. In cooperation with the extreme right or religious fundamentalists, religious organizations want to have complete control over the female body and mind, to achieve the hegemony of conservative and religious ideology.

Feminism should criticize all patriarchal ideologies and elements of culture, including religious ones, regardless of which/whose religion it is. Neither Judaism, Christianity, Islam Buddhism, nor Hinduism (to name only the world’s largest religions) is monolithic, but they certainly contain misogynistic elements.

As for women’s awareness of oppression, all feminism starts from the assumption that there is not enough awareness of women’s oppression and that we reproduce sexism and patriarchy to a greater or lesser extent.

Abuse of criticism of religion and malicious racist criticism should be condemned, that is, racism in every form should be condemned, as well as imperialism. Again, legitimate criticism of racism and imperialism must not go so far as to undermine and delegitimize well-grounded and well-argued criticisms of misogynistic and patriarchal theories and practices of other cultures.

Both Islamic patriarchy and Christian patriarchy deserve an equal critical approach. The Left’s turning a blind eye to Islamic misogyny, or misogyny in all non-Western cultures, is just as anti-feminist and harmful as the (Far-)Right’s abuse of false concern for the well-being of non-Western women.

We ask you, women…

Do you support the messages that women are secondary creatures and the very practice and structure of religious institutions that treat women as secondary, not even allowing them access to the position from which decisions are made in such institutions?

Do you support institutions that systematically attack the basic reproductive rights of women while within these institutions women do not have the right to vote?

Do you support institutions that, thanks to the power you give them with your membership, systematically cover up pedophile crimes and obstruct the prosecution of pedophiles in their ranks, and at the same time are obsessed with controlling other people’s sexuality?

If you don’t want to be a part of it, you have a choice: Leave your religious organization!

The women’s circle Lilith Club promotes feminist critical and free-thinking women’s thought and actively opposes oppressive, misogynist religious, cultural, and social violence against women. The female gender aspect is highlighted due to the specific position of the female subject (or object) within the framework of mythical and religious observation of the world and the role of rational cognition in the criticism of such worldviews and in considering their alternatives.

In “The Lilith Question,” Aviva Cantor writes: “Her strength of character and commitment of self is inspiring. For independence and freedom from tyranny, she is prepared to forsake the economic security of the Garden of Eden and to accept loneliness and exclusion from society… Lilith is a powerful female. She radiates strength, assertiveness; she refuses to cooperate in her victimization.”

According to feminist readers, Lilith is a role model for sexual and personal independence. They point out that Lilith alone knew the Ineffable Name of God, which she used to escape the Garden and her uncompromising husband. And if she was the proverbial serpent in the Garden of Eden, she intended to free Eve with the power of speech, knowledge, and strength of will.