It is interesting watching the political debates, with each side pointing a finger on how badly they treat women. The following is from the Anecdotes of Oyasama concerning the treatment and respect of women.
Once Oyasama had heard that a follower was treating his wife unkindly. When the follower was in attendance of Oyasama, he was asked by her: “Sir, won’t you go and look outside?” In those days, the Residence was under heavy surveillance by the police; therefore, thinking that Oyasama was concerned, he looked around carefully but saw no one. He returned and reported, “Oyasama, there is no change outside. There are pumpkins in the field yonder and in the field hither there are many eggplants.” At that, Oyasama patted Her knee and taught him, “That is it. Did you notice those pumpkins and eggplants? They are big, aren’t they? The plants bear fruit because the flowers bloom. Not a single plant bears fruit without its flower. Now ponder deeply. The world says woman is unclean, but there is nothing unclean about woman. Man and woman are equally children of God and there is no discrimination. Woman has a duty, a duty to bear children. Her monthly period is the flower. Without the flower there is no fruit. Understand this well. Take the pumpkin; if its big flower is gone, that is the end of it. In many things, there are flowers that bear no fruit. But to bear fruit without any flower is impossible. Ponder deeply. There is nothing unclean about it.”
Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 127-128