Sociology Revision - Feminism and religion - Oppression

Notes on feminism, female oppression and religion for AQA Sociology A2

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Sociology Revision Notes ­ Feminism:
Religion is source of oppression:
o Pamela Abbot and Claire Wallace:
Some church leaders have recently claimed that women
are incapable of taking leadership and that men
biologically take the initiative
Religious organisations have emerged that tended to
legitimate gender inequalities both through their power
holders and beliefs they develop in which in variably play a
subsidiary role
It can be argued that because the male has traditionally
been seen to be the most powerful and dominant of the
sexes religious beliefs has a basis in patriarchy
Religious scripture:
o Church uses male pro nouns and commands women to take a
subservient role:
"Let women learn in silence with all subjection"
"All wickedness is but little to the wickedness of a
"He is in the glory of God; but woman is in the glory of
the man"
o Women are related to nature thus they need to be looked after
and controlled
o Eve was a temptress who lured Adam into sin sexually. Thus
women are seen as unclean, un-pure, wicked and subordinate
to men
o Women are seen as nature and must be controlled by the spirit
which is male or culture in order to become organized
o Women do not pray when menstruating as they are unclean
o Women who are menstruating should stay away from men,
children and the community
o If they have a male child she is dirty for 7 days and must purify
for 33 days
o If they have a female child she is dirty for 14 days and must
purify for 66 days
o Women are "unclean" and "impure" and so should not be given
roles of power within the church
o Should purify themselves during menstruation
o Only women who separate themselves from men in a sexual
sense can be honouree men e.g. Joan of Arc

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Women and men should punish themselves for their sexual
o Don't pray physically during menstruation but mentally
o Full veil allows them to escape the glares of men…read more


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