Feminist views of religion
-Characters in religious texts are usually males
-Women are either portrayed in a negative light or as their traditional gender roles.
-Religious texts were written + interpreted by males
-God is referred to as male
Armstrong- This image of the all-powerful male God only appeared due to the rise of monotheistic religions. In Ancient Greece they had many goddesses.
-The majority of religious leaders are male. - However, women have been the founder of some religions.
-Some religions segregate females from males in their place of worship. Women may be seated behind screens whilst men sit in the more central, sacred spaces.
-Influence cultural norms which can lead to inequalities- abortion and birth control not accepted- no control for women over pregnancy.
Some women may be attracted to Orthodox Judaism in the USA- provides women with clearly defined rules to live by- creates certainty in an uncertain postmodern world.
Important to recognise not all women have this choice.
Feminist views of religion continued.
El Saadawi- not religion that creates a patriarchal society but a patriarchal society shaping religion. The rise of patriarchal forms of society over the last 2,000 years began to reshape religion as shown by men interpreting religious texts in a way to suit them. Conservative force- helps to maintain the patriarchal structure of society.
:( Woodhead- Religion isn't always patriarchal. Can help liberate women and give them greater freedom + respect. 'Religious forms of feminism'- The veil worn by some Muslim women may symbolise resistance to patriarchal oppression as women can develop their education + career without losing their cultural identity
:) Watson- Agrees with the above point. Many Muslim women choose to wear the veil- stop men staring + to establish their identity. Feminism=too deterministic.
Sects allow women to resolve a sense of marginalisation. More likely to experience it than men, women can develop a level of social status that it denied by wider society.
Plenty of evidence to suggest religion is patriarchal. May overlook the ability to choose for themselves to follow a religion. Brown-may be because women are choosing to reject patriarchy+institutions.