argument top image

Is religion compatible with feminism? Show more Show less
Back to question

Religion is not compatible with feminism Show more Show less

Religion is institutionally patriarchal. It serves to oppress women and their rights. Religion has the impact of oppressing women's voices, presence, sexuality, and autonomy.
(1 of 2) Next position >

Religion promotes patriarchy

All mainstream religious values seem to assert the dominance of man. Women are regarded as inferior and given the status of property. They are kept at home to produce children and foster an environment for man to thrive in.

The Argument

Religion promotes the idea that men are superior to women, that they naturally have a deity-like status, and women are there as machines to facilitate them and produce children and create the homes around them. Some religious texts are utilized to convey the idea that women are temptresses, and sinful and will bring man to disobey God, Eve for example. The idea that women are economically and politically inferior has become the norm in religions promoting patriarchal values, and often secular feminists describe religion as the "rulebook for patriarchy". Under these values, women's bodies are controlled, and so are their lives. Women are to be owned rather than seen as an equal partner. When Native Americans were colonized, the colonialists were shocked at the idea of Indian women being autonomous in their sexual will, and their ability to gain a divorce when needed, with the ability to engage in polygamy. Religion and patriarchy were imposed upon these communities. [1]

Counter arguments

When religion is asserted as a basis for patriarchy, it veils the real problem, patriarchy. Patriarchy does not exist solely because of religion, it simply exists. Even if religion is used as one vessel for asserting the notion, the fact that patriarchy prevails in secular, liberal societies, show that it is not a religious problem, it is simply a long-standing problem. These inequalities are institutional and present in modern secular society, ranging from gender pay gaps, to access to posts that are traditionally regarded as male. An example of misogyny in modern society was when an employee of PwC was sent home for wearing flat shoes rather than heels. Women still face abuse from their partners, and suffer gender-based violence. Pinning patriarchy to religion is not the answer. [2]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/4/13/1514315/-Religion-101-Religion-and-Patriarchy
  2. https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/religionglobalsociety/2017/03/the-religion-or-secularism-debate-on-womens-equality-obscures-the-real-problem-patriarchy/
This page was last edited on Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 00:27 UTC

Explore related arguments