Unfortunately, the accompanying social conditions, a handiwork of religious rules and lores, only served to lend some truth to this premise. ), The Sage Handbook of the Sociology of Religion, Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore: Sage, 2007, 550–570, 556. The messages and structures of culture and religion are then reinterpreted to meet the new conditions. Gender and Patriarchy in Religions. Cf. The theme for the 2019-2020 academic year […] A clear example of this is devotion to Mary, mother of Christ, which is very strong in the CSC community. For example, with the advent of Islam, women came to enjoy a kind of autonomy that was unheard of in the pre-Islamic Arab. Hegel, Phenomenology of the Spirit, as cited by Marsha Aileen, Critical Theory of Religion: A Feminist Analysis, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995, 45. Religious beliefs and practices are foundational in establishing gender binary and the differentiated roles relating to it. Women’s readiness to yield to the gendered regimes of religion is again brought out in the affirmation by majority of the women respondents that their primary religious duty is to be a good mother by bringing up children in faith (77.1 per cent). Even so, one of the hallmarks of these religions is their view that women ought to be subservient to men in ways that were institutionalized.43. Islam and Patriarchy - and why it's important to understand Understanding cultural and religious differences is an important step in making a better world. ... the mother is the one who usually provides her children with the information of their religion. The teachings and ecclesiology of many of the world's major religions are patriarchic in nature. Susan A. Ross, “Mary: Human, Feminine, Divine?” Concilium, 2008/4, 27–33, here 27. Many feminist theologians find Mary ‘an ambiguous figure in theology’.40 They point out that overemphasis on Mary’s motherhood in the tradition of the church has served to reinforce the patriarchally inscribed social association of women with childbearing and household chores. Scriptures are mostly written and interpreted by men who tweak and translate them to suit their own vision of the desirable social-order and preferable gender-dynamics in the same. The choice of particular scriptural texts and the ceremony of ta-liketu21 and mantrako-di22 are specific to Syrian Christians. Using the thought of Rene Girard, she sees the links between violence, the sacred and sexuality and argues that Christianity, as a patriarchal religion, does violence to women through its preponderant use of male language for God, its traditional teaching on women’s inferiority, the Household Codes in the New Testament which mandate the subordination of women, and its hierarchical structure.46. The association between gendered consciousness (GC), religious indoctrination (RI) and patriarchal notions of body and sexuality (BS) is further explained using Correlation. In almost all organised religions, restrictions exist over a woman’s choices over her body, sexuality, lifestyle, clothes, and just about everything. In the focus group discussions (FGDs), when women were asked as to why they find participation in religious services important, besides the regular answers like faith in God sustaining them in times of struggle, some interesting observations were also made. They are also significant in demarcating the limits of acceptable behaviour and possible attainments associated with masculinity and femininity. The symbolism of ‘tying’ is also strongly expressive of the domination-subordination relationship that characterizes patriarchy. Given that religion is a defining factor in the life of CSC women, it would be interesting to examine its persuasion on other aspects of their lives such as their gendered consciousness (GC) and their notions of body and sexuality (BS). This has a hegemonic impact on women as it normalizes their subordination as divinely ordained. On the other hand, this division keeps together men and women of particular groups and thereby reinforces caste, community and even national divisions.18. They simply accept this discrimination as ‘natural’ and ‘god-ordained’. A space for you to discuss patriarchy and its influence on religion, spirituality, faith traditions and faith communities. The story of Anita, a woman in her early 50s, and her struggle of coping with the demands of conjugal life illustrates this. Actually I like being religious, but my difficulty is because I feel very guilty to say no to the demands made on me by my husband. May the cross embedded on it give them strength to bear joyfully the ordeals of life and to live in holiness according to your will. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church and gave himself for it’.24. Such blatant discrimination can only be normalised and ingrained in the common psyche by evoking the name of God. Through generations, women are conditioned to not only accept, but also gladly embrace, the status of a second-class citizen as assigned to them by their respective belief-system. The logic behind denying women the same right, as furnished by some classical jurists, is that ‘the female nature is wanting in rationality and self-control‘. Ephesians 5:23 clearly states that husband is the head of the wife. See, The Syro-Malabar Bishop’s Synod, Syro-Malabar Sabhayude Koodashakal, Kakkanad: Major Arch Episcopal Curia, Secretariat Commission for Liturgy, 2005, 68–69. Religious practices then become culturally patterned attempts to access ‘higher powers’ in order to prevent crises and to cope with them when they have occurred.8. Majority attest to participating in the Family Units5 (74.2 per cent); some are active in Mathrudeepthi6 or Mother’s Association (34.2 per cent); some take part in cleaning and decoration activities (30.4 per cent); a smaller number participate in prayer groups (11.7 per cent) and still less women in the parish council (10.4 per cent). Given the natural uncertainty that haunts their existence, the space of the home is seldom romanticized and nor does home appear a haven. Their participation, too, was resented by those who preferred to uphold the barriers of patriarchy … I don’t want to say no to my husband as I believe it is the religious duty of every married woman to be available to her husband’s conjugal needs. Helen Hardacre, “Japanese New Religions: Profiles in Gender”, in John Stratton Hawley (eds) Fundamentalism and Gender, New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994, 111–133. In the discussion that followed on what they learn from Mary, the women almost unanimously spoke about Mary’s humility and obedience. The CSC community is no exception to this norm. Lynn Davidman’s study of women affiliating to Orthodox Judaism in the US suggests that women are attracted because of, rather than in spite of, the traditional gender roles on offer: what attracts women is the way in which such religion offers a clear alternative to the confusing and contradictory roles open to women in late modern society. Besides, the powerful image of mother represents an authority that submits to be tamed, provided it is allowed to retain the moral aura associated with motherhood.11, The caste factor also comes into play in CSC women’s valorization of motherhood, and this becomes distinct when seen in relation to Dalit women’s experience. However, in the FGDs women attest that they take a submissive stand towards their husbands as it is necessary for their own well-being and peaceful existence in the family. One of the most important features of both religion and culture are that they are both linked to power and are described and defined by people in power (because of patriarchy, the people in power are often men). My husband is bent on having sex regularly, but on moving into my fifties, I am finding it difficult to satisfy him to his liking. What Is The Point Of Netflix’s The Crown Season 4? The fact that patriarchal grip persists regardless of the higher developmental indices of these women is an attestation of the Syrian Christian ethos as a religious system that function as the main support of this enduring patriarchal structure. The problematic with such practices is that women continue religious practices in a naive manner, being oblivious about its consequences on their personhood and transmit traditions that reinforce their subjugation. In Mulieris Dignitatem, women are exhorted to seek help from Mary ‘to see how virginity and motherhood, two paths in the vocation of women as persons, explain and complete each other’ (MD 17). Steven Parish, Hierarchy and its Discontents, 18. The graph is indicative of the influence of religious indoctrination to position women within a gendered framework,35 and this has direct implications on their conjugal life. Susan Visvanathan has done an extensive analysis of the customs related to marriage among the Syrian Christians. The gender-class-caste nexus in the identity construction of Indian women has been the focus of many feminist enquiries. The rationale for such a practice in their opinion is again because it is a biblical injunction in addition to this being a tradition in the community. Clifford Geertz “Religion as a Cultural System” in The Interpretation of Cultures, New York: Basic Books Inc. 1973, 90. Both religion and culture reflect patriarchies and are used to maintain patriarchal structures. On the one hand, this dyad separates women and men, assigning women to the inside—of homes and cultures—and men to the outer world, of labour production and rule. Since women are socialized from childhood days to pay heed to religious injunctions, these play a very formative role in shaping women’s outlook about life at large. The domineering manipulation of Islam with its end goal of a patriarchal or man centric religion succeeded over time, but an in depth study of religion, challenges this notion. What we can infer from this pattern of reading and viewing of channels is that in accessing religious media, both women and men allow religion to play a formative role in shaping their consciousness, which in turn serve to reinforce their conformity to its gendered prescriptions in a manner that informs their social choices and actions. Whereas those with lower primary level of education and with post-graduation or professional degrees have minimal engagement in church activities, it is those from the higher secondary to degree level of education who are more engaged. CSC women’s experience of religion mirrors the gendered religious ethos of the Indian society at large. A good majority think that this church custom should continue (76.7 per cent). Here, Linda Woodhead makes a critique of the notion of religion as a ‘sacred canopy’ by Peter Berger. Rahner Karl, Theological Investigations, Vol. Most religion is patriarchal at its core. In such communities, women cover their heads even within the household in the presence of men. The encyclical Redemptoris Mater reminds that in Mary women are expected to see mirrored the highest virtues they are called to imitate, namely ‘the self-offering totality of love, the strength that is capable of bearing the greatest sorrows, limitless fidelity and the tireless devotion to work; the ability to combine penetrating intuition with words of support and encouragement’ (RM no.46). It was probably before men moulded the religion to suit their patriarchal leanings. According to the preacher, ‘the son became a prodigal because there was no mother in the house’. Thus, religion serves to mask the basic concerns of gendered power equations that underlie women’s exploitation by making them believe God is at work in their lives and their suffering is redemptive. In the Catholic Church in Kerala, every parish is divided into smaller units of 15–20 families for better pastoral outreach, and these are called Family Units. This text (Eph 5: 20–23) from St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is read at all Syrian Christian marriages. In the religious sanctioning of the home as the ideal space for women, we see also the inside/outside dyad that informs life practices in the most fundamental ways. Patriarchy and Religion: Built to Oppress Women. The use of hijab, niqab and other forms of veils to ‘protect’ women from the male gaze and possible sexual ‘misadventures’ is well-documented and much debated. The social roles of men and women, according to religious teachings, are not only sacred truths but many people believe that they are scientific facts. This was after Adam and Eve consumed the forbidden fruit; a folly for which Eve was categorically held responsible. (Kiev.Victor/Shutterstock), […] the article The Role of Religion in Furthering the Patriarchal Agenda, author Nishat Amber […], […] عن الأديان والفلسفات الأخلاقية، المجالات التي يُفترض بها أن تكون […]. This has a hegemonic impact on women as it serves to normalize and justify their subordination as something divinely ordained and hence cannot be questioned. Davidman’s data suggests that women are attracted by the whole package of nuclear familial domesticity which is advocated by contemporary forms of Orthodox Judaism, including the idea of a husband who will be a companionate protector-provider and protect women from the dangers posed by family breakdown. Why, otherwise, in an institution having two people as partners, would only one partner be expected to ‘showcase’ their marital status and, hence, sexual exclusivity. Furthermore, the matriarchal religion is also pantheisticin nature, believing in the omnipresence and omnipotence of the Goddess and Her oneness with universe and nature. Jessy, an academic opines that the headship of men ought to be the right order of structuring family life because ‘it is better for children’s growth besides being a divinely ordained norm’. The spontaneous articulation of these simple women is illustrative of the persuasive power of religious beliefs and practices on them. Instead they argue that patriarchal societies have changed religions in order to ensure they reflected and reinforced patriarchal values. Yet, I like to do things that give me a sense of self-worth like creatively developing my skills and generating income from them. In this context, as V. Geetha observes, greater visibility of women in sacred spaces says something more about the interplay between gender and religion. Also, Julia Leslie and Mary McGee (ed), Invented Identities: The Interplay of Gender Religion and Politics in India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press 2000. According to the activist, "All religions, and I am very clear in stating all religions, are patriarchal in nature -by the very way they are created and the way they are practiced. Data from the quantitative research elaborates the nexus between religious indoctrination (RI) and gendered consciousness and its impact on women. They paint women as physically, mentally, emotionally and sexually inferior to men. 188.165.231.114. Dalit living arrangements are relatively flexible with respect to household labour, child care and even sexual propriety than that of the upper and middle castes. Christine E. Gudorf. https://doi.org/10.1080/10130950.2004.9676037, https://doi.org/10.18848/1833-1882/CGP/v03i03/52558, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-21488-3_5, Religious Patriarchy in the Catholic Syrian Christian Community, Religious Indoctrination Reinforcing Gender Hierarchy, Religious Indoctrination and Gendering of Power. In a context like India, the intersectionality of religion, caste and gender buttress the prevalent gender order as brought out in the life experiences of CSC women. As far as Christianity is concerned, the church services in both the urban and the rural setting continue to be well attended, with women making up the majority of the faithful at these services. 05/21/2014 10:13 pm ET Updated Jul 20, 2014 Originally posted at PopularResistance.org. Though having no direct reference or endorsement in the Hindu scriptures, Sati was largely practised among certain Hindu communities because it conformed to the general idea of an ‘ideal’ wife as epitomised by Goddess Sati who immolated herself because she was unable to bear the humiliation heaped on her husband, Lord Shiva, by her father. Data from the research indicate that among CSC women, those who are more vulnerable to religious indoctrination have a higher gendered consciousness. Sadhguru uses all kinds of stereotypes to prove that the world requires a balance of roles and activities between men and women. Patriarchy is a social system in which men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property. Further, it is noted that religion matters not only for cultural attitudes but for the opportunities and constraints on women’s lives.4 This is more so because women who are religious tend to assimilate and observe dogmatically the gendered prescriptions of religious traditions, beliefs and practices in an uncritical manner without being conscious of its detrimental effects on their growth as persons. The reading habits of women and men with regard to religious literature in the CSC community also signal to a gendered outlook. Both Tali Ketu and Mantrakodi are adaptation from the local Hindu customs. Autonomy can be explained as ‘freedom from coercion’,32 but this goes contrary to the internalized hegemonic codes of religion which demand women’s submission to their husbands in everything. 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