The religious sensibilities of CSC women correspond to the strong links between gender, religion and the maintenance of the patriarchal order in different global contexts as well. Thus it should not be surprising that the treatment of gender in religions and cultures has changed throughout history. 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. Consequently, patriarchy persists despite women’s higher ranking in gender development indices mainly because it is mediated by religion. Also Read: The Quran Prescribes Hijab For Men, But Of Course We Only Focus On Women. Search for more papers by this author. 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. 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. The sacred becomes a space that allows them to experience sorrow or ecstasy, in short, feelings they cannot hope to display in public spaces in other contexts.7, The Marxian notion of the anesthetizing impact of religious ideology on the struggling masses seems applicable to CSC women. This is a source of constant conflict in our otherwise ‘happy’ marriage. Religious doctrines, beliefs and practices serve to translate to everyday experiences the patriarchal ideologies that legitimize and reinforce the existing gender hierarchy. In the case of men, a lesser number engage in reading literature of an evangelical nature (26.7 per cent), while majority engage in spiritual reading of a reflective nature (43.3 per cent) and in theological reading (30 per cent). Religion being one of the greatest identity markers of communities across the globe, it plays a decisive role along with other social factors such as caste, class and ethnicity in the construction of gender identity.3 The interplay of gender and religion is a key factor in the politics of social definition, in the ascription of social space and in the shaping of women’s consciousness. The deeper linkages between religious indoctrination and gendered relationships in family life are further brought out in the data from the quantitative research. Further, living ‘femininely’ with endless capacity to bear sorrows and endure suffering can even be life-threatening, as women will remain passive and tolerant even before extreme violence. This has a hegemonic impact on women as it normalizes their subordination as divinely ordained. Women who have stronger belief in the religious teachings about wives being submissive to their husbands have scored equally higher in gendered consciousness. Women are associated with nature and mortality, and while older religions valued nature, patriarchal religions value things removed from life on earth, thus creating a hierarchy of gender. Their perception of reality is conditioned by religious norms that serve the interests of the patriarchal order. It seems that eventually every religion or organised belief-system was hijacked by vested interests to further their own patriarchal agenda. All of them practice religion, which means to say that they frequent the church services: on a daily basis (52.5 per cent) and on Sundays (48.5 per cent). Not all feminists agree that religion is essentially patriarchal, arguing that many early religions featured prominent goddesses and other female figures. All religions are fundamentally patriarchal and anti-woman. As John Hawley observes, by seeming to commodify or individualize women, removing them from their archetypal roles, modern society strikes a dangerous blow. However, this is not just an Indian story. 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). Also, as per Christian traditions, since Jesus selected only male apostles and did not ordain women, the inclusion of women is not considered desirable. Ours was a very religious family, we girls studied in convent schools and from childhood we were constantly reminded to be very God fearing and faithful to our religious duties. Unfortunately, the accompanying social conditions, a handiwork of religious rules and lores, only served to lend some truth to this premise. The system of patriarchy gets acknowledged as divinely ordained through biblical texts like ‘the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband’ (1 Cor 11:3), which often finds a place in the religious services related to CSC marriage. 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. The problem arises because Mary, the pure and self-sacrificing, humble handmaiden of the Lord and the mother full of sorrows, is preached to women as a model. Correlation between BS, GC and RI in women, Patriarchal notions of body and sexuality, ∗∗ Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (two-tailed), When religious indoctrination reinforces gender, the active role played by religion in the construction and consolidation of hegemonic femininity becomes evident. Gender Equality and Cultural Change Around the World. Maria Mies, Patriarchy and Capital Accumulation, 40. Sadhguru uses all kinds of stereotypes to prove that the world requires a balance of roles and activities between men and women. Cf. Gender and Patriarchy in Religions. Domesticity and motherhood are thus inscribed by caste, which women might negotiate and rework to their advantage, but in a structural sense these ideals actively prevent them from imagining a meaningful life outside of the context of the home and family.12, Association between religious indoctrination and gendered consciousness in women. Cf. CSC women’s experience of religion mirrors the gendered religious ethos of the Indian society at large. ANOVA with a significance value of .000 supports the positive relation between religious indoctrination and patriarchal notions of decision-making in women. See Kumkum Sangari and Suresh Vaid (eds), Recasting Women: Essays in Colonial History, New Delhi: Zubaan 2006. In addition, church is a place where they are ‘free’ to go without having to explain the ‘why’ behind their move. 05/21/2014 10:13 pm ET Updated Jul 20, 2014 Originally posted at PopularResistance.org. However, on asking women if they are happy with this ‘divinely ordained’ arrangement of relationships between the sexes, many respond negatively. This is largely taken to mean that God entrusted men with the task to ensure that women do not make such foolish mistakes again. (2008), 21–29. 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. Explanation about ta-li ketu kalya-nam and sambandham is given in Chap. Samuel Rayan, “In Christ: The Power of Women”, in Kurien Kunnumpuram (ed) Collected Writings of Samuel Rayan SJ, Vol I, New Delhi: ISPCK 2013, 112. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. For instance, Dalit and ‘lower’-caste women are sometimes prone to refer to procreative sex and motherhood as burdens that have to be borne, as onerous responsibilities that they sometimes resent, that is, they do not celebrate these experiences, or appear to consider them as particularly valuable. Nancy F. Cott, The Bonds of Womanhood: “Woman’s Sphere” in New England, 1780–1835, New Haven, and London: Yale University Press, 1977, 67–69, 97–98. In Islam, women cannot lead prayers as ‘imams’ in mosques and in mixed gatherings. Association between the religious teaching on wives’ submission to husbands with gendered consciousness. Christine E. Gudorf. According to Genesis 3:16, God told Eve that ‘…the husband will rule over you‘. This has a spill-over effect on other social indicators as well. Within this framework, religion as a cultural force in human history has been remarkably powerful in establishing long-standing, influential motifs of gender.9 In the case of CSC women, religion has succeeded sustaining a patriarchal ideology of the family particularly through the idealization of femininity. Or else, as noted by Samuel Ryan, ‘oppression runs deep indeed when religion steps in to reinforce it by taking a grip on our conscience and persuading us from within, to kiss our chains and cherish the lashes’.42, The irony of the religious mediation of patriarchy is that women are used as primary agents in accomplishing the patriarchal project of keeping women subjugated to men. In addition to its strictly economic form, this oppression is expressed in many ways, notably through language, kinship relations, stereotypes, religion, and culture. Incidentally, the Supreme God in all religions is always envisioned as a male. This program also highlights the work faith communities are doing to address religion and patriarchy. The mother goddesses are the principal divinities, and male gods are worshiped, only as their consorts. Islam and Patriarchy - and why it's important to understand Understanding cultural and religious differences is an important step in making a better world. Failing to do so affects not just women’s position, but the church’s very identity and mission in the world. Religion then can be integral to the existing gender order, and can serve to reproduce and legitimate gender inequality for those who practise the religion and those who fall within its penumbra.36 The interplay of gender and religion in the experience of Catholic Syrian Christian women confirms Clifford Geertz’s observation of religion as a system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive and long-lasting moods and motivations in people.37 Consequently, as J. Devika argues, conjugal monogamous patrilineal nuclear family and the sexual and gender norms inhered in it get elevated to the ideal standard. When women began joining the freedom movement, the chains of patriarchy started loosening further. 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. Religion is often seen as institutionalizing and perpetuating patriarchy, thus frustrating many advocates for women’s rights and equality. See Woodhead, “Gender Differences in Religious Practice and Significance” in J. Beckford, & N. J. Demerath III (Eds. Scripture teaches that men are the head of household and church and that women are servants. See Anindita Ghosh, “Introduction” in Anindita Ghosh (ed) Behind the Veil: Resistance, Women and the Everyday in the Colonial South Asia, Ranikhet: Permanent Black, 2007, 7–11. Do Policies For Women To Improve Social Indicators Empower Them? A Call for Submissions - The Good Men Project, تاريخ الهستيريا: كيف يمكن للعلم أن يكون متحيّزا ضد النساء | Kat's Zone, تاريخ الهستيريا: كيف يمكن للعلم أن يكون متحيّزا ضد النساء – Kat's Zone, Netflix Film Review | Paava Kadhaigal: A Heart-Wrenching, Hard-Hitting Anthology, It’s High Time To Call Out Sadhguru And His “Rationalized” Misogyny, The Significance Of Mahad Satyagraha: Ambedkar’s Protest March To Claim Public Water. Religious beliefs and practices are foundational in establishing gender binary and the differentiated roles relating to it. 188.165.231.114. Clifford Geertz “Religion as a Cultural System” in The Interpretation of Cultures, New York: Basic Books Inc. 1973, 90. 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). On the occasion of marriage, both husbands and wives are reminded: ‘Therefore as the Church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be submissive to their husbands in everything. The choice of particular scriptural texts and the ceremony of ta-liketu21 and mantrako-di22 are specific to Syrian Christians. Over 10 million scientific documents at your fingertips. Talking about the fundamentalist gender ideology in the New Religions of Japan, Helen Hardacre observes that unlike Christian, Muslim and Hindu fundamentalism where the principal religious activists are overwhelmingly male, many of these religions are led by women. Mathrudeepthi is a well-organized network at the parish and diocesan level that serves to contain women in the gendered mould of the glorified feminine. An anecdote in the course of the fieldwork of my research would illustrate this point. 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. We see a gendered pattern in the viewing of television channels of a religious nature as well, between women and men. As a practising Catholic, she believes that acknowledging man as head of the family is important because that is the way God has designed marriage and respecting that order facilitates family relationships without major conflicts.13. andee … 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. © FII Media Private Limited | All rights reserved. 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. Patriarchy can be defined in simple terms as the oppression and objectification of women by men. On 20th March 1927, Ambedkar led a procession of 2,500 “untouchables” through main streets of Mahad to drink from the public Chevdar tank. Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Jesus, Miriam’s Child, Sophia’s Prophet, 165. Here, Linda Woodhead makes a critique of the notion of religion as a ‘sacred canopy’ by Peter Berger. For some, walking to the church itself was an energizing activity because it provided an occasion for a daily outing with a small group of friends from the neighbourhood, which provided them some time and space for themselves without the everyday concerns of family life. Early Hinduism, too, is believed to be egalitarian. The association between gendered consciousness (GC), religious indoctrination (RI) and patriarchal notions of body and sexuality (BS) is further explained using Correlation. In this context, clarifying why women become easy targets of religious hegemonic control is imperative. In the general sense, this dyad provides a normative model for regulating male and female use of and access to personal and social space and resources. Religious patriarchy then works as a vehicle coercing women to accept the established gender order, which maintains the cohesion of the male-dominated social system in many countries across the globe. The role of religion in strengthening patriarchy in society is all too obvious. Christine E. Gudorf. The initiative in arranging a match is taken by the girl’s family, though kinship and friendship circles continue to play an important role in match-making.20 In the CSC community, marriage is solemnized within a Eucharistic celebration as customary of Catholic marriages. In the case of men, 25 per cent of the male respondents reported not having any specific church involvement, whereas 55 per cent participate in Pothu Yogam (public assembly) of the parish. God is depicted as a man. Only a minority of female respondents do not engage in any specific parish activity (16.25 per cent). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003, 69. Tali is a medal, a pendant with the shape of alila (banyan leaf) with a figure of the cross embossed on it. A malestream Mariology continues to inscribe the sociocultural image of the feminine that sanctifies the marginalization and exploitation of women.41, The idealization of the ‘feminine’ in Mary functions as an obstacle to women’s growth in human qualities such as critical thinking, autonomy, boldness and other traits characteristic of a mature adult personality, qualities that are crucial for their effective participation in the church, and in the wider concerns of society. The Promise of Patriarchy: Women and the Nation of Islam is the result of Ula Y. Taylor’s comprehensive scholarship on black women’s important choices to build the Nation of Islam (194). Engaging with gender issues is seen as an essential corrective to the gender blindness that has restricted the vision of the discipline, sociology of religion. In fact many scholars contend that religions were not patriarchal in the early stages of organised life. 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. Gender, Religion and Patriarchy. Hindu and Christian fundamentalists respond by insisting that women somehow embody a nobler, truer sense than modernity can imagine of the way the universe really is. 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‘. 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. Gender, religion and patriarchy are seen as foundational social constructs operating at the basis of social organization of society.1 Religion is generally seen as a constitutive part of the ‘gender order’ in any given society, as it plays a decisive role in shaping women’s lives and in legitimizing their social subordination. Some of the clergy men interviewed as part of my study asserted emphatically about the role of man as the head and the woman as heart of the family based on a gendered theological anthropology that God has created man and woman different, although they are equal in dignity before God. These ideas and images are mutually constructed; that is, the categories of women and men as types of human beings are portrayed not as freestanding entities but in relation to each other. Susan A. Ross, “Mary: Human, Feminine, Divine?” Concilium, 2008/4, 27–33, here 27. I have the difficulty of a lowering uterus, a condition that gives me physical discomfort. Since the male world lacked the institutions to bring to effect moral restraint, the home became the redemptive counterpart to that world, and was supposed to fit men to pursue their worldly aims in a regulated way.19 For decoding the ‘gender politics’ deeply embedded into gender relations in the Syrian Christian community, it is important to examine critically the religious foundations of the CSC marriage. Apparently what Davidman’s women seek is the (idealized) experience of the warm, close, family gathering around the Shabbat table, with candles, food, mutual love and support.45, The insidious links between patriarchy, violence and Christianity and its effects on women, as brought out in a study by Rakoczy on the prevalence of domestic violence in South Africa, also reflect CSC women’s experience. In such communities, women cover their heads even within the household in the presence of men. If we examine some of the catholic teachings, the sociocultural constructions of women’s identity are reflected in the image of Mary, which is projected then as a model for women, and this serves to reinforce gender stereotypes. Given the natural uncertainty that haunts their existence, the space of the home is seldom romanticized and nor does home appear a haven. Religion doesn't have as much influence in the public sector as it used to, and I think this is a major reason why we are moving towards a more egalitarian society. This is illustrated in Fig. Thus it should not be surprising that the treatment of gender in religions and cultures has changed throughout history. They simply accept this discrimination as ‘natural’ and ‘god-ordained’. Religious organisations, spiritual and temporal, are dominated by men and are largely off-limits for women though it is commonly acknowledged that the latter tend to be more religiously and morally inclined and possess the qualities needed for the discharge of duties that these organisations entail. PLAY. Underlying the head/heart binary is the complementarity of roles, and here the problematic is that gender roles, ‘even if complementary, occupy very different social locations and are unequally valued’.15 Besides the complementarity politics of the patriarchal demarcation of gender, we also find here an echo of Hegel’s observation of the theological and philosophical attempts to define woman as ‘guardian of the divine law’.16 Since ‘heart’ is meant to be the seat of love, consigning to women the role of the heart places on them an added responsibility to safeguard the moral integrity and stability of the family as an institution. Christine E. Gudorf. From the high school to degree level, all the women, particularly housewives, are engaged in one activity or other in the church. 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. In almost all organised religions, restrictions exist over a woman’s choices over her body, sexuality, lifestyle, clothes, and just about everything. Chapter 12: Religion and Patriarchy. Steven Parish, Hierarchy and its Discontents, 18. Today, more than ever, it is imperative to include women’s voice, experience and expertise into the dynamic process of religious symbol-making, planning and mission responses. According to the preacher, ‘the son became a prodigal because there was no mother in the house’. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church and gave himself for it’.24. A clear example of this is devotion to Mary, mother of Christ, which is very strong in the CSC community. Whether visiting a temple or being part of local practices of worship, or attending Sunday masses regularly, women display a zealousness and faith that render the temple and church intimate spaces in which they feel at home. This parable is in the Gospel of Luke, and it tells the story of a father with two sons; the younger son goes astray, but when he returns home, he is welcomed wholeheartedly by his father. Women Turn to Orthodox Judaism, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press 1991, 116–120. Paava Kadhaigal is a scathing social drama, with brilliant performances, meticulously crafted from scripting to music and editing. The mantrakodi is a special saree with which the groom drapes the bride’s head during the marriage ceremony. This is significant in a context where women’s mobility is constantly controlled through restricting interrogations. 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