Religion and Women

While reading the article, “Religion and Gender,” many thoughts and questions gripped me. First, I wondered why there were only male Gods in every religion except for Hinduism. When I read about the transformation of power from the hands of female Goddesses into the hands of male Gods, I had a question, “Is women’s biology the major cause for suppression of women and their loss of power?” This may be true to some extent since the female Goddesses had to bear children and rear them.

 

The other thing that continuously haunted my mind is, “Why are women regarded as sinful, cheap, root of all evils, devil’s gateway, and so on?” I was heartbroken to encounter all these titles given to women by all the religions in some way. At the mean time, I remembered about Hindu Goddess, Durga, who is regarded as the most powerful Goddess and is provided with weapons and power by all other Gods, according to Hindu religious texts. More importantly, the major Hindu festivals are celebrated on the praise of Goddesses. Isn’t it ironic then to consider women as “the root of all evils” by the same religion?

 

When talking to one of my classmates, she said that when questioned Allah whom to give high respect and position, he had said, “Mother”. Only the fourth time he had mentioned about father. This shows that Islam has such higher status for women, but the same Islam again regards men superior to women.

 

The reading at first quite depressed me, but later I had more logical thoughts regarding it. I came to the deduction that in the beginning of civilization, men were the ones who had first access to the religious texts. They were the ones who wrote them, if not they were the ones to interpret those religious texts. It is common that whoever finds a way to dominate other group will not hesitate to manipulate the main message for their group benefits. Thus, it may have been the same to cover the aspects that prioritize women and bring into light the bad aspects of women in those religious texts.

 

Despite the fact that this reading was depressing to learn, it was thought provoking at the same time. It is after this reading that my desire to read the religious text books of the religion I follow has become more intense so that I can find out what actually is written there, and what we need to take from there and what to leave behind.

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