Evaluate Feminist Views on the Role and Functions of Religion in Society Today.

Topics: Sociology, Feminism, Gender Pages: 3 (970 words) Published: December 5, 2012
Evaluate feminist views on the role and functions of religion in society today. Feminists see religion as a patriarchal institution; maintaining male dominance over women by making them believe it is god’s will. Feminists believe that women are controlled by religions in several ways, for example, dress code, arranged marriage, lifestyle, and education. However functionalists believe otherwise and argue that its function is not to oppress women but to keep society stable whilst Marxists believe that religion oppresses the working class not females. Feminists argue that women’s oppression is shown in almost every religion as they criticise that in almost all the religions, the gods are male. Supernatural beings and religious professionals are overwhelmingly male, and in many religions, women play a secondary role in worship. In traditional religious societies, women tend to have fewer options and less favourable treatment. Females are largely absent in sacred texts in general. In Catholicism Women are seen as “unclean” and “impure” and so should not be given roles of power within the church, this shows women’s inferiority as they cannot have the same roles as men, showing that religion justifies patriarchy by maintaining male dominance and backs up the feminists point that it keeps women in control and stops them from fighting against it. The church also commands women to take obedient roles through their scriptures by saying “He is in the glory of God; but woman is in the glory of the man”, this maintains male dominance and oppresses women even further as they are seen as the men’s possession, justified by religion as it says it in the bible. Judaism also instils gender inequality as Women who are menstruating should stay away from men, children and the community showing that women are inferior to men. Feminist sociologist Simone de Beauvoir argues that Women are deceived by religion into thinking of themselves as equal to men, making it an instrument of...
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