Gender Ideologies and Religion: in Bedouin and Bengali Societies

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The teachings of Islam are closely adhered to in Bedouin society. This creates some of the gender ideologies and differences seen in Veiled Sentiments, by Abu-Lughod. These gender ideologies reflect how a women must act in order to be seen by society as a “good Bedouin with close ties to kin and a devotion to Islam.” (Veiled Sentiments, Abu-Lughod. Page 219) Religious practices and engagements are very important parts of this society because they dictate how a woman must dress, act, what she can say and who she can say it to. A very prominent part of Abu-Lughod's ethnographic study is the use of poetry in the daily lives Bedouin people. This everyday ritual is influenced by the Bedouin code of honor which also is a contributor to Islamic Law by which the Bedouin people adhere to.

The ideologies of gender in Bedouin society are intertwined with moral discourses involving modesty and honor. Gender ideologies are used to “rationalize the social hierarchy and inequities in the freedom of individuals to make choices about their lives and to influence others.” (Veiled Sentiments, Abu-Laghod. Page 118) In Bedouin society men are associated with 'autonomy' and women with 'dependency'. This concept relates back to the social hierarchy in which the Bedouins revolve around. It usually is that in the economic and social systems, that women are seen as the dependents, being completely reliant upon the male senior provider. In addition, Bedouin values are engrained in moral superiority within society. To the Bedouins it is seen as morally devaluing to have daughters over sons. Even pregnancies are considered to have different implications upon the woman depending on whether she is carrying a boy or a girl in her womb. The reasoning behind the clearly stated preference of sons over daughters is because of how the Bedouin society is arranged on a patriarchal system. Relating back to the ideologies of gender in Bedouin society, there are clear markers indicating what is...
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