Overview of Androcentrism

Pages: 2 (716 words) Published: June 29, 2005

When I started to think about what to write for this paper I wanted to learn more about androcentrism. Well, I guess I know what it means, but I wanted to see what it means to other people. In Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary 2nd Edition the definition for androcentric is centered on emphasizing, or dominated by males or masculine interests. Then I went online and mostly the same definition. The only definition that I found that said anything about women was at http://dictionary.reference .com. It read: centered or focused on men, often to the neglect or exclusion of women. I started to wonder what religious dictionary's thought of androcentrism. So I looked up some religious dictionaries. After about 10 of them I gave up because I came empty handed. It's like they didn't believe it existed. But, to my surprise I did find a definition to androgyny in a few of them. And let's not forget my personal definition: Men are better than women. Although I do not think this is true, that is just how I see androcentrism.

Now I am going to talk about the levels of androcentrism that make the study of religions difficult. I am going to refer a lot to the book Feminism and Religion by Rita M. Gross. The first level of andrcentrism is the history. "As in the study of contemporary religions, many conventional historians are most interested in those who wielded power, which means that not only women, but other disempowered groups have been left out of many historical records."(Page 72) Basically this is saying that historians choose to keep men's story because they held the power in history. I know that it may have seemed that men held the power, but they didn't get there by them selves. Behind every good man stands a greater woman. For some unknown reason women were under looked. I think that this is very sad. Gross's book also stated that "Women function as mythic and symbolic models for the men's sacred ceremonies; they...
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