Saturday, January 5, 2008

You Can't Be Religious AND Be a Feminist

It is about time that someone wrote this article. Read well, because she is absolutely right.


Jim said...

Hi Artemis,

What I don't get is why so many women are attracted to belief systems that are so outwardly hostile to them. There must be something to it. My wife is among this group. How did you avoid religion. There are so few like you.

What advice does one give to a women who says "I'm subservient because that is how God designed me"?


Artemis said...

Hi Jim,

Thanks for your comment.

It seems to me that the reasons women are attracted to certain belief systems despite their hostility toward females are purely cultural. Our culture, even the secular portions of it, is still not rid of misogynistic tendencies. As such, it is easier for women to accept claims about their inferiority in order to gain the sense of belonging and certainty that comes with religious belief. That's just my take, though. Do you have any thoughts on the issue? I think it is an important question to think about.

I didn't actually avoid religion so much as escape it. My parents were extremely religious, but by the time I was 14, I just couldn't believe it any more.

As to advice for a woman who believes that she is subservient because god made her that way, I would definitely suggest to her that she really ask herself why she believes this. Is it because of the Bible? Why should we believe the Bible? We know it was written over hundreds of years by men. And there are other questions that must be addressed. Why would a benevolent god create a class of inferior people? That doesn't seem like benevolence toward women. Is there independent evidence for believing that women are inferior, or ought to be subservient? All these questions and more are questions that must be asked by someone who believes as you suggested. The way out of any religious belief system is to question your reasons for believing it. If you question enough, you inevitably come to discover that you had no real reasons, that there are no real reasons. And after that, belief just can't be sustained.