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Does Religion Oppress Women?

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Admin Singh, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    Does Religion Oppress Women?<small>
    by NICHOLAS KRISTOF</small>


    <!-- <small>December 20th, 2009</small>--> Sikhism is unique in the history of the world's religions in that it has, from the very outset, and in clear, unambiguous and unequivocal terms , enunciated the equality of men and women. However, this is no reason for us to get smug about it. Sadly, we too have, in our daily practices and through time, succumbed to the less enlightened practices of the majority communities which surround us. Strangely and most distressfully, the modern day masands at the Darbar Sahib in Amritsar do not allow women to do seva in the Harmandar. Some uneducated segments of the community resort to forced marriages of their daughters or even so-called 'honour' killings. Female foeticide too has become the shame in some segments of our community.


    One of the questions that my co-author and I get most often when we give lectures about our new book, Half the Sky, is a variant of: Is religion the real problem?


    My own take is that religion has often been part of the problem, but that it also can be part of the solution. I've seen people kill in the name of religion, and I've seen people reject condoms in the name of religion even as a tool for fighting AIDS (which usually means people dying).

    But I've also seen Catholic nuns showing unbelievable courage and compassion in corners of the world where no other aid workers are around, and mission clinics and church-financed schools too numerous to mention. And in Islamic countries, I've seen mullahs who are hypocritical misogynists but also some imams who are leading a push for education and justice.

    In short, I don't think there's any glib answer to the question, but there is no question that religions can be a force for justice and equality that they are now not. This magnificent new speech by Jimmy Carter on this topic makes that point very well. Excerpts:


    It is ironic that women are now welcomed into all major professions and other positions of authority, but are branded as inferior and deprived of the equal right to serve God in positions of religious leadership. The plight of abused women is made more acceptable by the mandated subservience of women by religious leaders.


    The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views and set a new course that demands equal rights for women and men, girls and boys.


    At their most repugnant, the belief that women are inferior human beings in the eyes of God gives excuses to the brutal husband who beats his wife, the soldier who rapes a woman, the employer who has a lower pay scale for women employees, or parents who decide to abort a female embryo. It also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair and equal access to education, health care, employment, and influence within their own communities.


    [Courtesy: The New York Times]
    December 20, 2009
     

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  3. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    I don't think any husband except some Muslim one beat their wives thinking about god.It is just a Human nature about powerful opressing the weak and sometime the one who tolerate it

    Mass Rapes happened after world war -2 they happen after every war.victorious soldiers
    just satsfy their sexual desires and prove their victory over enemy

    LOL do employer have god in mind to decide wage scale.Many time they know that women are ready to work at cheap rate so they pay them less.

    Again it is the social conditions not the god that lead to female foeticide
     
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  4. spnadmin

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    Social realities lead to all abuses against women, not only female foeticide. Abuse of women is rampant in every level of society across many cultures including the economically advanced societies of the world. Humans invent religious dogmas that give permission to abuse women, children, the handicapped, the mentally impaired, the mentally ill, the poor, members of marginalized groups (caste-based or otherwise), animals, the environment, and the list goes on. The rich and the poor abuse any one person or targeted group when permission is given in a culture to do so. Societies invent religious dogmas that empower some to oppress others. The question that has not been asked is, "Why do societies invent religious dogmas that give permission to oppress and abuse?"
     
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  5. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    I think many times people want's to justify their actions what they do through religion.If the opressor is powerful then it is quite easy for him to do
     
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  6. Lee

    Lee
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    Does relgion oppress woman?

    No it does not, yet it is used as an excuse for the oppresion of many. It is very real fact that female oppresion goes on world wide, it is as Narayanjot ji says sociaties that oppress woman, and societies are made up of people, so people oppress woman, heh people oppress other people all over all of the time.

    Religoin strives to halt all oppresion, it shows that there is not one single speck of the material universe that is not imbuhed with Godness, and so via this understanding it trys to show us that how we treat each oher, then this is how we treat God.

    Some people get it and endevour to make the change in their lives, some people do not, and others still simply do not belive.

    Once again as always when I ponder upon this, it merely highlights to me the greatness of God, wow what a place we live in, how many verieties we have, many many souls on their journey, many many ideas and principles, many many many many facets of the divine, wow just wow it blows my head wide open and leaves me with a profound sense of happyness.

    Unknowable, unfathemable indeed! Wow Waheguru!
     
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  7. Randip Singh

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    I think women oppress women!
     
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  8. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    I thought you loved your mother in law.
     
  9. Randip Singh

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    Wow Thats going too far! :D Swap the word love for Fear!
     
  10. spnadmin

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    Yes they do!!!!!!!! We buy into this mindset. That is a large part of the reason why the problem goes on for centuries. A book could be written about this aspect of oppression of women alone.
     
  11. Sinister

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    so... as an airplane is about to crash, a female passenger jumps up and announces, “If I’m going to die, I want to die feeling like a woman”
    She removes all of her clothing and asks, “Is there someone on this plane who is man enough to make me feel like a woman?”

    A man stands up in the back, removes his shirt and says, “Here, iron this!”
     
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  12. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    sinister ji

    Maybe we needed to lighten up. But you are on the cusp. Be careful when posting any follow up jokes. Thanks, Narayanjot Kaur
     
  13. BhagatSingh

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    there are a variety of religions you must look at each one and answer that question. I think most do.

    No it is not used for an excuse. The sincerest of people when told that women are inferior by their God WILL oppress them.
    Here's an example from Quran. I am sure several other religious doctrines do contain similar phrases.
    "Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme. Dawood"
    Wife Beating In Islam


    Binding of Isaac
    According to the narration, Abraham sets out to obey God's command [to kill his own son] without questioning. After Isaac is bound to an altar, the angel of God stops Abraham at the last minute, at which point Abraham discovers a ram caught in some nearby bushes. Abraham then sacrifices the ram in Isaac's stead.

    Now Abraham was the sincerest of believers, yet he would kill his own son when God told him to.
    Binding of Isaac - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Now why do you say people use it as an excuse?


    ya all that happens. But when you have a system where women are inferior EVEN IN THE EYES OF GOD. Its that system(religion) that creates the oppression. The people wouldn't dare disobey the system (religion) because it has been revealed from God.

    Religion doesn't strive to change. You need change if you're going to get rid of old ideas. It takes reasoning to do that not religion. It takes reasoning to change religion.
     
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  14. AusDesi

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    thats rubbish. Religions only strives to halt opression when everyone is part of that religion. By that time there already is a an opressed group in society.
     
  15. Tomash

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    Bhagat singh:

    Id like to comment to that quoting of Coran. It is the same problem youve told about Abraham. I have read a several pages of philosophical reasoning which interpreted the passage much more lightly then you did. As my friends of ismaili islam told me, that all depends on interpretation. Whence why they dissobey ulamas who oppress poor or they dont fast in ramadan. Look at feminist thinkers in islam, they doupt the translation of Coran and history of hadis itself!

    The same i think of oppression of women in other religions and culture. Feminists and gender scientest all will tell you, that patriarchism and oppression are constant features of diverse cultures with same pattern. And most of them will tell you that this doesn concern religion. That is why middle east is changing so rapidly and why sikhism could come from so traditionalist religions as islam and hinduism, with probably very hard patriarchism in that time.
     
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  16. thecoopes

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    Religions are male dominated, males dominate women.
    QED
     
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  17. BhagatSingh

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    Tomash ji
    Ismailis and other Islamic Sects aren't considered to be Islamic at all by main stream Islam. Interpretation can only change the meaning so much, and when you have 9 or so top scholars of the religion, translating a single piece of writing, where 99% of it turns out to be the same, then you know that its highly likely to be accurate to the original. I bet those Ismaelis were moderates :whisling:

    Only the nations that are progressing towards secularism are changing but they're passing through a thick web of ancient ideas, and people so hell bent on imposing them on others. Why do you think they are so late in their development?? The countries around them have progressed SO much! Islam was doing so much better during the middle ages... only through conquest. In today's age you need science (with science comes development medicine, facilities, etc) and that means geting rid of old ideas! Why isn't that happening?
    It's the religion to blame... that is fogging up people's view. Remember Quran is supposed to be the VERBATIM word of God. You can't beat that man! God is the ultimate authority!

    It's quite clear that men are dominant is almost all cultures. But when you have a religion like that. You cannot expect the women to achieve full status until the religion is changed, or like your Ismaeli friends might put it, "interpreted differently".
    Christians did have several reforms, the separation of church and state, and the move towards secularism, which is why the nations are now progressing.
     
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  18. FiveLovedOnes

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    :happysingh:....That's why Guru Gobind Singh created Khalsa who can crush oppressor who turn powerful somehow......khalsa is the strongest postion.So become khalsa.become strong thru exercises,playing,games,weights,weapons training n make weapons...:yes:....Yup..U need them a lot.."shastaran keh adeen hai raaj"....We r big great force now in millions.Guru has thrown 40 mighty n very hard-trained sikhs to crush big mugal army...N they did it..Victory to guru..:happy:.where r u now....Can't we become strong like those..throw away ur luxury.accept hardship n trainings n u will be strongest....Even big empires will fear u.N so the oppressors....:up:...:wah:
     
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  19. roop singh

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    Guru Fateh,
    No religion in unniverse Even that of annimals,birds,oceanic oppress female,till women crosses limit.oppressing women has been critisissed by every religion esspacilly guru amardassji.guru nanak dev ji in asa di var has critisised that because of woman we are in this world.but world respects + power masands had made this rule that woman cannot sing in harmander sahib as masands are born from tree
     
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  20. FiveLovedOnes

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    Roop Singh........which guru has criticized a woman...It was guru who made this world realize that woman is equal to man...only men who r weak at mind consider women to be any weaker.....No man of any age can alone lift n use heavy gun of mai Bhago displayed at Gurudwara Siri Huzur Sahib as she did.she fought big n long battles with this gun which is size of an artilllery gun....if a woman try to become strong she can overpower a man easily like mai Bhago.Sikhs made her their army's head becoz of her power n excellent battle skills n sher devotion to Siri Guru Gobind Singh Ji maharaj....:happysingh:........:up:......:happy:....btw roop singh..i have never seen anybody born from tree...How come u wrote that power masands r born from tree....really funny.....In fact crazy Roop Singh...U need lot of exercise Sir.....
     
    #19 FiveLovedOnes, Dec 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2009
  21. dalbirk

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    IMHO , Roop Singh ji & Five Loved Ones are saying same thing .
     

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