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Gender roles

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by CaramelChocolate, Jul 19, 2004.

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  1. CaramelChocolate

    CaramelChocolate
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    One of the things I respect about Sikhism is the message of equality and the fact that all are equal in respect to Guruji's teachings.

    Sikhism teaches that the human race is responsible for separating themselves, the thing is that Sikhs, in my opinion have still clung onto certain images anc stereotypes, therefore conforming to human's gender roles.

    Example: it has become a common conformism that men are to be masculine warriors and women to be shy, humble, mysteriousm quiet feminine beings.
    Although Sikhism has scrapped some of these stereotypes, it is still clear that some Sikhs implement a sense of stereotypical attitude for specific groups.
    Let me make this clearer - in Gurdwaras, all are required to cover heads as a symbol of humility and respect for Guruji. However, those that don't wear a head covering are provided with coverings at the front of the Gurdwara.
    Women are provided with scarves, men with bandanas. Isn't this a form of man-made division?

    Basically, what I am getting at here, is, wouldn't it be better if both genders wore the same covering to create more unity? Would a female be looked down upon if she wore a bandana, or if a male wore a scarf? As long as the head is covered then does it really matter the way in which the material is folded and what material it is?

    ~CaramelChocolate~
    The little philosopher
     
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  3. anders

    anders
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    The reason may be pure statistics for your gurdwara. Perhaps it has been noted that women in general prefer a scarf because it is more kind to their hairdos.

    When I and a female friend (both Swedes) visited a gurdwara in Old Delhi, we were offered the same kind of bandana-type headcloth. I accepted, but she preferred to wrap her dupatta over her head (she wore shalwar-kamiz).

    I haven't visited a Swedish gurdwara yet, but from a newspaper article, I get the impression that all visitors to the Gothenburg gurdwara are offered a free choice from a chest of different headgear.

    I might add that one of the reasons I, being a Swede with no foreign ancestors as far as records can be found, am interested in Sikhism is the practiced equality.
     
  4. Arvind

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    The idea is to cover head to show respect. However, depending upon gender, one may like to pick up a head gear by OWN choice only, with no enforcement by another. Gender equality are great concepts when implemented, but somehow I am pessimistic about this great teaching when I see inequality happening in the surroundings, be it developed or developing countries. My information may be limited though, but I am curious to know the religion or country which practices gender inequality in totality, with no exceptions!
     
  5. truth_seeker

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    the scarf is tradition, a bandana will do or some women wear keski or daastar
     
  6. Jagatguru Singh

    Jagatguru Singh
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    The real issue is equality, do all have equal inclusion?

    The type of head covering used is only a small matter of difference between the genders. Larger matters exist. It is very unusual to attend a formal Gurdwara and have women participate equally. Women don't usually recite the Ardas, or read the hukam. I find these issues of a greater importance than the type of head covering, although the head covering issue is indicative of sexual bias.

    The real issue it seems is equality, do all have equal inclusion?

    It's not the life that matters, but the courage we bring to it.
     
  7. Arvind

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    As far as 'It is very unusual to attend a formal Gurdwara and have women participate equally. Women don't usually recite the Ardas, or read the hukam' is concerned, Question is:
    1. Are women interested to do this, and they are not allowed to do so by anyone there?

    If yes, then thats against the sikhism principles. Unfortunately, with the desire of proving men' supremacy, some narrow-minded men keep on flaunting these principles. Sadly, Amritsar darbar sahib is no exception to this!

    But I guess, look in the gurudwaras by our American brothers and sisters, where gender-equality is really practiced.
     
  8. CaramelChocolate

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    Really?? I find that hard to believe since women do usually participate/lead in other Gurdwara services

    ~CaramelChocolate~
    The little philosopher
     
  9. Arvind

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    Perhaps I wrote incompletely, and that gave wrong impression. Yes, Women do Ardas, read hukam, other kitchen seva. However, there are some other sevas which they are denied upfront. ALSO I came across one sect of sikhs, which dont allow sikh women to enter 'Sach Khand', and actually even married sikhs cant enter 'Sach Khand' during particular days.

    SGPC with woman leader is a known thing to us.
     

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