See M. Mundadan, The Syro-Malabar Church, Kalamasserry: S.H. First, I will use a historical perspective to describe the advent and the perpetuation of patriarchy and the historical interrelationship between patriarchy and patriarchal religion. The religious instruction in the ritual of marriage lays bare the caste–gender nexus of CSC theology. In the discussion that followed on what they learn from Mary, the women almost unanimously spoke about Mary’s humility and obedience. The theological significance of this parable in the scriptural setting is to show the unconditional love of God as a father who welcomes the repentant sinner wholeheartedly like the father of the prodigal son.17 But this is conveniently misinterpreted to drive home a patriarchally biased message to women that their primary responsibility is to be at the service of the well-being of the family. Within the CSC framework, gender conformity is not just expected of women, but it is also rewarded. Cf. The social roles of men and women, according to religious teachings, are not only sacred truths but many people believe that they are scientific facts. pp 143-165 | Association between decision-making and religious indoctrination in women, As the graph shows, with an increase in religious indoctrination, there is a stronger notion that decision-making is primarily man’s prerogative.30 The inference that can be drawn from this situation of CSC women is that we see religion reinforcing the existing gendered distributions of power. Hence, to view religion simply as a benign ‘sacred canopy’ over society is to ignore the ways in which religion (s) can and do play active roles in: reinforcing and legitimating dominant power interests; generating resistance to dominant power; resourcing groups with little social power; resourcing reconfigurations of power.31 Since patriarchal ideology is founded on a basic principle that men have the right to ‘rule over’ women, when this is legitimized through scriptural backing, it has a binding effect on women’s psyche, particularly on their autonomy. Thus it should not be surprising that the treatment of gender in religions and cultures has changed throughout history. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! https://doi.org/10.1080/10130950.2004.9676037, https://doi.org/10.18848/1833-1882/CGP/v03i03/52558, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-21488-3_5, Religious Patriarchy in the Catholic Syrian Christian Community, Religious Indoctrination Reinforcing Gender Hierarchy, Religious Indoctrination and Gendering of Power. Majority attest to participating in the Family Units5 (74.2 per cent); some are active in Mathrudeepthi6 or Mother’s Association (34.2 per cent); some take part in cleaning and decoration activities (30.4 per cent); a smaller number participate in prayer groups (11.7 per cent) and still less women in the parish council (10.4 per cent). Ukpong observed that: religion is the strongest element in the society and exerts probably the strongest influence upon the thinking and life of the people [6]. On checking the motivation behind their religious practices, majority acknowledge that they find strength and healing through their church devotions (68.4 per cent), whereas some attend church services because of social obligation as expected of them in the community (32.6 per cent). As brought out in the data, majority of women respondents engage in reading popular religious literature like evangelical magazines and books (57.9 per cent), whereas only a lesser number read spiritual literature of a meditative nature (29.6 per cent) and engage in theological reading (27.1 per cent). On 20th March 1927, Ambedkar led a procession of 2,500 “untouchables” through main streets of Mahad to drink from the public Chevdar tank. Cf. Gender, religion and patriarchy are seen as foundational social constructs operating at the basis of social organization of society. Linda Woodhead, “Gender Differences in Religious Practice and Significance”, 558. While the Pauline instruction is an appropriation of the Judeo-Arabic cultural norms in relation to gender, for many CSC women conformity to scriptural prescriptions gives them a sense of comfort because they are fulfilling what is expected of them. Some of the clergy men interviewed as part of my study asserted emphatically about the role of man as the head and the woman as heart of the family based on a gendered theological anthropology that God has created man and woman different, although they are equal in dignity before God. This was after Adam and Eve consumed the forbidden fruit; a folly for which Eve was categorically held responsible. An anecdote in the course of the fieldwork of my research would illustrate this point. From the high school to degree level, all the women, particularly housewives, are engaged in one activity or other in the church. See Susan Visvanathan, The Christians of Kerala: History, Belief and Ritual among the Yakoba, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1993, 102–117. This parable is in the Gospel of Luke, and it tells the story of a father with two sons; the younger son goes astray, but when he returns home, he is welcomed wholeheartedly by his father. Men, on the other hand, busy themselves attending to external matters even when it involves death of an immediate family member. See Ingelhart, Ronald and Pippa Norris, Rising Tide. The role of religion in strengthening patriarchy in society is all too obvious. This tendency of ‘patronising’ and ‘guiding’ is not restricted to Islam. Also, as per Christian traditions, since Jesus selected only male apostles and did not ordain women, the inclusion of women is not considered desirable. Attoh, F., “Gender, Religion and Patriarchy: A Sociological Analysis of Catholicism and Pentecostalism in Nigeria” Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 4:14, (2017), 158–170, 158. Their role, as they saw it, was to stabilize society by generating and regenerating moral character. A concrete example of this is the custom of women covering their heads in the church. Religion doesn't have as much influence in the public sector as it used to, and I think this is a major reason why we are moving towards a more egalitarian society. Actually I like being religious, but my difficulty is because I feel very guilty to say no to the demands made on me by my husband. Though having no direct reference or endorsement in the Hindu scriptures, Sati was largely practised among certain Hindu communities because it conformed to the general idea of an ‘ideal’ wife as epitomised by Goddess Sati who immolated herself because she was unable to bear the humiliation heaped on her husband, Lord Shiva, by her father. ANOVA with a significance value of .000 supports the positive relation between religious indoctrination and patriarchal notions of decision-making in women. Failing to do so affects not just women’s position, but the church’s very identity and mission in the world. Women Turn to Orthodox Judaism, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press 1991, 116–120. Hindu and Christian fundamentalists respond by insisting that women somehow embody a nobler, truer sense than modernity can imagine of the way the universe really is. Thus it should not be surprising that the treatment of gender in religions and cultures has changed throughout history. Not all feminists agree that religion is essentially patriarchal, arguing that many early religions featured prominent goddesses and other female figures. Man-Child In Love: No, Your Partner/Girlfriend/Wife Is Not Your Mother! In the general sense, this dyad provides a normative model for regulating male and female use of and access to personal and social space and resources. The tension between religion and gender equality is a Whether visiting a temple or being part of local practices of worship, or attending Sunday masses regularly, women display a zealousness and faith that render the temple and church intimate spaces in which they feel at home. In such a ‘religious’ setting, women take pride in being the loyal transmitters of piety and religious faith, and, so, the danger lies in their blindness to the tactics of patriarchy that uses their ‘religiousness’ to keep them subjugated and well contained within the restricted spaces allotted to them. In order to drive home the point that the well-being of the family is in women’s hands, he reinterpreted the biblical parable of the ‘Prodigal Son’ as a telling example of a ‘significant absence’ in the family. A clear example of this is devotion to Mary, mother of Christ, which is very strong in the CSC community. In Islam, women cannot lead prayers as ‘imams’ in mosques and in mixed gatherings. Steven Parish, Hierarchy and its Discontents, 18. According to the preacher, ‘the son became a prodigal because there was no mother in the house’. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church and gave himself for it’.24. Part of Springer Nature. Religious patriarchy then works as a vehicle coercing women to accept the established gender order, which maintains the cohesion of the male-dominated social system in many countries across the globe. Although there are no conclusive evidence to support this theory—yet there are debates in the academic circle with regard to the significance of these icons, with some believing that it points to a matriarchal belief-system in the said period while others believing that these images of women were actually nothing but prehistoric pornography. As is clear from the graph, there is a direct relation between religious teaching on wives’ submission and gendered consciousness, and ANOVA with a significance value of .000 supports this inference. Besides, the powerful image of mother represents an authority that submits to be tamed, provided it is allowed to retain the moral aura associated with motherhood.11, The caste factor also comes into play in CSC women’s valorization of motherhood, and this becomes distinct when seen in relation to Dalit women’s experience. See Kumkum Sangari and Suresh Vaid (eds), Recasting Women: Essays in Colonial History, New Delhi: Zubaan 2006. The paper interrogates the nexus between gender, religion and patriarchy in a context where the marginalization of the female gender is continuous in spite of the strides in female education. The mantrako-di is a symbol of the responsibility on the part of the husband to protect his wife. So, yes, I do think patriarchy is the prevailing religion of the planet--or to make it more complex, nuanced and intersectional, as feminist bell hooks does, white, capitalist heteropatriarchy is the prevailing religion of … This is a source of constant conflict in our otherwise ‘happy’ marriage. Paava Kadhaigal is a scathing social drama, with brilliant performances, meticulously crafted from scripting to music and editing. The respondent, a lady college principal, shared her views in an in-depth interview. https://doi.org/10.18848/1833-1882/CGP/v03i03/52558 accessed on February 27, 2019. Ephesians 5:23 clearly states that husband is the head of the wife. Patriarchy can be defined in simple terms as the oppression and objectification of women by men. Besides, I am fully engaged during the day as I am into some home-based catering work, taking orders for snacks and I enjoy it as it fetches me some pocket money also. The Catholic scholar of Islam Louis Massignon stated that the phrase "Abrahamic religion" means that all these religions come from one spiritual source. Many believe that the advent of Abrahamic religions led to the diminished status of women as far as the religious space is concerned. Religion is patriarchal Feminists regard religion as a patriarchal institution which reflects and maintains the inequality in society where men dominate. ), The Sage Handbook of the Sociology of Religion, Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore: Sage, 2007, 550–570, 556. Terms in this set (...) Liberal Feminist. Chapter 10 of the Rig-Veda expounded the idea of feminine energy behind the creation of the universe. Data from the quantitative research elaborates the nexus between religious indoctrination (RI) and gendered consciousness and its impact on women. For example, in Islam, the right to instantaneous and unilateral divorce is enjoyed only by men. The hegemonic codes of religion with its demands on women’s silence, submission and fidelity reinforce in women the gendered consciousness already present in them from their childhood years. Sexuality of women has always been controlled by brahminical patriarchy, ensuring they’re conditioned to feel desire within caste class religion boundaries. On the other hand, this division keeps together men and women of particular groups and thereby reinforces caste, community and even national divisions.18. The story of Anita, a woman in her early 50s, and her struggle of coping with the demands of conjugal life illustrates this. In addition to its strictly economic form, this oppression is expressed in many ways, notably through language, kinship relations, stereotypes, religion, and culture. Almost all religion and their holy texts advocate domination of females by males and advertise the same as something that is actually beneficial for the former. Do Policies For Women To Improve Social Indicators Empower Them? See Woodhead, “Gender Differences in Religious Practice and Significance” in J. Beckford, & N. J. Demerath III (Eds. The construction of Mary’s motherhood as devoid of sexual love and the kind of mothering portrayed in Marian hymns and prayers depicts a reality that is ambiguous for women in their struggle to make meaning of their mothering roles. To state that religion is the most potent force and the most important nurturing factor behind patriarchy would not be an exaggeration. They simply accept this discrimination as ‘natural’ and ‘god-ordained’. In the religious sanctioning of the home as the ideal space for women, we see also the inside/outside dyad that informs life practices in the most fundamental ways. As John Hawley observes, by seeming to commodify or individualize women, removing them from their archetypal roles, modern society strikes a dangerous blow. In addition, church is a place where they are ‘free’ to go without having to explain the ‘why’ behind their move. However, this is not just an Indian story. As far as Christianity is concerned, the church services in both the urban and the rural setting continue to be well attended, with women making up the majority of the faithful at these services. I don’t want to say no to my husband as I believe it is the religious duty of every married woman to be available to her husband’s conjugal needs. Women priests in Hindu temples are extremely rare because women are ‘biologically’ unfit for the job as menstruating women are deemed impure and unfit for ‘sacred’ duties pertaining to God. What is alarming is how deeply this religiously-endorsed patriarchy is seeped into the common psyche and behaviour. She loves tea, music, shopping and travelling – in that order. From the data, it is evident that women are vulnerable to religious indoctrination than men as they are expected to participate in religious services like the Eucharist, prayer meetings and retreats. Search for more papers by this author. Further, it is noted that religion matters not only for cultural attitudes but for the opportunities and constraints on women’s lives.4 This is more so because women who are religious tend to assimilate and observe dogmatically the gendered prescriptions of religious traditions, beliefs and practices in an uncritical manner without being conscious of its detrimental effects on their growth as persons. Linda Woodhead, Gender Differences in Religious Practice and Significance, In J. Beckford, & N. J. Demerath III (Eds. Hegel, Phenomenology of the Spirit, as cited by Marsha Aileen, Critical Theory of Religion: A Feminist Analysis, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995, 45. The initiative in arranging a match is taken by the girl’s family, though kinship and friendship circles continue to play an important role in match-making.20 In the CSC community, marriage is solemnized within a Eucharistic celebration as customary of Catholic marriages. Also, Julia Leslie and Mary McGee (ed), Invented Identities: The Interplay of Gender Religion and Politics in India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press 2000. The profile of the women respondents of the research is indicative of the major role religion plays in their lives. If we examine some of the catholic teachings, the sociocultural constructions of women’s identity are reflected in the image of Mary, which is projected then as a model for women, and this serves to reinforce gender stereotypes. In Mulieris Dignitatem, women are exhorted to seek help from Mary ‘to see how virginity and motherhood, two paths in the vocation of women as persons, explain and complete each other’ (MD 17). Christine E. Gudorf. When women began joining the freedom movement, the chains of patriarchy started loosening further. As Linda Woodhead opines, the sociological analysis of religion is generally concerned about the growth and decline of religion in modern societies but fail to examine why women are by and large more religious than men. Even though ta-li is supposed to be a symbol of unity in marriage, the fact that it is a one-sided symbol—the bridegroom tying it on the bride—makes it a patriarchal symbol. Even so, feminist theorists complain about the gender blindness of sociology of religion as a discipline. Gender Equality and Cultural Change Around the World. Whatever reasons may be cited for the use of these ‘markers’ of sexual exclusivity and whatever arguments given in support of the same, it is but very obvious that the end-motive of the use of these markers is to rein-in and ‘protect’ the sexuality of women. Patriarchal religions revolve around a male god, and “superior beings” are created through the union of “a divine male and a mortal female”. The nuptial symbolism of Christ and the church is highlighted here, the bridegroom representing Christ and the bride representing the church,23 which is clearly a mediation of the patriarchal ideology of marriage. Susan Rakoczy IHM, “Religion and Violence: The Suffering of Women”, Agenda, 18:61(2004), 29–35,  https://doi.org/10.1080/10130950.2004.9676037, accessed on February 20, 2019. To state that religion is the most potent force and the most important nurturing factor behind patriarchy would not be an exaggeration. What can be inferred from this situation is that religion is one their major meaning-making systems in the lives of these women who are primarily housewives in a way that corresponds to their need for social space. #DilliChalo: An On Ground Report Of Farmer’s Protests From Singhu And…, The Violence Of Not Being Heard: International Day To End Violence…, Poster Series | 2020 — A Year of Resistance, Video: Manisha Mashaal Speaks On Caste-based Sexual Violence In Haryana, Infographic: Your Guide To Being Body Positive, Remembering Fatima Sheikh – A Woman Lost In History | #IndianWomenInHistory, http://coffeeandmysilentmusings.wordpress.com, Building Walls, Disabling Internet… – How A Few Good Men Run Nation States, Love Azad: A Rising Campaign Against ‘Love Jihad’, Challenging The Heteronormative Ideas Of Love, Is God Sexist? Helen Hardacre, “Japanese New Religions: Profiles in Gender”, in John Stratton Hawley (eds) Fundamentalism and Gender, New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994, 111–133. Susan Visvanathan, The Christians of Kerala, 108. PLAY. Jessy, an academic opines that the headship of men ought to be the right order of structuring family life because ‘it is better for children’s growth besides being a divinely ordained norm’. In a context like India, the intersectionality of religion, caste and gender buttress the prevalent gender order as brought out in the life experiences of CSC women. These include: religion and traditional culture. Indeed, if patriarchy is the social normal, it is largely because it derives its legitimacy from religion, the most important rule book pertaining to societal do’s-and-don’ts in any community. Kinds of stereotypes to prove that the world 's major religions are patriarchic in nature in order to ensure women. 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