Professor Mahdi Tourage
Religious Studies 2500F
19 November 2012
Patriarchy and Gender Inequality
"I created you from one soul, and from that soul I created its mate so that you may live in harmony and love” (Quran 4:2). When distinguishing between the Quran and Western Christian tradition, it becomes clear that equality amongst genders is much more prominent in the Quran. This is a result of the influence of Greek misogyny being integrated into Western Christian tradition. The most fundamental proof of equality that supports the Quran is the fact that in Islam, God does not have a gender. S/he may be referred to using the male pronoun in Arabic, but s/he is never described as “father or as s/he is in the Christian traditions. As discussed in lecture, in Islam, God is described using female characteristics as well as male. For instance, her/his most important names are Al- Rahman (the All-Compassionate) and Al- Rahim which come from the root word R-h-m meaning womb. Therefore, in Islam God does not have a sex or race and thus unpatriarchal. Dr. Sherif Abdel Azeem’s research of American female converts revealed that the ratio of American female converts to males is four to one (Azeem).According to these women, the reason for their conversion is that Islam liberates them and gives them more power than they have ever experienced before. When analyzed in its wholeness and put into proper perspective, it is clear that there is no favoritism towards a specific gender; the Quran displays equality throughout its revelation and misinterpretations are what make the religion seem patriarchal, such is seen with the topic of menstruation. This paper specifically analyzes how menstruation is dealt with in the Quran, and how different commentators from different time frames interpret verse 222 from surah Al Baqarah. It looks at the way women are degraded because of a disillusioned patriarchy being read into the Quran making them look inferior. In addition to this, how the oppressed women take the very terms of oppression and use it to their benefit will be seen as well. The Quran mentions menstruation in two contexts: ritual purity and the law of marriage and divorce. When discussing ritual purity, menstruation is one of the several bodily functions that require ablution in order for a person to be pure and be able to perform prayer and other rituals (“Menstruation”). In the context of Islamic law, menstruation is seen to cause impurity to that of the same degree created by sexual intercourse. The marital law states that a widowed or divorced woman’s waiting period can only begin when she starts menstruating and she may re-marry once the waiting period is over. The topic of menstrual purity is a significant topic in the Islamic law, however the Quran does only mention it once, “They ask you about menstruation say, it is an adhan. Remain aloof from menstruating women and do not approach them until they become pure again; when they have purified themselves, go to them as God has instructed you. Indeed, God loves those who repent and those who purify themselves” (Quran, 2:222). Adhan, a scarcely used word in the Quran holds a strong meaning although semantically open. In the context of this verse, many medieval interpreters often referred to it as ““dirtiness”, smelliness and general offensiveness of menstrual blood” (“Menstruation”). Professor Mary Douglas’s book Purity and Danger helped the understanding of causes and consequences of menstruation as a defect and pollution because of the interchangeable misuse of the words purity and unclean. On the other hand, modern interpreters focus on the harm done to the menstruating woman. For example, no intercourse during that time is permissible because the woman would be experiencing weakness and has no energy. Muhammed Rashid Rida explains how intercourse while a woman is on her period can be harmful because intercourse disrupts her...
...Many feminist argue that patriarchy is the root of genderinequalities in the world. There are many formal definition of the term “patriarchy”, in general, patriarchy is a social construct in which masculine qualities are valued more than feminine qualities. Traditionally, patriarchy is explained in terms of the household. That is, a woman is limited to the household tasks, and her husband is the head of the house who determines how much freedom the wife has within the house. In this paper I argue that even when the private patriarchy is not visible, or none existing, the public patriarchy still limits female abilities compared to their male counterparts. I define public patriarchy as women’s ability to access the public sphere (employment outside of the house, education, religious institutions) where they are still inferior to men due to the societal structure. In order to support my argument, I will rely on the works of Lynne Haney “Homeboys, Babies, Men in Suits: The State and the Reproduction of Male Dominance”, Lourdes Portillo “Senorita Extraviada: Missing Young Woman”, and Cecilia Menjivar ``Corporeal Dimensions of Gender Violence: Woman`s Self and Body``.
The outline of this paper will be the following: first I will outline the main argument, historical contexts and theoretical traditions of each article individually. Next I...
In exploring the essay title, it would seem wise to explain the terms “Gender” and “Inequality”. Within this essay, “gender” refers to the socially defined differences between men and women. As the word suggests, “inequality” means unequal rewards/opportunities for different individuals within a group or groups within a society.
Primarily, during this essay, I intend to exam the causes of genderinequality through biological and socially constructed gender theorists, such as Tiger and Fox and Ann Oakley. Secondly, Young and Wilmott and again Ann Oakley’s definitions of the family today, will outline the consequences (Effects) that these causes have had upon the family today.
There are numerous Sociological debates about the relationship between the biological and socially constructed views on the causes of genderinequality. To explain genderinequality in Britain today, one might be encouraged to briefly look upon the historical explanations of genderinequality, in order to understand its origin. Engels, the nineteenth- century philosopher, socialist and co-founder of Marxism, attempted to explain the basis of genderinequality in his works “The origin of the...
...GenderinequalityGender can be defined as the socially constructed roles and duties society constructs, assigns and expects of males and females on the basis of their biological and physical characteristics. Gender is learnt, not permanent and differs from one community to another. Gender roles and responsibilities are found in all spheres of society be it economic, social, political or religious. Gender roles are affected by age, social class, ability, ethnicity and race. The gender roles help society to determine men and women access to rights, resources and opportunities. Gender in this perspective is not just a concept, but about perceptions and understanding concerning the affiliation between males and females in society and how gender influences their attitudes, behavior and responsibilities.
Genderinequality refers to unequal treatment of men and women that are against the legal and constitutional requirement such as the human rights provisions as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 & The Convention on the Eradication of all forms of discrimination against females (1979). Most countries have, however, fallen short of entitling human rights and freedoms to everyone in society regardless of their sex (Michael 12).
Genderinequality varies from developed...
...Radical feminists define patriarchy as a social system in which men appropriate all social roles and keep women in subordinate positions. The society is divided and ruled by men. From this point of view, men are the ruling class, and women are the subject class.
Patriarchal attitudes are bred in the family through the socialization process. The family, as a social institution, is a brewery for patriarchal practices by socializing the young to accept sexually differentiated roles.
Kate Millet, a radical feminist, points to ideological factors in her search for the roots of patriarchy. She attaches importance to socialization. Men are socialized to have a dominant temperament. This provides men with a higher social status which in turn lead to them filling social roles in which they can exercise mastery over women.
For two hundred years, patriarchy precluded women from having a legal or political identity and the legislation and attitudes supporting this provided the model for slavery. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries suffrage campaigners succeeded in securing some legal and political rights for women in the UK. By the middle of the 20th century, the emphasis had shifted from suffrage to social and economic equality in the public and private sphere and the women¡¦s movement that sprung up during the 1960s began to argue that women were oppressed by patriarchal structures.
Patriachy has probably the biggest part...
...GenderInequality in Southern Africa
This semester we have studied Namibia and Botswana through different analytical lenses such as colonialism, gender, race, ethnicity, and religion. All of the information we studied was used to thoroughly understand the history of this country and all the events that happened that led to each country’s independence. Out of all the information we learned, gender is what interested me the most. For my final essay, I want to pursue the topic of gender, specifically genderinequality, throughout Namibia and Botswana. In books we read, including Histories of Namibia by Colin Levs and Susan Brown, The Other Side of Silence by Andre Brink, Maru by Bessie Head, and Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman by Majorie Shostak, I noticed that women were always degraded in society. In my final paper, I will have analyzed these readings and further support my topic with outside sources.
For my introduction, I will explain the importance of knowing the difference between gender and sex, because people tend to think these words are the same when in fact their meaning is different and specific. I will also explain the geographic location of Southern Africa and give the audience a brief overview of the country. In the last sentence of my introduction I will let the audience know the thesis of my paper so that they focus and prepare...
The issue of genderinequality is one which has been publicly reverberating through society for decades. The problem of inequality in employment being one of the most pressing issues today. In order to examine this situation one must try to get to the root of the problem and must understand the sociological factors that cause women to have a much more difficult time getting the same benefits, wages, and job opportunities as their male counterparts. The society in which we live has been shaped historically by males.
However, in many parts of the world, women receive less attention and health care than men do, and particularly girls often receive very much less support than boys. As a result of this gender bias, the mortality rates of females often exceed those of males in these countries. The concept of missing women was devised to give some idea of the enormity of the phenomenon of women's adversity in mortality by focusing
on the women who are simply not there, due to unusually high mortality compared with male mortality rates. In some regions in the world, inequality between women and men directly involves matters of life and death, and takes the brutal form of unusually high mortality rates of women and a consequent preponderance of men in the total population, as opposed to the preponderance of women found in societies with little or no...
...G674 Patriarchy and genderinequalities
Outline and assess the view that patriarchy is the main cause of genderinequality. (40)
Patriarchy being the main cause of genderinequality is a view mostly held by feminists, especially radical feminists since they believe that patriarchy in our society is the main reason why women are oppressed and exploited by men. Feminists believe that women are unequal to men, and as a result society benefits men whilst exploiting women. They believe that genderinequality is socially constructed, an example being gender roles; these are taught to children at very young ages and encourage inequalities to become part of society’s norms, for example it is frowned upon for boys to play with dolls or teddies and girls to construct or be interested in cars or mechanical toys.
The different type of feminists believe different reasons for genderinequality, there are liberal, radical, Marxist and postmodern feminists, radical are arguably the most extreme and controversial feminist group. Radical feminist believe patriarchy has been pushed so much into society that is makes it accepted, this results in the unequal genderinequality for women. An example of one would...
...Modern Day Discrimination
Genderinequality is the most important issue society faces today. This is the unfair difference in the way people are treated based on their gender. There are many places where this injustice occurs. The most detrimental is where people spend a large portion of their time, which is the workplace. The workplace must not be viewed as only a traditional job, but also things such as being a wife or a mother. Society must improve gender equality in the workplace in order for all people to feel likely to succeed.
Military wives are viewed as supporters, rather than equals who can also be successful. A group of authors elaborate on the issue, “the military wife has traditionally had an important and recognized role in military life, providing the necessary support and care that contributed towards the success of her husband’s career” (Rosen, Knudson and Fancher 327). All people, male or female, need not only to be treated the same, but viewed the same if society is going to grow. Women are put in a group that does not allow them to have a rewarding life without a husband. This teaches young women that they need a man in their life to be successful. Which could lead to poor decisions or premature and failed marriages.
Women who do attempt to be successful on their own are not given the credit they deserve for building a life on their own. This is proven in volume 16 of Gender, Work...