I have a very short, rather impromptu weekend away planned with daughter Alison. We are headed back over to the coast and a nifty little cabin on Saturday. I really wanted to plan an entire family outing to this little beach community, but coordinating that, along with the senile cat who can’t be left alone, nor who would travel at all well to be plunked down into a foreign home, led me to place those plans on hold for now. It’s supposed to rain all weekend, but we have a fireplace so it should be cozy and relaxing. I’m giving my husband the opportunity to deal with senile old cat for a few days. I imagine that I will take you all along, as I think I would miss reading my daily blog updates, and I may be inspired to write a post or two.
Now, remember this post from a few days ago Feminist Friday: Discussions of feminism, atheism and religious belief.
I am fascinated by this topic, specifically how feminism addresses women and religious belief. In that first post, I was trying to remain open to delving into feminist views on all belief systems. Minimal research up to this point causes me to believe that I need to stay within feminism and Christian religion. Feminists most likely have their opinions about other beliefs, or at least how those beliefs affect women, but I am feeling as if this entire notion is going to be a struggle as it is. I really don’t want to turn this into a research project of great magnitude. I mostly want to satisfy my curiosity regarding current feminist viewpoints on the oppressive nature of religion, if that is how feminism defines Christian religion.
After checking my texts on theory, gender, and also one that I have on transnational feminisms, I’m rather disappointed that only one addresses religion at all. I’ve been checking here and there on the web, and while feminists address religious views that employ their dogma under the guise of ‘God’s word’ to attempt to regulate women’s bodies and behaviors I’m not really sure that this is the road I had planned to take. I realize that I’m rambling here, which leads me to believe that I need to construct a specific thesis statement to lend focus here…see what I mean…research paper in the making.
So bear with me for a moment as I ramble and wander a bit more.
I know that for the majority, many feminists included, faith and belief in God is a central tenet of their existence. It is something that defines them.
I can only believe that Christian faith and belief, centered on patriarchy and passed down from male viewpoints and teachings, has to cause issues with some feminists.
How then, do these feminists reconcile their faith when it presents as judgmental, repressive and possibly even misogynistic toward women.
If feminists cannot find adequate (and I don’t even really know what would be adequate) means to come to terms with the dichotomy between a patriarchal Christian system and their lived feminism, do they step away from their faith, and how then, do they define themselves if at all in conjunction with religion
If the definition of atheist is a person who lacks a belief in gods, I must ponder if feminists who define themselves in terms of being against all forms of patriarchal oppression, come to repudiate their belief in God
What are the emotional and psychological ramifications (if any) to a feminist who has been raised with a familial background in religious belief who comes to deny fundamental aspects of their lived experience in faith
There are just some of the points that I’ve been pondering, inspired in part by an article that was shared with me from a Christian blog. The particular article voiced opinion on how a wife could remain ‘godly.’ It was…interesting… I truly lack a better word at this moment and I’m not sure that putting the words I want to use to describe the article will be beneficial to any open dialog if this all moves forward.
So while I feel as if this topic is dangling precariously over the great void that is my indecision in how to approach the subject coherently, I will take the text with me this weekend, plus any of the newly purchased used books that arrive prior to Saturday, on this topic.
I feel myself wanting to simply link the article mentioned above, go off on a tangent and rant to my heart’s content about conservative, fundamental Christians and their oppression of women and be done with this. But I also want to know why it seems, in light of the small amount of information on feminism and religion that I have come across, that some/many feminists seem to take issue with specific aspects of religious oppression, but perhaps overlook the big picture. That picture being their place within that same oppressive system as followers and faithful themselves.
Does their own faith lead them to overlook some acts of oppression, and act on others. Are they hypocritical, or so conflicted that turning to radical disdain and abject denial of their faith, such as Mary Daly did, is too difficult…sorry, I ramble again.
If anyone has been able to make heads or tails of this post, please comment and set me in some sort of forward direction if you are able. Share info if you have it. Tell me to drop the whole thing if you think that’s the direction I need to go.
And if you made it through all that and reached this point, this is for you.