Debate and inform me PLEASE: Are we still affected by Christian Patriarchy? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 98 Old 07-14-2007, 07:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CarenSwan View Post
I don't think Christianity or any other religion is to blame for patriarchy (it's too widespread and deeply ingrained) but I DO think Christianity feeds into it and reinforces it in a significant way.
I'd agree with that: created it, no; perpetuating it, yes.
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#62 of 98 Old 07-14-2007, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, I can live with that conclusion. Christianity didn't create it. So do we conclude that those in Church power contorted the true teachings of Christianity in order to perpetuate patriarchy, or Christianity is patriarchal inheritly?
Which is why I originally said Judeo-Christian, because at first Christianity was a sect of Judaism..... but what other religions were flourishing at the time and affecting society????
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#63 of 98 Old 07-14-2007, 12:50 PM
 
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but what other religions were flourishing at the time and affecting society????

Roman and Greek polytheistic religions. That area was part of the Roman empire and had been pretty Hellenized prior to that.
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#64 of 98 Old 07-14-2007, 02:53 PM
 
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Too, I think that focusing on religion as the sole source of patriarchy's perpetuation is a mistake (even though we ARE in the Religous Studies forum... ).
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#65 of 98 Old 07-14-2007, 08:00 PM
 
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Bigeyes- how can anyone make women's sports acheive the same status as mens sports? I mean what if there is just something about men, i don't know, estosterone? that makes them just like sports mre than women, and them being the majority of fans they just like men's sports better. Especially with men's overall strength causing men to reach higher levels of competition (I am all for mixed sex sports btw, whoever can play up to par deserves to play). But how can we make "women's sports" attain the level of men's? It doesn't seem ike it is something that can/should be controled in that way.

But I do overall agree with your message, just don't get the sports thing. But maybe that is because sports bore me to death and don't find them relevant at all. again, an opinion so probably irrelevant as well
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#66 of 98 Old 07-16-2007, 02:07 PM
 
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but what other religions were flourishing at the time and affecting society????

Roman and Greek polytheistic religions. That area was part of the Roman empire and had been pretty Hellenized prior to that.
Right. Now you might think that a polytheistic religion with powerful goddesses would be more amenable to a non-sexist social structure, but in fact, Hellenistic culture was based on sex-segregation, patrilocal marriage, limited right of inheritance for women, etc. etc. blah blah blah.

I think there are aspects of religions that are sexist. I don't think that patriarchy is a biological fact, but a social construction that we can trace by looking at specific laws and customs. I don't think the issue is whether women are icky, because it seems like there are traditions valorizing feminity in Judaism in the context of depriving us of religious obligations.

These religions are patriarchal when men hold most of the power and when laws and customs put women at a disadvantage. Which is true, I think, of every other social institution. Even the religious texts that are inherently sexist could be coopted for our equality, if people wanted to do that. They don't want to.

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#67 of 98 Old 07-16-2007, 02:49 PM
 
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Bigeyes- how can anyone make women's sports acheive the same status as mens sports? I mean what if there is just something about men, i don't know, estosterone? that makes them just like sports mre than women...
With all due respect, that's a load of hooey. Men don't inherently like sports more than women. Women aren't missing anything that would allow them to understand and enjoy sports.

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#68 of 98 Old 07-16-2007, 03:26 PM
 
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With all due respect, that's a load of hooey. Men don't inherently like sports more than women. Women aren't missing anything that would allow them to understand and enjoy sports.
Poking in to say I love sports, but only the interesting ones. And no one televises judo in this country, even during the Olympics. : And I just get jealous watching it, cuz I can't play anymore.
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#69 of 98 Old 07-16-2007, 04:19 PM
 
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I agree that patriarchy isn't biological (there are plenty of historical examples of matriarchal cultures). However, I do think it is human nature to try and put people in boxes, and one of the boxes that we've built as social creatures is that of gender. Not that I'm saying that there aren't biological or innate differences btwn men and women : but that we've taken those differences and codified them into a hierarchical structure. Am I making any sense? I missed my nap today! :yawning:
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#70 of 98 Old 07-17-2007, 02:32 AM
 
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In middle east cultures developped around agriculture - owning cattle&land. The religions were very matriarchal but then it suddenly changed. Kind goddesses were kicked aside and cruel gods came in - from those developped the ideas like hell, monotheism and such - and later came the first monotheistic, patriarchal religions that viewed women as property. We have to remember that 2000 years ago women in middle east were treated worse than Taleban treated women in Afganistan.

So against that fact Jesus indeed was a big feminist!

It is interesting how in middle east women were culturally&religiously put down - where as in for example many native cultures(America, Siberia, Asia)women were equal or societies were even matriarchal.

For us women it is truly unfortunate that middle eastern patriarchaic religions spread around the world...how different our history would be if some gentle native faith were equality was a fact had won the religious popularity contest.
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#71 of 98 Old 07-17-2007, 03:33 AM
 
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You seem to be lumping religions all together kxsiven and making less sense of all of them. And I think it's a fairly broad stroke to state that female-dominated religions would have been anymore "gentle" than male-dominated ones, given that there are how many recorded records of female-dominated religions? The phrase "the female of the species is more deadly than the male" comes to mind.

And WRT that, I think most certainly patriarchy exists. Religion didn't create it. And the expression of patriarchy within religion varies too much b/w people and experience within that particular religion.
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#72 of 98 Old 07-17-2007, 11:07 AM
 
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So against that fact Jesus indeed was a big feminist!
:
As a Christian, my careful study of scripture has revealed a wonderful reverence for Sofia/Wisdom in the Old Testament, and the New Testament, starting with the witness of Christ, is full of examples where women were treated with equality and respect, a far cry from how they were treated in the surrounding culture. So while, indeed, Christianity has culturally perpetuated patriarchy in many, many ways, I don't see patriarchy as being inherent to the sacred texts. And when I consider the culture in which the Bible was written (let's be honest... it's written BY men, FOR men (the only literate ones) and is primarily ABOUT men!) I find it to be encouraging just how much evidence there is of respect for women.
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#73 of 98 Old 07-17-2007, 01:05 PM
 
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I'd agree with that: created it, no; perpetuating it, yes.
I agree. I think it is more of a cultural thing, really, than religious. I see several religions as perpetuating it...but it was there before these religions were widespread. There have always been both patriarchal and matriarchal cutures, and right now we have a severe imbalance between the two that is really affecting our now universal culture where there is little boundaries.

This is really the same reason I get mad when people "accuse me of being too traditional and xian" about some of my views (I am pantheistic/pagan). No, actually, I don't see it that way. My views are very much based on my experience and research. Many things that people bad mouth that way just to set them apart were ingrained in our societies far before xianity.

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#74 of 98 Old 07-17-2007, 02:11 PM
 
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So while, indeed, Christianity has culturally perpetuated patriarchy in many, many ways, I don't see patriarchy as being inherent to the sacred texts.
Definitely.

And I wanted to amend something I said earlier: I don't actually think it's religion that's perpetuating patriarchy, I think it's people, primarily men, in the name of religion.
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#75 of 98 Old 07-17-2007, 03:11 PM
 
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The phrase "the female of the species is more deadly than the male" comes to mind.
There are many examples of peaceful female led cultures.

I of course don't deny that women can't be real bitches - ofcourse they can. But often 'bitchrulers' come from societies that all ready are big&rich&powerfull.

Indigenous cultures for example up here in Northern Europe&Asia were never rich that way.

I think the downfall of women started at the moment when men realised that their sperm had something to do with baby. They had to guarantee somehow that child was indeed their flesh & blood, in terms of inheritance. How to keep women in control? What could be better way than religion.

Maybe in cultures that were more primitive, where money and land and ownership did not have such importance there was no need to 'imprison' women.

Yes. I agree that religions did not invent patriarchy but they sure keep it up.

In so many religions there are clear roles for men and women and so often men are the only ones able to belong to clergy and woman's highest goal is produce babies.
In many countries today religions keep up the patriarchy - even if goverment is liberal and trying to improve the situation for women it is religion that is keeping women in 'jail'.

Equality is the only right way to go. Unfortenately religious and cultural patriarchy keeps up the golden penis syndrome very succesfully. Girls are still in the worst position in this world.
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#76 of 98 Old 07-25-2007, 10:39 PM
 
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Can someone please explain how patriarchy is biological?
Seriously. The. Most. Ridiculous. Statement. Ever.

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#77 of 98 Old 07-25-2007, 10:42 PM
 
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Our society is a patriarchy b/c the men that started it adhered to religous beliefs that were patriarchal. And those religous beliefs are still very much a part of our governemnt and until they are not there will be no equality.

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#78 of 98 Old 07-26-2007, 02:33 AM
 
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The patriarchy lives...unfortunately. Someday we'll dismantle it, though.
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#79 of 98 Old 07-26-2007, 02:50 AM
 
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I don't think "patriarchy" is a big factor in my life. My mother and father will give lip service to the Christian idea of wifely submission, but it's baloney - their relationship is very egalitarian - my mother has never done a thing in her life just because my dad wanted it that way. My own marriage is very egalitarian - dh is not the head of the household - at most he is a spokesman in dealing with the older set - we make our choices together. As a SAHM, I don't face patriarchy in the workforce. As a university student, I never found it to be a factor - and my male peers did not project themselves as authorities. In my Reform synagogue, the equality of wome nis very much emphasized. If we aren't totally there, I certainly think there have been great strides - I cannot complain about patriarchy in my own personal day to day life, but I sympathize with those still caught up in a struggle.
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#80 of 98 Old 07-29-2007, 02:23 PM
 
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Can someone please explain how patriarchy is biological?
I'm as feminist as they come, but I think there could be biological underpinnings to the widespread development of patriarchy. The biological facts including women's vulnerability during and right after childbirth, which men never have. The fact that women are flooded with maternal hormones after birth which up their nurturing instincts, whereas men are pretty much constantly flooded with testosterone with up their penchant for action and agression. Granted these are very broad statements, and I will be the first to agree that there are all sorts of individual exceptions to the rule - agressive women who are not nurturing in the least, or men who are very peaceful and nurturing. But I'm speaking statistically, not anecdotally.

The fact that the patriarchy has been the dominant model throughout recorded history in every region of the world (I know there are matriarchal cultures, but much fewer) makes me think that there is likely a biological component to it.

HOWEVER, and this is a big *HOWEVER* ('cause I can hear you all screaming at me out there ) saying that there may be a biological component to the patriarchy in NO WAY is to say that it is the "natural order of things" or "the way things should be", like some defenders of the patriarchy try to do. By that same logic, the fact that biology did not give us a set of wings would mean that we have no business flying airplanes. As humans, we are pretty unique in that we can move beyond nature and hormones and make choices based on what is right and just. Which is why the patriarchy should be replaced with equality. But I do think it is a very slow process.
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#81 of 98 Old 07-29-2007, 02:49 PM
 
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I'm as feminist as they come, but I think there could be biological underpinnings to the widespread development of patriarchy. The biological facts including women's vulnerability during and right after childbirth, which men never have. The fact that women are flooded with maternal hormones after birth which up their nurturing instincts, whereas men are pretty much constantly flooded with testosterone with up their penchant for action and agression. Granted these are very broad statements, and I will be the first to agree that there are all sorts of individual exceptions to the rule - agressive women who are not nurturing in the least, or men who are very peaceful and nurturing. But I'm speaking statistically, not anecdotally.
Yes, but, isn't that also true of the baboons and other primates that organize their troops around female leadership? The females pick the male leaders based on their interaction with young. The biological underpinings of patriarchy could just as easily become the justification for matriarchy.

It just seems like there is such a role for feminist scholarship in biological sciences, and in anthropology, and in history, just to show the possibilities.

It's ironic to discuss the patriarchy in relation to religion, since it seems like feminist scholars of religion have done so much work to uncover the feminist traditions in mainstream religions. But it's like shouting down a well. It's not that I don't think there's patriarchy (or better, sexism, and sometimes, misogyny) structured into religion. It's that we have a counter-tradition and we have to acknowledge and use it.

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#82 of 98 Old 07-29-2007, 09:48 PM
 
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Hmm, not sure about baboons. Gorillas are as patriarchal as they come, with one big male controlling a harem of several females. Chimpanzees, our closest relatives, are kind of mixed I think. The males do everything they can to be sure the females doesn't mate with other males but sometimes the females sneak away and mate anyway . The bonobos (dwarf chimpanzees) just mate with anyone all the time (and are a very peaceful species, leading some researchers to suggest if we were just getting more of it we humans would be more peaceful too ). So there is a range. But it does seem obvious that in our species patriarchy has been the dominant model throughout recorded history.

I totally agree with you about having more feminist scholarship to unearth traditions that the male scholars have missed!
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#83 of 98 Old 07-30-2007, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so confused.....
Why don't you all give me a list of books to read and point me toward key search words in order to study..... OKay????
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#84 of 98 Old 08-03-2007, 12:37 AM
 
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The reality is, though, that the U.S. was founded on Christian principles,
Which ones would those be, and how are they Christian as opposed to universal or enlightened or ???

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CarenSwan: (there are plenty of historical examples of matriarchal cultures)
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Kxsiven: There are many examples of peaceful female led cultures.
Citations please, what cultures would those be? Because I'm hard-pressed to recall any from my time getting my degree in Anthropology.

I recall some Matrilineal cultures, but even there, men ran the show. A woman's life was controlled by her brothers and uncles rather than her father. Not seeing that as a huge difference.

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#85 of 98 Old 08-05-2007, 12:26 AM
 
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With all due respect, that's a load of hooey. Men don't inherently like sports more than women. Women aren't missing anything that would allow them to understand and enjoy sports.

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frog, the grrl who loves and understands sports and whose hormone levels are just fine, thanks :
sorry, like I said, I just don't get sports so I was hypothesizing, totally making stuff up.

I think the only thing I was really serious about was as to how to dictate equality in such a thing. I guess I see sports the same way I see other forms of entertainment. Whatever people like, that is what they pay to see
I'm talking about professional sports here.

I think everyone who likes sports ought be able to play them. No doubt about that. I was talking out of my ass about my silly ideas about "why maybe men's sports gets more money/exposure in the entertainment industry". I swear I meant no offense!!
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#86 of 98 Old 08-05-2007, 12:35 AM
 
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Well, aren't the men largely in charge in this society? (Like the President, Congress, etc.) There are more than just a few individual men who think they are superior in society to women.
:

When we have half of congress, and they stop asking that stupid question about 'would you vote for a woman president?' then we'll talk about post.

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#87 of 98 Old 08-06-2007, 10:12 PM
 
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I am now reading "The Dance of the Dissident DAughter"... anyone read it? AMAZING. Just amazing. I want to give a copy to all my friends who are members of the "Non-denominational" christian church in my neighborhood.

It is a life-changer.

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#88 of 98 Old 08-07-2007, 11:03 AM
 
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I have read an interesting book called, Saharasia, it suggests the creation of a vast desert environment transformed mainly peaceful matriarchal cultures into war-like patriarchal cultures. More correctly, the violent patriarchal cultures took over the territory of the more peaceful cultures. The patriarchy is associated with nasty practices like male and female circumcision, restriction of nursing, male domination including polygamy, concubinage, widow murder, human sacrifice, female infantacide, slavery, flaying of prisoners of war, sacrificing children in the foundation of buildings, veiling of women, female virginity, and on and on. Apparently, the drier the climate, the greater the liklihood of patriarchal cultural practices. Apparently there was some biological advantage in being physically strong and the bruitish generally took over much of the world. This was especially true when food and water became scarce. Females were at a disadvantage, biologically, because of our smaller size and our childbearing.

With the advancement of technology and a focus on education as the indicator of economic success, as opposed to "might makes right," this is starting to decline in cultures that have developed away from an agrarian existance to a more technological existance. Even in places where patriarchal systems dominate, the greatest indicator of emerging female equality is the educational level of women and girls. The US is actually a bit behind the EU and Canada in the decline of the Patriarchy because of our high level of fundamentalist people, but it is declining.
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#89 of 98 Old 08-09-2007, 08:36 PM
 
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The fact that the patriarchy has been the dominant model throughout recorded history in every region of the world (I know there are matriarchal cultures, but much fewer) makes me think that there is likely a biological component to it.
You came to that conclusion on your assumption. I would like some evidence that there is a biological reason for men to be "in charge". Biologically speakuing I think women hold much more over the men. If all the men in the world today judt instantly died, humans would survive. Not true if all the women were to die off tomorrow--the men would die out as well...

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#90 of 98 Old 08-10-2007, 03:23 PM
 
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There is a biological componant to males being dominating, not necessarily, "in charge."

There is a difference between the two. Patriarchal males do not have a good track record when it comes to leading people peacefully, now, do they?
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