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Thread: Psalm 14: Who was Jesus' grandpa?

  1. #681
    Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President Kodos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corastaur View Post
    Sooo this is on topic with religion but it's off topic with the current discussion... so if you want just ignore me and continue. I'm taking this religion and gender class this quarter, and a bunch of the readings have been by feminists or sort of reviews of literature that was written by feminists. What they've been trying to argue is that modern day religion (especially christianity, judaism, islam etc) are all I guess male-centric. In christianity, as the main example, you have the second creation story where man is created first in the image of god and woman is created second (not necessarily in HIS [God is referred to exclusively as male] image) and by the fall women are essentially evil temptresses who need to be put into submission. There are multiple arguments raised varying from God being exclusively male alienates one half of the human race from ever really feeling "close" to god, we need to start thinking of God in female metaphors as well (or exclusively in female metaphors according to some people) in order to even things out, some even argue for a return to goddess worship as the only way women can be sort of at one with themselves.

    Aaaaanyway I thought the idea of religion being gendered was interesting, especially since it wasn't anything I had ever thought about. It's interesting to think about to what extent it really does affect our culture, and also just whether or not it can or should be changed.

    But yeah, that was just my little tangent. I'm just having fun with this class and wanted to share
    Western religion, and especially the Abrahammic ones, are all patriachal and misogynistic by nature. Far Eastern religion is a bit more muddled, as is African religion.

    The thing to remember is that the Eastern and African faiths tend to be less hierarchical and dogmatic like Western ones, and more folk religion. So things are more muddled all around, because individual regions/tribes/towns may have their own spin/variant on a given myth/story/deity.

    But, for example, let's look at Hinduism. In many forms of Hinduism, Kali is a Huge Fucking Deal. Kali is, in these variants, arguably one of, if not the, most important deva. Goddess of life and death, rebirth and the turning of the wheel, and all that stuff. But the religion itself is still generally male oriented and dominated. You find things are similar in many African religions, too. Even though a goddess or goddesses may be Big Fucking Deals, and even though you may have women in a few places of extreme power by virtue of their role as priestesses, by and large the social order created and espoused by the religion is one where women are subservient to men and powerful priestesses and shit are exceptions rather than rules.

    EDIT: Also, keeping in mind the theme of feminism, I'd argue that in many cases priestesses ought not be considered a sign of female power, much as with female saints. There's nothing wrong with prudery, in reason, if that's what you want, and an asexual woman is no less of a woman than a woman who revels in her sexuality. But that said, these are choices, we're talking about. Women choosing to embrace or suppress their femininity and sexuality. When in many religions sainthood or priesthood requires virginity, and/or asexuality, and/or generally denying your femininity, can it be said to be a symbol of female power? Is a female saint really a symbol of feminine power when to become a saint required she deny and suppress all the outward signs of her femaleness?

    If the only way a woman can become powerful in a society is by acting like what that society considers to be a man, or otherwise denying her femaleness, I don't think you can call that society female oriented.
    Last edited by Kodos; 01-25-2012 at 10:54 AM.

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  2. #682
    Lucky Member corastaur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodos View Post
    When in many religions sainthood or priesthood requires virginity, and/or asexuality, and/or generally denying your femininity, can it be said to be a symbol of female power? Is a female saint really a symbol of feminine power when to become a saint required she deny and suppress all the outward signs of her femaleness?

    If the only way a woman can become powerful in a society is by acting like what that society considers to be a man, or otherwise denying her femaleness, I don't think you can call that society female oriented.
    Exaaaactly! I totally agree with you. There was an argument that the only way women can rise above their submissive relation to men is to basically reject their sexuality and either become lesbian or celibate. They said they had to basically reject the their woman-ness and becoming androgynous (which they claimed was similar to male or something). It just seemed ridiculous and pointless. If the only way for a woman to rise above it all is to put aside things things that make her a woman its really putting women down even further. Making it something to be ashamed of almost...

    But yeah, another issue is that we can't really change anything in the main religions (like Christianity for example) to make them more women friendly because if we did 1. the catholic church would be pissed, and 2. Changing anything automatically debunks the whole religion is natural and this is all from God. The holy and never wrong book of the bible...

  3. #683
    Super Senior Member Delphinus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corastaur View Post
    Exaaaactly! I totally agree with you. There was an argument that the only way women can rise above their submissive relation to men is to basically reject their sexuality and either become lesbian or celibate. They said they had to basically reject the their woman-ness and becoming androgynous (which they claimed was similar to male or something). It just seemed ridiculous and pointless. If the only way for a woman to rise above it all is to put aside things things that make her a woman its really putting women down even further. Making it something to be ashamed of almost...
    Note that I use 'woman' to refer to the gender role, and 'female' to refer to the biological sex.

    While females are not, in any way, innately subservient, part of how our society treats the concept of womanhood is to imply that women are weak, belong in the home, etc. The majority of so-called women's empowerment programs are also pathetic. Well done, young woman, you can rise to a position of power by wearing low-cut tops and high heels, despite the fact that both bring a sexual charge into the work environment (where it's unnecessary and distracting for everyone involved, and demeaning to the female), and one of them causes long-term physical harm. Bearing that in mind, I'd argue that because of the way our society perceives women, females have to adopt traditionally masculine traits to get ahead.

    Of course, this also applies to men who are perceived to be feminine. Sociological studies repeatedly show that more aggressive and traditionally masculine men do far better in business than men who possess feminine traits, even when results are adjusted for education, intelligence, etc. Society associates femininity with weakness.

    Bearing that in mind, there needs to be either a radical rethinking of gender roles (the more popular view), or a move towards making the socialisation of women not be linked to weak and submissive behaviour (my view). At present, women are socialised to be subservient: while many don't accept this role, the socialisation shouldn't happen in the first place. What liberal feminism says is that a woman should behave as she likes and not be judged as weak for it. While in a perfect world I'd support that, the fact is that if someone allows themselves to be dominated and willingly takes the back seat in discussions, they're going be listened to less than someone leading the discussion. So the crux of the problem is not with society judging women (though this is a related issue), but with how society socialises women.

    Of course, the assumption that all females accept the traditional gender role is another matter entirely. "You're a woman, you must like kids" for example. That's obvious misogyny. But often matters are more nuanced than that.
    Last edited by Delphinus; 01-25-2012 at 06:21 PM.
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  4. #684
    Lucky Member corastaur's Avatar
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    ^ Yes. *sigh* it's messed up. And I like how you included men who are perceived as feminine, because it definitely applies to them as well. I want to give a longer reply, but I'm supposed to be writing a paper for this class (the religion and gender one) on how men are portrayed in the gospel of Luke. Woot. We read an article on how women are portrayed in it (if anyone is interested in it I can try to link it... ) and it was pretty cool. Turns out it's a rather women friendly gospel! (at least in comparison to the others...) My dad's in his fourth year being a pastor at a church and I've had multiple discussions with him about Luke and how a lot of it is talking about leveling things out - trying to even out the rich/poor, men/women, master/slave, etc. relationships.

    Sorry this isn't a proper response, but school calls and I wanted to share! In my opinion I think the class raises some questions that are fun to discuss :P

  5. #685
    Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President Kodos's Avatar
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    Well obviously gender and sex are complicated things. Most people think of gender as a binary thing, but in reality it's much more of a wibbly-wobbly, gendery-bendery, ball of stuff.

    While I normally would never presume to talk in binary terms when talking about gender, when it comes to talks about Christian views and values, I'm perfectly content to talk about gender and sexuality as if they existed on fairly black/white dualities of man/woman, heteroseual/gay, because as far as the Christian worldview is concerned and suchlike, these are all that exists.

    That I can have a coherent and in-depth discussion on Christian views regarding sex and gender without ever having to bring up transpeople, genderqueer folk, or cis people of non normative gender roles, says a great deal about Christianity in regards to these marginalized identities.

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    Devilish Member T1B3R1U5's Avatar
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    01110011010111101110111010100111100111

    ^--As in that type of binary? Oh sorry....*Waits to be kicked out of thread*
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  7. #687
    Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President Kodos's Avatar
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    I was recently discussing with a friend how I think that Moses is probably the single most evil character in the Bible if you don't count Yahweh himself. That said, while poking about the Bible, I came across a delightful passage.
    Quote Originally Posted by Exodus 9:15-16
    I could have stretched forth My hand and stricken you [Pharaoh] and your people with pestilence, and you would have been effaced from the earth. Nevertheless I have spared you for this purpose: in order to show you My power and in order that My fame may resound throughout the world.
    Yahweh admitting that he could have easily accomplished the freedom of the Hebrews, but instead chose to slowly and brutally torture the Egyptian people for the crimes of their leadership. What a guy.

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  8. #688
    Sir-Mass-a-Lot Sylux's Avatar
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    I'm reading that in Jameson Price's Lordgenome voice.

  9. #689
    Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President Kodos's Avatar
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    Samuel L. Jackson is Principal Firebush.

    But yeah. Moses gets my vote for biggest mortal shitheel in the Bible. I'd love a 300 style movie about him and his brutal conquests.

    "LET MY PEOPLE GO." *curbstomps Egyptian infant*

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  10. #690
    Lord of Death jubeh's Avatar
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    Sorry guys. Pack it in.

    SPOILER! :

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