Feminists describe religion as patriarchal and a way of legitimising female subordination.
Feminists believe that religion oppresses women and that religion is also a way of justifying female subordination by giving better promises of greater rewards later in a sexless life . However, functionalists argue that its function is not to oppress women but to keep society stable.and Marxists believe that religion oppresses the working class and serves capitalism not women
Feminists argue that women’s oppression is shown in almost every religion and criticise the religious organisations,places of worship,sacred texts and religious laws and customs of all religions. They argue that women ...view middle of the document...
Woodhead believes that Muslim women choose to wear the hijab to enter education and employment as they feel that the hijab is a symbol of freedom that allows them to go out in public without losing culture.
Functionalists criticise feminists and believe religion prevents social change and rebel by creating and integration between groups to which is beneficial to society: e.g.women .They believe sacred symbols represent a collective consciousness and that regular shared worship and rituals reinforce social integration. Praying together as a group of females can make them feel as part of a group giving them a sense of identity and prevents them feeling inferior to men.
Marxists believe the main role of religion is to legitimise and maintain the power of the ruling class by keeping the working class from rising up, doing this by misleading them into believing their suffering will be favoured in the afterlife. However, feminists would argue that functionalists focus too much on the positives and overlook the oppressive practices in religion.
Many radical and liberal feminists hold a marxist view , that religion restricts change e.g. Simone de Beauvoir, believes in a Marxist idea that religion promotes false consciousness, but more related to gender...