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Why Men, Not Religion, Reduced Women To Second Class Citizens

980 words - 4 pages

Misogyny, the hatred of women, is as old as society. It is found in the first story of mankind, that of Adam and Eve in which Eve sinned by eating of the forbidden fruit, and then persuaded Adam to do the same. As a punishment God expelled them from the Garden of Eden and condemned Adam to work hard for the rest of his life, and for Eve and all women after to suffer great pain in child birth. It is because of this story that religious men have justified their own misogyny. They either point to the fact that Adam was created first and must therefore be superior to Eve, or to Eve’s weak character that made her give in to temptation. However, as I will show, misogyny is not based on religion ...view middle of the document...

Actually, men need women in terms of variable reasons. For example, to have sex with their wives or to expect care from their mothers certainly, although as St. Augustine warned, no matter whether a woman was a wife or even a mother, “It is still Eve the temptress that we must beware of in every woman” (Kitzinger5). However, men have always wanted to abuse the myth of Adam and Eve. Since, they would like to maintain their patriarchy. Consequently, women were sacrificed in order for men’s political purposes to achieve their goals.
Both Kitzinger and Armstrong suggest that men seized power from women for many reasons but none of them were religious in nature. Kitzinger, for example, looks at the problem men have of establishing “gender identity” (Kitzinger4). Psychoanalysts suggest that men’s gender identity is very fragile because, within typical child-rearing practices, girls can identify with their primary care-taker while boys have to separate themselves from their mother in order to achieve and assert their masculinity.(Kitzinger5). Men don’t want to give any advantage to women. They want to be always superior one so they want to make women inferior one. To put in another way, the roots of hatred came from men’s own ‘sensitive’ identities by instinct and unbearably.

After the great religions were well established, men treated women as second class citizen in the society as if it was according to the religious sources; however, this interpretation of the Adam and Eve myth contradicts the way in which the prophets Mohammed and Jesus regarded women. There are times when men and women should be separated in religious practices. However, that would be a practical decision, not a religious one, and there is no similar reason for not permitting women to become imams. Armstrong says that...

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