An Issue I have Identified In our culture deals with the effects that the practice of Western Charlatanry has on women. Sexism Is -?? or a misogynistic way of thinking -?? Is a product of Christianity. In today’s world the perpetuation of traditional Christianity enforces and upholds ideals that are detrimental to the progression of sexual equality. Through a Platonist way of thinking and because off lack of style, Christianity rarely allows for the formation of new ideas.
It desires to hold fast to the amen values that were thought to be relevant a few thousand years ago. By adhering to ancient text’s policies, Christianity is cementing the meaning of certain ideals and symbols. Solidifying the meaning of a symbol can be very harmful to society because it limits creativity and exploration. According to Lankan, one should have play, game, and purpose within life. Christianity puts Limits on the type of person who Is allowed to participate In play, game, and purpose and establishes a hierarchy of whose style or purpose Is more meaningful.
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For example, women are not allowed to be preachers or prophets according to traditional Christianity. In fact, they are not supposed to be heard within the church. Women belong in the background. I Corinthians 11: 5 But every woman that prayers with her head uncovered dishonored her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, formalism as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 1 Corinthians 14: 34 Let your women keep silence In the churches: for It Is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also salts the law. 35 And If they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. I attended a church as a child where every woman who walked through the church doors had to cover her head with a cloth. If you refused, you did not enter.
I asked my mother why and she said it was so men were not distracted by pretty women – the women should try to be sees noticeable to prevent the men from losing interest in the pastors message. This concept translated into everyday life as well. My father insisted that his daughters could not wear shorts, tank-tops, or even normal bathing suits. We couldn’t cut or dye our hair, pierce our ears, or adorn ourselves with Jewelry and makeup. He had these rules for our every-day wear so that we would attract less attention from others and not take pride In our appearances.
In youth group at church I was told that If a woman Is uncomfortable with a man gazing at her that Is because she Is doing something wrong … r not doing something she should be. Our youth pastor gave us the scenario of a pretty girl with a plunging neckline walking into a bar and three was insulted and asked the men to stop. One man (the hero in the Christian scenario) said to her, “Maybe if you wore more clothing, we wouldn’t feel the need to ogle you. ” In this scenario I see the men placing the blame on the woman and making excuses for inappropriate behavior.
This does a disservice to both sexes. After mulling over this concept of limiting women’s natural tendency to play with their beauty/ appearance for several years I have a few problems with it. Women should not have to make themselves appear less attractive because men are struggling with feelings of lust. If anything, the man who struggles should take time for internal reflection on his issues and not project them onto the opposite sex. The other issue I see with enforcing this behavior is that women internalize blame for being sexually appealing.
The sexual appeal of women is made to seem like a bad thing in the church. This harms women’s self-esteem, sexual drive, sexual health, and inhibits the way they play with the world. In the Western practice of traditional Christianity the power is led by the man. This does a disservice to society because it obstructs women’s ability to form new and changing identities. According to Stuart Hall, our identities are always in flux. Identities are also products of their environment, and partially out of one’s control. This is apparent in Christianity.
There is a certain decorum expected from a Christian woman, a certain way for her to look, to act, to speak, to dress, etc. Christian husbands often have personal standards and rules for their wives as well. For example, my mother was expected to be a stay-at-home wife, home-school her hillier, tend the garden, cook the meals, sew the clothes, etc. It was very traditional. My mother’s identity was not expected to fluctuate at all. Because of these expectations a certain identity was forced on my mother – she was a product of her environment. Her identity was not in her control.
Hall talks about how “blackness” or “whiteness” has nothing to do with ethnicity but has to do with culture, history, and politics. Likewise, it seems to me that being male or female in Western Christianity has less to do with being “man” or “woman” than with culture, history, and politics. Christian culture tells us that a good woman’s place is at home, quietly behind her husband. Titus 4 That they [women] may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Timothy 2: 9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 11 Let a Oman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. I attended church from the time I was born until I was around 19 years old. My attendance was no less than twice a week – occasionally three – and my mother taught devotions at home every morning before school.
I attended several different denominations and heard several different pastors deliver sermons. From what I was taught growing up, the Christian woman is not expected to be the main bread-winner while her husband stays at home. She is not expected to achieve things beyond or above what her husband can. She is not expected to flaunt herself. She is expected to be modest and loyal and subservient. She is expected to obey her husband’s wishes … Even carnally. Christian politics Christian men that have used their power to exploit and abuse women.
A current day example would be Warren Jeff, the leader of the Jesus Christ of Ladder-Day Saints Church (FOLDS). Jeff is a polygamist who was convicted for arranging marriages between his followers and under-age girls and the assault of under-age girls. Jeff was the FOLDS prophet, he was God’s messenger. In the FOLDS church it is taught to women that if they do not marry into a polygamist family they are not going to heaven. Men can use Christian-based logic to gain the upper hand over the opposite sex. God is male, he had a son.
Nearly all the heroes in the Bible are men. There are 66 books in the Western Bible and only two of them (Ester and Ruth) are named after women. Both women are famous because of whom they marry. When looking at this information as a young girl, all I could see was that I was unimportant; I was always destined to finish second; I was never going to be the perfect copy but only a mere simulacrum. The underlying issue is that the views and practices of Christian men stop women from composing new identities.
When women are forced into a certain role we lose as a society. We fail to invent new hypotheses, new modes of life, and new truths. “Western rational thought, despite its imperialistic claim to be the form of universal knowledge, suddenly appears to be Just another epistemic. ” – Hall. In order to break out of the traditional value system women can use syntax to evolve power and express style through their thoughts and actions. These things will help them realize that a new way of living is attainable.
If power “operates within and through individuals over time,” women have the ability to use language as a tool to gain power. Delude says, “Modes of life inspire ways of thinking; modes of thinking create ways of living. Life activates thought, and thought in turn affirms life. ” Through language women have the potential to transform life. This transformation will activate new thoughts in others, and their thoughts will reaffirm new styles of life. Women can operate in ways that will cause men to rethink the misogynistic tendencies that were preached to them.
These new thoughts in men will reaffirm gender/sexual equality. One possible syntactical trick would be to nix the use of pronouns. Without excessive reminders of sexual difference in our every day language it may be easier for sexism to fade away. Instead of having “his” and “hers” we could have “theirs” more often. Using proper nouns when the subject is known and using other descriptors when the subject is unknown will force us to view sex differently through our language. There are five known genders. Americans recognize only two.
Getting rid of pronouns may also assist other gender minority groups in gaining exposure/recognition. In Syntax and Ethics: a Conversation, Ghana says, “With the technology of language, we humans extend, overreach, overwhelm, and imprison ourselves, insofar as we refry our categories and petrify our syntax. On the other hand, as long as we remain “symbol-using animals,” we always have the potential to break through into new relations with the world, new relations among ourselves, and new possibilities of life through metamorphoses. Christian leaders have reified the Bible and its concepts.
This has caused women to become imprisoned under the influence and practice of Christianity. They are overwhelmed with extensive and strict rules and do not have the freedom in church to question the leadership, or who has appointed the leaders. Feminism encompasses much more and. Feminists are not only Wing for equal rights. They recognize that feminism is not a style but an attitude. It is not a formal approach but a philosophy, a political instrument. Feminism is concerned with instilling new morals into society that have men lacking with men in control.
Morals feminists uphold are: inclusion, co- operation, nurture, consultation, peace, empathy, resilience, and acceptance. These are morals that, if put in place, will help assist in a necessary large-scale social change that allows women to gain more political power. The upstanding morals in the Bible exist naturally in feminism. In order for feminism and sexual equality to continue to progress Christianity should not be so prevalent or considered so quintessential. It should not be taught as an absolute truth, but instead, as a rough guideline.