Feminism…with a bit of religion and atheism thrown in!

This post is an outcome of conversations with many people. Added to this, is the fact that I just started reading “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins. Dawkins’ atheism and my already firm convictions on feminism are making me pensive.

My conversation with a friend (let’s call him SK for convenience’s sake) was the start of my reflections. He was appreciative of the fact that I am a feminist, and don’t hesitate to be called one. Yes, I am. Not the bra-burning, man-hating feminist, but if feminism is about equality of opportunity irrespective of gender, if it is about being free to choose what you want to do, then I am a feminist. His questions set me thinking.  Why am I a feminist? First, because I see that there is injustice. Injustice in the way the world treats women. I see double standards. I see that what is sauce for the goose is not sauce of the gander. And this, my dear readers, violates my sense of justice. As I said sometime earlier, I can ignore, or choose to fight. I choose to fight because ignoring would mean silent acceptance.

SK is an atheist. At least, he calls himself one. I would prefer to call him a rationalist who doesn’t see the rationale behind religion. Indeed, there is absolutely no rationale behind matters of faith. He said he saw religion as the major stumbling block to the emancipation of women. Do I agree? I honestly don’t know. It is true that practically every major religion discriminates against women. But then, I have a problem with the word in itself. Religion is made, nurtured, organized and promoted by men. I don’t use the word men as a generic term for human being. I mean it as a term to denote the male of the species. Most religions are male-friendly because they were invented by men. Women are often incidental in the making of a religion. In fact, their existence is a bit of an inconvenience, conflicting often with the concept of God the Father. So, it’s pretty normal that they be discriminated against and be treated like second class citizens.

That brings us to the fundamental question. Since we know that all is not well with religion, and that it is often used to justify oppression, do we shut up? Do we sit back in quiet acceptance in the name of faith? I think not. Don’t get me wrong. I am a believer. I’ve always been. But, my God is not an old man sitting somewhere up there and controlling my every action. My God does not discriminate against me because I was born female. My God is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to be doing much about the rampant injustice we see. Maybe he wants us to sit up and take things into our own hands! Isn’t it time we did just that?

4 thoughts on “Feminism…with a bit of religion and atheism thrown in!

  1. Santhakumar says:

    Either God wants to abolish evil and cannot,
    or he can but does not want to,
    or he cannot and does not want to,
    or lastly he can and wants to.

    If he wants to remove evil, and cannot,
    he is not omnipotent;
    If he can, but does not want to,
    he is not benevolent;
    If he neither can nor wants to,
    he is neither omnipotent nor benevolent;
    But if God can abolish evil and wants to,
    how does evil exist?
    -Greek philosopher Epicurus(3rd century BCE).

    Lol…Very persuasive argument against the existence of God…

  2. Indian Homemaker says:

    …he saw religion as the major stumbling block to the emancipation of women.

    I have often wonder about this Amrutha. I feel our Constitution (in India) gives us more justice than our religion does, and still it’s women who are more religious than men are.
    Women are the ones who are offended if I say Ram was unfair to abandon Sita!!!

    🙄

    Completely agree! I’ve made my feelings about Ram clear enough in the past…you know how difficult it was for women to take? Sigh! Heaven help us! Especially since we aren’t willing to help ourselves!

  3. vishvak saen says:

    about the feminism thing.. highly over rated.. injustice?? thats what women let themselves to be subjected to?? after all these years where youhave been weak enough to let men trample upon you.and now you wake a little and cry foul and want a better equal world all of a sudden and that people should clap that you are fighting for it..and men have got used to being a bit upper above the women.. as in not me as a man but men in evolution sense.. and you think they will give up just like that?? just a thought .. i would love a real equal world too.. just so that we are not blamed for most thing women brought upon themselves..

    and god-better define you own god.and be true to it all.trying to explain it to someone else is a futile attempt to justify.

    excuse length..free

    Convenient, isn’t it? To blame women for all that is wrong with the world today? To blame them for being discriminated against? We are playing the classic “blame-the-victim” game! Let’s face it! Men are responsible for half the things that are wrong. Centuries of social conditioning, first imposed by men who were used to getting their way, has wreaked havoc on our social system. The sooner we accept this as truth, the simpler it will be for us to get over it!

  4. Rahul says:

    but why is god a ‘he’ ? I always thought god should be ‘it’.

    a sanyasin of ramkrishna mission once said that a dog can’t think of god but as a very large dog. in the same, most men can’t think of god but as a very powerful man.

    shouldn’t god, if ‘it’ exists, be a ardha narishwar type ?

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