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Religion and Gender Inequality

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RELIGION and GENDER INEQUALITY
Equality for women in our society has been a controversial issue for centuries, sparking debates, marches, protests, and movement for the purpose of lifting women out of servitude to men. Many might point to the idea that women are the smaller, delicate, and weaker of the two genders as the reason for male domination. In history there have been many groups that were dominated by another group, but none with such complicity from those claiming to be following the word of God, as men over women. The Bible, perhaps the most influential collection of scripture, seems to align man with God; “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let him have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground” (Genesis: 26). Does this passage from the Old Testament establish men as the rulers of all that lives and breathes on the Earth, or is the word “man” used to establish the human species (men and women) as masters of our world? My guess is that asking a woman might garner a different response than if posed to a man.
When it comes to the matter of inequality or oppression, a condition that has affected many groups during human history, it seems that religion, or God in one way or another has been used as an example to stop the onerous treatment of such groups, seemingly with the exception of women. During the 19th century many Christian women took up the fight against the enslavement of blacks in the United States. While many pointed to passages in the Bible that seem to condone slavery, it was the women that pointed to the Christian values of love and compassion for your fellow man as proof of slavery’s injustice. In Angelina Grimké’s book, Appeal to the Christian Women of the South, Grimké urges Southern women to use their...

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