Wednesday, October 19, 2011

:( ✡ ✝ ♂ ♀...

This is an article I found on Gothamist (a NY news blog) about a bus in Brooklyn that is privately owned but publicly operated and it discriminates against women due to the religious community it caters to:

Religion is an interesting topic when it comes to the treatment of women. I was raised in a Jewish household. Growing up, I was always pretty disturbed when my mother would drag me to synagogue over the weekend or for a holiday. Women in the temple were basically instructed to idolize the men and were not even allowed to share the same prayer room. And this was a conservative Jewish setting, I'm sure it's way worse in a Hasidic (the extreme Orthodox) Jewish prayer setting.

To my knowledge, most or all religions discriminate against women. Do you think there's a way to approach the topic of feminism with religious groups without imposing on their rights to lead a religious lifestyle? How can religions move forward with equality among men and women if the texts that determine these religious lifestyles (bible, torah, Quran) cast women as insignificant characters alongside men playing superior lead roles?

Look how cool my title for this post is...

1 comment:

  1. What a fascinating first amendment question. I'm no law student, but it would seem to me that the bus company is clearly in the wrong.

    But what if this creates the same kind of problems that Hoodra mentions in her articles. Where the shame of riding a bus where the sexes aren't separated creates such shame that these women are going to lock themselves in their apartments?

    I think this article points right to the question that our class discusion on depiction of Arab and Muslim women in the media will go. Who makes the judgment call between freedom of choice and freedom of religion? If religious practices are perceived as oppressive or discriminatory how can you be told not to follow them? Is there an objective way to judge religious practices? Where do you draw the line?