Religious Feminism-An Oxymoron?

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converge in their fundamental goals and objectives. Here, “religious” and “secular” are spacious categories where common feminist agenda operates.

Religious feminism - an oxymoron?

While some women attempt to link their feminist views with religious identities for various reasons, others consider such religious feminist identity to be oxymoronic. Whether Jewish feminism, Christian feminism and Islamic feminisms are oxymorons is a controversial question that is at the centre of feminist debates. In this chapter I problematise the notion of Religious feminism as a distinctive political movement, as it politicises religion and justifies religious misconceptions regarding the rights of women.

Scholars and feminists have argued that monotheist
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The proposed notion of religious feminism appears to aim for what I define as “negotiations with patriarchy” rather then a direct fight against it. Thus, it suggests that women’s rights could be compromised in favour of some religious views and traditions. Discussing Islamic feminism as an example of the notion of religious feminism, Hammed Shahidian argues that “If by feminism is meant easing patriarchal pressures on women, making patriarchy less appalling, ‘Islamic feminism’ is certainly a feminist trend. But if feminism is a movement to abolish patriarchy, to protect human beings from being prisoners of fixed identities, to contribute towards a society in which individuals can fashion their lives free from economic, political, social, and cultural constraints, then ‘Islamic feminism’ proves considerably inadequate. I define feminism in these latter terms, and for that reason, I consider ‘Islamic feminism’ an oxymoron”.Women in Iran: Emerging voices in the women's movement, 202, paye…show more content…
It is suggested that religious feminism is the much needed space between secular and religious in feminism (Badran). It has also been argued that religious feminism is needed because many women feel excluded by “faithless feminism”. This is a valuable point, as some anti religious feminist positions can distance many faithful women from feminism, however it is difficult to understand how Religious feminism becomes a solution to the problem. The formation of Religious feminist movement may represent some women and their religious concerns better than feminism with secular stances, however it is exclusive in its nature. The ideas of Jewish feminism, Christian feminism and Islamic feminism are exclusive not only to secular and non-religious women but also to women of other religious confessions. Thus, secular feminist stances are more adopted for inclusion and equality. Furthermore, I suggest that the notion of religious feminism is problematic also because it aims for more categorisation. The notions of Jewish feminism, Christian feminism and Islamic feminism aim to represent “jewish”, “christian” and “muslim” women accordingly. However, how are these constructs defined, and how exactly are they implemented? What women are we speaking of? Yes, women’s identities can be shaped by religion, however they are not shaped by religion alone. Moreover, life experiences

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