RGM Blog 9 – The Effect of Christianity on Gender Roles

Religion has a great influence on the culture that it presides in. In America, we say we do not have a national religion, but studies have shown the the majority of Americans are Christians or believe in the Christian god. More information and statistics about religions practiced in the United States can be found here.

Because so many Americans identify with Christianty, I think it is important to examine how this influences our attitudes on gender and gender roles.

In the Christian Bible, it outlines many rules of conduct for women and men. Specifically it talks about family dynamics and the gender roles that a husband and wife should adhere to. “The wife is to “submit”, “respect”, and “serve as a helper”, and is explicitly delegated the role of caring for the household and children…Attempts to resist this chain of authority are said to be a result of not “want[ing] to acknowledge or submit to God as our head.” In other words, if a wife wants equal status with her husband when it comes to setting rules for the children, she is clearly being defiant against God himself.” More information about religious ideas and biblical teachings regarding gender roles can be found in the article linked here.

There are many more examples of Christian ideals for women that seem to highlight the view that women are secondary to men and their role is to serve men and not take care of the house and the children, nothing more. As a women, I find these statements to be demeaning and sad. I respect other people’s religions and beliefs, but these rules seem extremely discriminatory and archaic.

We have seen time and time again in modern society that women have valuable skills and ideas to offer and can be in a variety of roles and positions, not just housewife and mother. Regardless of religious beliefs, I think that many people can agree that these ideas have become outdated. I think it is extremely important to practice tolerance and open mindedness when it comes to religion, but it is also important to examine the gender roles and ideas ascociated with it and to consider if they still have a place in our modern society.

 

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