Thursday, June 23, 2005

Men, War and Religion

I was reading this article sometime back and it struck me that the two institutions men gaurd most zealously are those of the military and religion. Women in every part of the world are literally fighting for the right to fight alongside their male compatriots. In the same vein women of different faiths continue their struggle for greater participation in the business of God. Though nowehere is it more visible than in the Catholic world, but rest assured Muslim women are also equally vocal in their demands to pray along side their men (I am yet to see a Hindu women priestess though!). For women entry into these institutions is an issue of gender equality. So when some powerful men deny them the right women's rights groups throw a fit, bust a vien and go quite red in the face from anger. But is it possible that men don't want women in their army's or in their temples/churches/mosques etc. because women being smarter will figure out that for ages men have been using one to justify the other...that ultimately there might be peace and then no one would need either men of faith or men of strength!!!


Ayush said...

Very Interesting thoughts. I like it how you draw the similarity in the urge to maintain male-dominance in two very important power structures in society: that of religion and of war. Let me add another instituition which has lately been challenged with some success though not complete: the instituition of money! Women have been able to claim financial independece to quite some degree in the recent past (which the conservatives would cry about) and that has really empowered women. But we should keep the perspective that even in 2005 and in a so-called advanced country like USA, women make an average salary less than men for the same type of jobs.

As for the hindu religion also, it would be interesting to note that there have been women saints and goddesses (or incarnations) but the power structure of religion in the form of mahants, the shankacharyas etc have always been male.

I guess its time, not for gender equity in these instituitions of social power, but the destruction of these seats of oppression, for these not only undermine women but also millions of other innocent members of society.

Amlan said...

Well maybe women should stop looking for equality with men in religion and military... both of which I believe are evil institutions that cause much pain. It would indeed be nice to see women walk completely away from it all and develop a way of life that is gentler and less violent.

Anyesha said...

Ayush: Good thought, but both these institutions are the result of our frailties as human beings. War out of man's greed and religion out of his insecurity. It just happens that over centuries they have bacome what they are today. Thanks for mentioning economy - I forgot about that.

Amlan:I could not agree with you more...infact I don't think women should bother with the military...let men fight their stupid wars themselves. Instead we shoudl concentrate on empowering ourselves and the society around us.

Anoop said...

Lets just abolish Religion and Military. I mean, what good have they done anyway? then, women will not have to worry about 'equality' in religious and military service. As they say in hindi- Na rahega baans, na bajegi baansoori!