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Essay Example on Faith, Feminism, and History

8 pages
1956 words
Harvey Mudd College
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Over the past years, religion has been a controversial topic that has led to debate from sscholar (Braude, 2007) who has done investigations to find out the validity and origin of faith and belief. Studies have indicated that women have been given a negative image since time immemorial (Braude, 2007). In the past years, women did not have a proper place in the society ranging from leadership, education, and ownership of wealth. The feminine gender has suffered bias from male chauvinism for centuries, and they have not been given a voice of reason. Their place in the society was under the authority of men, and they were not supposed to have their own opinion regarding and decision in the family (Braude, 2007). Studies indicate that in the late 1960's and 1970's women's movement were staged to include women in the religious history of American because they played a critical role and they formed the majority of the Christian people in the worshipping places. However, the scholars have had a significant challenge in fighting for the inclusion of women in religion although they have achieved a miniature percentage in their work (Braude, 2007). Scholars have done investigations on what they can do to make sure that women have been included in the Americas religious history and they found an answer which has played a significant role in this noble task. The only way they could do it was through literature. (Braude, 2007) argues that women need to be included in the Americas religious history because they are the majority in the matters of faith and religion. She goes on to say that in the churches and synagogues women take the lead in the spiritual issues (Braude 2007). The paper will critique on the difference that will be experienced by including women in the American history and the risk that is likely to be experienced when they are excluded or included. Besides, it will examine the methodologies that have emerged in the course of investigating their history.

By inclusion of women in the narrative of American history powerful and efficient leaders can be obtained because they will feel recognized (Braude,2007) has worked to ensure that women are included in the American's history and that they not only play a passive role but also take part in the stories that authors say concerning them. She argues that the history of women and religion is the history of America. The author does her investigation through the involvement of second-wave feminism and considers the 1963 movements of pressing for women to lead brought about the women suffrage the movements involved the press for inclusion of women in leadership and a right to express their opinion. (Braude, 2007) compares the struggles of women in the first, second and third wave feminism. It is evident that there are massive efforts by women to fight for the inclusion of women in leadership and equality and they have suffered rejection and opposition from men in the society. Regardless of the challenges they faced they did not give but continued writing and advocating for the rights of women. The author argues that the writing of women's history is the start of the liberation of women and that it is a silent movement (Braude, 2007). Regarding the cultural wars of the 1980's, it is believed that the change of accepting women in leadership positions became a stepping stone to achieving great victory for women.

Additionally the inclusion of women in the history of America will lead painting of a good image on religions such as catholic that had long been known for discriminating against women. It is depicted through a case study of Ti-Grace Atkinson radicals in the issues of women in the famous Catholic university portrait of 1971 where she is depicted restricting a slap from a conservative and staunch catholic Patricia Bozell. Atkinson made a statement the raised emotional feelings of anger when she said that the Virgin Mary was knocked up in pregnancy (Braude, 2007). The conservative insinuates that Miss Atkinson committed blasphemy by mocking the mother of God and, according to the Catholic faith, blasphemy is not tolerable. Bozell said this to justify her actions. The story and the portrait were later feature in the New York Times and the Washington post because it raised controversies on the issues of religion and faith (Braude, 2007). The issues is a clear interpretation of the American history and touch on the lives of women and religion. It is a clear picture of the struggle for the liberation of women, on the one hand, the suffocation of it by the Catholic faith on the side. Atkinson calls the battle of the freedom of women with the resisting forces of Catholic religion a struggle of death. The scenario depicts the way in which women are not supposed to make comments or give opinions about anything. It is evident that on the one hand some feminist regard religious women as stumbling blocks to the liberation of women as represented by Bozell. On the other hand socialist view feminism as a destruction of Christian values and regard those who fight for the freedom of women as lacking genuine faith (Braude, 2007). It is important to note therefore that conflict and violence in religion exist as depicted by Bozell while Atkinson called for the destruction of marriage and religion. The scenario has put women in the limelight on the America's history of religion and feminism (Braude 2007). From the celebration, the slap obtained it is evident that there is an opposition between religion and feminism.

Besides, the inclusion of women in the history of America helps in hastening the speed of liberation for instance the actions of Atkinson were a portrayal of a struggle for the liberation of women from all forms of slavery for instance denial of leadership, ownership of property taking part in decision making among others. From her famous speech that she gave it is evident that she strongly advocate for the rights of women and opposed the Catholic faith and actions regardless of her upbringing in the Catholic background. Similarly, several priests in the Catholic Church advocated for the rights of women. For instance, Father Charles Curran who was almost dismissed for his opposition to the prohibition of the birth control. It shows his determination to help women live a decent life so that they do not only serve the duty of giving birth and bringing up children but have a decision on the number of children that they want to get (Braude, 2007). According to the Catholics who supported the upholding of the dignity and rights of women, they viewed religion as a way of promoting and defending the humanity of all people. In the nineteenth century, the movements staged were advocating for the rights of women which were carried out through the Christian missions (Braude, 2007). The changes served as voices advocating for women to go into leadership in denominations and political positions. The movements continued to motivate women in the twentieth century and helped them to rise above suffocation of their rights.

In the twentieth century, religion did not appear much in the history of women except when it becomes a barrier to the movements that were carried out to liberate women. Studies indicate that in the absence of religion the liberation of women is possible (Braude, 2007). For instance, in the American history, the Catholic Church has been identified as the most significant hindrance towards the achievements of the rights and liberation of women. In the1960's and 70's the great women who struggled for the freedom of women played a critical role and they identified that religion and feminist are parallel toms each other (Braude, 2007). They recognized their movement as a social struggle. Women in this period fought for the change language and liturgy. They struggled through the writing of literature and mass actions.

Anna Arnold and Betty Friedan are among the founders of the national organization of women together with Sister Joel Read a nun and a religious leader Richard Graham who is the only man in the photograph which was taken in 1966. The personalities fought for the rights of women, and they went ahead to form the movement as a way of voicing out their concerns (Braude, 2007). It is evident that the organization includes religious leaders who have joined hands with activists to fight for women liberation. Among their various activities, they ordained women to leadership positions held worship meeting and invited women to enlighten them on what they ought to do so that they become free from oppression (Braude, 2007). Circulations were made concerning the ordination of Catholic women and the interpretation of the scripture to outline the role of women in the society. Analysis of the scriptures that described the character and the place of women was elaborated. Equality within one's faith became the theme of the time, and this helped in spearheading the achievement of equality among the men and women in the history of America.

By 1969 the message for the liberation of women in the American society began to heard churches, for instance, the unite Presbyterian Church, and the American Baptist convention began to actively participate in the movements calling for the equality in the society. It became a trend that other churches joined in the campaign to fight for the balance of women, for instance, the Lutheran church (Braude, 2007). Women also joined hands with national council of churches to fight for their rights. Among the great comments made touched the churches and urged them to participate in the effort to liberate women. For instance, the Episcopal Church was called shun its historical discrimination against women so that it can save the destruction of Christianity.

The inclusion of women in the narratives of the American history is associated with the several risks and has always been avoided with scholars arguing that when women are included there are a lot of complications that will be countered. Contrary to the opinions of scholars like Braude who say that the women's history is the American history many scholars have sidelined women (Braude, 2007). Literature secularizing history has been written, and historians and have failed to explain the growth of women in all the spheres of life. However, the theme is changing, and the inclusion of women in the historical context is increasing. Firstly when women are included in the history of America's religion, they help in the building of the churches and other religious places this is because they will have the strength and the encouragement perform (Braude 2007). Secondly, the inclusion of women will raise a platform of support and brine of hope to those in captivity because it will a sign of liberation. The addition of women will help in the upholding of the rights of people because women are concerned with the welfare of each. As Braude puts, it is that there is too much that needs to be done and the inclusion of women will bring change. Because they did it before, women included in the history of America will help in the bringing of the ecumenical movement. From the past literature inclusion of women in the American history brings a lot of transformation due to the stories and life issues shared concerning the life of the women who did their best to bring change in the society. They raised the standards of women for instance Mary Dyer, Lizzie Robinson Sally Priesand among other great women who did remarkable work though greatly opposed and persecuted.

It is evident that when women are excluded from the American history on region, there will be no great transformation in the religious sectors and it will taint the name of churches such as the Catholics because of its discrimination on women and leadership (Braude, 2007). Additionally, when women are...

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