Wednesday, 10 November 2010

You can't blame religion

How many times have you heard something like this?

The fact is that these rules have very little to do with religion and a lot to do with patriarchal ideas about keeping women in their place.

It might be arranged forced marriage, or female genital mutilation, or veils, or even the ban on women priests in the Catholic church. In fact, it's Brian Whitaker, in the Guardian, discussing the latest barmy ruling from Saudi Arabia, where a new fatwa forbids women working as cashiers in supermarkets because the job would involve them - horror of horrors - serving men. Each time the argument is the same. It's not religion - especially not Islam - that inflicts endless indignities and restrictions on women. It's just culture, and the male misogynists who run culture, that has somehow co-opted religion for its own reactionary ends.

Funny that.

If not from religion, where do these patriarchal attitudes actually come from? Biology?

PS: Just noticed this:

Iran and Saudi Arabia bid for seat on UN women's rights council

Saudi Arabia will probably be elected unopposed. Or perhaps the Vatican will put in a late bid.