Religious Feminism

Religious Feminism As much as many religions of the world would want to deny it, the status of women in the church is still not given the rightful position it deserves. In theory, every religion claims to be on the forefront in addressing issues with proper treatment of women but when given a critical consideration, one would find that none of them is actually consistent in theory and practice. For instance, despite claiming to treating women equally, none of them opposes the idea that women are inferior to men and that they must submit to men. In fact, many of them promote the view that feminism is a totally unacceptable movement as far as religion is concerned. The plight of women is generally evident in all spheres of life, both religious and secular. Even in religion, areas of authority are always of a reserve of men who dominate the creation of norms that determine religious traditions. When baby boys are born, it is considered a blessing than when baby girls are born. Most religious images are male which are considered a symbol of holiness while those of females considered idolatry. In this regard, patriarchy and sexism are aspects that present themselves in all spheres of life especially on high grounds religion where it should be least expected.
Under religious representations, there are numerous proposals put forward by the feminist groups about language and image representations of God. Among them is the traditional representation of God as of male gender. When people refer to God, the metaphors used in describing the deity in this respect should be changed to show that God transcends human sexes and that the deity should be taken to represent all sexes on equal grounds. In this case the use of the term “God the Father” is not acceptable according to the feminists. In this regard, other propositions have been put forward to show God as a mother, sister, and friend. This can be seen as the second part in which images of God are supposed to be changed to be female so as to end the general notion that the use of female images symbolize idolatry. The proposition holds that since the deity makes of all of us including male and female, therefore its representation should include images from both sides. Besides, images of God as mother would not in any way stereotype God’s feminine traits.
Another proposition is that God should be seen as relational. In this context, God should be seen as a central part of human life who is also shares in the experiences of human beings. By this, the deity is also part of women’s experiences that are defined by suffering as seen in the symbol of the cross for Christians. In this regard, God is also closely related to women as they face suffering and pains in terms of denigration and exclusion in their religious heritage. The other proposition is view of God as unknown hidden God. In this regard, God is beyond what human concepts and images hold. The epitome of this description is achieved by the description of God as trinity. This means that God is in favor of the feminist ideology of mutuality and inclusivity that is required of gospel message. This is what gives God true representation that is worth imitation. According to the feminists, there is also need to see God as one who is future as opposed to one who is above and also against the natural and human world. This would encourage women to see the feminist dilemma that is evident in the church as temporary giving hope betterment of the future.