This post is the first of a new weekly feature on Feminism and Religion that will be published every Wednesday. “In The News” is designed to invite discussion on topics that are showing up in news and media outlets and are relevant to feminism and religion.
Diane Winston recently wrote an op-ed piece for the Los Angeles Times regarding the role of faith in politics. She comments that recent poll results give the impression that religion is not playing a significant role in the current elections, for how else does one make sense of the fact that the Republican Party’s ticket is made up of a Mormon and a Roman Catholic? However she is quick to point out that although religious labels may be passé, “the religious values that inform who’s taxed, what’s regulated, how jobs are created and when or where we help those in need,” are still very much the driving force behind how people vote and with whom they form coalitions. Thus, in the U.S. seemingly incompatible religions as well as denominations within those religions have come together in an effort to control and legislate women’s bodies and autonomy. As the editors of the Religious Dispatches asserts, “the Moral Majority couldn’t have come together without a big interfaith effort.”
But theirs are not the only religious voices on the scene.
In the current U.S. crisis regarding women’s rights, bodies, and the overall respect of women’s dignity and value as fully and equally human, the voices that are speaking up on women’s behalf and opposing misogynistic forces are coming from religious and secular sources alike: Judy Dushku – active feminist Mormon politico; Sister Simone Campbell – ‘radical feminist’ Catholic nun; and Amanda Marcotte – outspoken Atheist feminist. As Professor Kalpana Kannabiran of India reminds us, feminism has many outlets and the opportunities for its performance and activism are infinite.
It [feminism] is not about this one struggle. It is about every single struggle against oppressive systems, or those that are unaccountable, and therefore dangerous to human security and well-being. – Professor Kalpana Kannabiran
So, here’s a question – When it comes to feminist concerns and goals, is religion really the primary opponent?
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