Feminism v. Religion?

17 May

I came across a picture (meme) posted on a feminist page I follow on Facebook. This picture really disturbed me, not simply because it is disrespectful, but also because it made me wonder where modern-day feminism is headed. After the progressive victories of feminism in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, has 21st century feminism lost its way and focus?

The picture in question –


And my reaction –
Feminism simply promotes the very logical idea of equal rights and freedom of choice for all. Respect for all. It doesn’t necessitate atheism. A person’s relationship with God is a very personal one, as personal as one’s sexuality. Denigrating that relationship is counterproductive, since it’s this idea of one set of people being more ‘enlightened’ than the other that necessitates feminism in the first place. Judging my choice to believe in Jesus or Allah or Shiva, now that’s as morally reprehensible as judging my life choices or blaming my dress style for rape. God, by and large, stands as a moral compass and source of strength for the majority. Let’s not disrespect that. God isn’t sexist or misogynistic, manmade organised religion is. The idea of God is actually asexual. If feminism starts dictating what I should and shouldn’t believe in, what’s good for me and what’s bad for me, how is it any different from the prevailing scourge of patriarchy? I’m an independent, adult woman -perfectly capable of choosing for myself, and rightfully entitled to that choice being unquestionably respected. So while I identify as a feminist, disrespecting the personal religious beliefs of anyone makes me deeply uncomfortable.

Look forward to hearing your opinions!

– Saumya Sharma

3 Responses to “Feminism v. Religion?”

  1. Abhimanyu May 17, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    Well said..

  2. Alex Cale December 19, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    Hi Saumya,

    My name is Alex and I am a Communications Manager at Barnard College. I am reaching out to you today with an idea for your blog. Being perfect and powerful, being a feminist: these are among the most popular topics of conversation among today’s young women. Barnard College’s new podcast series, Dare to Use the F-Word, tells the story of today’s feminists through the ideas, art, and activism that define them. Barnard President Debora Spar, in her new book Wonder Women: Sex, Power & the Quest for Perfection, explains that while most women today struggle with the idea of perfection, they also struggle with the concept of feminism itself. Are the two connected? Read President Spar’s thoughts in this exclusive post.

    As a communications manager at Barnard, I want to continue these important conversations among feminist thought-leaders like you. I ask you to republish and share this post on your blog. Pose these questions to your audience; they may dare others to join us and use the f-word.


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