Bangladeshi poet Taslima Nasreen said: “Religion is against women’s rights and women’s freedom. In all societies women are oppressed by all religions”. This essay will briefly examine this statement by firstly drawing a distinction between sex and gender. Once a clear distinction has been established, a definition of religion will be required to set the parameters of what might correctly be called ‘religion’. Finally, this essay will discuss a few of the ways in which Christianity and Islam oppress women.
The Sex/Gender Distinction
Notwithstanding the fact that sex and gender are discursively used interchangeably, they are separate things. The distinction between sex and gender is loosely akin to the distinction between the brain and the mind. Gender, as with the mind, is purely conceptual in nature, whereas the brain is a corporeal organ. Put simply, gender is a social and psychological construct, whilst ‘sex’ is grounded in biology.…
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