Interesting Parallels: Patriarchy in Islam and Christianity

I just found a blog called A Sober Second Look, authored by an American woman who converted to Islam in the 1980s but has since deconverted. She uses her blog to muse on her experiences and work through what she had been through. What strikes me from perusing her blog is just how very very similar her experiences regarding patriarchy are to the Christian Patriarchy culture in which I grew up. It’s not that I’m surprised by this, really. It’s just that when I read her articles and want to yell “me too!” and then remind myself that she’s talking about her experiences in Islam, not Christianity, I’m struck to the core by how very similar patriarchy is across cultures and religions.

Here are a couple posts that I found interesting (I may blog more on them later):

How We Were Sold on Patriarchal Religion: Reason #316

The Impact on Our Kids: Internalizing Those Judging Eyes

Dignity and Invisibility

I don’t know about you, but I know I’m going to need to spend a good deal of time perusing this blog’s archives!

The Modesty Rules---Not So Simple, Really
Bob Jones University Rejects Key Recommendations of the GRACE Report
The Cold, Unforgiving World of Geoffrey Botkin
Be Pretty, but Not Too Pretty
About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Liberated Liberal

    I’ve been reading through her blog on and off during the day, and I have to say I am somewhat shocked by how similar Islam’s justification to the treatment of women is to the Catholic Church’s definition of their “True Feminism”. It is astounding and goes something like this:

    Women were made to be caretakers of men and children. Period. Therefore, consider yourself lucky that we “allow you to be” (i.e., force you to be) wives and mothers in order that you realize your true feminism. Of course, you don’t get control over how to be a wife an mother, either, because, well, you women are too dumb to know when and how you should have children or run your household. This is the only kind of “respect” women need. This is true equality! Praise the lord!

    Catholicism is not as restrictive on women, but the idea is the same. The justification for the Catholic Church’s teachings are exactly the same as Islam’s. Women are only being respected when they are forced into this submissive role.