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Women's choice lead a celebate life, remain a virgin, a rejection societal expectations? A conclusion drawn thesis question. I attaching suggested books citation. Essay 12 pages length counting citations bibliography.
Was a Women's choice to lead a celibate life or remain a virgin a rejection of societal expectations?
The role of women in the society has been widely debated throughout the history of both philosophical thought and social sciences. Women have a particular place in society since ancient times and there are clear indications, in the religious literature, that women have had specific views and opinions regarding their own place in the society. In this context, the current research discusses the choice of women to lead a celibate life or keep herself a virgin and whether this choice was a reaction to societal expectations and social pressures. The perspective of the research analysis is focused on Christian traditions from the Apostles to the Reformers.
The research, in the first part, focuses on providing a short background of the current role women have in society and points out common signs of submissiveness. In the second part, the discussion takes into account the main perspectives of women in the Bible up to the Reformers in order to examine the situation of women as presented in the religious texts of the Apostles and further in the Middle Ages and the period of the Reformers. This approach is important particularly because it underlines the different types of perspectives of women and therefore justifies the lack of a conclusive answer to the research question.
There is little doubt that the society is constantly experiencing new evolutions, whether one looks at it from a political, economic, or social point-of-view. Some transformations can be quantified in figures and the development of countries assessed mathematically. However, at the level of the society and the day-to-day activities, this development may not be as visible as statistics point out. One of the areas in which it is rather hard to determine the exact situation is the equality between men and women.
There have been many scholars that argue the inequality between men and women is directed by the role women have in the society. More precisely, Eric Rakowski argued that if women do not wish to be exposed to poverty and its associated vulnerabilities they should not bear children as these actions lead to the woman being limited in their capacity to interact at a social level and dedicate their lives to the home rather than personal achievement that would bring about equality among individuals.
Surely, opinion polls and social analyses do offer, to a certain degree, a rather comprehensive picture of the evolution of the social mentality and the transformations it suffered in comparison to different other periods in time. Consequently, it would be fair to argue the fact that despite the important progress humanity has undergone there is still a lot of negative attitude in respect to gender equality and more precisely to the role women play in the society, regardless of the type of society being analyzed. This constant tendency is present in all areas of today's society, and manifests itself in all shapes and forms.
One of the most important tendencies in relation to the treatment of women in the society is the supposition that women should lead a submissive life in the society. From a theoretical approach, the term implies the notion of patriarchal society and relationship
. Despite the fact that the term itself can be used to define the characteristics of different social orders, the general idea behind it is the organizational structure, which is based, and at the same time underlines the male dominance and, implicitly, the female's inferior role. Those who argue a radical point-of-view see patriarchy "as a social system in which men appropriate all social roles and keep women in subordinate positions. They further state that this social system has managed to survive for so long because its chief psychological weapon is its universality as well as its longevity. Patriarchal attitudes are bred in the family through the socialization process."
One of the first environments that is confronted with the issue of female subordination and which influences on the long run the direction in which the male attitude is developed is precisely the family environment. From an early age, boys are instructed to engage in "manly" activities, while girls, due to their more fragile nature experience activities that are domestically related. Even in the parental behavior, there is a clear distinction made, "the toys that parents buy for their children also aid the socialization process, for instance a girl child is given dolls or kitchen utensils to play with whilst the boy child is given toy cars, puzzle games and all toys that require physical energy or mental ability. As a result, the girl child is socialized to become a mother, soft, emotionally sensitive, and to have all motherhood features."
The phenomenon of female subordination is common in everyday life, whether we are aware of it or not. The simple image of a family going to their weekend shopping is representative for proving the point. While the woman is carefully in charge of choosing the right vegetables and groceries, the male is responsible for eventually paying for them. This in fact can be seen as a clear statement of the roles each of the two is assigned in the economy of the family. Indeed, the woman is more dedicated to domestic activities, while the man produces the means needed for the daily existence. It may seem a normal distinction nowadays, but this delimitation automatically puts women in a limited position and offers the man a net advantage. From a more practical point-of-view, it can be said that such an example offers the clear picture of what female subordination actually stands for.
Role of women in the Bible
The Bible can be seen as the most important book of humanity largely because it provides an accurate account of a time in history that was crucial for humanity and that allowed certain societal norms to form. Many in arguing that the Bible and the Church is a source of societal behavioral norms have used such a perspective. William Green and Jacob Neusner suggest, "Christianity, like Islam, has elements of female subordination and male hierarchy, as well as elements of possible egalitarianism and female independence. This statement is a broad generalization that applies to Roman Catholic forms of Christianity as well as to Protestantism."
Primarily, the idea of female subordination is suggested in the Creation act. The Bible preaches that God created the man first and afterwards the woman. However, the way in which this is presented leads to the conclusion that the female existence on this earth, be in the animal or vegetal regna is merely needed for the reproduction of the specie and for companionship, in the case of humans. Thus, from the early beginnings of Christian faith, one must submit to the idea that the woman was inferior to the man exactly because she was created out of Adam and in response to his prayers. Moreover, this perspective leaves room for interpreting the exact role of the woman. If she was created to respond to Adam's solitude, this would imply the fact that her man must be in the center of her dedication and worship, therefore offering the basis for what would later be adapted to some societies today, in which the woman develops her intimate and social horizon around her husband's person.
Another element that weights heavily in promoting the idea of female subordination is the image of Eve as the bearer of the original sin. According to the detailed descriptions in the Bible, she was the one that led Adam into temptation and encouraged him to bite from the forbidden fruit. This image of Eve as the one responsible for the banishment of man from the Garden of Eden also led to the creation of numerous theories and philosophical thesis according to which the woman thus deserves to be punished for having condemned humanity to an eternity of mortality. Even more, many consider the pains of birth to be the natural punishment for Eve's lack of judgment and inability to tame her worldly desires.
Further, throughout the entire biblical text, the overall image is focused on the male presence. A simple survey of the text can point out certain facts that lead to the conclusion that the Bible is regarded as the work of men. The idea of female subordination can be seen in the bible and especially in the writings of Paul or even in the detailed descriptions of the acts of Jesus. Throughout it all, the characters are mostly men, even if they are good, such as the Apostles or treacherous such as Judah or Pilate. In addition, God is perceived, or is addressed to as if His personification was undeniable a man, therefore, the Creator of the world is ab initio…[continue]
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