Women and Religion: The Intersections of Gender, Migration, and Politics
The authors hope that by encouraging religious scholars to study gender will change it from a silent feature of religion to a state where women would have a voice. They also hope that through the study of women and religion will encourage more scholars to take in intersectional and interdisciplinary studies and come up with better theoretical frameworks that look at religion in the eyes of gendered perspective. They also state that they aim to make scholars to see the issue of gender as a social structure and not just as a variable. They also hope that both the religious and the sociological scholars will see religion and gender as social categories that are mutually constitutive.
Muslim women are seen as the gatekeepers of the Islamic faith as they are expected to portray an image that promotes their religion. They are not expected to public action in a way that contradicts their religious norms. Most of the experiences mentioned by Muslim women seem to be challenging their patriarchal norms. For instance, Zareen states that she would enjoy living in Pakistan where girls and boys are not denied a chance to hang out together Mir, p 245).
Mir portrays her participants as conservative Muslims. For example, Roshan when in public shows the decorous Islamic behavior, she is keen to keep social distance when in the company of male students. She fears that is she interacts closely with such male friends she would be seen as defying the beliefs of the Islamic religion. In another example, Razia hoped that she would find a conservative Muslim community that she would be part of a student and that would be observant to the Islamic beliefs just like her community in the suburbs of D.C. Her Muslim culture back there did not allow opposite gender to hug each other nor were they allowed to enter night clubs.
Mir’s participants are stigmatized by the notion that they should not be seen dating. The stereotype that they should not interact publicly with their male friends. They are resisting the stereotype by ignoring such a restriction, and they engage in study discussions with their fellow Muslim brothers without fear as Rana puts it that when adult Muslims who are of different sex chill together it does not mean that they are doing anything sexual and hence they should not be seen as going against religious beliefs. Islamophobia being the fear of being judged as a Muslim increase stigma among young Muslim women since they always think that they will be avoided by those who know the things that the Muslim religion does not allow.
The Gendered Lens article sheds light on the involvement of women in matters of religion. The Article shows the more roles that women can take up in matters of religion and the ways in which women can be seen as equally important. For instance, in most churches today you find that each and every position that a man holds there is a counterpart woman, that is, a chairman is assisted by a woman who takes the role of a chairlady. Another example is the rise of the numerous women priests who are accorded as much respect just as their male counterparts.
Mir, S. (2009). Not Too “College‐Like,” Not Too Normal: American Muslim Undergraduate Women’s Gendered Discourses. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 40(3), 237-256.
Avishai, O., Jafar, A., & Rinaldo, R. (2015). A gender lens on religion. Gender & Society, 29(1), 5-25.