Chapter

Gender Ideology

Susan Starr Sered

in Priestess, Mother, Sacred Sister

Published in print December 1996 | ISBN: 9780195104677
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853267 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195104677.003.0011
Gender Ideology

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Given the high emotional charge elicited by ideas about gender, we can expect to find that members of women's religious care very much indeed about issues of gender, that gender ideologies of women's religions are not isolated from the gender beliefs of the society as a whole, and that their gender ideologies are frequently the object of attack by groups and individuals outside the female-dominated religion. Female-dominated religions often occur in cultural settings in which women as a group are believed to be more religious than men. Brazilian women predominate numerically not only in the Afro-Brazilian cults, but also in Pentecostal and Catholic churches. In Brazil, all religion is seen as a female activity—most worshippers at Catholic churches are women, priests are treated with some suspicion (why would a man opt for celibacy?), and the Church has difficulties recruiting enough men to be priests. Among the Black Caribs women predominate not only in ancestral rites, but in Catholic religious associations as well. In women's religions, ideologies of gender dominance and subordination should not prosper.

Keywords: Brazil; cults; women; religions; gender ideologies; Black Caribs; gender dominance; subordination

Chapter.  9649 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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