Does God Hate Women? / Edition 1

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Overview

An exploration of the role that religion and culture play in the oppression of women

Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom, philosophers and authors, ask probing questions about the way that religion shields the oppression of women from criticism and why many Western liberals, leftists, and feminists have remained largely silent on the subject. Throughout the world, a great many women lead lives of misery and sometimes plain horror. They are often considered and treated as the property of men and have few, if any, rights. Such treatment is generally sustained and protected by a combination of religion and culture. Does God Hate Women? explores instances of the oppression of women in the name of religious and cultural norms and how these issues play out both in the community and in the political arena. Drawing on philosophical concerns such as truth, relativism, knowledge, and ethics, Benson and Stangroom assess the current situation and provide a rallying call for a progressive politics that is committed to universal values.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Frequent coauthors Benson and Stangroom (Why Truth Matters) theorize that God is against women, recounting in their short book horrific stories of violence against women. Benson and Stangroom categorically dismiss any arguments that patriarchal or sexist practices, like honor killings and female genital mutilation, are cultural. They vehemently insist that religion, which provides male perpetrators moral comfort, is to blame. Later, however, the authors, in one of the rare sections where they try to explain their theory more deeply, back off from their tough position by stating that it is impossible to distinguish religion and culture. Fixated on Islam, and in particular Pakistan, the authors include, for good measure, the Orthodox Jewish modesty police of Jerusalem, Hindus, the tiny Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, unreasonable restrictions on abortion in South America and some other examples. The authors fail to mention examples that disprove their theory, such as the successful eradication of female infanticide in the Muslim world and the plight of women in the developed world, who are undoubtedly victims of nonreligiously motivated sexism. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826498267
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 7/21/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 1,457,870
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Ophelia Benson is editor of www.butterfliesandwheels.com, deputy editor of The Philosophers' Magazine and co-author, with Jeremy Stangroom, of Why Truth Matters. She is also a frequent contributor to Free Inquiry.

Jeremy Stangroom is co-editor, with Julian Baggini, of The Philosophers' Magazine and co-author of Do You Think What You Think You Think? (Granta, 2006), What Philosophers Think and Great Thinkers A-Z. He and Ophelia Benson are co-authors of Why Truth Matters and The Dictionary of Fashionable Nonsense (Souvenir, 2004).

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Table of Contents

1. A God of Bullies

2. Religious Apologetics, Islam and Caricature

3. The World and the Kitchen

4. Honour is Between the Legs of Women

5. Holy Groupthink
6. Mutilate in the Name of Purity
7. Islam, Islamophobia and Risk

8. Lipstick on a Pig

Notes

Index

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