One amazing feature of human beings is the ability to think beyond what is present. A perfect example of this is the concept of ‘Here-after,’ or ‘Heaven,’ an abstract idea of what is to come after death. This is a driving force for many individuals in their everyday life and has an immense influence over their behavior. Not only do they strive to enter this celestial place, but are also motivated to become an entity of perfection, like ‘God’ himself. Now, at first glance this is a positive and constructive way to live, although, there is a glaring issue at hand. To be more like the Christian-based image of God you must be compassionate, powerful, all knowing and a man. Few popular religions in Western society worship a female deity and this has lead to an obvious underrepresentation of women in religious domains. For many people, whom I have spoken to about this issue, do not see what wrong is being done. Their faith or belief in this omnipotent being is the primary importance to them. Personally never having had a sense of this staunch belief, I was able to objectively study and learn about most religions. Through these studies and personal experiences, I have discovered that this deeply ingrained system is unmistakably patriarchal and has had a detrimental effect on woman, specifically. Now, to be clear, I am not advocating that these religious practices intend to be negative. At the core of each and every one there is a positive enhancement that tries to instill hope and clarity into one’s life. On the other hand, there are social consequences that occur within the sizeable population of people who strictly worship a male-deity. Women have been and are currently thought of as subservient and weak, never possessing the necessary attributes to truly be God-like. This idea of men being superior in the highest sense creates a great divide for women never being seen as equal, causing a multitude of issues. Through an extensive look at the different effects patriarchal religions have, along with positive practices of equality in religions, I will speak to the social shift in consciousness that must happen. To be truly equal we must include and represent important female religious figures and disregard the archaic oppression that originates from already established religions. Another important factor is the introduction of Goddesses of the Gods, which is a website aimed to educate women on these deity’s and to give them alternative options if they choose to find a more empowering religion.
- Kylie Sandoval