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Feminism and Hinduism

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Old 09 April 2011, 05:53 AM
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Feminism and Hinduism

Do you believe the two are incompatible? I believe Western feminism possibly is (as it is quite an adversarial -ism) but does that mean women cannot fight for their rights, as women, in Hindu organisations and India?

I ask this because something I said in another topic caused a few ripples.
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Old 09 April 2011, 12:10 PM
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Re: Feminism and Hinduism

Do you see any incompatibilities? Do you see anything that you disagree with in Hinduism in the light of feminism?

And I think feminism became such a broad term that I'd have to ask: What part/fashion of feminism are you referring to?
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Old 12 April 2011, 01:48 PM
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Re: Feminism and Hinduism

Namaste DK,

I'm echoing Pietro on this one, is there a particular aspect of feminism you had in mind which led you to feel its ideals would clash with Hindu principles? Would just like to know some more before I go ahead and share my views.

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Old 14 April 2011, 02:23 AM
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Re: Feminism and Hinduism

Well, I'm not sure. I have encountered people vehemently against any form of female liberation and people all for it. I am off the opinion that feminism should be based on raisinb women to equality with men. We both have our strengths and weaknesses but I don't support the type of feminism that says women are better then men but neither do I support the idea that men are better than women.
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Old 14 April 2011, 07:30 AM
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Re: Feminism and Hinduism

Considering the fact that even Conservative Hinduism treats women's rights better than Christianity or Islam, I'd say yes.

...and then there are Shaktas (like me) who believe in treating every woman with great respect, as you would your mother.

Striyah devah, Striyah pranah: "Women are Devas, women are life itself."
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Old 14 April 2011, 09:55 AM
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Re: Feminism and Hinduism

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Originally Posted by BryonMorrigan View Post
Considering the fact that even Conservative Hinduism treats women's rights better than Christianity or Islam, I'd say yes.

...and then there are Shaktas (like me) who believe in treating every woman with great respect, as you would your mother.

Striyah devah, Striyah pranah: "Women are Devas, women are life itself."
"Feminism" in Shaktism and nonsense such as the aforementioned where women are specifically venerated as being Divine is very peculiar to Bengal region.

Personally I feel quite emasculated having to put women as worthy of worship be it maternal or otherwise. I don't worship my own or human masculinity in general in the form of Lord Vishnu or Shiva.

I don't know what is it with people who think that Goddess worship automatically means Matriarchy and Feminism. Because in Vaishnavism, we are still taught to treat women well. For me the masculine gender of Lord Vishnu is not a matter of something anthropomorphic. It's nothing at all like that where Vishnu is a literal male - "Father". If you look upon Lord Vishnu as you would to your biological father then you will never understand Him. As is the case with Devi.

South Indians, especially their television is notorious for this sort of thing. They say "the womb that bears the burden of pregnancy and gives birth is synonymous to the Deva", "this bride is as beautiful and auspicious as Lakshmi".

No!

This is nothing but heresy.
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Old 14 April 2011, 10:13 AM
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Re: Feminism and Hinduism

Why heresy? Sounds like a strong word for this specifically.

So recognizing the importance of our mother's womb that brought us all to this world and using Lakshmi as a standard of divine beauty is heresy?

Inherently there's nothing emasculating about paying the due respects to mothers considering they played a significant role in generating our oh-so-mighty masculinity in the first place.
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Old 14 April 2011, 11:03 AM
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Re: Feminism and Hinduism

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Originally Posted by Kumar_Das View Post
This is nothing but heresy.
Heresy? In Sanatana Dharma? Surely you jest...

Besides, you just admitted that that kind of thinking is Bengali Shaktism. Are you saying they aren't "real" Hindus? And then you said it was also popular in South India, (...which makes me think of the Sri Vidya Temple in my area, where it is also commonplace...). Are they not "real" Hindus either?

And I might add, that I, a Gulf War Veteran, don't feel "emasculated" by worshiping Devi...nor do I feel that a woman should feel "oppressed" by praying to Vishnu or Shiva or whatever else form of God/Goddess that one prefers.

Leave the anti-woman rhetoric to the Christians and Muslims... I have no use for it.
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Old 14 April 2011, 11:49 AM
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Re: Feminism and Hinduism

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Originally Posted by Kumar_Das View Post
This is nothing but heresy.
I would have liked to think that only christians and muslims dig at this world and bask in burning the herectics. But I knew, it would be silly to think Hindus were more evolved in thinking.

But for your information, treating women as embodiment of God is not specific to Bengal region. Shaktas are same everywhere, in their understanding of divine feminine - only the acharas vary slightly.
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Old 14 April 2011, 12:12 PM
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Re: Feminism and Hinduism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumar_Das View Post
"Feminism" in Shaktism and nonsense such as the aforementioned where women are specifically venerated as being Divine is very peculiar to Bengal region.

Personally I feel quite emasculated having to put women as worthy of worship be it maternal or otherwise. I don't worship my own or human masculinity in general in the form of Lord Vishnu or Shiva.

I don't know what is it with people who think that Goddess worship automatically means Matriarchy and Feminism. Because in Vaishnavism, we are still taught to treat women well. For me the masculine gender of Lord Vishnu is not a matter of something anthropomorphic. It's nothing at all like that where Vishnu is a literal male - "Father". If you look upon Lord Vishnu as you would to your biological father then you will never understand Him. As is the case with Devi.

South Indians, especially their television is notorious for this sort of thing. They say "the womb that bears the burden of pregnancy and gives birth is synonymous to the Deva", "this bride is as beautiful and auspicious as Lakshmi".

No!

This is nothing but heresy.
Sad to see the word "heresy" being used by someone claiming to be a Sanatani.

I think some of the opposition to relating feminism and Shakta tradition may stem from the perception that radical feminism is something western and Shakti is a patently Hindu idea. Myth-wise, father and mother are both equally important in the birthing process (individuals, worlds, universes, ideas etc).

I wrote a post called "In search of the father" in which I expressed some thoughts on the mythic ideals of fatherhood and motherhood.

http://www.vmohanty.com/2010/looking-for-the-father/

Choosing to acknowledge one does not mean the other is less important. Saying that that is so is dumb.

If there is any heresy in Hinduism, it is the idea of heresy.
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