Do faith schools teach girls to be second class citizens?
"The main problem with faith schools is that their primary purpose is to socialise women into their major roles of wives and mothers. All the most conservative faiths - Islamic, Catholic, Jewish, evangelical - agree that women have a place in the family and that women should be educated towards that aim."
- Eleanor BLv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
I completely agree - and I don't think faith schools should get public funding - we had the separation of church and state about 500 years ago - tax payer's money should not be paying for religious institutions. I also know many asian boys and girls in my city who go to faith schools, and it is shocking how sheltered and narrow-minded they come out of them. Anything receiving public money should be secular, no ifs no buts :-)
- 1 decade ago
Being a mother and a wife isn't wrong or doesn't make you "second class". But it all depends on what being a mother and a wife means for these ultra conservative schools. If being a wife means being a married woman who's still free to be herself, do what she likes and speak her opinion then it's fine. If being a wife means being submissive, having no saying in the home, being ruled over by your husband and treated like you're one of the children, playing to role in making the decisions and obeying your husband whether you want it or not then yes there is something wrong. The thing is that these religions often teach the second definition of a wife to their girls and in these case they are being treated as second class children.
The problem with raising boys to be fathers and girls to be mothers is that it promotes the gender roles and doesn't allow men and women to be who they want to be. What if a boy really likes being with children? Why shouldn't he have the right to stay home without being ostracized or humiliated by the society? Same for a woman, what if she wants a career? Or what if they just don't want any children at all?
I think that we should examine the whole problem clearly and not just blame everything on feminism. The divorce rate increased and the marriage rate decreased, yes, but why? And does the fact that there were less divorces before prove that previous marriages were really happier? We must not forget that before, when a woman divorced, she lost everything, the home, the children and since she was economically dependent on her husband, she had to go back to her parents (if they didn't reject her), she always had to be dependent on something, besides they were raised in such a way to believe that husband had the right to rule over them and that they were bad if they divorced no matter how evil their husband ever could be, it was quite like what the muslim women face today. In this case, these women had to remain silent and continue the marriage even when they weren't happy. As for the husbands, they were practically never home so they weren't really as involved with the family life as women, women tend to feel it and realize it earlier when the marriage is not going okay anymore, that's also why there are more women filling for divorce than men. So yes, the marriage rate is decreasing, but that does in no way prove that the previous marriages were happier.
That is why we should put an end to the gender roles, why not let the families decide themselves who's in charge instead of automatically giving that role to the man? Why not let the family chose who cares for the children instead of automaticlaly giving that role to the woman? Not all women and men agree with their gender roles, in the end all the men and women who decide not to act the way the society wants them act end up pressured and lonely.
Though i find it saddening that raising children is seen as "second class", in fact, practically anything feminine is undervalued in the society, only what men do is seen as important and hard. In the end, the only way for women to be recognized is by acting like men. And the only way for "feminine tasks" to be valued again is by making men perform these tasks too.
* sigh, really saddening...
- Odin's daughterLv 71 decade ago
I don't like the idea of schools teaching any kind of morals to kids, to me a school should be a place to gather academic knowledge and families should be the ones teaching personal values.
But I suppose that the girls will be raised the same way, whether by the parents themselves or by the school the parents choose to send them to.
I don't see how "wives and mothers" equates to "second class citizens" though...the role of a wife and mother is greatly important in society and only in our modern culture is it undervalued. Some people believe that raising kids is the best and most rewarding job, and it suits a lot of women. There are worse things parents are raising their kids to be.
**Someone else made a good point too, Catholic schools do always seem to be top of the league tables.
- bearaliceLv 61 decade ago
An interesting question, but it could be argued that mainstream secular schools historically and currently often do a very good job of educating girls into gender roles recognisable as those seen as more traditional.
Indubitably, girls are achieving and at increasingly higher levels, but disparity in education and on into work and careers still exists. In this time of recession , it will be intersting to see how the impact on women is played out...more women are being affected by job losses in the finance, service and retail sectors in the UK, and there may also be a shift into encouraging women 'back in the home' it will be interesting to see the role education plays in reinforcing/endorsing this!
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
Personally i don't like what most religions have to say about woman, men, sex, sexual orientation etc... My belief is that we are all different but of equal worth and gender/race/sexual orientation shouldn't stand in the way of our life.
However i don't believe for one second that being a mother or father makes you a second class citizen. I don't agree with marriage because i am not religious but still a wife is just as important as a man. Who ever says differently is (in my eyes) a fool.
Religion has always been a tool to keep us in line, everyone has a stereotype attached to them but that doesn't mean you have to live by it. I am a mother, house maker, uni student, casual worker, musician and i love doing all those things. Screw what the bible may say about it. I wont listen to false profits. I mean lets not forget in the bible it says "let a woman stay silent in church" ha ha ha. (sorry cant remember the exact quote).
But honestly i mean no offense to those who are religious i just don't believe in it.
- DorisLv 44 years ago
You forgot Ephesians 5:21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Which tells husbands and wives to submit to one another. You forgot Gal 3:28 Galatians 3:28 (New International Version) 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Which says we are all one in Christ Jesus. Leviticus 12 recognizes that a higher percentage of girl babies are born vs. boy babies. The rule of purification, tells couples to wait 2 months after giving birth to a girl, and 1 month after giving birth to a boy to wait before resuming sexual activity. This gives the new Mom at least a month rest before getting pregnant again and 2 months rest after the birth of a little girl. This purpose of this is to even out the number of boys and girls in the population so that each little boy may grow up and have wife and each little girl would grow up and have a husband. Without these rules there were be way too many girls who could never get married since there would not be enough boys to go around.
- True Blue BritLv 71 decade ago
I am against faith schools, not because of the teachings against women, but because they are a form of apartheid. You teach children that one religion is superior to others, often at a cost to the state.
I've never been aware of any specific teaching aimed at girls, but having come from a fundamental Christian religion which forces girls into a box (submissive wives) I suppose the ideas have to come from somewhere.
Certainly my boss who is Jewish regrets sending her daughter to a faith school and after hearing her discuss the sermons with other members of her faith, I can see why. Their rabbi calls Jewish girls who show their arms "harlots", which is a bit harsh, in my opinion.
As for Muslim girls - well, I'd like to see all faith schools banned.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
I went to Catholic school from K - 11 (that's right, kindergarten through most of high school!) and there were high academic standards and the majority of girls were expected to, and did, go on to college. I don't know about in the past, but I don't think parents like mine were paying all that money so their daughters could bake a mean bunt cake. . .
- Anonymous1 decade ago
There is nothing wrong with being a housewife if that is what you want to do. But the problem is that they are trying to maintain the traditional values where women must be housewives and men must be able to control their wives. There is no freedom in that. Individual choice is an important component modern life where men and women have a choice in their sexual relationships, to express whatever gender role they please and to feel comfortable with one’s their sexual identity, should be respected.
In relation to Roman Catholic faith schools, they will unashamably teach unscientific indoctrination about things like sex, contraception and abortion, where females have no control over their bodies or lives. As a result they end up feeling confused and guilty about their natural feelings and emotions. Many parts of the bible dictate that a woman's place is in the home and her primary role is to look after her children because she is life-giving. But, while on one hand they claim that all this is to prevent life being wasted, they are also directly responsible the spread of Aids and subsequent deaths demonising the use of condoms even in parts of Africa where half the population is infected with the HIV virus. Deliberate lies are expressed that condoms cannot protect against AIDs in or to achieve this.
In relation to Islam, women are considered the property of men and to be valued at half of what men are valued. Women are required to be obedient to their husbands and it is the man's responsibility to earn. If a woman has an illigitamte child (even if due to rape or incest) can be sent to prison for six months and her husband may even be forgiven for murdering her or her lover. This is all under the teaching that she is a prosititute. A women can even be arrested if she has a child outside marriage if the father doesn't claim that child and can only prove a man's paternity to her child via 12 witnesses who will testify to she had sexual relations with the man in question. This is designed to scare women into female typical roles - to get married, have children and be submissive to her husband.
It is assumed that religion is an unqualified human good. But when looking at the relationship between law, religion and gender this confidence in the value of religion begins to dwindle. Why, when we have just started making progress moving away from a tradition of oppressive heterosexist patriarchy towards gender equality ethic to accept what faith schools are trying to teach our children?
People say that faith schools tech us good morals but they pick and choose what to disclose as moralistic. This "ethos" of faith is to a very large extent responsible for the continued segregation of male and female roles so that they can continue to uphold their religion. Why do you think they are so keen to teach hatred of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people? Because you can't so easily categorise these people into gender roles. It's something that comepletly challenges their belief system. Gender, transsexual and sexual orientation discrimination,are derived on the basis of the religious conception of gender. Religions' authority structures are rooted in texts and traditions stretching back centuries that have always endorsed gender inequality
- Rebecca WLv 71 decade ago
Those same "faith schools" also expect the strict adherence of males to follow their proper roles of husbands, heads of family, provider. These are the tenets on which most major religions actually agree, regardless of the faith. And these schools are chosen for children to go to not forced upon people. So what is really the problem? You don't think that families have the right to chose what their children are taught or you don't believe in religious freedom?
- Anonymous1 decade ago
The Guardian is an atheist newspaper. You can expect them to take a strong line against anything to do with religion. You might as well quote what the Universe or the Baptist Times has to say about secular schools.
Faith schools continue to be oversubscribed with parents going to extraordinary lengths to get their children into what they see as the best start in life. You'll be surprised how attendance at Catholic Churches suddenly increases every May when school applications go in.