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Gender issues in asian traditions - Essay Example

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Reflect on this topic. Which characterization in your view works more in favour of women, and why? Or is such characterization itself problematic?  
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Gender issues in asian traditions
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Download file to see previous pages t, the dichotomy in the gender roles occur as the primitive societies have viewed men as ‘rational and capable of universally valid thought’ whereas women have always been thought as emotional, feeble and submissive. For them, “sex differences, the division into male and female bodies, were seen as biological differences….Gender differences, however, behavioural and psychological traits associated with masculinity and femininity, were viewed as socially constructed” (Alsop &Lennon p. 26). This paper tries to analyse the gender roles in Hinduism and Taoism with special reference to the characterization of the feminine in both the religions. One has to keep in mind the fact that both Hinduism and Taoism flourished in highly patriarchal societies where women had minimal roles to play. It is said that Taoism characterizes the feminine as “passive”, while Hinduism characterizes the feminine as “active”. However, a close analysis of the religious practices, gender and social roles of women in both the religions shows one that the characterization of women in Taoism better works in favour of women compared to that of Hinduism.
The gender traits of Hindu women can be traced back to their early Brahmanical religion and Vedic inheritance. As Young suggests, the role of women and their rituals during this period was limited to maintaining ‘social and cosmic order’. Rg-Veda propagates the images of the maiden and the bride and praises women for “their youthful beauty, radiance, appealing adornment, sweet odours, ample hips, and broad thighs” which are evidently associated with “feminine sensuality and the child-bearing capacity of the girl” (Young 61). Even though the Vedic women’s role was esteemed as wife and mother, she had to remain as a silent partner in the Vedic rituals. The husband’s role was much prominent as he was the patriarchal head of the family and was “host of the guests, the gods, and was primarily responsible for pleasing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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