There are many people that agree with the idea of Christianity being sexist, such as feminists. They claim this because the Roman Catholic Church doesn’t allow women to become priests. Also Paul explained to the Corinthians that the women should keep quiet in the meetings. The major male dominated monotheistic religions such as Christianity have had a reasonable effect towards women’s lives up until the present day. Sexism which means the second class status to the degrading of women is rooted in these religions.
Women are traditionally denominated the role of looking after the family and procreating throughout history. These inherent sexist views are taken up by religions and more specifically Christianity. In the Bible, there are several images which portray women as inferior and less capable then men. In Genesis we are told that Eve was created ‘from [Adam’s] rib’. This shows women as helpers and subordinate to men. Also Eve was responsible for the Fall as she was tempted by the snake who in turn tempted Adam to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
This effectively puts all sin and death on the shoulders of Eve and more generally women. Women’s roles in the Bible were as temptress, whore, foot washer and domestic servant which are all negative images of women which contribute to the negative shroud of sexism over Christianity. There are many prominent Christian philosophers who adopted sexist views. An early second century Christian thinker, Clement of Alexandria, said “every woman should be overwhelmed with shame at the thought that she is a woman”.
Thomas Aquinas who was one of the greatest Christian thinkers of the middle ages held women in very low esteem and thought that their purpose was to help men and they were naturally defective – “by nature subordinate to man because the power of rational discernment is by nature stronger in men”. With these ideas common, it is hardly surprising that Christianity is regarded as sexist. However there are strong arguments against Christianity being sexist.
Many Christians believe that God created both male and female in his own image in the Creation story (Genesis 1:27). Also the image of Deborah in Judges 4 shows that women can be strong and heroic leaving an army to save Israel, contravening Aquinas’ views of women being defective. Jesus depended on women such as Mary Magdalene who was a wealthy woman to financially back him up, as Jesus did not have a real income. This ironically shows Jesus, the most prolific man in Christianity, as reliant on a woman who is meant to be subordinate.
Some churches such as the Baptist and the Methodist allow female ministers, portraying the modern day views on equality and sexism. Although Christianity was traditionally sexist, it has the capacity to modernise to reflect the views of society. However the more patriarchal band of Christianity, the Roman Catholic Church, does not let women become deacons, priests or bishops. They believe that women have no role in ministry and if they wish to lead a life devoted to God she can become a nun.
In conclusion, I think that Christianity is too sexist because women should have the right to be as equal as men within all bands Christian church. The fact that churches make such a big deal over letting women become ordained shows that there is still widespread sexism. I believe that religion should reflect the views of society that it exists in and not govern it. We live in a world where equality is a necessity and there is no reason why Christianity shouldn’t reflect this.