Can Feminism and Faith Coexist?

The role faith in a feminist’s life is going to be a tricky topic, because so many religions rely on patriarchal structures and acceptance of the appropriateness of those structures.  It also doesn’t help that most religions come down on the wrong side of many of the policy issues of importance to feminists, such as reproductive rights.  The acceptance of a religion might mean coming to a personal conclusion that what you consider the tenants of a religion are compatible with one’s own world view even as the way they’ve been misinterpreted by the leaders of the religion isn’t.  It is hard for many women to stay connected to their religions because they felt exclusive and shut off to women.  This leads to women who felt that they weren’t being true to themselves because they weren’t connected with their religions.  However, some women realized that often it wasn’t the actual religion that was sexist, but the limited interpretations.  Thus, they began offering more feminist infused interpretations.  This means that its possible to be a feminist and be religious.  It just takes some maneuvering and finding the right leaders and the right venue.

-Alex Pongchit

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