In this feminist critique of the politics of religion, Sheila Jeffreys argues that the renewed rise of religion is harmful to women’s human rights. The book seeks to rekindle the criticism of religion as the founding ideology of patriarchy.
Focusing on the three monotheistic religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam, this book examines common anti-women attitudes such as ‘male-headship’, impurity of women, the need to control women’s bodies, and their modern manifestations in multicultural Western states. It points to the incorporation of religious law into legal systems, faith schools, and campaigns led by Christian and Islamic organisations against women’s rights at the U.N., and explains how religious rights threaten to subvert women’s rights. Including highly-topical chapters on the burka and the covering of women, and polygamy, this text questions the ideology of multiculturalism which shields religion from criticism by demanding respect for culture and faith, whilst ignoring the harm that women suffer from religion.
Man’s Dominion is an incisive and polemic text that will be of interest to students of gender studies, religion, and politics.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. The Devil’s Gateway: Religion and the Subordination of Women 3. Fundamentalism: The Divine Right of Patriarchs 4. The Right to Religion Trumps Women’s Human Rights 5. Multiculturalism and ‘Respect’ for Religion 6. Desecularisation and Women’s Equality 7. Covering up Women 1 8. A Harem for Every Man?: The Rise of Polygamy 9. The Master’s Tools: Islamic Feminism and its Critics 10. Conclusion: Liberating Women from Religious Oppression
Sheila Jeffreys is a Professor in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of The Industrial Vagina (2009) and Beauty and Misogyny (2005).