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Comparing Harding's 'Objectivity And Diversity'

Decent Essays
Outline for Final Essay
In the final chapter of Objectivity and Diversity, Harding puts feminist discourse in conversation with cultural context and religiosity; particularly, I’m intrigued by the future of religious feminism in contrast with the more popular secular feminism. Secularism is an issue that Western feminism grapples with frequently, tending to adopt secular views because of rampant misogyny in religious institutions. This Western secular approach, however, is especially problematic because lends an oppressive characteristic to a movement that otherwise seeks to eliminate oppression; it also irreparably reduces feminism to a one dimensional body of Western secular knowledge. This type of free market feminism is quite indebted to the patriarchal, classist, and racist concept of “secularism” as a superior institutional ideology and continually propagates capitalist forces that oppress women. Nonetheless, it frequently derides religious feminism is for perceived conflicts of interest and the historical role of misogyny in most religions.
Western feminist secularism is fairly keen on suppressing the voices of religious minorities – regardless of the fact that many women find
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The future legitimacy of religious feminism seems uncertain, given the rise of capitalist science and the cultural hegemony of Western secularism. To refer back to my previous response paper, I’m unsure how secular feminism can coexist with religious feminism if secular feminism fails to distance itself from capitalist science and leave behind the feigned innocence of secularism’s role in oppression. Likewise, I’m unsure how religious feminism can gain greater legitimacy without fundamentally altering how religion perceives women and how outsiders perceive the religion – a feat that is likely too large to ever be
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