A Conversation for The Perceived Dichotomy between Spirituality and Sexuality
sexuality or gender?
ExpatChick Started conversation Dec 17, 2003
this entry is certainly a tantilizing appetizer - makes me want to read and re-read lots of things on this subject. however, i did find the title a bit misleading... the main topic of the entry seems to be about gender roles in religion, as opposed to sexuality.
sexuality or gender?
abbi normal "Putting on the Ritz" with Dr Frankenstein Posted Dec 24, 2003
I agree it maybe mistitled. This seems to be more about sexual politics than the purpose of sex or attitudes about it in our lives.
Here are a few examples of different beliefs about sex or gender issues that come to mind. Hope it is not too much of a ramble...
The Kama Sutra as I understand it is not so much about the pleasure of sex as it is the pleasure of control and manipulation between or of the sexes.
The Rabbis I have had the pleasure of reading stress the importance of a satisfying sexual relationship for a couple. They advise in matters and consider married Rabbis favorably in their understanding of the total connection of faith in a marriage/family. The importance of a totally blending spirit mind and body , sharing with your partner and your faith is stressed. A Rabbi (just one example) with the same lifestyle can better do this and from experience which is the best teacher. IMO celebate priests are at a loss in operating as an practical advisor in this way.
Some religions consider sex to be for procreation , some an evil or pesky urge to control. They can teach that sex can be done without but IF you must then second best is to chose a partner and be faithful. The ultimate giving of yourself to God would not involve sexual feelings and urges. You are "above that" all that rather than using it as an expression of love and deep unions.
These are radically different views!
Religions did away with the views of Godesses and Gods. They had the view of a magical woman and may have made men quite jealous of their gifts. Some residuals and envy might exist to this day. I always thought penis envy was fabricated but the envy of giving life is not. Could just be me being happy I am a woman even though *barren* in biblical terms!
Some older ( some newer) views of women have a lot to do with the power or lack of it in motherhood. Also mysterious sexual parts and the ability to produce humans. The mere shape of the sexual organs suggest that women "invite men into themselves" Some see men as doing something to or in women. The best it that it is a missing piece we complete when together. A whole - male + female together , thereby making another whole being. These old fashoned attitudes prevail in bits and peieces with or without more sophisticated understandings.
The Madonna - Whore way of thinking is still very alive in the Catholic and other religions.
Many marriages (particuarly in past centuries)change drastically after children due to these sorts of normally unspoken beliefs in what women and their roles are. Patriarchal religions do seek to remove power from women. Some looked the other way when a mistress was taken and any blame went on the mistress. I believe women are still more likely to be arrested for prostitution than men due to these archaic values.
Southern Baptists have spoken about how the woman is the power as far as keeping the family spiritually healthy, being the moral watchdog. If a family has lost its religion it can be blamed on the woman. It is also stressed the man has the final say in matters of dissagreement.
If you have children the relious dogma can become more important than life. Many churches want to claim the children early by baptism or commitment of the parents to raise in the faith. I suppose there are still some religions in which the men *own the children* and their faith. The children are then disowned if they go against the prescribed faith and it is acceptable.
If a non-believer marries a believer in some faiths and the believer finds out, they can be *rightfuly divorced* in the church. It is as if you are not responsible for the welfare of the family you made by your own actions and choices!
The Catholic churche did allow marriages to be annuled even with children (usually for a price that the man or his family can better afford ,in the past anyway)I am not sure of this still happens but it is not moral in my mind. It all is affected by sexist, economical, cultural , political views promoted in Religion
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