This week’s readings discussed reproductive technologies in the perspective of motherhood. The reading by Rothman, specifically, critiqued surrogacy from a feminist point of view, while distinguishing the critique from the religious point of view. Rothman mentions the term patriarchy to make the distinction – due to the essential social relationship of the father and son that underlies the patriarchy, women are described in relation to men. For example, when “women bear the children of men” (Rothman, 1600). The matter of control is also discussed, as men may implant their seed in women, but they then lose control of that seed and must control the woman in order to control the seed (Rothman, 1600).

In the case of surrogacy, patriarchal notions are present – children are defined as legitimate based on the father. The mother’s own role does not matter, like in the biblical case of Abraham, Sarah, and Haagar. Although the child borne is not Sarah’s, the child is fundamentally defined by the relationship with Abraham. The privilege of claiming children is extended to women only to a point congruous to men. Women’s claim of children does not emerge from the foundation that the children grew in their own bodies, but that the child retains half of the woman’s genetic material. Rothman describes surrogacy as serving women’s interests only some of the time, as surrogacy typically depends on how privileged men and women may be.

The Baby M case, a surrogacy case which Rothman worked on where the surrogate mother changed her mind about keeping the baby after giving birth, was compared to a man walking into a bar, seducing a religious girl who would not have an abortion, supplying her with basic maternity goods, and then taking the child away from the girl (Rothman, 1602). Baby M highlighted the notion that children’s social relationship with the father are given priority when, at the end of the case, custody was given to the father. Women being able to gain custody of children has typically had some relation to how the father of those children were reacting in that same situation. If, for example, a man wanted the child, then he would gain custody of the child.

Rothman concluded that surrogacy and reproductive technologies could not be considered in the same manner for men and women, as each group has a very different experience of the same occurrence. Pregnancy, for women, is continuous from conception itself as women, while pregnancy, for men, is only present when the egg is fertilized. The social relationship of pregnancy itself should, therefore, be considered when deliberating kinship. Rothman’s argument was compelling and pregnancy should be regarded as an important social relationship, but the argument itself represents only some women and disregards those who are infertile and wish to have a child. Rothman herself maintains that not all infertile people should have to turn to adoption for a solution, but then what solution remains for these infertile women?

Meilaender approaches the topic of reproductive technologies with perspectives previously taken by Protestant ethicists. The story of Abraham, Sarah, and Haagar is mentioned in this reading as well, but only in how it emphasizes the importance of procreation. McDowell suggests that surrogacy, based on biblical themes, is misplaced compassion or “compassion gone awry” (Meilaender, 1638). Surrogacy, according to McDowell, does not illustrate the loving commitment of a couple nor the intention to care for a child conceived purposely. It instead emphasizes that a child can be created for the mere purpose of giving to someone else. Simmons biblical analysis differs from McDowell, as he thinks that the concept of surrogacy allows for children to be recognized as the gift they are by parents who can truly appreciate and care for them. These two viewpoints summarize the theological duality of finitude and freedom that are later deliberated on in the reading as central to Protestant thought of reproductive technologies. The reading emphasized the vastly differing perspectives that can be taken when considering religious texts. Conclusions in the reading did not matter as much as approaches did to elaborate on the patterns of thought.

The ethnography by Seeman et al. followed homeless, primarily African American, mothers in the United States. Most of the mothers did not become pregnant deliberately and cited the pregnancy as a factor contributing to their homelessness, but they also had an inclination to describe motherhood as a positive force or a “blessing.” Such a description can demonstrate a vernacular religious concept, or a religious nuance that affects the distinction between the intentions of pregnancy. The methods of the ethnography in the urban shelter Naomi’s House included observations, interviews of residents and staff members, and a focus group where residents where asked about the decisions they had taken for their reproductive health.

The shelter emphasized strict rules for their residents stressing personal responsibility and planning. Such planning was not necessarily taken in by the residents, as they were unable to make a specific plan when given a hypothetical situation where both a night job and day job was offered. Although the residents insisted that they had to take both jobs, they could not formulate a plan to do so; however, the insistence matched the concept of persevering “with God’s help, despite serious obstacles” (Seeman et al., 33). The residents also did not idealize their situation in Naomi’s House, but did compare it to much worse situations which allowed them to view their pregnancies positively. In fact, motherhood was utilized as a reason for why these women bettered themselves and achieved something. Even Diana, one of the few women who had not used the word blessing to describe her pregnancy, still cited her pregnancy as a positive turning point in her life. The spirituality and religious perspectives of these cases are closely tied, and the perspectives are internalized in the residents.

The residents discussed their fear of side effects and the poverty which influenced their use of birth control and inevitably led to their pregnancies. A negative attitude toward medical professionals also influenced their reluctance to discuss their reproductive health with these professionals. These factors and the internalized vernacular religious concepts of the residents of Naomi’s House emphasized the importance of ethnographic research and cannot be taken out of concept. Other homeless women may consider the agencies that affect their pregnancies in a completely different manner. In this specific ethnography, the agencies the affected the rational choice of many of the residents had to do with a religious discourse.

15 Replies to “Motherhood”

  1. Hi Ash,

    I found Rothman’s central argument to be flawed when not applied directly to cases of surrogacy. Her overarching ideas of pregnancy under a system “in which men ruled as fathers” (Rothman, 1600) present an interesting feminist perspective on the role of the father in a conception process that is biological more impactful on the mother. Yet, Rothman presents the argument that “the relationship between a father and his son is the defining social relationship” (Rothman, 1600), and presents a specific case study on a surrogate pregnancy as the defining piece o evidence for such a claim.

    Although she includes logical arguments centered around biblical claims like that of Abraham and Sarah, Rothman seems to overreach when describing children as only their mother’s due to the child’s chromosomes: “What makes a the child a woman’s is that it is ‘half’ hers; it has her genetic material as well as the man’s material” (Rothman, 1602). Rothman views this as a tragedy, as it was the woman who grew “them in their bodies, with the blood of their bodies, passing them through their genitals” (Rothman, 1602). Clearly, Rothman views this equal ownership of the child to indicate a form of the patriarchy, as the woman paid the physical toll to bring the child to bare, yet receives no special treatment for her struggle. This is my greatest disagreement with Rothman’s argument. According to the Timothy Grall’s 2013 report for the U.S. Census Bureau, 17.5 percent of custodial parents in America are fathers (Grall). While my knowledge of the topic does not extend past American courtrooms, it is a well charted fact that men lose custody of their children in court far more often than women, and are most often given shorter times with their children under split-custody decisions. While ‘Baby M’ is an interesting case, and prevents a more metaphorical argument for the father’s prevalence in custody, this is not reflected in the reality of the court system in the United States.

  2. Thanks for the posts for this week Ash and Paige.

    Rothman’s article is a thoughtful insight in a feminist perspective of reproductive technology and women’s rights. I believe Rayna Rapp was the only other primarily feminist angle that we have read in class, though her writings dealt more with prenatal testing than issues with conception and third-party influence itself.
    It was interesting that Rothman mentioned several of her views lining up with those held by religious groups (who had reservations about reproductive technology), though for very different reasons. She delves into the Biblical biases against women, noting the story of Abraham and Hagar in her argument that the patriarchal elements and even notes the unusually high proportion of Catholic women using IVF, citing that women are pushed to extremes to produce children. Despite the Catholic Church’s teachings dictating otherwise, the reality of being able to produce children might be overwhelmingly more significant than following doctrine.

    Meilaender expands on the religious viewpoint, but from a slightly different voice of the Protestants. From the very beginning, they are a rebellion against the Catholic Church, but there is not much consensus on what is and is not permissible. Some dictates kinship is formed by will and not blood, and others claim that it is not right to undermine marriage and artificially “create” life for the sake of selfish desire. There is no Donum Vitae for the Protestants, instead their views are variable, not unlike the individual interpretation seen by the rabbis with scripture.

    Professor Seeman’s ethnography on the women in Naomi’s House is an insightful one. Through hardship and suffering, women can see their pregnancies and children as blessings instead of curses. They found ways to pull themselves out of troubles and persevere even through difficult situations such as drug abuse or balancing home life with education. Many women frame their situations religiously, reflecting on the gift that God had given them. Some have the support of their religious communities, though these communities strictly did not condone abortion. Interestingly, many did not declare themselves religious, but rather spiritual; this is perhaps related to the negative connotations religion bears in influencing healthcare decisions. This ethnography gives a small slice of life – a realistic depiction of how women make the most of their situations and how their beliefs shape what they make of them.

  3. Ash,

    Thank you so much for your analysis of the readings. Much like some of the other commenters, I also was not supportive of Rothman’s ideas regarding surrogacy. Personally, I feel that Rothman took some fundamental ideas of feminism, such as the patriarchal nature of our society, to make idealistic claims. Additionally, while I do not necessarily disagree with her fundamental ideas from which she formulates her argument, I feel as if the justifications she used were inherently flawed. For example, to make the argument that kinship is derived patriolinearly, Rothman discusses the case of “Baby M” where a surrogate mother makes a decision to keep a child promised to heterosexual couple. The surrogate mother was impregnated by the male of the couple. The ultimate verdict rules in favor of the couple, which Rothman interprets as evidence that the male “seed” is of higher significance than the female gamete. I would argue that her argument here is flawed because not only was the half the genetic material from the couple and half from the surrogate, but there was a pre-existing contract that stipulated the terms of the surrogate pregnancy, which I feel was likely significant in determining parental obligation.

    Furthermore, even if we assume Rothman’s belief of the patriarchy and the “rule of fathers,” I still disagree with her arguments surrounding surrogacy. She claims that due to the patriarchy, the role of women with respect to reproduction is almost that of an incubator, where women exist to make babies for men. This is a violation of female autonomy. I also disagree with this claim. First, I would argue that forbidding surrogacy is an infringement on female autonomy as it limits female autonomy through regulating what women are allowed to do with their bodies. Second, even if I would believe that while her idea that surrogacy limits autonomy may be true, condemning surrogacy may not be in the best interest of women. Surrogacy allows women who are unable to become pregnant an alternative method for becoming mothers. While adoption does exist, surrogacy may still be preferred by some women who are able to donate embryos but are unable to otherwise produce genetic offspring.

  4. Hey Ash, thanks for a great blog post. While many of Rothman’s arguments were flawed, I thought that she did highlight some societal problems in regards to procreation. As you mentioned, Rothman believes that surrogacy “typically depends on how privileged men and women may be.” As with all forms of assisted reproductive technologies, surrogacy is expensive and many who can afford this method are wealthy families. This can be viewed as being racially and socially discriminatory towards poorer families and lower classes of communities. Those classes already experience stigma and discrimination in health care, and, although providing various methods for reproduction is important, such technologies are inaccessible to lower classes.

    As was discussed in Seeman’s article, the residents often expressed how poverty influenced their uses, or lack thereof, of birth control. When women are not provided access to different forms of birth control or reproductive technologies, it can either limit their abilities to have children or they may have more children- which some would not be able to afford. I did appreciate this ethnography because although it showed the hardships that these women have endured, it also provides a positive spotlight on their pregnancy. The women could find a way to recognize their pregnancies as a blessing and a turning point in their lives. This piece highlighted the importance of ethnographic research because of the many perspectives we are able to read about and understand.

  5. Hi Ash, Thank you for the comprehensive summary and commentary on the readings. I liked how you touched on the legal issues of surrogacy concerning who custody is typically given to. I think that nowadays, the claim Rothman is making is not completely applicable. When it comes to who has custody over the child, the women typically win, except for in cases where the mother may be very unstable and unable to support the child. Furthermore, surrogate mothers would be legally bound to rules before going through with the pregnancy. I also agree with you in that Rothmans argument disregards those women who have the desire to become mothers but cannot, which I think is the case for almost all instances of surrogacy or IVF. I thought it was interesting that Rothman viewed surrogacy as only privileging men and women some of the time because it’s not an option for all individuals. Additionally, as we have seen in past readings and lectures, the surrogate mother will often become attached to the child she is carrying and the title of mother becomes blurred.
    That being said, natural pregnancies are often viewed in a positive and religious light, despite many of the pregnancies as demonstrated in the reading by Dr. Seeman. The account was interesting because it offered the perspective of homeless, and typically african american mothers in the US, which is one we have not heard until now. I think we often view pregnancy for low income women, as a burden and therefore advocate for adoption or abortion in these instances. However many of these women viewed their pregnancy in a positive light, even going as far to call their pregnancies blessings. Once again, the role religion and God plays in pregnancy is highlighted even for those many would not consider to be intensely religious. Its a role that has serious influence in the lives of the mothers and new children. Of course other practical reasons such as money, the medical care system, and education also influenced many of the pregnancies, but the decision in keeping the child and finding happiness with that decision is derived from God.

  6. Hi Ash,

    Thanks for your post! I will focus on Dr. Seeman et al.’s article in this response, but hope to connect more themes from each of the readings tomorrow in class. The most impactful part of this article, for me, was the interpretation and new perspective pregnancy afforded women. A main point of the article was that, “Described as free and spontaneously given, the blessing of unintended children allowed some women at Naomi’s House to reframe their experiences of homelessness, violence, and loneliness in powerfully redeeming ways” (Seeman et al. 46). Through one event, many aspects of these women’s lives changed – family, housing, food, work, and future. I am somewhat skeptical of the example given of women choosing higher-paying night jobs over lower-paying day-jobs as a “failure” of the shelter’s planning discourse for this reason (33). The article does note that while this observation portrays traits of perseverance, it is not enough to conclude a “failure” of planning discourse in the shelter. Women are navigating many changes in their lives, and understanding so might influence more lenient policies and programming they are offered. It might be premature to expect a regimented “planning” curriculum to be the most effective way of helping and understanding these women when nearly every aspect of their lives is new.

    I learned from this article that while intervention programs such as Naomi’s house boast a holistic focus on a woman’s life and future, they lack holistic understanding of such. I also think about this article in terms of feminist arguments that Rothman presents. This article further supports Rothman’s view that pregnancy is a special experience that affects a woman’s life. How do other feminist perspectives manifest in this ethnography?

  7. Thank you Ash and Paige for the really thought-provoking blogs this week! I wanted to begin with a critique on Rothman’s article, as many of the comments touched on. I believe that the claims she makes are rather one-sided and unfair, and it honestly takes the concept of “patriarchy” a little too far. Rothman’s argument that “what makes the child a woman’s is that it is ‘half’ hers” undermines the notion of pregnancy itself, and rather focuses on the biology of the offspring (Rothman, 1602). Later in her argument, however, Rothman argues that pregnancy is just as important as parenthood, and for that reason surrogacy must be rejected. So, Paige, to answer your question, Rothman’s arguments are rater circular and tend to contradict each other. If Rothman claims that we must continue encouraging the “intimate social relationship” that pregnancy is and to denounce surrogacy, then she should not undermine the physical connection a woman has to her baby during and after pregnancy, and not simply focus on the genetic makeup of the child (Rothman, 1607). Kinship is definitely a big factor that plays a role in surrogacy.

    The accounts from Dr. Seeman’s ethnography were really interesting because they provide insight from a group of women that are typically overlooked when considering reproductive rights and technologies. These women feel as though they have little or no control over their own reproductive rights, as mentioned by a woman who submitted to her partner’s refusal to wear a condom, and another woman’s account of the lack of availability of birth control pills in clinics (Seeman et. al, 39-40). I think legislators need to hear these accounts in order to offer resources that can be more accessible to impoverished or disadvantaged women. Granted, most women saw their babies as “blessings” (though not always in a religious sense), but undoubtedly struggled before reaching that level of acceptance. Religion may not play the exact role as thought, but more so the community and cultural values of those around us. Nonetheless, using the idea of a blessing, in any capacity, allowed these women to turn their experiences around in a more positive light, which is extremely empowering to women who may have felt helpless. I think this ethnography is especially important in considering accessibility of resources and the social stigma of unwanted pregnancy in certain groups of women.

  8. Thank you for your post! It gave some valuable insight into the readings and posed some interesting questions as well. By far the most interesting article this week for me was Dr. Seeman’s ethnographic article for reasons that I outlined in my midterm essay and you mention in your last article. After a lot of careful deliberation, I have realized how much emphasis we give to using religious or theological accounts of an individual to explain a decision; however, for a decision as important and personal as having a child, considering each man, woman, or couple and the local moral world around that individual is very important. I also found it to be optimistic and cheerful that the African-American mothers studied in the sample described their children as a “blessing” whether they considered themselves religious or not.

    Also, Kevin’s comment about how only mothers pass mitochondrial DNA is an interesting one that I have considered before. Although it is argued in many of the readings and examples that Rothman uses that consanguineal kinship is of primary importance, mothers do pass on more DNA to their children if both chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA are considered, and it is surprising to me that I don’t hear this argument being used more frequently by today’s feminists. On a separate note, I found Rothman’s view on surrogacy to unique, but I disagree with most of the points she brings up. Rothman sees surrogacy as another way for men to control and dominate women, but most women today choose to use surrogacy by their own will to have a child. I would therefore say that Rothman’s ideas have not withstood the test of time, and it would be difficult to find such arguments used by a modern feminist.

  9. Hey Ash,

    Thanks for your blog post. I think it provided a very concise summary of the readings.

    For this blog post, I want to focus a bit more on Dr. Seeman’s ethnography as opposed to my last response. I think it’s very interesting how fast a person’s viewpoint changes due to changes in their circumstances. I am reminded of Ali from Hamdy’s ethnography, as a change in Ali’s circumstances shifted his religious and personal views drastically. That is the case here for the women in Naomi’s house, who began to view their circumstances differently and in a more positive light. At the same time, I begin to wonder how the fathers may have felt in the same circumstance. After the birth of the child, would their views change as drastically as these women’s had, assuming they stuck around (in a hypothetical situation)? Or would men exhibit the stereotypical “Crap, just got a girl pregnant, time to bounce” behavior and not care about their child? How much of that is influenced by our culture? If anyone has thought about this or knows of someone who has done this research, I would like to know.

  10. Thank you for your post. It was very informative and gave a good account of the readings. Looking over the Reponses, I agree with Zach’s sentiment of the flawed argument of Baby M. I had the same reaction when reading the text as well. Someone’s response I do have a disagreement with though. It was that surrogacy tends to cater to the wealth, and is socially and racially discriminatory to people who can’t afford it or have access to it. While it may be true that wealthy families are the only likely ones to be able to use surrogacy, I don’t think that makes it discriminatory. Childcare is an expensive and financially strenuous, and I believe that if one were not able to access surrogacy, that they may not be in the best financial position to raise that child. While these readings and arguments focus on the logical, religious, and personal reasons for these reproductive technology, I think it is always important to keep practicality in mind as well. While no one should be denied the right to have a child, their needs to be precautions that the child is going to be able to be supported in his/her life, and I don’t think it would be practical to offer surrogacy to people who are not financially stable. I think that more of the emphasis should go on sexual education and preventing unwanted pregnancies, as well as focusing on a system that helps uplift people of impoverished communities so that they can have children once they are financially secure. It was comforting to read Dr. Seeman’s article because it showed me accounts that I would have never seen before. Reading how they turned an initial negative situation into something positive was really inspiring. As I said in the last post, I believe that these accounts are invaluable and should be the drivers of any discussion.

  11. Ash,

    Thanks for a great blog post.

    I like how you opened your discussion by stating the overarching lens or framework of this week’s reading, which was motherhood. Motherhood clearly has an impact on how one’s view or stance of reproductive technologies is formed, and rightly so differs from religious stances and perspectives on the matter. The example from the Rothman reading that you used was spot on in regards to pointing out this difference in perspectives that is present between mothers and religious entities when viewing reproduction. When viewing reproduction, it becomes clear that women are in charge during pregnancy and definitely have some sense of control over men or their man, quite possibly for the first time in their life (in the past, obviously not in modern times), marking a true transition of power. The only chance men have to really take control of pregnancy is to control the woman, and in doing so they ultimately control their seed of which they hath given to said women. This discussion transitioned perfectly into that of surrogacy, which levels the playing field in a sense, or how you put it, “the privilege of claiming children is extended to women only to a point congruous to men.” A key term here is “congruous” which implies that neither women nor men is more in charge of the reproductive process now, rather than with a traditional pregnancy.

    Furthermore, I appreciated your analysis of Professor Seeman’s work which provided the unique perspective of what it is like to go through pregnancy as a homeless African American woman in the United States. It’s interesting how most women in this ethnography cited their pregnancies as positive elements in their life. I understand this perspective, yet I personally feel that if I was homeless, a woman, and already struggling so terribly, it would be quite irresponsible to bring on the financial and personal burden of bearing a child, when I can barely take care of myself, and thus I would view my pregnancy as a negative factor.

    Overall, nice job!

  12. Hi Ash,
    Thanks for sharing this post. I appreciated your summaries of the three readings, and would have also loved to hear a bit more analysis as to the connections between the readings. I did appreciate your question at the end of your discussion of the Rothman reading, as this actually came up in conversation with a friend: what if left for women who cannot bear and child and either cannot or do not want to adopt? Is it actually anti-feminist in today’s landscape to take away their right to determine how they want to go about having a child?
    What I believe you missed in your discussion of the Seeman article, and a theme that connects to Rothman’s argument as well, is the notion of agency. A closer reading of the quote you selected about persevering “with God’s help” actually ties nicely with the idea of agency, or control (Seeman et al., 2016, 33). These women feel that their pregnancy is a gift from the divine, speaking in the language of diverting authority/responsibility to a higher power. Pregnancy and the resulting child are viewed, then, more as a gift from God than as a result of human will. This has serious ramifications for the perspective these women have on their own pregnancy, and was both the number one most surprising result of the ethnography and the focus of the article. Agency relates to Rothman’s discussion because her primary concern is women’s autonomy, not playing into the patriarchal structure of society as it is currently set up. To tie in Meilaender as well, the common thread through most of the theologians included in his account is this resorting to divine agency as having ultimate control. Among many discussions of divine vs. human control, one stood out, as Ramsey predicted that surrogacy could “alter the meaning of parenthood so fundamentally as to have committed species suicide” (Meilaender 1992, 1644). While there is no explicit mention of the question of agency, I do believe that Ramsey’s language reflects this concern that humans overstepping their boundaries and entering into God’s domain could be catastrophic.
    All three of these readings pertain to who has control in the discussion of pregnancy. For Rothman, the question is regarding the relationship between women and the patriarchical society to which they belong. For Seeman (actually, for the women at Naomi’s House), and for Meilaender, the question is about human agency vs. divine agency.
    I look forward to our discussion tomorrow!

  13. It’s difficult to agree with Rothman’s point of view, especially when she vehemently tries to disassociate herself from religious arguments, even though they are almost identical. I also thing her arguable second wave feminism has to be take into consideration, given that the paper is almost 30 years old. Today’s feminists would most likely strongly oppose most of the arguments that she makes from her “anti-patriarchy” perspective. In respect to her Baby M argument, I think that surrogacy options in today’s day and age most likely include a written contract regarding the future baby and custody decisions.
    In Meilaender’s reading, I think that the first argument you mentioned, regarding misplaced compassion, lacks the foresight to take into consideration that it is the strong compassion that someone has which may drive them to pursuing surrogacy options.

  14. Hi,

    Thank you for a very well written post! Something that I found interesting of the readings was Dr. Seeman’s approach to understanding unintended pregnancies, was how women in the homeless shelter understood the agency that they had in reproduction decision making. Despite being in a situation in which they were homeless, had to support children, and had an overall lack of agency in their own lives, these women still understood pregnancy as a blessing. This belief perseveres despite the attribution that many have of pregnancy to their homelessness. I found the pervasiveness of this belief to be interesting because while the shelter emphasized ” personal responsibility and self-management, including adherence to a set of relatively rigid shelter rules” in order to help these women gain agency over their lives, it was almost as if they still welcomed the unplanned aspect of pregnancy (32). This ambivalence is seen when a subject explains that she was told “you probably got pregnant for a reason. You don’t know that reason right now because it’s just a learned process that you’re going through” and through this lens pregnancy is a gift (35). I recalled how the Christian interpretation of the genesis passage emphasizes reproduction as a gift rather than a mandate. This then led me to think about the religious influence on not only understanding agency in reproductive decisions, but also in construction of self identity. There is an importance in this ethnography as it emphasizes the need to better understand the narratives and roles that women take on as mothers and how this is influenced by their perception of agency.

  15. Hello Ash!

    Thank you for the summary of the readings. Just wanted to highlight my response to Rothman’s assertion of patriarchal privilege being extended to women, which you summarized concisely here: “Women’s claim of children does not emerge from the foundation that the children grew in their own bodies, but that the child retains half of the woman’s genetic material.”

    This assertion is false to me. While I appreciate the novel and unique lens through which Rothman framed the surrogacy argument, I believe her argument would be better framed through a class argument. Women, in western culture at least, have been recognized as mothers, and not just dirt for the seed but a contributor towards the whole. While men have had and still have the control/right to the children, women were and are not just seen as the template but rather the rights that the had were consciously ignored. Recognized but belittled.

    Whilst she used the biblical texts as proof of her argument, religious texts are not a representation of life. Are the themes in the the Bible a large influence unto culture? Of course, there is no doubt. But society is only guided, not determined by these themes, and thus what people think and feel and believe can be quite different and is somewhat autonomous and uncontrolled by religion. Here is where her argument fails to me – heavily reliant on text instead of using it as a guiding tool for analysis of reality and human action.


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