owadays, the discussion of woman and her place, identity, and functions has become very common and even turned into a means of gaining reputation. Some women have entered this discussion following a feministic approach, and some men, perhaps in order to attract the attention of this big group, have even gone to extremes in this regard and said or written some words that are at times very far from the reality. Some other people have also judged this issue erroneously and unfairly with their eyes closed to the existing facts.
Such differences in views of woman, which reveal her unknown nature and ambiguous reality, have turned the study of woman into a social or even scientific issue. However, unlike the studies conducted and the books and papers written in this regard, her true nature still remains a mystery.
The existing ambiguities concerning this topic and its being a universal and living problem are due to two reasons: first, knowing human beings, whether men or women, is an essentially difficult or even impossible undertaking. That is why some thinkers consider human beings to be unknowable existents. They believe that our knowledge of woman is even less than our knowledge of man. This is because women enjoy various characteristics that turn them into complicated phenomena and make knowing them very difficult.
Second, the methodology that we employ in this regard is also flawed. The various methods followed to know woman and the different views followed to judge her make the reality of the issue even more complicated. In other words, no specific theoretical or empirical method has been introduced for a scientific study of this topic, and researchers have mainly contented themselves with a series of related slogans, complaints, and quotations. Nevertheless, like any other scientific study, research on this topic requires an appropriate methodology.
In order to gain some scientific knowledge of woman, we should study her analytically from two natural and social dimensions. In doing so, we must study her as a natural phenomenon, along with her physical and psychological characteristics and the functions and duties that have been defined for her in natural laws. At the same time, through a sociological analysis of men and women, we can attain a true perception of woman’s true place, value, and position as a social phenomenon.
The scientific solution to the problem of woman depends on correct and close-to-reality knowledge of both men and women. As long as this knowledge is not the center of discussions, our study of this issue will not be fruitful.
We believe that one of the other ways of knowing woman is to resort to heavenly religions. We can trust the definitions of human beings, including woman, that have been provided in religious texts, provided that they have remained intact and unclouded by the personal ideas and interpretations of the representatives of those religions. In this way, we can discover the natural place and social position of woman through the lines of such texts.
Unfortunately, except for Islam and the text of the Holy Qur’an, no other religion or religious text has remained immune against the distortions and misinterpretations of its advocates. A short glance at the wrong and bitter views of other religions concerning woman can clearly reveal the distortions of the major religious principles and the strong influence of ancient Greek, Roman, and vernacular cultures and traditions on them.
A historical-analytic study reveals that, apart from Islam and its heavenly book, the Holy Qur’an, which has remained intact over time, other religions have been distorted and the ideas of their clergymen have replaced their original principles. As a result, their views of woman’s station and rights have declined and returned to periods abounding in ignorance and having no sign of civilization.
Before entering the discussion of woman and evaluating her by the scales of “nature” and “society”, we will first refer to some of the pessimism and wrong ideas concerning her in other religions. Here, we will merely deal with the related points in Christianity and Judaism because Western critiques have only dealt with the ideas and theories of these two religions about woman.
* * *
Print This Document
Save This Document on Your System