Status of women in Hinduism

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The Manusmriti also known as Manav Dharam Shastra, is the earliest metrical work on Brahminical Dharma in Hinduism. According to Hindu mythology, the Manusmriti is the word of Brahma, and it is classified as the most authoritative statement on Dharma .The scripture consists of 2690 verses, divided into 12 chapters.  It is presumed that the actual human author of this compilation used the eponym ‘Manu’, which has led the text to be associated by Hindus with the first human being and the first king in the Indian tradition.


Although no details of this eponymous author’s life are known, it is likely that he belonged to a conservative Brahman class somewhere in Northern India. Hindu apologists consider the Manusmriti as the divine code of conduct and, accordingly, the status of women as depicted in the text has been interpreted as Hindu divine law.  While defending Manusmriti as divine code of conduct for all including women, apologists often quote the verse: “yatr naryasto pojyantay, ramantay tatr devta[3/56] (where women are provided place of honor, gods are pleased and reside there in that household), but they deliberately forget all those verses that are full of prejudice, hatred  and discrimination against women.

Here are some of the ‘celebrated’ derogatory comments about women in the Manusmriti :

1. “Swabhav ev narinam …..” – 2/213. It is the nature of women to seduce men in this world; for that reason the wise are never unguarded in the company of females.

2. “Avidvam samlam………..” – 2/214. Women, true to their class character, are capable of leading astray men in this world, not only a fool but even a learned and wise man. Both become slaves of desire.


continue to source article at nirmukta.com

10 COMMENTS

  1. Agree entirely, although additionally, on occasion it is so outlandish, you’ve got to laugh!

    In reply to #1 by Stafford Gordon:

    The same tired old story.

    Religion either scares you to death or bores you stiff.

  2. In reply to #3 by Nodhimmi:

    Strikingly similar to Islam’s appraisal of women;how many Hindus would be aware of that?

    Strikingly similar to Christian appraisal of women; how many Christians would be aware of that?

    “Good” Catholic, Mormon, Jehovah Witness, Pentecostal, Amish women just bite their tongue and carry on.

  3. Yes, Abrahamic religions are derived from the same pagan roots. And it shows.

    In reply to #4 by QuestioningKat:

    In reply to #3 by Nodhimmi:

    Strikingly similar to Islam’s appraisal of women;how many Hindus would be aware of that?

    Strikingly similar to Christian appraisal of women; how many Christians would be aware of that?

    “Good” Catholic, Mormon, Jehovah Witness, Pentecostal, Amish women just bite their tongue and carry on.

  4. In reply to #5 by Sjoerd Westenborg:

    Why does virtually every religious text sound like it was written by men who couldn’t keep it in their pants?

    Probably because a lot of them were written by guys who couldn’t keep it in their pants.

    It must biological: fitness being reproductive success, sexual appetites should strongly heritable, and since genetically determined traits are normally distributed most of the time there will always be fly-front challenged males around.

    And what if a too obvious lecher is frustrated, just can’t get a date (she’s guessed he’s a lecher)? People often tend to blame their failings on someone else, so the women must be bad (if I can’t afford a big car, big cars are evil polluters and bad). If the can’t-keep it- in-the-pants subset develops a fondness for preaching women will always be seducing poor helpless males. This would be disproved it there were a large traditional religion that does not complain of seductive females, but I have never heard of one.

  5. In reply to #5 by Sjoerd Westenborg:

    Why does virtually every religious text sound like it was written by men who couldn’t keep it in their pants?

    Not just that, but unable to take criticism from a woman:

    “38. A barren wife may be superseded in the 8th year; she whose children die may be superseded in the 10th year and she who bears only daughters may be superseded in the 11th year; but she who is quarrelsome may be superseded without delay.”
    Steve

  6. In reply to #9 by Agrajag:

    Hey, Mods:

    If we can’t have editing, can we at least have a “preview” function??

    Steve

    According to the discussion on the new editor editing is coming. There is a yellow preview box below the text entry box. Well there is on my mac in Safari. Are you not seeing that ?

    Michael

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