Femisist Literature across Religious Divide

Samuel Munda Benya senesie





Religious prescriptivism is often identified as the fundamental cause of the discrimination and abuse which patriarchal society is seen to impose upon women.  This article reports the religious-difference aspect of the capability of literature to change attitudes, as earlier discovered.  Christians and Muslims were treated with feminist literature – in a test-and-retest experimentation - to find out its impact on the attitudes of religious people, and whether this would be different for the two religious groups.   Undergraduate literature classes were used as sample.  It was discovered that on account of their exposure to the novel, Christians showed significant change in their attitudes to agree with the women’s liberation arguments in the novel, to which argument they had been hitherto opposed: Muslims did not show any significant change of attitude.  This was apparently because the novel is clearly confrontational towards Islamic traditions and practices, thus challenging the integrity of the Muslim group, leading to resistance on the part of the group.  It was concluded that feminist literature could change the attitudes of religious people in favour of women’s liberation.  If intended to influence persons of a religions, feminist literature should not be confrontational to the particular religion of the persons concerned. This may sometimes necessitate the use of different feminist literature materials for different religions groups.     



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