The Point of Inquiry Weekly Wrap-up: Katha Pollitt

May 27, 2013

Last weekend, the POI team headed down to Washington, D. C. to take part in the CFI's second annual Women in Secularism conference, a three-day meeting of the minds highlighting the intersection between feminism and secularism, and what one can bring to the other.

There, they talked to the accomplished and celebrated Katha Pollitt, feminist poet, author and The Nation columnist. Here are some highlights from the always lyrically spoken Pollitt.

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On the larger meaning of religion :

"I think of religion as - it's not just shaped by society, it's a kind of expression of society...it's the way society constitutes itself. And the real subject of religion is the society, it's everyone saying 'We're here!'"

On why women tend to stay religious compared to men:

"I think there is a piece of it that religion is connected to the socialization of children and it's connected with family life...but I think also, and I'm only speaking of Christianity here, but Christianity has long been derided by macho men as an effeminate religion."

And lastly, on some missing footnotes from the Bible:

"Although, if God really wanted to be against abortion, you think he would have put in a word about it."

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Our comment of the week goes to Twitter handle @Mark_Caldeira, who in response to another of Pollitt's quotes posted on the POI Twitter feed, "Misogyny runs deeper than religion." replied:

"It should. It's been with us longer."

Indeed Mark. Indeed.

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As always you can check out the full interview with Katha Pollitt on Point of Inquiry, through which you can purchase some of our guest's latest works. And stay on the lookout from an upcoming book by Pollitt.

Follow POI on our Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch with the latest episodes and send us feedback. Till next time!

 

Photo credit: NYTimes 

 

 

 

Comments:

#1 Randy (Guest) on Monday May 27, 2013 at 7:28pm

“Indeed Mark. Indeed.”

You sound very certain indeed that misogyny predates religion.

Wikipedia says that ritual behaviour such as burial, or marking human bones, has been with us for at least tens of thousands of years.

Religious structures and sites have been identified dating back nearly twelve thousand years.  These predate the relatively new Abrahamic religions we have today, which elevate men over women. They also predate the written word.

Without a written history, what evidence is there to support the claim that misogyny predates religion?  Even assuming a biological basis and looking at our other ape relatives, it’s not clear that misogyny was always with us.  For example, bonobo females are in higher social positions than males.

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