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Word Count: 639
In her book A Room of Ones Own Virginia Woolf provides a graphic portrait of sexism in the early 1900s Since then our society has allowed almost all the same equal opportunity to women as men The only restriction that comes to mind that women still have today is women arent permitted to become priests Our society has come a long way since the release of Woolfs book and I think that she would feel proud and accomplished of contemporary attitudes toward women if she were alive today Over the centurys restriction on women have been lessened Women are now permitted to enter almost any profession They are protected from discrimination by civil rights laws in many states The two notable exceptions are that some combat assignments within the Armed Forces are still restricted to men only and women are prohibited from positions of authority within many religious organizations In recent decades discrimination against individuals on a basis of gender has been viewed with increasing disgust Societal pressure will probably increase on those religious organizations that are seen to follow sexist policies The more liberal faith groups have modified their practices they now select clergy on basis of the individuals intelligence personality and knowledge without regard of their gender However the most conservative traditions within many religions have not followed suit They find it difficult to conform to the secular standard because their sacred texts are interpreted as restricting positions of authority to men To treat women equally in their churches would ignore the teachings of scripture as they view it They feel that their stance is not driven by a desire to oppress women rather they devoutly feel that the Bible does not authorize their denomination to ordain women The United States as numerous civil rights laws at the federal state and local level against sexism in religion But most include a clause that allows religious groups to freely discriminate against men or women
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