Gender culture of the Orthodox and Modernist Judaism

  • I. O. Svyatnenko Classical private university
Keywords: gender culture, Judaism, Jewish culture, gender, gender culture of Orthodox Judaism, gender culture of Modernist Judaism


The article is devoted to the issue of ratio of traditional orthodox and modernist principles in Judaism gender culture. Summing up the results of the study, it has been noted by the author that gender relations in a particular religious community depend largely on the gender system of the host society. The gender regime of the religious community adopts models of gender and sexual relations, communication, behaviour patterns. Members of the community often become agents and adaptors of such changes. Directly through their practices and practice of their families the innovative development of communities, their gender ideology and religious institutions is implemented.The above-mentioned practices include the concept of religious and secular identity, sexuality, power, religious and secular education, and other categories, which are directly related to the concepts of gender and gender relations. At the same time, features of gender positioning differ considerably in the patriarchal and egalitarian gender cultures. Gender identity of Jews in patriarchal cultures allows mixing religious and secular conceptions of gender roles. Positioning of the patriarchal and religious way of life meets every day practices. Such intersection becomes the most notable in women sexual life, career activity and family strategies. Contradiction between gender positioning and practices often leads to the emergence of the feelings of guilt of the Jewish members of communities in the patriarchal gender cultures of the surrounding society, which becomes to be a part of their gender identity. At the same time, a significant amount of practices, which are not condoned by Judaism, gets support in the gender culture of patriarchal societies. This leads to the understanding of these practices as legitimate and normal within religious communities. This statement applies, in particular, to practices of women’s individual study of the sacred texts.In societies with the egalitarian culture of gender ethical and religious identity, patriarchal notions about women’s roles are rarely inherent to representatives of the Orthodox Judaism. In recent decades, their gender identity is developing more one-sided in the context of religion and beyond it. Even between very religious women, the concept of religion is weakly associated with the notions of patriarchy and the subordination of women. The results of these changes are notable during the implementation of individual secular and religious practices of communities’ women members. A common feature of women’s gender identity both in patriarchal, and in egalitarian gender culture is their self-determination as the strong gender in contrast to traditional gender stereotypes about women’s weakness.


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Svyatnenko, I. O. (2017). Gender culture of the Orthodox and Modernist Judaism. Scientific and Theoretical Almanac Grani, 20(2), 49-54.