Out of the Depths: Women's Experience of Evil and Salvation

By Ivone Gebara; Ann Patrick Ware | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
evil and gender

[One is not born a woman; one becomes it.] This noted saying of Simone de Beauvoir leads us to suspect that there is no conformity between one's biological sex and one's gender. The distinction between sex and gender has been clarified in part through the efforts of feminism, with its analysis of gender as it relates to the social identities of men and women. De Beauvoir's reflection, no doubt influenced by the concept of human choice as developed in Jean-Paul Sartre's philosophy, makes us think about the situation of women. What does become actually mean? Can one really choose what to become in a culture where certain social roles are fixed like fate? Which women have the privilege of choosing? To what extent is it possible to change the historic constructions that have fashioned our culture or the cultural constructions that have fashioned our history? How can the concept of gender, used as an interpretive tool, help us understand evil, particularly the evil endured by women? In this chapter I will use these questions as a foundation to analyze the concept and role of gender in analyzing the problem of evil.


The Concept of Gender

What exactly does the term gender mean? Is it only the declaration of male and female in humanity? How shall we explain this word? And what is the goal of any reflection that uses gender as an interpretive tool in a theological and feminist approach to evil? For the

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Out of the Depths: Women's Experience of Evil and Salvation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Translator's Note vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Women's Experience of Evil 13
  • Chapter 2 - Evil and Gender 61
  • Chapter 3 - The Evil Women Do 95
  • Chapter 4 - Women's Experience of Salvation 109
  • Chapter 5 - God for Women 145
  • Epilogue 175
  • Notes 183
  • A Select Bibliography 199
  • Index 205
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