Monday, October 25, 2010

Men and Women (Part 1)

Disclaimer: This post may not be very coherent. I hope it is, because I feel this is a very important subject, but if it is not, please forgive me, I’m too tired to attempt to have it make sense.

Every Monday I get a dose of the “real-world”. I have ROTC class every Monday and each week we talk about a different topic. This year, the last year of the program, we are preparing for active duty and learning about “the world stage”. Today we talked about India, Pakistan, and Southeast Asia. Not only was there many undertones about population problems, but also about how women are seen as less than human.

Being viewed as less than human by a more powerful entity has always proved devastating to the “less human” peoples. In all parts of the world, in every age, this can be seen as a huge excuse for some really awful acts. Saying someone is “less than human” means you can do whatever you want to them, without having to apologize. It’s also a convenient excuse to harm someone you already hate.

I’m becoming more and more fascinated by the way God ordered the world, and in particular, men and women. The more I learn about it, the more it makes sense, and the more my heart breaks for how the world is working to destroy it (which it never can of course). For instance, in class we briefly overviewed how women are still oppressed in India. I’m not commenting on whether women in India are actually oppressed or not (because I realize that women are still oppressed, at least in some ways). The whole time I was thinking how the truths of human dignity and the foundation of human rights would do wonders for not only the people in India, but us as well.

I’m beginning to think this is one of the greatest lessons the Church has to offer the world. The Church has already done so much to bring human rights and dignity into laws and the human psyche, but yet it hasn’t been totally grasped everywhere, and people suffer for that. Just think, if the common people held human life to be of utmost importance, would there be massacres? Terrorism? Abortions? If those same people got elected, would they not work for true justice, peace, and keep the dignity of each person in mind with every new policy? If each government reflected these values in the way they governed and with dealing with other nations, would we not have a much freer and peaceful world?

If we can teach the world that each life is important and get them to live by that, the world can easily become what everyone says they want it to be.

Now back to women.
The confusion over the place and rights of women, I believe, also stems from this lack of understanding human dignity. Because we don’t really understand why people have rights, or why people are so important, when we (we is used here as “the world”) see some people getting treated seemingly different then others, we fight against it. We call it discrimination or sexism or argue that the “oppressors” think women are inferior and are holding them back, or that they are “stuck in the past”. They like to say that we know women are just as capable as men and should therefore, be put side by side with men, in all positions. This just screams a misunderstanding of who the human person is and how God has given each person certain rights.

Some trigger words that I’ve noticed send people (especially my class) into “that’s wrong” mentality:

Absolutely NONE of these terms are fundamentally bad. Yes, each one can and has been twisted to use people or “suppress” them, but at their core, each is extremely good and beautiful. I’ve talked often about veiling, and really veiling is just an outward sign of being submissive and obedient. These words make some of my friends noticeably uncomfortable. The idea of being “under someone” invokes abuse and control. That is definitely something no one wants. But what does submissive really mean? Sub means “under” and missive means “mission. So being submissive means to be “under the mission”. Basically, you are to support the mission, which is something we should be doing anyway, whether that be God or a husband. I won’t speak of obedience now, but that is a sure way to get to heaven. Overall, these “bad” things are really not bad at all.

I want to teach everyone about the dignity of each person, and how women have immense dignity, just from who they are (more on this is Part 2), and how by trying to “equate” men and women, it really destroys the beauty of each one.

No comments:

Post a Comment