Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Women: The indirect, mediated and derivative of Male?

Posted by Hannah at 10:23 AM

I wanted to talk about the Petition that is on Change.org (I was told this site has issues with FireFox), and I wanted you to know WHY I signed it.  It has nothing to do with the debate over Egalitarians versus Complementarians.  Its about the meanings behind the teachings I see that are presented much differently than most seem to think.

I have no doubt some may find the language rather harsh, but when I researched some of the messages of their mantra (CBMW) – equal in worth, but differing roles – I found it to be very deceptive.   I found it ugly and insulting, and I can’t believe in this day and age people truly have this starting point of belief towards their fellow humans.  It’s the not ‘differing roles’ so much as their definition of ‘equal in worth’.  We will discuss today what they mean by that.

First, lets start out on a positive note!

I heard a very inspiring video this morning by Pakistani educator Ziauddin Yousafzai.  He stated in the video that in his country men are known by their sons, but in his case he is known by his daughter.  For this he is proud.

"Malala used to be known as my daughter, but now I’m known as her father," he said to the crowd. "In patriarchal societies, fathers are known by their sons. I am known by my daughter and proud of it."

Its true that people around the world know his daughter's name, and were shocked when she was shot in the face a point blank range just for going to school.  Most people know who Malala is.  Unlike many from her country this girl is a sense of pride for her family.

As you listen to his video you realize how badly women are viewed, and they are not looked at as a fellow humans.  Their society teaches girls from a very young age that their main responsibility is obedience.   They must be silent, meek and submissive.  She is not allowed to be an individual, because she will be looked upon as disobedient.

If she crosses some imagery line its perfectly acceptable for the men to kill her to save their honor.  Her obedience is her reflection of worth.  Lack of that obedience brings dishonor, and justification for the harm that comes to her.

If you think about that for a moment?  They must do some major mind gymnastics to view her as something other than 100% human.  If they can't view her as subhuman?  They may not be able to do the things we read about that happens to women in that part of the world.  They are able to separate the humanity in her, and that not only harms her…but everyone in her life and society.

Thankfully,  in my part of the world this cultural mindset is not acceptable.  Her father is a breath of fresh air, and I have no doubt his daughter is also proud of him.

What I do object is in my part of the world is being told that I am a derivative form of human.  I may have equal worth, but due to my derivative form I have differing roles in life.  Obedience to that teaching – we are told – is within God’s will. 

If I can NOT accept their teaching of my creation I am labeled;  Feminist, Jezebel, Harlot, Witch, etc.

I am told that I don’t know the difference between male and female, and that I wish to melt the genders together to have an genderless society.  That is perfectly okay for the male not knowing how to be male, and woman not knowing how to be female.  Yeah – okay then.  We are after genderless blobs right?

No.  That’s not it at all.  I don’t wish to be viewed as some indirect image of God, and some derivative form of male. 

I know what your thinking!  WOW, Hannah that is kind of out there isn’t it?  Yeah, it is OUT THERE yet that is what is TAUGHT!  Let’s look at a quote off their website, and the speaker is Bruce Ware:
    It may be best to understand the original creation of male and female as one in which the male was made in the image of God in a direct, unmediated and unilateral fashion, while the female was made image of God through the man and hence in a indirect, mediated and derivative fashion. So while they are both fully image of God, there is also  God intended priority given to the man as the original image of God through whom the woman, as image of God, derived from the male comes to be…Bruce Ware in his lecture Building Strong Families in Your Church

When you can view the other gender as a byproduct of yourself?  An indirect, mediated, derivative form of human?  That is how its perfectly acceptable to say some of the awful things we hear, because it is taught that the male is the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) of the human race. 

Being the OEM the – direct, unmediated form of human – its easier to view the Non OEM partner as they do.  Yes, they say but the OEM and Non OEM are both loved equally by God.  Yet, you need to remember that God intended priority to the OEM…not the derivative.  That’s according to quote above.

Let’s look at a couple of verses from Genesis 1.  This was before God took the rib out of Adam.

26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
Genesis 5:2 He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created.

Notice the language in Genesis I states “US” not me.  Of “THEM” not male, and his indirect, derivative form of helper.

Just like in Malala’s country when you are brought up from cradle to grave under the belief system that females are NON OEM brand human compared to males?  You can be justified in thinking you have headship and authority, because you are told you have PRIORITY over others. 

In this way, you can justify in your mind that obedience to your biblical role acknowledges your worth.

Ziauddin Yousafzai said he taught girls to ‘unlearn’ the lesson of obedience, because of their meaning of the word and all it entailed.

Today, I pointed out the meaning of the phrase ‘equal in worth’.  You need to make the decision yourself if that definition of ‘equal in worth’ is acceptable.

Please consider signing the petition on Change.org.  (The website I am told has a hard time with the firefox browser, so please use other one.  ie: Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc) Add your name to list of humans that want the world to know that female is not the NON OEM brand of human.

In closing, a quote from Ziauddin Yousafzai:
People ask me what is special is in my mentorship which has made Malala so bold and courageous and vocal and poised? I tell them, “Don't ask me what I did.  Ask me what I did not do.  I did not clip her wings….and that's all.

Additional Reading:
News Story about this Petition:  Petition asks gender-role group to repent
Petition to Demand for an Apology from CBMW – by Shirley Taylor
Why Protesting "Equal But Subordinate" is Not Just Me Having a Problem with Authority
Petition CBMW for an Apology Along with Me, for the Sake of Liberty and Love

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