Thursday, September 2, 2010

I'm quite a feminist

I'm quite a feminist.

The reason why I can't say that I'm a true feminist is because I don't agree with quite a number of the extremist views of feminism. I believe that man and woman should get equal rights, but not that women are the superior race. Which also means that, being a feminist, I don't expect guys to open doors for me :P

But there's one phrase in the Bible which puzzles me:
"As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached?" (1 Cor. 14:33b-36 NIV)

Yet, did God not give women intelligence as well?

I was watching a movie, Pope Joan, the other night. It depicted the oppression of women, particularly those in the post Roman times, perfectly. It tells the story of a talented woman, Johanna Anglicus, with great wisdom. So great was her thirst for knowledge, that she begged her brother to teach her to read and write. Yet, instead of bring praised and recognized for her abilities, she was criticized and called an abnormal creature for most of her childhood.

Later, she disguised herself as a man and, in time, became a valued aide to the pope at Schola Anglorum, a Roman church which had the ruling authority over the Roman empire. Despite being a foreigner, her wisdom impressed the people and when the reigning pope died, she was unexpectedly elected as his successor. She went on to care for the people, tending to the needs of the poor and essentially banishing the elitist system.

When she died, her identity was discovered. Despite all the good that she did for the people as well as all the societal reforms that she set in place, she instantly became the shame of Roman church, and her all her efforts were undone overnight. It was a sad story of how society's pride destroyed wisdom, and I was left with a heavy burden on my heart.

But one phrase struck deep in the movie -
"How can woman be second to man in creation? She was made out of Adam's rib. Adam, on the other hand, was molded from common clay.

As for strength of will, woman can be viewed as superior to man. Eve ate from the apple as a love of knowledge and learning. Adam ate only because Eve asked him to."

Indeed, why are woman asked to be silent? Why were women deemed as second class citizens since the beginning of time? We all have different places in life, it's true, and I do agree that the rise of feminist views are probably what's caused our current dwindling birth rates - the one thing that men cannot take the place of. But why has society categorized women as less when we can do everything man can and, dare I say it, more?

So, if anyone is reading this, let the verbal war begin :P

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