SO, I have this professor for English Composition 2, he is very strange. Once, in class, I said something about how men should lead households and something about how men are natural leaders. He replied with: “You think men should lead? You think George Bush should lead?” And then went on to talk about how men have always screwed up leading and how women should lead…….. I mean……. WUT? He himself being a man degrading men. He is really into Obama so I wanted to reply “and you think Obama is doing better? Or maybe Michelle Bachman??” It’s weird.. So that kind of fueled my motivation for writing this paper… We had to take a side on a topic so mine is kind of like Women’s equality with me.
So, here it is, the rough draft. I fixed it up and I don’t remember where i put the final… And I have yet to receive a grade… Lol yeah, here it is if you are at all interested.
(p.s. Most of my references are from A Woman’s Worth by Elaine Stedman.)
The treatment of women in different cultures varies. In America, time has changed the view of women from being a possession to men with no say in the judicial system, to beings held at a level of respect. Somewhere along the way some women wanted more than that, they wanted a skewed definition of “equality” with men. While feminists pursued this goal, they took it to a level higher than their original goal, setting themselves higher than men and trying to take over roles men naturally posses. Now, even current culture paints the woman strong and beautiful. The image of a supporting wife and loving mother, dedicated to her family has been forgotten. This persona has been taken over by a self-focused, career centered, powerful woman in an individualistic culture. Women are no longer the caregivers they should be, but feminist workaholics leaving the children of America with unstable ideas of what a working home looks like and the definition of love.
The inferiority of women has unfortunately been in existence and in practice for ages. In Plato’s age, 427 BC, the women’s social status “was very low. A woman’s main function was the reproduction of children, especially of sons,” according to Women Can be Priests. Even in more educated times, women were seen as possessions, property, or sex objects. This theory in Plato’s time was not very much changed through the generations of men. For most of this time, women lived this life: never a person, but a thing. This was not the right treatment for a part of man. A person is a person and women were taken away their rights to life. The exact opposite of this treatment happened when women started to live life for themselves. Feminism was the result of being hushed for most of their existence. Women stepped up and wanted to be treated like a person. After years of pulling for women’s suffrage in America, in 1920, it was finally granted. This was one step towards recognition for all women. For some time in the 1900’s, to most, women were thought of as innocent, kind, respectful nurturers. Man wanted to love a woman, one woman, his whole life. Women gained the respect they were searching for. However, since then, feminism has grown to another level. Women are naturally loving, caring, nurturing, compassionate, submissive, peaceful, wise, and respectful. When one hears the adjective womanly, one thinks of these traits. Even Merriam-Webster defines womanly as, “having or showing qualities (such as beauty or gentleness) that are expected in a woman.” The elegance and grace that comes with being a woman has been lost in today’s culture.
Some women have found the need to be equal to men. Looking at the natural tendencies of women and men, women have always been equal, but not the same. Men have their traits of being leaders, strong, willful, aggressive and so on, while women have theirs. The fact is, if women took on the roles of men, the world would be a very skewed towards a harsh, overtaking system. Without womanly traits, the world would not be as forgiving and without manly traits, the world would be too soft. Elaine Stedman, wife of famous theologian and researcher Ray Stedman wrote a book titled A Woman’s Worth about the role of a woman. She states, “The Christian view of equality is not a political issue, nor the battle between the sexes… Competition and comparisons cannot co-exist with the spiritual principle of equality!” Women and men are equally important, just in different ways so to demand more of that, would be overstepping the natural tendency of the world and throwing society into a shallow, competitive, much more aggressive way of life. Stedman further writes, “Each individual is individual. Equality in value does not imply sameness. Each of us has the privilege and responsibility of our own personhood. We must allow others that prerogative even when it differs from ours! We are equal in value, but different in expression sexually, culturally, racially, in the exercise of spiritual gifts and in personality variations.”
Lucia McMahon wrote an article on women being great educators of our society. McMahon wrote, “Of the utmost importance are women, education, and society.” There is no denying one sex is greater than the other, they are uniquely equal.
The effect of the successful businesswoman on the culture has been overpowering. Feminism may have triggered it with the want for women to live as a strong, independent woman, without fears or restraints. However, because women have stepped up in their strength, their families, husbands, and men in general have been pushed aside. “New conceptions about women as strong and independent forced men to renegotiate own their own identities,” author Peter Tragos states in the article Monster Masculinity: Honey, I’ll be in the garage reasserting my manhood. In this very interesting article, Tragos states how women are being pushed by cultural standards to hold up the household and work in this sad economy, but also to have more children and be a mother. Tragos reiterates the obvious: how this is just impossible. For a woman to hold any kind of job would mean she must be away from her family. Being away from a family unit daily, or even part time, leaves children and husbands with no one to take care of them. It is often said that being a mother is a full time job. Imagine women stepping up to make money for a family or even decide to start their own career, the family would be left in the midst, without a proper structure resulting in children unfamiliar with parents and disconnected relationships in the home and life. If one cannot love family, they will have trouble through the rest of their lives.
Tragos also points out that as women become stronger, men become weaker. He said, “but the trend toward more androgynous gender expectations in the postfeminist era is the likely beginning. As traditional notions of femininity were redeﬁned over the last few decades, traditional notions of masculinity were naturally called into question.” The result of this can be observed anywhere in the United States. In Buffalo, New York, organizer of the Buffalo Christian Center, Jim Swearengin, sees men growing weaker as time goes on. What is starting to happen in inner city areas is that men go from woman to woman seeking shelter and money because the women are the ones who have to take care of their children single handedly since the men who parented them have fled. The results may not be this drastic, but in how many homes do you see mothers working and leaving children in day care. This does not mean that women cannot be their own person, but once they have a family to look after, they have to think of some people other than themselves which can be very hard in this individualistic culture, but necessary.
The stay at home mom is rarely seen today, but greatly awed over. Some hardly know how it is possible anymore. Stedman, after years of being married, knows the hardship and also know how to accomplish it. She describes a rare find of a woman who, “will not need to use you or anyone else to sustain her identity. She is free to be honest, loving, enjoying all of life to its fullest, and freeing you and all who meet her to enjoy life with her (or without her)! She is a woman of integrity, who will not compromise her spiritual wholeness by flaunting her sexuality or playing fraudulent games with anyone. She will not try to play God, nor will she expect you to play God with her.” These women are rare because it is hard to find a girl confident in herself, most cases because her faith lets her, but also humble enough to be submissive. Culture has turned the word humble into weak, a negative connotation, but humility is needed in any home, relationship, and woman. For a household to be healthy, a woman or mother needs to learn to be submissive. Although feminists would find this an outrage, submission is nothing to be ashamed of. It is the humble that are rewarded. “Submission is a subtle and sensitive role in human relationships. Apart from a secure spiritual identity, it will be seen as a threat to personal autonomy. With her God-given sensitivity and a will subject to his loving wisdom, a woman can, by her example, teach this healing, cohesive principle to husband, family, church, and society. Will we relinquish this privilege and responsibility to a self-centered insistence on our rights?” Stedman concludes summarizing what a woman’s role should be.
Women are neither inferior nor should they be seen as lowly. Women have always been vital and will always be, and for reasons more than reproduction. It is a hard task to be what a woman is naturally with all the pressure from culture, individualism and temptation. However, without the compassion and patience children and men receive from women, people would find the world a colder place.