I was having a conversation, or debate rather, with someone when he said that the Bible clearly supports what we know today as patriarchy. We had to go to various places in the Bible and he was short of words because everything he had thought the Bible says were things he read into the Bible.
It is easier to prove with the Bible that women are superior to men than it is to prove that men are superior to women. This is not to say in any way that women are superior but a slap to those who twist the Bible to say what it is not saying.
I may not cover every area of this argument but I’ll like to give a few hints and prove to us that gender discrimination is just like every other flaw and must be attacked head-on. You will not have any justification to fight racism but see yourself as superior to women.
Here is a rational question. What makes the woman less than the man? What makes a female baby less esteemed than the boy? Why do you think that the man is exceptional over the woman? The only explanation you may have is “the Bible says” or “the man is physically stronger”. Well, those are unreasonable answers.
In the antiques, people who were physically stronger usually abused their strengths to squelch the rights of others. We see the rise and fall of dictators and rulers. We see the conquering of people and absolute take over of other people’s properties. There was no democracy, there were no human rights, it was always a show of strength, a world of savages.
While it seems acceptable for the world of then, it makes no sense in today’s world. If being physically stronger makes men superior to women then anyone who is physically stronger than us is superior to us. The discoveries, innovations and life-changing solutions we have today were not results of physical strength, they are all results of people putting their minds to work.
Strength is no longer gauged by the muscles. A lightweight gun can kill a heavyweight wrestler. It is ridiculous to argue that men are superior to women, it is absurd to deny women certain things just because they are women, it is insane to value the male child over the female child. There is no rationale for that.
You see, gender unevenness will always backfire. Some people are worried that there are more organizations focused on helping women, children and youths than there are organizations focused on helping men. The reason is simple, women, children and youths have been considered imperilled.
This is the same way there are more organizations that empower blacks than there are to empower whites because whites are already empowered by default. You may say it is favouritism but this favouritism will continue until gender inequality and racial prejudice is completely eradicated.
There are statements you hear today that often seem to be in the favour of those who are endangered and it is understandable. For example, you hear things like “train a girl child and you’ve trained a nation” but you’ll never hear things like “train a boy and you’ve trained a nation”, if you say it, people will look at you as though something is wrong with you.
Do you have a problem with that? Then maybe, you should also have a problem with #blacklivesmatter. The reason these hashtags and statements matter is because everyone needs invariant awareness that as we raise boys, we should raise girls too. This is especially for some communities where the girl child is not trained to be financially independent or educated just as everyone needs awareness that black lives matter.
As long as inequalities linger, partial treatment of people who are considered endangered by some foundations and charity organisations will continue.
This is why I said earlier that racial and gender discrimination will always backfire! Sometimes, they backfire in an ugly way. You can use what is happening in the United States today as an example.
If Blacks have always been treated equally and fairly, the United States wouldn’t be struggling to deal with the riots. There may be criminals leveraging on the protest to loot and kill, distort the narratives and cause people harm but all these things are results of racial discrimination because there wouldn’t have been protests in the first place.
This is the same thing we are close to experiencing when it comes to gender inequality. Some people are becoming not just fed up but bitter about it! They may say things we are not comfortable with, they may get to the apex of this argument but if there was no gender inequality there wouldn’t have been an opportunity for the extremes. If you don’t want these extremes, then abhor gender inequality.
Many people often try to use the Bible to justify gender imbalances but they are either naive or very mischievous.
The Bible explicitly told us that the moon is a lesser light which rules the night. And we grew up to discover that indeed it was so since the moon has no light but depends on the sun as it only reflects sunlight at night. As it were, the moon is opaque! Therefore, when discussing light, it is safe to say that the moon is no match for the sun!
Yes, without the moon, complete darkness will always rule the night but without the sun there would be no moonlight. This is very apparent both in logical and biblical arguments. Why am I bringing up the moon-talk in a gender-specific conversation? It is because I like to communicate in context.
In the creation story, the Bible didn’t mince words to regard the moon as lesser light but in the creation of human, there were no such things as a lesser human. If the woman was less, the Bible would have also been explicit about it. Let’s see what the Bible says Genesis 1:27 NLT
“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them”
Do you see that? Human beings, both male and female were created in God’s image. The woman was not created in the image of the man, they were both created on the same day, at this same time and in God’s image.
Some translations use “man” for humankind and of course, you should know, “man” is often the generic word used to address both the man and the woman. For example, when the Bible says “man shall not live by bread alone” it isn’t referring to the male folks only but to human beings. In verse 28, it reads further
“Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”
The blessings of fruitfulness, multiplication and leadership of this earth were not given exclusively to the male folks but to the females too! Humans are meant to collaborate together in leading this world! One thing God never asked human beings to do was to rule over themselves but over animals. Let’s see another place in the Bible, precisely King James, Genesis 5:2
“Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.”
Do you see that? God didn’t even call her Eve, he named them the same name which means ‘humankind’! It was the male that brought the differentiation and Adam didn’t call her Eve to say she was less than him, he called her Eve in admiration. Let me also note here that both the man and the woman was made on the same day. The Bible said that God ceased from creating after he has made humankind.
What we read about when God caused Adam to sleep was the formation of the woman. The female was separated from the male as a physical entity but they have always existed in the Spirit realm as one. In Genesis 1, the Bible simply talks about their creation while in the latter part of Genesis, the Bible talks about formation.
There is no indication anywhere that the woman was an afterthought or is less than the man. You may say “but after the fall, the woman was cursed to remain under the man”.
I’ll explain it.
God did not curse the man or the woman, he was only telling them what life would look like outside his presence. Remember, Eden, means “God’s presence”. Gender inequality, racism and other forms of discrimination wasn’t God’s design but the devil’s way of making an attempt to thwart God’s purpose.
In the garden, Cain would not have killed Abel, outside the garden, it was very possible. In the garden, survival wasn’t a struggle but outside the garden it is. Just as wickedness, stealing, murder, adultery and so on are the results of a fallen nature, gender inequality is not exclusive of this. Next time you want to make a list of sins, don’t forget to put gender inequality on the list.
If indeed we believe that Jesus has set us free from the bondage of sin, then we must do away with every vice including gender unevenness. To understand the personality of God, let’s look at Jesus. Jesus never treated anyone unfairly, Jesus never discriminated against women and Jesus never indicated that men were superior to women.
The Bible might have been written in a language that sounds patriarchal but this is because it was written in the language of then. God’s perfect word still depends on human flawed languages to be communicated. The perfect word of God still depends on men who may be flawed to be communicated. Regardless, the core message can’t be corrupted.
Equality or Equity?
Most times, people who argue our stand on gender equality often bring in an argument saying “you should be fighting for equity and not equality”. In a sense, they are true but in another sense, they are just being mischievous or pretending as though they don’t know what gender equality means.
When we talk about gender equality, we are not saying both genders are the same, we are not saying every human is the same, we are saying that every human should be treated with equal respect, opportunities and so on.
Nobody is the same as another, no man is the same with another man. We all have our various areas of strength and weaknesses but we are the only ones that can prove our areas of strength and weaknesses. How do we prove it when we are not given the chance like every other person? How can a girl child prove she can do certain things when she is denied education?
Equity means giving someone what is due to him or her. Who defines what is due to the woman? Who defines what is due to the girl child? Is it the male folks that should define this? For equity to be achieved, gender equality must be achieved.
This may not make sense to those who live in parts of the world where gender inequality has been dealt with to a very large extent but there are still many women and girl child going through one discrimination or another.
Feminism And Broken Homes
I don’t like labels, in the past, I have always said I wasn’t a feminist but if believing in gender equality makes one a feminist, then there is no gain denying this label. I didn’t call myself a feminist in the first place, I was called one because of my stand.
Many believe that feminism is at odds with the Bible but with what we have discussed above you can see they are wrong.
Many patriarchy apologists have argued that feminism is breaking homes and causing more divorce than ever before. They argue that in the past, women were more likely to stay in marriages than now. Is this true? What is breaking marriages?
If a woman decides not to stay in a marriage where she is constantly abused by a man who sees her as a property rather than a living soul who is independent, what do you call it? Feminism? No!
Men have always divorced their wives? It is not feminism when women divorce their husbands. Or are you saying only men should have the right to divorce?
You see, I can go on and on but there is no justification for gender inequality. We need the collaboration of both gender because this is what makes humanity complete. Every individual should be given the opportunity to explore their areas of strength and expertise to bring solutions to the table.
I will say this again as I hands off the keyboard. The more we let gender imbalance linger, the more we create a chance for a new evil… It will always rebound and we are feeling it already.