Is modern feminism the woman’s declaration of “Pay Attention To Your Being”?
In my quest for a greater understanding of spiritual truths I do much reading and occasionally explore other blogs that might offer some potential wisdom concerning topics of spirituality and religion. As a third generation Unitarian (currently known as Unitarian Universalism) my religion calls me to explore all religious truths in a responsible manner to guide me toward an authentic spiritual journey that brings my life meaning and informs my actions to do good works. As Jordan B. Peterson relates in his new book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos:
Meaning signifies that you are in the right place, at the right time, properly balanced between order and chaos, where everything lines up as best it can at that moment…the place you live when you are guided by Love and speaking Truth and when nothing you want or could possibly want takes any precedence over precisely that.
One blog that I have been visiting for spiritual insight seems to be heavily focused on the man’s perspective of feminism as it relates to U.S. culture and the Christian religion. The blogger pulls passages from news articles and Christian writers to critique them for feminist bias. As one can imagine, these critiques when set against the highly antagonistic idea of “modern feminism” makes for a great number of comments from men in general and Christian men specifically. The blogger does state on his home page that comments are to be made by men only so as not to derail the male perspective. Comments from women are acceptable once the conversation thread has run on for a time. The comments can range from hitting hard against the author of the article or book being critiqued to getting down right nasty about the women who are in these articles or books as examples of an experience.
I chose to comment on one blog post by relating my own experience in relation to the current Christian authored article that the blogger was critiquing. My comment brought a flurry of new comments by men as being a woman with no authority to give a spiritual opinion on matters strictly left up to men only. I did not mind this “bashing” because it only stirred my need to understand their resistance. I was subsequently “put in my place” with quotes from Bible scripture. Ah Ha!! I can now apply my own insight on my blog about where I believe Christian men go wrong when they take a literal hard line on what a woman’s place aught to be in orthodox Christian teachings…Perhaps “feminism” is a symptom to their issues?
To give you some context, I am a wife, mother, sister, daughter and I currently work as a self employed seamstress helping women with their bridal gowns. I have a lot of confidence in my work and this helps the 120+ anxious brides that I see each year as they attempt to put on a ceremony and celebration of one of the most import days of their life. I would have to say that at least 80% of these ceremonies are performed with a Christian perspective even though churches are being used less often as the ceremonial venue. The dress and the vows hold a very significant place of importance with all of these women. I find that the modern bride is less concerned with the traditions of this celebration and more concerned with how marriage will transform her in the process. Many times I will see the bride a few years later (sometimes with a baby in tow) needing help with her bridesmaid gown for a friend’s wedding. They seem more beautiful to me than when I first meet them…Their sense of self and the transition to motherhood seem to have cast a special glow around them!
I believe that most husbands see this glow in their wives. I would venture to say that this may have a humbling effect on the man, after all he can never honestly know the pain and sacrifice of his wife.
Back to the blog posts that I mentioned earlier…”My comment brought a flurry of new comments by men as being a woman with no authority to give a spiritual opinion on matters strictly left up to men only.” A commenter named Luke who, I assume, is a devote Christian gave me several verses from scripture to substantiate his premises about women in relation to Christian teaching:
1 Timothy 2:11 – 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
Here is my response…Woman was first to bite the apple from the tree of knowledge which allowed her to become like God, knowledgeable about good and evil. Man took the bite next (also allowing him this knowledge) which left him vulnerable and in the position to forever make up for this transgression to God because man was made first. From this point forward women would forever bear the pain to bring forth life and both men and women would suffer through life until death (giving up immortality). For a woman to be quiet means that she, as a woman, has the deeper understanding of life’s meaning because of her physical pain and her ability to bear children. Her authority is to teach this understanding to her children. She should not be a “mother” to the man in his adulthood. This is very important!
1 Corinthians 14:34 – 35 …the woman should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is any desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.
Here is my response…Submission in this context places the burden upon the man to get closer to Christ, atoning the man’s sin for trying to be as God because man was not given pain of childbirth which clearly has made women more submissive in its own right (Law of nature). Submission is not to the husband, rather submission is to the husband’s burden of his spiritual domain. She was given time to teach her children, but to teach a man in church or otherwise is to thwart the man’s responsibility to himself and to God. At “home” gives the couple the privacy for her to confront the man’s perceived inability to be a “man” in the eyes of God.
1 Corinthians 11:1 – 34 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ…maintain the traditions…the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.
My response…These passages refer to a linear system. Consider my following graphic:
Notice that the woman is at the center. She is “Transformational Suffering” which is her life cycle; birth, child, child bearer, nurturer, crone, death. Her life is dedicated to life itself. From her come the children who test authority and require guidance from a physical presence. Their concept of God is inadequate until maturation. The boy and the girl are the metaphysical order and chaos as noted in Peterson’s quote.
The man is closer to the Church (the physical good) and to Christ (the metaphysical good). Man is “Physical Good Works” which is his dedication to the “Church” because his life cycle is less transformative; birth, child, laborer, death. Through his good works with the “Church” he submits to Christ and becomes closer to God. He is a role model to his family.
Both man and woman submit to Christ (the metaphysical good). Neither speaks for the other. Both maintain traditions for their family, however these traditions are in reality values of good works that the community also must emulate. With shared values comes meaning for living. And therefore this meaning is ultimately inspired by Christ (metaphysical good).
1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives.
My response…This passage affirms that wives should not act as a mother to their husbands. A woman’s understanding of spirituality (the word) is always much deeper than a man’s because her suffering is greater. This suffering begets nurturing. Hense the next piece of scripture that Luke identified:
1 Ephesians 5:22 – 33 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…
My response…This linear progression is clear. A man must understand his spiritual burden before he considers taking a wife. A woman must understand the importance of her transformative Nature and its strength as nurturer before she becomes a wife and mother. The husband’s role as father and spiritual Being brings meaning to the family unit and strengthens the community. I will add another piece of scripture: John 14:6 I am the way, and the truth and the life.
Our Judeo-Christen founding as a nation is central to our strength as a people (the “way”). If we see that our U.S. culture is breaking down around us, we need only look at the push to secularize our Being. Women are not doing this on their own. So many men have given up on their role as laborer and maintainer of spiritual good works in the community. When women become the laborer as well as the nurturer they tip the balance of spiritual strength in their favor and take the “moral” lead. The classroom is then the nurturer, but without the spiritual “lingo”. And meaning is a concept remaining out of a child’s grasp unless he or she is fortunate enough to have spiritual guidance at home. I believe that modern feminism is simply the woman’s declaration to men and women of “Pay attention to your Being”. This is also the call of the women’s marches and the “Me Too” movement.
How are you paying attention to your Being? Read my past blogs about “Archetypes of the Human Spirit” for some possible insight.