- March is Women’s History Month
International Women’s Day is coming up this Sunday, March 8, 2020. Apparently, the UN designates themes for this day (women like themes), and this year’s theme is: “Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights.”
Equality and rights. Everyone wants them. Everyone has an innate sense of justice and we can certainly find common ground from all walks of life in this sense: justice.
But as a woman, I find myself contemplating why it is that ever since history has been recorded, women have faced what I perceive as the most injustice. Women are more oppressed than any other race or people’s group in history, in my opinion. In ancient times, women were not even allowed to be educated. (In some Islamic countries, that still is the case.)
Even in today’s feminist push to receive equal rights, women are objectified. It doesn’t help that the porn industry has exacerbated this view.
Traditionally, women have been held back from many opportunities that men have typically enjoyed unhindered. In addition, as the physically weaker sex, women have been taken advantage of because of this weakness. We’ve been raped, beaten, held captive and abused in every way imaginable. It’s heartbreaking. It’s tragic. It is injustice!
And yet biological males want to become female? It continually befuddles me that a few men want to transition into becoming what they perceive as a “woman.” Why would you want to be part of the most oppressed people’s group in the world? Perhaps it’s because of a misperception of what it truly means to be female. Today’s perception of being female is certainly unclear as gender is being redefined.
Joseph Backholm was in Washington D.C. for the 2020 Women’s March. The question he poses at the march seems relatively simple, “What is a woman?” but maybe this question is harder to answer than we thought.
The secular view of what it means to be female is all over the place. But what does the Bible say about women? In the opening chapters of Genesis, we discover that humanity was made in God’s image and likeness so that they may rule together (Gen. 1:26-28). Prior to the fall, the first couple was a team.
- If we look at the original Hebrew word used in the Genesis account, the word Ezer was translated to mean “help mate” or help “MEET”
- “Ezer” occurs 21 times in the Old Testament; it means ‘assisting with strength’
- Implication? Strong partnership between the sexes, not that woman was created as a type of subservient maid
After the fall, the blame game began and the battle of the sexes ensued. The curses put upon both Adam and Eve were the consequence of their sin.
In Genesis 3:16, it says, “To the woman he (God) said, “I will greatly increase your labor pains; with pain you will give birth to children. You will want to control your husband, but he will dominate you.”
Notice in this verse that the words do not indicate the controlling and dominating issues between husband and wife were a direct curse from God. I believe God was stating what He saw transpiring in the future between men and women. The only curse directly from God towards Eve was that of painful childbirth but through that pain, life is created. And for men? Toiling the soil (Gen. 3:17-19). Through that toil, provision is made.*
The statement God made about relationships between men and women have certainly been shown to be true. Yet, this has nothing to do with who women are created to be! We are still created to be ‘Ezers’ – strong partnerships with men, primarily for the purposes of expanding the Kingdom of God on Earth.
Yes, women are created differently, with certain strengths and weaknesses. But these differences are meant to complement men, not to be at odds with them. We only become at odds when one or the other attempts to try and force the opposite sex to be like them – exactly. Just because men and women are different does not mean we are not equally valuable. Equality does not equate sameness. We should celebrate our differences without denigrating them.
In my opinion, the fullness of the human experiences lies in both male and female. Conjoined, we make a complete picture of the Image of God. Separately, we have our unique gifts that we bring to the table of relationships.
What does it mean to be a woman? To be of strong partnership, helping bring forth life, which ultimately is the Kingdom of God “on the Earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10)
Why do women remain oppressed globally? I think it goes back to the dawn of humanity, the battle of the sexes, the curse of the Fall. But Jesus came to reverse the curse, and we should do our best to help get His message out to all people: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28.)
Let us be one in Christ Jesus.
* This does not mean that I think only men can provide. I am merely pointing out that work was cursed as being difficult and hard, yet it produces. It’s like the curse of painful childbirth – it’s hard yet produces.