Forget About Women’s Liberation

Women command a large number of world population, yet it’s very hard to find a nation whose government will come up boldly to say that they have more women in their nation than men. Take a look at the record of birth in any community, the number of female children tend to outnumber that of their male counterparts. In every angle you look, you see women in their great numbers – schools, Churches, armed forces, markets, playgrounds/beaches, offices, hospitals, etc. Women have taken up some challenging roles and performed better in certain offices than the men themselves. In the field of medicine and engineering, women thrive and as such, are looking up to seizing political powers, yet it is a wonder that many people come up in our generation to complain about the ill-treatment of women. Women themselves were later forced by the prevailing situation to delve into a struggle that is enshrined in malice.

The Bible said a lot about women. It gave a down-to-earth story of how she came to be, the challenges before her and her future reward as a mother. Jesus Himself regarded and treated women with respect. After observing the actions of Jesus towards women, Charles Seltman commented: “Jesus was a feminist to a degree far beyond that of His fellows and followers… No other western prophet, seer, or would-be redeemer of humanity was so devoted to the feminine half of mankind”. Women suffered humiliation at the time that Jesus walked upon the earth. At that time, both pagan culture and so many other cultures (Jewish inclusive) insisted that women be kept in “their place” – and that place was clearly spelled out. Avenues open to men were closed to women. Such opportunities for self-fulfillment, personal development, and for achievement and leadership in public life or organized religion were greatly prohibited. Women were required to stay behind the scenes, keep the home fires burning, bear and rear children, and remain apart from the “busy, important world of men”.

Nevertheless, Jesus’ personal attitude towards women gave promise to liberation from the chains of custom. Women who followed Him, spoke with Him, and listened to His teaching, could not help but contrast His treatment of them with the way other religious leaders regard them. Could it be that His message of God’s love and redemption contained the seeds from which could sprout possibilities for human dignity and authentic personhood for all people – regardless of sex, class or race? Could it be that He was the women’s liberator? We shall not hesitate to say yes!

Speaking in terms of change of role, liberation and developing awareness for every women especially Christian women, we are not thinking in isolation of an organization or movement, but rather a state of mind in which a woman comes to view herself as Jesus Christ sees her – as a person created in God’s image whom He wants to make free to be whole, to grow to learn to make proper use of her God-given talents to the fullness as a unique person. It is a realization that men and women together may be freed from sex, role stereotypes and traditions which hinder development into the true humanness that was God’s original plan at the dawn of creation into male and female in His own image to delight in cordial fellowship with Him and with one another.

Early enough, women were considered to be inferior to slaves, in the sense that the slaves are the possession of their masters who may legally represent their will while the women could not. In the Jewish world, the male Jew, for instance, was taught by the rabbis to thank God that he was made a man and not a woman. In the patriarchal Roman family, the man alone possessed the legal rights of the family while the wife and children had none. Among the Greeks, women were part of the household property of the man.

The life of a woman in many societies was greatly and gravely dominated by men. For the purpose of marriage, girls were captured from neighbouring clans in the primitive times to continue the family line. Daughters were then transferred from being the property of their fathers to being the property of their husbands. At any rate, what changed the position of women in marriage was war. Because men fought wars and women and children kept the homes, their social status brightened up. In other words, women became queens in children’s environment – a dreary situation.

The Scripture appears to confirm the lordship of men over women and other creatures in the Genesis’ account of creation story in some measure. God built the ribs He had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man (Genesis 2:2). The story was not different in Christian era. Most Christians had the negative views about women such that monks were advised to flee their company.

Women had through the years been treated as a thing that needs a constant “purification” whereas everything masculine is believed to be sacred. In most parts of the world, certain places are forbidden to women; they are not allowed to touch certain men and more so immediately after or before some religious rituals. It is not surprising that after many centuries of such taboos a couple of women still ask such questions as – “Do women enter here?”, “Do women touch it?”

Women are bared by retrogressive native laws from sharing in the estates, of either their fathers or husbands, simply for being women. Women whose husbands are torn away from their embrace by the cold hands of death often face terrible situations from their husband’s relations. They roar into their brother’s home even before the woman’s eyes are dried of the tears of mourning, and turn the heat on the “stranger” – his widow. That shows an eloquent demonstration of the fluidity of the status of women to borrow a time – worn cliché – in a male dominated world.

However, you find out that such women become at once complete strangers in the home they helped to build, losers who had no claims to the sweet trappings of victory. Such is the woman’s lot, especially in developing countries where a quaint mix of queer customs and traditions rule the lives of the who set goals as well as the pace and pattern of development. Up till now, women are yet to be accepted to stand bail for suspects at police stations in many parts of the world.

In different places, women are seen but not heard. There are a lot of variables involved in determining the status of women in the primitive or modern society. Women are considered almost as property in some primitive societies whereas among the non-Christians, their status is radically infradig. Most of their practices portray the absolute subordination of women to men. Thank God for Christianity whose birth became the turning point in the history of women. Christianity proclaims the equality and unity of men and women, converging all human differences towards a single supernatural goal (Galatians 3:28). No previous civilization had accorded inalienable rights to women and children.

However, today’s women, unlike their mothers and grand-mothers of yesterday, are all true aware of their roles. They do not only know that the world is larger than their kitchens and homesteads, but also want to reach beyond the kitchen and the homestead and get into the world entrusted to creatures by the Creator, to cultivate and harness. This awareness on the part of the women folk is one of the forces behind their present drive to get into every area of life. Jesus did not come to raise up stiff-necked people, drug addicts, armed robbers and prostitutes. He only came that people who are in such activities should abandon them and receive a new life which only Him can give.

Today, most women are cheated out of God’s plan for their lives. They are totally out of order, taking hold of almost everything they can get at. Women allow themselves to be used in such a way that they advertise and commercialize their feminity in beds, boardrooms, or classrooms. They over-react to issues by doing violence to their naturally good feminine qualities. Almost everything has the tincture of woman power. Talking liberation of womanhood is completely out of the question here, because in everything women rule. They globe-trot, and challenge issues alongside the male counterparts thereby making it difficult for some people to consider them as serious minded people. This ugly trend has forced most Christians to see women as unqualified to handle certain offices in the Church. In true terms, no sensible person can entrust God’s business in the hands of an amazon, or a half-man half-woman, but to a composed person with good and authentic feminine qualities. Apart from that, nothing else can suffice.