Man and woman can re-embrace equity
What you need to know:
- Stand up.Modernity presents the female as a biological entity only. The public media: television, films, and the Internet, generally depicts the woman as a WHAT, rather than a WHO, writes Msgr Wynand Katende.
The theme of International Women’s Day 2023 invited men and women to truly embrace equity. The rather grotesque reality of inequity between men and women, in human history can only be explained away by the condition of sin. God calls for us to “love Him with all of our strength” and “love our neighbor as ourselves.” (Luke 10:27). In general, sin refers to free choices that harm and break our relationship with God and with others.
In the beginning God created man and woman with mutual equality (Genesis 1:27). Then things fell apart; a woman became a property of the man (Genesis 3). Amazingly, this nature of curse continues to prevail, even in today’s more enlightened or well-to-do societies and cultures.
Modernity presents the female as a biological entity only. The female body is connected to the sexual as a means of instructing women how to obtain power, how to engage in pleasure, how to secure beauty, or how to preserve their physique. As a result, a subjective sexual self is considered by many women to be the totality of the female nature. The public media: television, films, and the Internet, generally depicts the woman as a WHAT, rather than a WHO. The status quo directly and primarily falls under God’s plan of salavtion.
The whole of God’s plan of salvation for humanity, however, becomes unintelligible, without a woman. In the beginning God created woman last, Eve. In His plan of salvation He began with a woman, Mary of Nazareth. Catholic theology teaches that Mary was conceived in her mother’s womb, free from the stains of original sin of Adam and Eve. She was redeemed to become the mother of the Redeemer and of the redeemed. Mary is the Second Eve, in the order of salvation.
Women’s liberation, was foretold when God said to the serpent: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your offspring and hers; they will crush your head, and you will strike their heel” (Genesis 3:15). God is pointing forward to the defeat of the serpent, Satan, by the future descendant of the woman (Revelation 12:9; 20:2).
Treated women well
During His life and public ministry, Jesus’s regard for women was much different from that of his contemporaries. He treated them primarily as human beings, not simply as the objects of male desire. He affirmed their being created in the image of God, just as men are, and considered them in terms of their relation to God (Matthew 19:4). Like men, women have self-awareness, personal freedom, a measure of self-determination, and personal responsibility for their actions.
Jesus called the Jewish women ‘daughters of Abraham’ (Luke 13:16), thereby according them a spiritual status equal to that of men. He regularly addressed women directly while in public. This was unusual for a man to do (John 4:7-27). The story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman perhaps epitomizes His commitment to revolutionizing the lot of the disenfranchised of His day. The disciples were amazed to see Jesus talking with this woman. Jesus affirms her personhood and leads her to faith in Himself and to service as an evangelist to her fellow Samaritans.
Jesus did not disregard sin in the lives of the women He met. He held women personally responsible for their own sin, as seen in his dealings with the woman at the well (John 4:16–18), the woman taken in adultery (John 8:10–11), Jesus forgives a notoriously sinful woman who demonstrates her repentance through her love, even when she expresses it in culturally suspect ways ( Luke 7:36-50 ). Each had the personal freedom and a measure of self-determination to deal with the issues of sin, repentance, and forgiveness.
Women played an important role among Jesus’ followers. An unspecified number formed part of the larger company of disciples that regularly followed Him and formed his “support team” ( Luke 8:1-3). He chose women as the first witnesses to His resurrection ( Luke 24:1-12 ). Jesus ordained Mary to be the mother of the Church (John 19:27).
A liberated woman ought to focus on developing inner qualities of kindness, gentleness, and self-control, and become more like Jesus, whose attractiveness was not outward (Galatians 5:22). When men and women seek to honor God in their lives, they will live harmoniously, fulfilling complementary roles in saving and serving the world with Jesus (Matthew 28:19).
Did you know?
Women’s liberation, was foretold when God said to the serpent: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your offspring and hers; they will crush your head, and you will strike their heel” (Genesis 3:15).
God is pointing forward to the defeat of the serpent, Satan, by the future descendant of the woman (Revelation 12:9; 20:2).