There are 100 million women missing in the world due to gender injustice. One hundred million … more than those killed in the Holocaust. And yet, no one paid attention when that statistics came out.
I have been pondering, “How does hierarchy impact gender justice?” In other words, is there a correlation between a strong patriarchal society and the evil done to women? (i.e. rape, domestic violence, genital mutilation, poverty, sex trafficking, bride burning, etc)
My hypothesis? At the least there is a causal link between strong patriarchal views and increased suffering for women. Here me… I’m NOT saying men are evil. I don’t believe that for a minute. They too, like us women, are made in God’s image. We need them. Together we are a “blessed alliance” in the Kingdom of God. I love my brothers.
None the less, we have to examine what happens when we declare one people group to beontologically inferior to another. This was done when we declared blacks to be inferior to whites. It’s not that blacks were immoral, rather by nature, God’s design, they were inferior. We supported our ontological view with Scripture. We found Scriptures that seem to uphold our position. Inferior and superior require social structures where one has authority over the other based on their being inferior. Once we get out of balance in our view of another being our ethics became unjust. Alas, slavery. Increased suffering and oppression.
Like blacks women too have been viewed as being ontologically inferior. Our church fathers declared we were by nature less than man. The slide shows several quotes including one from Mark Driscoll, a current pastor in the Seattle area. I’ve quoted Driscoll below since it’s difficult to read in this picture.
Driscoll stated, “Without blushing, Paul is simply stating that when it comes to leading in the church, women are unfit because they are more gullible and easier to deceive than men. While many irate women have disagreed with his assessment through the years, it does appear from this that such women who fail to trust his instruction and follow his teaching are much like their mother Eve and are well-intended but ill-informed. . . Before you get all emotional like a woman in hearing this, please consider the content of the women’s magazines at your local grocery store that encourages liberated women in our day to watch porno with their boyfriends, master oral sex for men who have no intention of marrying them, pay for their own dates in the name of equality, spend an average of three-fourths of their childbearing years having sex but trying not to get pregnant, and abort 1/3 of all babies. . . and ask yourself if it doesn’t look like the Serpent is still trolling the garden and that the daughters of Eve aren’t gullible in pronouncing progress, liberation, and equality.”
In my opinion Driscoll is a bit over the top. More moderate theologians would say men and women are equal in essence but different in function. By God’s design men lead and women follow. By God’s design men have authority over women. Why? Because their nature is inferior in some way. It’s the only reasonable answer. I mean how can we say two people be equal in essence yet one has authority over the other. Anyone who has ever had a boss knows authority changes everything. Authority gives rise to power and where power is between two people equality does not exist. Let’s be honest the one with the power has an advantage over the one without power. One is superior and one is vulnerable.
Alas, the point to my pondering, “Does a strong patriarchal view of Scripture (and it is a view, truth is truth but we all interpret truth) impact gender justice (or injustice)?
We must ask. In fact we are obligated to ask on behalf of the 100 million women missing in our world.