That’s really what you have going on here… you know, the old “A rose by any other name is still a rose” thing… a boy is still a boy by any other name, and likewise a girl… but you have some people who think that by throwing off definitions you can obliterate, change, or deny the underlying reality. Are there sometimes when definitions can be unhelpful? Sure, I can buy that. But there are limits to that observation. This is secularism: taking an observation into account but jettisoning the limits or notion of limits.
From Dorothy Sayer’s lecture titled, “Are Women Human?” 1938.
To oppose one class perpetually to another- young against old, manual labour against brain-worker, rich against poor, woman against man- is to split the foundations of the State; and if the cleavage runs too deep, there remains no remedy but force and dictatorship. If you wish to preserve a free democracy, you must base it- not on classes and categories, for this will land you in the totalitarian State, where no one may act or think except as the member of a category. You must base it upon the individual Tom, Dick and Harry, and the individual Jack and Jill- in fact, upon you and me.
I was raised hearing that slogan, “Whatever a man can do, a woman can do better.”
You know, I think I actually believe this. At least, at the level of the individual I think that somewhere out there is some woman who can do whatever specific task usually considered as something a man does better.
An age old question that most people trace back to Jurassic Park is, “Just because you can do something, does it follow that you should do it.” In actuality, we can trace this sentiment back further, to the Apostle Paul, who said: “Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial.”
Even if we conceded that women can match and even out-perform men it doesn’t follow that they should.
I don’t know where I heard it now, but one of the most compelling arguments that I have heard for why women should not be pastors comes from simple human nature: if a man knows that someone else will do something, he’ll let them do it; if a woman knows that if she doesn’t do it, no one will, she’ll do it. The net effect is that over time, women will take on any and all tasks and men will let them do it. This will start a reinforcing cycle, where men keep dropping off and women keep pitching in, until at last men will leave it all to the ladies.
Yesterday I had the good pleasure to post on my recent ruminations that ‘love’ had taken a distinctly ‘feminine’ turn since who knows when. This generated a fair bit of response, including some remarks from women themselves who really resonated with what I said. Some responses were of the sort that I feared, though. Taking them all together, I felt a follow up was in order. Unfortunately, the first draft of this ran over 1,500 words, crying out for revision, so it still isn’t going to cover everything that a reader may want.
One of the things I noted about the responses was that it was believed that women were the target of the post. If there was a target, it was the men.
In my post, I had said that the hero in Twilight had the advantage of having real dangers to fight off. I noted, “I mean, I’d hunt down and slay marauding vampires for my wife, too, if only they existed.”
Many of the comments that I heard from women addressed how their men take the time and effort to protect them. Don’t misunderstand me, I think it is great for these things to be recognized as loving. It isn’t only the women that I wanted to get that message, though. We men need to know that these things represent aspects of real love. You see, my hunch is that changing the oil and locking the doors, etc, are a weak replacement- from the point of view of the men- for the glorious battle that they’d prefer.
The nomination of Sarah Palin raised all sorts of interesting issues and one that I found interesting was the role of her husband, Todd. There are some similarities between he and I. He had five kids, we have four. His wife works, as does mine. Our youngest child has special needs just like theirs is. …
I think credit has to be given to McCain for being willing to suck it up and listen to his base. McCain’s annoyance with the so-called ‘Christian Right’ is well known and the annoyance has been reciprocated, illustrated for example by James Dobson saying he would not vote for McCain. I believe the tide changed in McCain’s mind after he realized that it might be possible to win the Christian and conservative vote after all, and this happened after the Rick Warren interview.