A few weeks ago I found myself with a few other women searching for a theme for an event. We looked at this year’s International Women’s Day theme – Gender Equality. There was an uncomfortable silence. And we moved on to another topic.
Gender equality, is it something only feminists desire? I am not a feminist. But I do believe that if one gender suppresses the other just by virtue of their gender it is just not right. It’s not really so much about establishing equality as much as being treated with dignity and respect. It’s not so much dependent on what one can do but simply who one is. It is about mutual respect. Men and women, we are not in a battle wrestling to see who is greater or better. But we are in this life together to accept each other and to allow each other to flourish. Men and women are created to thrive. So in that sense yes, we are equal.
So women (including me) don’t be afraid to say we are created by our All loving, Creator God, who also created man. We are both created to flourish. We are each created to complement one another. And in this very sense, we say we need gender equality in how we are treated in different areas of life. So if there is fear in proclaiming who one is or who one is created to be, is it fair?
The visual that remained in my mind is what you see at the beginning of this post. It is a pen and ink art of two hands wrestling. But the poise is that its a fairground and the wrestling hands are on equal levels. Let’s sharpen one another. Don’t be afraid to hear from one another. The darker symbol in front of the hands are the symbols for men (circle with arrow) and women (circle with a plus sign). The doodles within these symbols are leaves to signify life. What can level the playing fields? What can allow the other to thrive? What can offer mutual respect? I believe acceptance is the key, acceptance of who we are and who we are created to be. Acceptance of others in the spaces we occupy.
I am a christian and these thoughts drew me into a bible passage. Luke 9 :48 says
and He (Jesus) said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”
This is after the disciples of Jesus had performed miracles and proclaimed the gospel that Jesus is the king who had come to deliver them from eternal damnation. They were found comparing themselves based on the works that they had done. And right there Jesus brings a little child who does not have many works (kingdom works) to his credit – no healings, 3-point sermons etc. He states that it is the acceptance of this child into the kingdom of God that makes one great. Accept one not by what one can do or one has done. Accept because one is. So as a woman, I choose to accept men. I choose to bless as I choose to empower. What about you?