|Vol. 12 No. 11 November 2010||
Betty Burton Choate
There was a time not so long ago — in my early years — when a woman was treated with deference and respect. “Ladies first” was the rule, as doors were opened for them, and they traditionally walked in front of men. A man stood up and gave a woman his seat. Even a rough man would refrain from the use of bad language in the presence of women. A slur spoken against a woman could cause a fight in defense of her good name. A woman was shielded and protected from the harshness and dangers of the world, insofar as was possible.
That is not to say that there were not hardworking, courageous women who struggled alongside their husbands with the challenges of life. There were certainly cases of abuse of women, men who took advantage of their physical weakness and of their inability to protect themselves legally, emotionally and physically. There were bad women, and there were bad men who made life miserable for the women under their power.
However, the majority of women were protected and deferred to as the “weaker sex.” They and their children lived in the security of a husband who stood between them and the world. Legally, not much in the line of “rights” was defined because the very culture itself safeguarded the majority of women.
“Woman’s Suffrage” had brought freedoms and recognition in areas that were just and fair: women had gained the right to vote and to inherit property. Working conditions and terms had improved for those who had to work outside the home. There was a reasonable balance between “freedom” and “protection.”
Then came the “Women’s Liberation Movement,” led by those who were intent on “liberating” women from every definition associated with the word: from their dependence on men, from the confines of the home and from the moral restrictions imposed by a Judaeo-Christian cultural ethic.
We have seen the effects of 50-60 years of “liberation” now. Legally, women have endless “rights” delineated in our law code. They can sue for discrimination and win the suit. They can sue for admission to an all-male military academy, and the doors swing wide. They are fighting now to be free to serve in the dangerous confines of a submarine, and eventually they will be granted that “privilege” too.
So, women are “free,” and they have achieved the goals they were told were rightfully theirs. They are “equal” with men now — no deference is shown them, no particular respect. If a man gets to the vacant seat first, the woman can stand. Her ears are no longer considered too pure to hear foul language; in fact, she may be more vulgar-mouthed than her male counterpart. There is no need now to shield or protect her as the “weaker sex” — she is allowed to carry the load right along with men.
The woman can develop a career, rushing about in the morning to feed the family, getting the children off to school or to daycare (sometimes the husband may help). After working eight hours, she is allowed to go home to the never-ending mother/wife/homemaker work. Quite often, the rat race her life has become is paying little or nothing in actual cash after childcare, taxes, increased clothing, transportation and food costs are considered. Yet, never mind — this is her “liberation.” She is no longer confined to the boredom of home. These are the freedoms and responsibilities she wanted, and now she has them!
Women are now free to face danger and death in the military along with the men. They can stand in the sun on road construction sites and hold the stop signs. They can lift weights too heavy for their bodies to bear, because they have won the freedom to be hired for any job, even if it destroys their health.
Women are liberated by “no fault” divorce. Marriage is no longer expected to last a lifetime; divorce carries no stigma. A woman can leave her husband for no reason — or she and the children can be left for no reason. She then has the freedom to carry three full loads — outside job, mother and homemaker, often with no help of any kind and no child support from the man who has grown up in a culture devoid of respect for women and of the feeling of responsibility on the part of men. Amazingly, the “women’s liberation movement” seems to have freed men more than women!
A woman who chooses the free lifestyle of no marriage at all can now — without social censure — “live in” with boyfriends, or have intimate relations with any number of men on a casual, “entertainment” basis. She is free to deal with the venereal diseases, or even AIDS, that may develop. She can also carry, bear and be responsible for the children who may result from her free morals. Or, she has the freedom to harden her natural love for the new but unwanted life within her, to have it killed through legalized abortion. Then, she can live with that guilt the rest of her life, either suffering from it or hardening herself to it until she has no heart left. Either way, the woman is the one who will have lifelong effects of the ravages of the world’s new moral freedoms.
Yes, we have achieved a “free” society. Women are free to work at any outside job alongside men, and then go home to do most of the traditional work of women that — oddly enough — has not vanished in this brave new world. They are also free, in many cases, to carry all the responsibility for the children they bring into the world. They are free to suffer a lifetime of consequences for these new freedoms in our culture, and the men who choose to live by this new cultural and moral code are free — period.
I used to think that women were as intelligent as men are, but after seeing them fight to achieve the exploitation and ruination of their sex, mislabeled as “freedom” by a politicized “liberation” group — and be happy about their achievement — one can only conclude that some women must be extremely dumb, and the rest of us are paying terrible penalties for their dumbness. On further thought, is it possible that some scheming, diabolical-minded man is actually the head of this “liberation” movement?
What does God have to say about the husband/wife relationship? “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing… So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ …let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:22-31,33).
No human plan for men and women can improve on God’s plan.