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Women & the Early Church

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Author Topic: Women & the Early Church  (Read 197 times)
Rachel Dearth
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Posts: 4463

« on: May 28, 2007, 12:50:21 am »

Towards the De-masculinisation of the West.

By Janine Roberts

Many years ago we invited to our home the author of the Pedegogy of the Oppressed.Paulo Friere, a radical scholar who made an enormous impact back in the 1970s by saying education in third world countries should give power back to the people that were being educated rather than to teach them to obey orders from the ruling elite.

At that time our family home in Melbourne was also the home for about 35 Aboriginal people. We jointly challenged the organisers of his lecture tour for only making him available to the middle class elite. We wanted to hear him too - so they agreed that he would deliver a lecture at our home to Aborigines. He came and argued during his talk that Aboriginal people were so few in numbers that they needed to join forces with working people if society were to be changed.

One of the Aborigines then responded that what the author was proposing would mean that Aborigines would be nothing more than the currents in a fruit loaf. No, he continued, they could not seek their liberation initially by joining with white workers.. Instead Aborigines had to seek their salvation separately as a people, and, when they had won recognition as a people, would then be able to join with workers as equals to work with them as partners to construct a free society.

Women are also in danger of becoming simply the currents in the loaf. The major institutions of our society have only nominal numbers of women. This is all that is planned. No more fundamental revision of our institutions is planned. We are told that the appointment of some women to these institutions ends institutional sexism. The plan is that the basic shape of our institutions will remain as they were constructed by males during the years of oppression.

It could be that we have something to learn from Aboriginal society in Central Australia. (For a fuller description of this click here.) There both women and men traditionally have separate assemblies and only old people with grey hair sit jointly. Perhaps we need for a while to have a separate women's assembly to examine how female values could be incorporated in reshaped insitutions. While this process is happening, there could be separate Lower Houses or Houses of Representatives. The US Senate or the UK House of Lords could become the house of elected grey haired elders of either gender.

I can imagine some of the other changes that would be made. The House of Commens and the US Congress would stop being pits where males strut in packs and hoot at each other. Instead the anti-trust laws would be extended so that it would be illegal for our representatives to combine in groups of more than, say, 15 members. Marshalling by whips of armies of MPS in mock warfare with no regard to individual conviction would be replaced by values of co-operation and voting according to reason, conscience and individual conviction. Free votes of conscience would be the rule rather than the exception. Party politics as we know it would be ended. Enough people have surely been scandalised by televised parliamentary debates to want to see the back of the current system. Instead our representatives would be elected for their personal qualities . Female values of co-operation, mutual support and working for the public good would be fundamental to the structures of the new demasculinised parliament.

As for Foreign Affairs, a different set of priorities would determine who are our allies. In no way would we be allied to Saudi Arabia where women are not even permitted to drive cars. We would be friendlier to Libya where women have much more freedom. Our absolute priority would be to build a world based on co-operation rather than on military alliances and secret arms deals. Thisis supposed to be the current policy but too often militiary plans and private profits subvert the public policy.

Time to stop playing a male game. The wrong questions have been asked. The principal question for debate is not whether or not a woman's place is in the home. It is - have men proved themselves fit to control the legislature?
« Last Edit: May 28, 2007, 12:54:10 am by Rachel Dearth » Report Spam   Logged

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