The gender issue is on the social agenda again. In the U.S. there is a female presidential candidate. In Australia we are going to have a female Governor General. And the usual politically correct comments are being made on the subject. It goes to show, female chauvinism exists just as much as male chauvinism, and it is just as obnoxious. To hear some people talk, only a woman has any humanity at all. To hear some men talk, only a man has any brains and common sense at all. It gets annoying.
Personally, I think the two genders lack respect for each other. There are things about the female, in general, that many male people fail to appreciate. And there are things about the male, generally speaking, that many female people fail to appreciate.
I've watched a the process of child birth, five times. That's how many Liz and I have. It is really sobering, and harrowing, to watch the pain and stress that it can put on the mother. And there is no other way. For someone to be born, a woman has to carry the child around in her own body for nine months, put up with the nausea, back ache and other side effects for nearly a year then go through LABOUR - an understatement about the process. Never should anyone doubt the courage of a woman who has more than one child, because the second and subsequent times she knows what she's in for.
I know this too, though. There are things that a man can do better than most women. Not only is pure physical strength the issue. In a general way, men can endure certains forms of stress better than women, just as women can cope with some things better than men. It's been deduced that a man would pass out if subject to childbirth sensations, and thus not be able to assist in the delivery process, which might be disastrous. But it's been observed that men can be harder to physically intimidate than women. And physical courage in the face of danger has its place too.
One feminist academic, I THINK it was Camille Paglia, put it this way. If women ran the world, there would be fewer wars but we'd still be living in grass huts. That might not be a completely safe generally safe generalization, but it makes a point. Women might be better at surviving by putting up with things. Men might be better at surviving by changing them. Each might have it's place. So the world works best if both perspectives are treated with respect.
Here is another example. Years ago a nurse, Sister Kenny from Australia, found out that polio-damaged limbs would heal better if kept warm by wrapping them up. It was to allow good circulation through them when they tended to lack it because they were paralysed. So a woman found out, by her nurturing approach, what would save a great deal of damage. But it was a male researcher who found out ways to kill the evil disease that caused it - and not just because there were no women involved in medical research. There have been women in medicine since the nineteenth century. The male psyche is more 'crash through or crash', while the female psych might be more 'roll with the punches'. Neither is superior. They each have their place. And from a Christian perspective, BOTH genders are made by God in His image and by His intention. It is actually unChristian to belittle females, just as it is unChristian to belittle males. Each of them is part of what God made, and what in its better moments reflects His nature.
We know God is not a racist. Nor is he sexist. He made both genders in His own image. See Genesis 1:27. So from where we are now, the need is to see that the two need each other to make a life and a world. I really like being married, and having a woman as my best friend and closest companion. I'm really glad we had a daughter as well as our four sons. In fact, without grumbling, I sometimes wish we'd had two more girls. Among the worst things that can happen is for a society to be divided between the genders. That is a device of the devil.