understanding history, understanding humans

It has been the feminine role through the centuries to strengthen the man, build him up, and hold him to his commitment. Families, mother, father and children have been the NORM for centuries and it is really good. Even if we WERE animals, it makes a lot of natural sense.

More recently, people don’t even seem to be able to accept what sex they were born with! Society is hurtling itself to its own self-destruction, can’t you see?

I believe, and I don’t care what your religion actually is, I believe that society (under attack and active seduction by Satan), is being led to reject God.
(Hearttoheartwithjesus)

You only need to scrape the surface of right-wing Christian pro-life movement to reveal the deep levels of ignorance that allow them to accept a one-dimensional picture of the history of human societies. Their point of reference is almost exclusively English-speaking North America or Europe; their historical framework extends back no more than two generations; and their lens is wonky, to say the least.

Let’s examine the claims above.

I must agree that it’s been the feminine role in previous centuries to tend towards an unavoidable state of pregnancy and lactation until an early death. This is the animal role we had little say in – until the development of reliable birth control options. But that doesn’t make it a desirable state for every woman, any more than other natural features of our animal bodies: such as hair that grows to the ground if we don’t cut it or injuries that get infected if we don’t treat them.

If Christians who made these arguments shunned all forms of human progress to live their natural roles in caves and hand-made huts, I would have more sympathy for the integrity of their argument. But to suggest that women should ‘naturally’ support men and dedicate their lives to having children, while they type on their computer, drive cars and don’t even grow their own food, shows a complete disconnect from what makes natural sense. Embrace disease and let it kill you if you want to live your perceived ‘god’s plan’ on this kind of non-interventionist level.

And let’s not imagine for one minute that mere ‘male companion’ was the unavoidable role of all women before the advent of modern birth control options. You only need to look at lives such as Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great or Marie Curie to see what was achieved with or without children. For Christians, early leaders like Junia or Pheobe let us know what role those most connected with Jesus envisaged for all people – and these were not allocated based on genitals.

But it’s this overwhelmingly short-sighted sense of hurtling to self-destruction that has been a feature of religious panic throughout history. In reality, human societies have housed much the same cross-section of human expression and living arrangements since records began. This laughable idea that humans have been living in monogamous, rigidly heterosexual relationships with fixed forms of gender expression until recently could only be accepted by the most ignorant among us, who can’t see beyond our own idealised society and the last century.

We’re not hurtling to self-destruction, but coming to a point where many of us are willing to listen to other people who don’t conform to the majority stereotype, many of us are willing to learn about the breadth of natural human expression with open minds, and many of us are determined to change society so that we finally recognise equal rights for all people. Kind of what it says in some parts of the Bible.

Where I do agree with the blogger above, where I hope she is right, is where she concludes that human society is finally rejecting gods.  Although we differ on perceived conduit: while she imagines an invisible evil entity corrupting a perfect plan for female servitude, I can clearly see that the growth of human knowledge and education has finally helped us reach the point where we don’t need to rely on primitive superstitions to understand our place in the universe, or the roles we might take on in life.

 

Advertisements