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Promote Womanhood In The Way Our Lord Has Created Woman To Be – Part 1

After the world witnessed in horror the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, we were jolted by reports of how the very same terrorists, together with their Taliban protectors, treated women in Afghanistan. It was a new and shocking revelation for, unknown to many, the women of Afghanistan have been experiencing brutality for years, even before the Taliban regime. The Taliban takeover in 1996, however, brought the oppression of women to the extreme.

Under the Taliban, girls above eight years old are banned from attending school. Women (including widows) are banned from employment (except for a few nurses and doctors). Instantly, this drove all one million widows of the entire 20 million population of Afghanistan to poverty.

The Taliban banned the following for women: speaking or laughing loudly, speaking to men who are not close relatives, showing their ankles, wearing stylish clothes, sheer stockings or shoes that click, wearing makeup, nail polish or jewelry, riding a bicycle or motorcycle.

To the Taliban, women are not supposed to be seen. Windows of houses are painted black so that passers-by will not be able to see the women inside. They are allowed to go out of the house only for a government-sanctioned purpose and only if accompanied by a close male relative. The women also have to wear a “burqa”, a head-to-toe garment which blocks peripheral view and hampers movement. (Most women cannot afford “burqas” so whole neighborhoods have to share one, taking several days for one's turn to come around.) If caught unaccompanied or not fully covered, a woman would be spit on and beaten with a steel cable by the Taliban religious police. Walking with a man who is not a relative is enough for a woman to be charged with adultery - punishable by flogging for single women, or death by public stoning for married women.

Inside the supposed sanctuary of their homes, women undergo the same brutality from their husbands. Women are to consider their husbands' comfort as their highest priority. Otherwise, they would suffer the ire of their husbands who will have no qualms about beating them - even for a poorly ironed shirt. Rape of Afghan women is so common that women just call it “lying down” because it is the best way for them to cope with the assault on their dignity.

Such is the hellish life of the women in Afghanistan. It is no wonder that many are severely depressed.

At this age and time when there abound very many movements for the protection of women and children's rights, it is quite appalling to hear of despicable abuses. Women are equal to men in worth and dignity, both being made in the image and likeness of God. Women are entitled to respect as human beings.

How can women fight or run away from abuses committed against them? How can women be empowered when they don't get the love and respect they deserve? Does the empowerment of women lie in what the radical feminists are espousing? Let's take a look at some of their ideas.

Radical Feminism

While truly mindful of the abuses on women, radical feminists have espoused extreme and dangerous ideas. They believe that the family, marriage and motherhood are the causes of women oppression. For them, the family is the basic oppressive structure in society. In, marriage, the husband gains full authority and. right over his wife to the point of being his slave. In motherhood, women are confined to nursing and caring for their young for many years.

Therefore, for the radical feminists, true liberation is possible only if family, marriage and motherhood are eradicated. This move will supposedly grant full emancipation and will allow a woman to utilize her utmost capacity for her own pleasure and personal development. To eradicate these three natural institutions, they advocate sexual relations outside of marriage, espouse sexual relations between women, and support abortion. They insist that all women should work outside the home to be economically independent from their husbands. That is also why they vehemently demand government support for child day care.

Radical feminists do not see that by destroying the family, they are removing the most important protection of women and children. Stable families founded on a strong, loving relationship between husband and wife are actually the most secure place to be in for women, and the best environment for children to develop in. In the family, one is loved and accepted for what he or she is. In the family, two persons share the responsibility of looking after the needs of family members. Father-absent families are the main cause of poverty for women and children.

Radical feminists do not see that by promoting sexual permissiveness, they are making women even more vulnerable to being used as sex objects, then abandoned when responsibilities begin to enter the picture. Their solutions - contraception and abortion, are another disadvantage to women because of the many devastating side effects of contraceptives and abortifacients.

Truly, radical feminists do not hold the right answers to the problem of women oppression. Yet, many are swayed by the ideas they are promoting. One really has to go back to the plan of the Creator in order to address all the oppression, violence and injustice that we are seeing in our confused society today.

How did Jesus treat women?

Continue to Part 2

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