Changing one’s way of thinking is difficult. So difficult that we generally don’t try it unless we’re compelled to do so. One such compulsion is education. Cultures that have embraced education are those that have led to great advances. In this context it’s more than a little surprising that women’s rights are still held to be less important than those of men. More education is required, it seems. Today is International Women’s Day. Of course it’s not a day off work because capitalism is all about men’s need for endless acquisition. At least we can pause and consider for a few moments that life itself wouldn’t be possible without women, and justice, nearly worldwide, is represented in feminine form. What can we do to make the world open its eyes to the obvious?
I read a lot about religion. While I post here about the books I read, they are really only the tip of an iceberg. My job largely consists of reading. One of the themes that constantly runs through my own personal continuing education is that religion has indelibly changed our ways of thinking. Even strident atheists today announce their stridency from a context formed by religion. I’ve pointed out on this blog numerous times where even scientific thinking is mired in a wider context that has been constructed by religious thought. One of those larger contexts is the subordinate role of women. It is likely no coincidence that matriarchal cultures developed where there wasn’t a religion devised by men to impose a patriarchal governance on the world. It’s so obvious once you learn to see it. We need to be educated.
Women, it is obvious from an unbiased point of view, are equal to men. As we educate ourselves further about gender and how religion has informed its perception, we come to realize that even binary assumptions—either male or female—are premature. Underlying it all is humanity. Human lives. Those of men are no more important than those of women, or of those between. Religions often like to make sharp distinctions. Those distinctions are more abstract than reality. The world is made up of real people and roughly half of them are female. Today is set aside to recognize and celebrate that fact. To recognize the contributions women have always made to society and civilization. Let’s take the opportunity to educate ourselves, and let’s be conscious of the fact that women are just as valuable as men and their foibles. More than that, let’s put this truth into practice.