Why Women?, Collage with Painted Papers, Marcia Carole
Jesus spends time alone with women and gives them equal worth, dignity and value as men. He knows their stories, their short-comings, their cultural bondages, their own darknesses of heart AND He loves them equally, unconditionally. This is a love all women long for no matter where they live. Mere human men really aren’t capable of giving this type of love, although followers of Jesus try. Some men are refreshingly successful at giving unconditional love, as I will share later in a future blog post.
In the past few months, from talking with one Bible teacher, and from my reading, I have come to understand something I’ll call, “hatred of womanhood” or misogyny. When I first came to understand it, it was in the context of discussing varying cultures’ perceptions of women. It is a discussion about taking advantage of women’s natural vulnerability and desire for relationship, and the oppression that can often bring. I am learning how to use art to discuss/expose/remove hatred like this from hearts of women.
Growing up part Italian helps me to understand misogyny, somewhat, because Italian sons are valued more than Italian daughters, unless death is on the line. Then, it’s time to fight for your women. Every Italian man will say they love all women(leading to other problems we’ll not discuss here). However, this “less than” concept, coupled with the powering over and mis-using women’s love of relationship, is there none-the-less. Everyone’s childhood is multi-faceted; this is just one strand in the fabric of my story that can now be used to help others heal.
This tendency began long before my noble Italian relatives embraced it. “Fallen man may naturally tend to overpower woman, thereby undermining her status as co-bearer of God’s image. Her responsiveness becomes a liability as she faces those intent on taking advantage of her greater vulnerability….Woman’s heart can become a home for wonder or for profound wounding that issues out of the misogyny that resulted from the curse(think garden of Eden).”1
Enter Jesus into human history and redemption is on the move. To be continued…..
1. Pursuing Sexual and Relational Wholeness in Christ, pg. 154-155.