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Justin Kissel
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« on: December 09, 2008, 01:31:30 AM »

"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." - 1 Tim. 2:11-14

This is something that I held against Christianity as an atheist, and this passage still troubles me. How are we to understand these words of St. Paul?  Should women really stay silent and not teach? Is it true that "Adam was not deceived, but the woman [was] deceived"? What's more, St. John Chrysostom said of this passage:

"If it be asked, what has this to do with women of the present day? it shows that the male sex enjoyed the higher honor. Man was first formed; and elsewhere he shows their superiority. 'Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man.' (1 Cor. 11:9) Why then does he say this? He wishes the man to have the preeminence in every way; both for the reason given above, he means, let him have precedence, and on account of what occurred afterwards. For the woman taught the man once, and made him guilty of disobedience, and wrought our ruin. Therefore because she made a bad use of her power over the man, or rather her equality with him, God made her subject to her husband."

It seems like explanation of St. John Chrysostom is simply that men are superior, and women really should keep it quiet. What are we to make of this?
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2008, 01:56:37 AM »

You have to understand that this is the way that virtually all men felt about women until very recently, and that this idea is at odds with our current cultural values. 

There's nothing easy about it, so everybody just ignores it.  That's what I've always done.  Just pretend it's not there and hope that nobody brings it up.  Kind of like head coverings.  That's for Islam, not Christianity.
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2008, 03:11:02 AM »

You have to understand that this is the way that virtually all men felt about women until very recently, and that this idea is at odds with our current cultural values. 

There's nothing easy about it, so everybody just ignores it.  That's what I've always done.  Just pretend it's not there and hope that nobody brings it up.  Kind of like head coverings.  That's for Islam, not Christianity.

So this is a piece we can easily discard. But what about the rest? How much else that we consider "essential" is actually specific to culture?
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2008, 05:45:56 AM »

You have to understand that this is the way that virtually all men felt about women until very recently, and that this idea is at odds with our current cultural values. 

There's nothing easy about it, so everybody just ignores it.  That's what I've always done.  Just pretend it's not there and hope that nobody brings it up.  Kind of like head coverings.  That's for Islam, not Christianity.

Alveus Lacuna either you are a master of sarcasm or your last 2 sentences are a bit disturbing.

First in regards to interpretation of the chapter I am not learned enough to give a valid response. But one thing is that the "head in the sand" argument has never been valid in debate, biblical interpretation. If something bothers you, you should seek out understanding not just plainly disregard it.

Secondly in regards to head covering, Islam borrowed this practice from Eastern Christians.
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« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2008, 09:06:48 AM »

You have to understand that this is the way that virtually all men felt about women until very recently, and that this idea is at odds with our current cultural values. 

There's nothing easy about it, so everybody just ignores it.  That's what I've always done.  Just pretend it's not there and hope that nobody brings it up.  Kind of like head coverings.  That's for Islam, not Christianity.

Alveus Lacuna either you are a master of sarcasm or your last 2 sentences are a bit disturbing.

First in regards to interpretation of the chapter I am not learned enough to give a valid response. But one thing is that the "head in the sand" argument has never been valid in debate, biblical interpretation. If something bothers you, you should seek out understanding not just plainly disregard it.

Secondly in regards to head covering, Islam borrowed this practice from Eastern Christians.

Right you are: my professor emeritus Donner remarked in our early Islam classes (we read a lot of early christian stuff for it) was struck by how much the sources talk about veils.

I don't have time to answer in detail, but no, we just can't ignore the Scriptures, and no, they are not mysogynist (spllng?)

Woman taught man once?  No, the Theotokos said "do whatever he tells you."  The Greek text shows she was talking to men.
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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2008, 10:55:45 AM »

Forgive me for saying it, but some this does seem misogynistic. That's one part of the problem. Another part of the problem that I have is that Paul was making a theological point in the passage in question. If it were just about Paul giving questionable advice on a moral issue, that'd be one thing, but Paul's theological point just seems off to me. "Adam was not deceived". Really? That's not how it seems to me. Did Paul make a theological mistake in Scripture? Did he also make a mistake about morals? Is Scripture fallible in matters of faith and morals?
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« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2008, 11:43:36 AM »

Forgive me for saying it, but some this does seem misogynistic. That's one part of the problem.

It seems that way to me too.  I think I had a reference in some of my notes about this, but I can't seem to find it.

Another part of the problem that I have is that Paul was making a theological point in the passage in question. If it were just about Paul giving questionable advice on a moral issue, that'd be one thing, but Paul's theological point just seems off to me. "Adam was not deceived". Really? That's not how it seems to me. Did Paul make a theological mistake in Scripture? Did he also make a mistake about morals? Is Scripture fallible in matters of faith and morals?

Well, technically Adam wasn't deceived in the same way that Eve was, since Eve was the only one to have the discourse with the serpent.  Adam's fall was through the convincing of his wife, who had been deceived.  Methinks that if the roles had been reversed, that the story would have played out in the same way (Adam would have been deceived by the serpent, and Eve by Adam).

If one would see Adam following Eve out of his love for her (which is not clearly stated in the passage), then the act of following Eve's lead would have been not necessarily deception per se, since he was following her out of love, and she was speaking to him, not with the intent of deception, but out of a faulty understanding fed by the previous deception.  This is probably why Eve is not as harshly condemned as the Serpent, since she neither (a) knew that what she heard/spoke was a lie, and (b) did not go to Adam with the intent to deceive him.

(I would be interested in reading what some of the Old Hebrew interpretations of the act say; Targums and the like.)
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« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2008, 01:10:14 PM »

Forgive me for saying it, but some this does seem misogynistic. That's one part of the problem. Another part of the problem that I have is that Paul was making a theological point in the passage in question. If it were just about Paul giving questionable advice on a moral issue, that'd be one thing, but Paul's theological point just seems off to me. "Adam was not deceived". Really? That's not how it seems to me. Did Paul make a theological mistake in Scripture? Did he also make a mistake about morals? Is Scripture fallible in matters of faith and morals?

If it's any consolation Orthodoxy has never claimed scripture to be infallible, it's generally only regarded as sufficient for salvation, basically, 'it's good enough'. However, with that said, it's hard to ignore the misogyny in Scripture and Tradition; it's there, there's no way around it, not unless you adopt a relativistic approach to theology and embrace the evolution of dogma.

As this was one of the major issues that lead me to a rejection of Christianity as a philosophy irreconcilable with basic social ethnic and the very dignity of humanity, so I may not be the best person to ask about this topic; but one thing's for sure, ignoring it won't make it go away.
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2008, 01:14:59 PM »

Re. this famous "subjection" of women, it struck me recently when I was reading one female Orthodox author (Sofiya Kulomzina, http://www.wco.ru/biblio/books/kulomz1/Main.htm) that in fact the traditional hierarchy where the wife submits to the husband seems to be unbearable for very many modern husbands, not as much to the modern wives. Men are too "feminized" to assume the leadership role...
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2008, 01:24:08 PM »

Just to clarify, pretty my my entire post was full of sarcasm.  There was a bit of truth to it though.  Most people are not willing to deal with this issue.
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2008, 01:34:17 PM »

This is really fascinating to me. Personally I don't have a problem with it as a woman, I see it as an explanation of a proper order that exists. We each have different roles and responsibilities.  Saint Paul explains in several places a woman's role, and the man's role to his wife.  In fact, the man's role seems a little harder to accomplish, but anyway. I think it would be more misogynist if Christianity taught that a man can only receive the Eucharist, or only boy babies can be baptized, but it doesn't.  Salvation is open to all, male and female.

Heorhij. would that book be available in English anywhere?
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2008, 01:55:07 PM »

Heorhij. would that book be available in English anywhere?

I am not sure. I just typed "Kulomzina" into a Google search window and got only this:

http://openlibrary.org/b/OL1035300M

It says that the book by Sofiya Kulomzina, titled "Наша церковь и наши дети" ("Our Church and Our Children") was published in 1993 in Moscow, by a publishing house called "Martis," in Russian.

I found the full text of this book online in a Russian-language Internet resource called "Библиотека православного христианина" ("An Orthodox Christian's Library") (http://www.wco.ru/biblio/). Maybe it has not been translated into other languages yet. That's a pity - really good read.
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« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2008, 02:00:08 PM »

Thanks.  That is a pity. From what you said about it, it sounds interesting.
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« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2008, 02:20:51 PM »

Just to clarify, pretty my my entire post was full of sarcasm.  There was a bit of truth to it though.  Most people are not willing to deal with this issue.

Wow. I must have been really tired to have missed this!
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« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2008, 02:24:14 PM »

Re. this famous "subjection" of women, it struck me recently when I was reading one female Orthodox author (Sofiya Kulomzina, http://www.wco.ru/biblio/books/kulomz1/Main.htm) that in fact the traditional hierarchy where the wife submits to the husband seems to be unbearable for very many modern husbands, not as much to the modern wives. Men are too "feminized" to assume the leadership role...

I would hope that modern husbands would find it unbearable; to quote Oscar Wilde's The Soul of Man,

'Despotism is unjust to everybody, including the despot, who was probably made for better things...For all authority is quite degrading. It degrades those who exercise it, and it degrades those over whom it is exercised. When it is violently, grossly, and cruelly used, it produces a good effect, by creating, or at any rate bringing out, the spirit of revolt and Individualism that is to kill it. When it is used with a certain amount of kindness, and accompanied by prizes and rewards, it is dreadfully demoralizing. People, in that case, are less conscious of the horrible pressure that is being put on them, and so go through their lives in a sort of coarse comfort, like petted animals, without ever realizing that they are probably thinking other people’s thoughts, living by other people’s standards, wearing practically what one may call other people’s second-hand clothes, and never being themselves for a single moment…And authority, by bribing people to conform, produces a very gross kind of over-fed barbarism amongst us.'

The man who would find a 'hierarchy' within his very family bearable has the psychology of a despot; he is insecure, week, and damanged individual. Due to his failure to be the master of himself, of his very psyche, he seeks to be the master of other. On one leve the despot is worth of pity, for he is but a shell of a person, not fully human. But others must not be let to suffer, either knowningly or unknowingly, while one tries to heal such a sick person, the well being of the oppressed must be placed above that of the oppressor and, thus, by his actions any society that is to survive, grow, and prosper must regard the life of a despot as forfeit.
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« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2008, 02:28:07 PM »

"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." - 1 Tim. 2:11-14

This is something that I held against Christianity as an atheist, and this passage still troubles me. How are we to understand these words of St. Paul?  Should women really stay silent and not teach? Is it true that "Adam was not deceived, but the woman [was] deceived"? What's more, St. John Chrysostom said of this passage:

"If it be asked, what has this to do with women of the present day? it shows that the male sex enjoyed the higher honor. Man was first formed; and elsewhere he shows their superiority. 'Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man.' (1 Cor. 11:9) Why then does he say this? He wishes the man to have the preeminence in every way; both for the reason given above, he means, let him have precedence, and on account of what occurred afterwards. For the woman taught the man once, and made him guilty of disobedience, and wrought our ruin. Therefore because she made a bad use of her power over the man, or rather her equality with him, God made her subject to her husband."

It seems like explanation of St. John Chrysostom is simply that men are superior, and women really should keep it quiet. What are we to make of this?

Paul's words and teachings do not mean that "women" are not allowed to speak or teach. What Paul actually objects to is the subordination of men to their women (wife) in a marital relation. It should be kept in mind that Paul refers to the story of fall in Genesis only to support his argument that women should not be the head of the family. Adam and Eve were the first couple of mankind, and their unity was blessed by God, who used Adam as an instrument while creating Eve. The serpent, on the other hand, used (Eve) as an instrument while deceiving Adam. Let's see how the serpent turned the chain of creation upside down to banish Adam and Eve out of the garden:

Creation (God) ----->Adam -------> Eve

Deception and sin (Serpent) --------> Eve ---------> Adam

God used the same order of creation while questioning man and the woman after their sin

God asks Adam, who directs God to Eve, who directs God to the serpent.

And for the punishment:

God first curses the serpent, then declares Eve's punishment, then declares Adam's punishment.

Genesis 3:16 makes it clear that the sin made the woman subordinate to her husband: "Thou shalt be under thy husband's power, and he shall have dominion over thee." This first pattern of marriage is drawn by God in association with the first sin. Apostle Paul only reiterates this teaching and objects to the female leaders in Christian families. Thus, Paul's statements are confined to marital relations.

Likewise, Paul's zeal to keep women silent in the Church is again related to his zeal to conform Christian marriages to the pattern of the first marital union devised by God, for he directs such talkative women to the authority of their husbands:

I Corinthians 14:34-35
Let women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted them to speak but to be subject, as also the law saith. But if they would learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is a shame for a woman to speak in the church.

Interestingly, Paul's impressive thelological lecture on the first sin and its consequences does not refer to the primacy of a gender in creation or deception by the serpent as he simply says that sin entered the world by a MAN:

Romans 5:12
Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world and by sin death: and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.


Paul definitely knew that the first judge of Israel was a woman named Deborah. He was also aware of female prophets that had the same authority as the male ones. He also knew that Jesus revealed His identity to a Samaritan woman, who proclaimed Jesus to her town. Thus, it is not plausible to consider Paul a follower of misogyny.

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« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2008, 02:28:52 PM »

Re. this famous "subjection" of women, it struck me recently when I was reading one female Orthodox author (Sofiya Kulomzina, http://www.wco.ru/biblio/books/kulomz1/Main.htm) that in fact the traditional hierarchy where the wife submits to the husband seems to be unbearable for very many modern husbands, not as much to the modern wives. Men are too "feminized" to assume the leadership role...

I would hope that modern husbands would find it unbearable; to quote Oscar Wilde's The Soul of Man,

'Despotism is unjust to everybody, including the despot, who was probably made for better things...For all authority is quite degrading. It degrades those who exercise it, and it degrades those over whom it is exercised. When it is violently, grossly, and cruelly used, it produces a good effect, by creating, or at any rate bringing out, the spirit of revolt and Individualism that is to kill it. When it is used with a certain amount of kindness, and accompanied by prizes and rewards, it is dreadfully demoralizing. People, in that case, are less conscious of the horrible pressure that is being put on them, and so go through their lives in a sort of coarse comfort, like petted animals, without ever realizing that they are probably thinking other people’s thoughts, living by other people’s standards, wearing practically what one may call other people’s second-hand clothes, and never being themselves for a single moment…And authority, by bribing people to conform, produces a very gross kind of over-fed barbarism amongst us.'

The man who would find a 'hierarchy' within his very family bearable has the psychology of a despot; he is insecure, week, and damanged individual. Due to his failure to be the master of himself, of his very psyche, he seeks to be the master of other. On one leve the despot is worth of pity, for he is but a shell of a person, not fully human. But others must not be let to suffer, either knowningly or unknowingly, while one tries to heal such a sick person, the well being of the oppressed must be placed above that of the oppressor and, thus, by his actions any society that is to survive, grow, and prosper must regard the life of a despot as forfeit.

Oh, I certainly agree with Oscar Wilde here. But the submission of wives is not about "despotism" of their husbands - it's simply about the husband's natural vigor of making decisions. Husbands are not called to order wives around - they have to rule the household, to be their household's "locomotives," so to say, and to exercise this "locomotive" power with all the love and tenderness and affection they can master...
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« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2008, 02:39:13 PM »

 I agree, a man should not act like a despot. But that doesn't sound like what Christianity teaches a man should be. If a man is truly fulfilling his role it would be like this:

 21Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
 22Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
 23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
 24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
 25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
 27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
 28So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
 29For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
 30For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
 31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
 32This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
 33Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

That actually sounds pretty tough, and as a woman I really don't see what is so wrong with having specific roles and responsibilities.


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« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2008, 02:54:02 PM »

Oh, I certainly agree with Oscar Wilde here. But the submission of wives is not about "despotism" of their husbands - it's simply about the husband's natural vigor of making decisions. Husbands are not called to order wives around - they have to rule the household, to be their household's "locomotives," so to say, and to exercise this "locomotive" power with all the love and tenderness and affection they can master...

The term 'despot' is used because of the socio-political nature of his commentary, but the key problem is authority, hierarchy, etc. The very existence of a power dynamic is inherently problematic, it is degrading to all parties involved...to those who exercise authority, those who submit to it, and to those not directly involved but must themselves be degraded by the very execution of this dynamic.
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« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2008, 03:06:38 PM »

I was always taught that the passage in St. Paul refers to women in the context of the church which then bolsters up the "men-only" requirement for the priesthood.  No one would doubt that some of the most famous martyrs for Christ were women and were also teachers of the faith to others.  I don't think anyone would criticize all the Russian grandmothers and mothers who continued to pass on the faith to their grandchildren and children risking possible arrest to be violations of this St. Paul dictum.   I could be wrong, though.

As far as the misogyny claim that has been posited, if that is so, then, logically, you would have to be opposed to a male-only priesthood since that is considered misogynistic, too.

 
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« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2008, 03:20:53 PM »

Oh, I certainly agree with Oscar Wilde here. But the submission of wives is not about "despotism" of their husbands - it's simply about the husband's natural vigor of making decisions. Husbands are not called to order wives around - they have to rule the household, to be their household's "locomotives," so to say, and to exercise this "locomotive" power with all the love and tenderness and affection they can master...

The term 'despot' is used because of the socio-political nature of his commentary, but the key problem is authority, hierarchy, etc. The very existence of a power dynamic is inherently problematic, it is degrading to all parties involved...to those who exercise authority, those who submit to it, and to those not directly involved but must themselves be degraded by the very execution of this dynamic.

But how about the "power" or "authority" simply to decide on something? I know, there is this usual claim that modern families must be "equal partenrships" where everything is decided by the husband and the wife together, collegially. And yet... practically... does it really always WORK like this? In this mutual collegial process of decision-making, still, one of the two is the leader (or "the captain") and the other is the "first mate." Having been married to a very strong-willed, wise, luminous, "leaderish" woman for 25 years, I heard so many times from her that she only wishes that I were more of that "captain," and she more of that "first mate..."
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« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2008, 03:55:53 PM »

The term 'despot' is used because of the socio-political nature of his commentary, but the key problem is authority, hierarchy, etc. The very existence of a power dynamic is inherently problematic, it is degrading to all parties involved...to those who exercise authority, those who submit to it, and to those not directly involved but must themselves be degraded by the very execution of this dynamic.

And yet you cannot deny that hierarchy is natural and inevitable.

The kind of equality that you are espousing seems like "sameness."  I agree with the notion that all humans are created equally; that is to say that they all possess the same measure of dignity and value, as they all bear the image of God within themselves.  There is no male or female, slave or freeman, et cetera.  In that sense the lines of distinction have been blurred to say that despite any designation that society might make about you, you are important and loved by God.

But saying that all people are inherently equal is not the same as saying that all people are the same.

You seem to be a very thoughtful person, so I don't doubt that you've already considered some of these things, but I'll let you address them to see what your reaction might be.  I suppose I'm more directly addressing your problem with hierarchy than gender distinctions.

Obviously you are an educated person.  Well, the very process of learning establishes a master/apprentice dynamic, placing one above the other.  Toddlers are not the same as adults.  They need to be taught because their parents know more than they do.  The same applies to institutions of higher learning and to government.  I am not saying that just because someone is in a prestigious position that they deserve respect, but those who do deserve it will get it because they are wise and even-keeled.

People, quite simply, need leaders.  The failed attempts at Marxist Communism revealed that.  No matter how high the ideal, there will always be those willing to step out and lead people.  Some might just take power for themselves.  But to equate the acknowledgment of any superiority to the embracing of basic tyranny is totally ridiculous.  Perhaps that it not what you meant, so please clarify if I've misunderstood you.
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« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2008, 04:48:04 PM »

The kind of equality that you are espousing seems like "sameness."  I agree with the notion that all humans are created equally; that is to say that they all possess the same measure of dignity and value, as they all bear the image of God within themselves.  There is no male or female, slave or freeman, et cetera.  In that sense the lines of distinction have been blurred to say that despite any designation that society might make about you, you are important and loved by God.

But saying that all people are inherently equal is not the same as saying that all people are the same.

It's not about sameness, per se, the artist is not the same as the businessman is absurd; the issue is more authority, to say that the artist should have authority over or should be above the businessman (or vice versa) is absurd. Being different is fine, but when one uses their class, their difference, towards the end of advancing power, authority, influence, etc., etc. over another class, then they are using difference as a vehicle for inequality.

In all other things difference can be a wonderful enrichment to all involved, but sameness in the power and authority is essential to equality.

Quote
You seem to be a very thoughtful person, so I don't doubt that you've already considered some of these things, but I'll let you address them to see what your reaction might be.  I suppose I'm more directly addressing your problem with hierarchy than gender distinctions.

Well, it's hard to separate them in this context, it's one thing to talk about the relative equality of two individuals who will certainly differ substantially in their personal abilities; it's entirely another when talking about classes of people (and gender is a class in a sociological context).

The remainder of your post tends to confuse differences in personal abilities with matters of equality between classes. With that said, while I do believe while a minimal amount of hierarchy in government merely for practical purposes (moves towards virtual democracy may help eliminate that need, but even then there needs to be checks and balances against the whims of the masses) we tend to have far, far too much, even in the United States. Don't get me wrong, we had it right in theory at the beginning, that leaders would be week and would live every day in fear of their lives lest they even accidently cross the will of the people; the founders did the best that they could do, with the understand that while it may not yet be possible to eliminate hierarchy in such a large country (if society consisted of a few hundred, maybe, but not a few hundred million), the more it was diminished the better off society became.

At times hierarchy is a necessary evil, but even in those cases we should never loose sight of the fact that, even under the most ideal of conditions, it's still a dangerous evil.
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« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2008, 04:54:12 PM »

But how about the "power" or "authority" simply to decide on something? I know, there is this usual claim that modern families must be "equal partenrships" where everything is decided by the husband and the wife together, collegially. And yet... practically... does it really always WORK like this? In this mutual collegial process of decision-making, still, one of the two is the leader (or "the captain") and the other is the "first mate." Having been married to a very strong-willed, wise, luminous, "leaderish" woman for 25 years, I heard so many times from her that she only wishes that I were more of that "captain," and she more of that "first mate..."

Balance is the key. Are you sure you're not expecting her to make a disproportnate number of decisions? If she's making all the decisions that's not collegial either...it makes sense that she may resent this. I know I would have little patience for a woman who insisted on making every decision of significance, but at the same time I would be equally annoyed with a woman who could never made a decision on her own. If a decision primarily affects one partner, it's their decision to make, if it affects both (and it's a big enough issue to even worry about) you should be able to reach some sort of an agreement. It's not really that hard, especially when dealing with only two people who should be deeply concerned about each other's well being.
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« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2008, 05:06:47 PM »

But how about the "power" or "authority" simply to decide on something? I know, there is this usual claim that modern families must be "equal partenrships" where everything is decided by the husband and the wife together, collegially. And yet... practically... does it really always WORK like this? In this mutual collegial process of decision-making, still, one of the two is the leader (or "the captain") and the other is the "first mate." Having been married to a very strong-willed, wise, luminous, "leaderish" woman for 25 years, I heard so many times from her that she only wishes that I were more of that "captain," and she more of that "first mate..."

Balance is the key. Are you sure you're not expecting her to make a disproportnate number of decisions? If she's making all the decisions that's not collegial either...it makes sense that she may resent this. I know I would have little patience for a woman who insisted on making every decision of significance, but at the same time I would be equally annoyed with a woman who could never made a decision on her own. If a decision primarily affects one partner, it's their decision to make, if it affects both (and it's a big enough issue to even worry about) you should be able to reach some sort of an agreement. It's not really that hard, especially when dealing with only two people who should be deeply concerned about each other's well being.

You are absolutely right, but that's exactly my point. We are pretty balanced, in fact, and yet I do, every now and then, hear from my wife that she wishes that I were a bit more of a decision-maker. And the common trend in the so-called "civilized world" is that fewer and fewer men are good, steady, efficient decision-makers in their homes.
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« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2008, 11:02:15 PM »

"And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression."

"Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world and by sin death: and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned."

I dunno, I'm still working on reconciling these two verses...
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« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2008, 11:20:56 PM »

"And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression."

"Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world and by sin death: and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned."

I dunno, I'm still working on reconciling these two verses...

Add this: I Cor. 11:11 However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God
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« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2008, 12:53:24 AM »

But how about the "power" or "authority" simply to decide on something? I know, there is this usual claim that modern families must be "equal partenrships" where everything is decided by the husband and the wife together, collegially. And yet... practically... does it really always WORK like this? In this mutual collegial process of decision-making, still, one of the two is the leader (or "the captain") and the other is the "first mate." Having been married to a very strong-willed, wise, luminous, "leaderish" woman for 25 years, I heard so many times from her that she only wishes that I were more of that "captain," and she more of that "first mate..."

Balance is the key. Are you sure you're not expecting her to make a disproportnate number of decisions? If she's making all the decisions that's not collegial either...it makes sense that she may resent this. I know I would have little patience for a woman who insisted on making every decision of significance, but at the same time I would be equally annoyed with a woman who could never made a decision on her own. If a decision primarily affects one partner, it's their decision to make, if it affects both (and it's a big enough issue to even worry about) you should be able to reach some sort of an agreement. It's not really that hard, especially when dealing with only two people who should be deeply concerned about each other's well being.

I tend to agree with GIC on this one. I would go crazy if my husband made all the decisions without my input and at the same time I would be equally perturbed if he left all the important ones to me. One of the benefits of marriage is having another person to confer with in order to make a decision.
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« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2008, 07:56:22 AM »

But how about the "power" or "authority" simply to decide on something? I know, there is this usual claim that modern families must be "equal partenrships" where everything is decided by the husband and the wife together, collegially. And yet... practically... does it really always WORK like this? In this mutual collegial process of decision-making, still, one of the two is the leader (or "the captain") and the other is the "first mate." Having been married to a very strong-willed, wise, luminous, "leaderish" woman for 25 years, I heard so many times from her that she only wishes that I were more of that "captain," and she more of that "first mate..."

Balance is the key. Are you sure you're not expecting her to make a disproportnate number of decisions? If she's making all the decisions that's not collegial either...it makes sense that she may resent this. I know I would have little patience for a woman who insisted on making every decision of significance, but at the same time I would be equally annoyed with a woman who could never made a decision on her own. If a decision primarily affects one partner, it's their decision to make, if it affects both (and it's a big enough issue to even worry about) you should be able to reach some sort of an agreement. It's not really that hard, especially when dealing with only two people who should be deeply concerned about each other's well being.

I tend to agree with GIC on this one. I would go crazy if my husband made all the decisions without my input and at the same time I would be equally perturbed if he left all the important ones to me. One of the benefits of marriage is having another person to confer with in order to make a decision.

But again, Tamara, I am not arguing with this balance thing. I am just trying to say that there is a notion that the share of households where men do not seem to do their share in the decision-making process in the rise in the so-called "civilized world."
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« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2008, 12:54:10 PM »

But again, Tamara, I am not arguing with this balance thing. I am just trying to say that there is a notion that the share of households where men do not seem to do their share in the decision-making process in the rise in the so-called "civilized world."

Probably true because once cultural/social expectations of authority are taken out of the picture individual personalities become more significant, essentially shifting your model from an Inverse Gaussian distribution to a Gaussian distribution, so the value of the probability density function on the opposite side of the mean will naturally increase. It's what one would expect under the central limit theorem provided external influences are removed.

If that makes any sense to anyone... Grin
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« Reply #30 on: December 10, 2008, 12:58:54 PM »

While reading this thread I recalled the case of Priscilla and Aquila in the New Testement and the passage that both of them taught Apollos in Acts 18:

"When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately."

It doesn't sound like Priscilla just served cake and was silent.

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« Reply #31 on: December 10, 2008, 02:28:16 PM »

But again, Tamara, I am not arguing with this balance thing. I am just trying to say that there is a notion that the share of households where men do not seem to do their share in the decision-making process in the rise in the so-called "civilized world."

Probably true because once cultural/social expectations of authority are taken out of the picture individual personalities become more significant, essentially shifting your model from an Inverse Gaussian distribution to a Gaussian distribution, so the value of the probability density function on the opposite side of the mean will naturally increase. It's what one would expect under the central limit theorem provided external influences are removed.

If that makes any sense to anyone... Grin

It does to me.  Grin
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« Reply #32 on: December 10, 2008, 03:08:13 PM »


It seems like explanation of St. John Chrysostom is simply that men are superior, and women really should keep it quiet. What are we to make of this?

I don't thinks so.

St. GoldenMouth simply says there are activities women should not undertake. There are also the activities male should not undertake.

One such activity for women is preaching.

Is there something here bothering you?
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« Reply #33 on: December 10, 2008, 04:40:48 PM »


Well...something here bothers me.

I teach a religion class at our church.  This position just "fell" in to my lap.  I wasn't looking for it, however, there was a need and I was honored to be considered to be the one to fill it.  Today I am beyond honored.  I am humbled to have the opportunity to share my Faith with the young minds entrusted to me.  There is nothing more rewarding when you get deep in to an explanation and you see you have the children's' undivided attention. All of sudden they have stopped squirming.  The boys are no longer shoving the girls, the girls are no longer giggling at each other...it's quiet and you could hear a pin drop....  This happened a couple of weeks ago when I was explaining to them the "Synaxis of the Archangel Michael"....the kids were awed. 

There is no greater way to show one's love for God, then to share His word with others!

I certainly cannot be a member of the clergy.... and I completely "get" that.  I have NO desire to argue women in the priesthood.  That is NOT our place.  However, teaching....I cannot see how that is "wrong".  Did not Christ Himself instruct us to go forth and spread the Word?  I think it would be remiss of each of us, if we passed up the opportunity to share our Faith with others...no matter our gender. 

That's just my thinking.

I love teaching more then I thought I would.  The children are learning.  If I will be condemned, yet one of them be saved, so be it.


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