Not As Bad

The world is pensively watching Afghanistan as it is now again under Taliban control. One of the most universal concerns is the fate of girls and women left behind. There is a tremendous justifiable fear that they will once more be subjected to oppressive restrictions hindering their ability to freely be educated, work, travel and otherwise participate in various aspects of wider society. Despite the Taliban’s assurances that women will be respected, there is significant skepticism which is fueled not only by the axiom that “the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior,” but also because of a peculiar qualifier that accompanies the Taliban’s promises: “women’s rights will be respected under Islamic Law.” This clearly leaves wide latitude to interpret the way women’s freedoms may be curtailed. There is a lot of trepidation that the strides of two previous decades, that allowed Afghani women to regain rights, will be erased.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11389
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i think the “not as bad” situation we have may be standing in the way of further reform…perhaps reform takes root more quickly, and thoroughly, when there is clear and rank discrimination…it may be the case that to institute complete reform, there must be resolute, comprehensive action in the very beginning, because as things improve, the will to improve things further begins to wane…

Can someone please explain to me why Coutney’s idea of equality is never about getting equal amount of women to oil rigs, fishing boats, roofing and hard construction jobs, paving roads, mining minerals, cutting and transporting wood, driving truck rigs 1000s of miles, fighting forest fires, repairing heavy machinery, collecting garbage and cleaning sewers, climbing power lines during the dead of winter so millions of people can keep taking electric power for granted, etc?

That’s why all of the hyper-feminism arguments end up being intentionally misleading, because these occupy a scope of cherry-picked ideals that are a delusional fantasy. These seldom take a minute to appreciate what it takes many men, who get paid less and absorb most of the danger, to maintain the modern convenience structure that we exist in. These seldom consider that it has always been the case through development of human societies.

What these tend to do is to isolate a few scopes of “societal unfairness” that tend to be merely about competitive differential in convenience, and complain about those. Less women as actors? UNFAIR! Virtually no women welding steel at the top of the high-rise apartment buildings. I see no problem with that.

So, while Courney’s “progress” largely depends on what these men are doing, which she is absolutely unwilling to do, that part of unfair and disproportionate representation doesn’t really bother her enough to fight for and write articles about.

It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t strive for better ideal inside the structure we occupy, but this incoherent absurdity of “this society is unfair to women” needs some perspective adjustment.

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Dear Dr. Drey – Equality is not about physical strength and capacity to take risks, which are not inherent male qualities, by the way. Dr. Ray is not advocating for females to bench press the same weight as men or to father children. Rather, she is advocating for women to be viewed as equals in all societal matters including, science, finance, education, politics, etc.

As an aside, women would rather not be welding metal on a skyscraper because it’s unskilled and beneath their abilities as educated members of society.

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A good article as it brings out some of the ways women are treated differently that most of us have not thought about. After the Olympics, I am well aware of the immodest and sexist dress forced on participants. Sexism in dress and scanty clothing to attract attention seems part of society in the west. Yet Islam goes in the other direction.
The writer sounds anti-American because he neglects to acknowledge that change takes time and is gradual. Abrupt change can bring about rebellion leading to violence. At some time in their history, all countries have suffered sexism, tribalism, political upheaval, and racism, some with great violence. Yet they come to the US to escape such things.
In our international church change is extremely slow perhaps due to other cultures who rebel. But it’s slowness is making it irrelevant to the west and hurting the great commission.

I don’t think I’ve implied that they should be bench pressing the same, but you have evaded my question. Please, consider reading my question again, and try to answer honestly as opposed to justifying a double-standard as normal and coherent.

My point is quite simple, we have no quarrels with fairness over “unwanted things”. We don’t gripe over “unattractive people” generally holding lower position in society. I’d love to see more articles on fairness about that. It’s not even debatable that employees discriminate based on that factor, and it’s not illegal.

It’s not a debate that unattractive people get paid less than attractive ones. And actually unattractive men earn the least.

https://wol.iza.org/press-releases/does-it-pay-to-be-beautiful

So, we have to be able to define some viable scope of fairness that we can consistently apply across the board, as opposed to chunk it up into causes that structure selection bias of problems to fix, and ignore how these problems are even contextualized.

For example, Dr. Ray, started with Olympics and it’s quite clear she didn’t understand the issue with breastfeeding, since the issue was about a generic policy that prohibited athletes to come into contact with their families. So, it actually applied to fathers as much as mothers. She also quite clearly didn’t understand that sponsorship is a privileged position among all athletes that comes with contractual obligations that an athlete agrees to. It’s never a grantee, and sponsors dropped athletes for a wide range of issues.

It doesn’t mean that she’s wrong about everything on this issue, but it doesn’t seem like she is looking for a broader perspective that integrates the whole scope of equality, as opposed to focus on only things that she cares about in that scope of equality. Again…

So, it’s a backwards approach to fairness that never works prior to defining what it means very specifically. I’m all for a more fair society, but we have to first define and agree on the scope of fairness before we run and chunk it up into our own preferred niches.

Given all that has been said here so far on this issue, the next question should be, ’ What are we going to do about it?
I am impressed that our church should be the starting point for any serious reform as it relates to women assuming key positions. Will we truly begin to see women as equally made in God’s image, and see in them future elders and pastors or will we continue to restrict them?
It is also time to see women as able to perform jobs which men have been doing for years. What is wrong with women doing some of the above- mentioned occupations here: working on oil rigs, fishing boats, engaging in hard construction jobs etc. Absolutely nothing.
Until we individually and collectively begin to respect women and their abilities , and until meaningful change begins to take place, we will be wasting our time.

Thanks

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That wasn’t the point. Read again.

‘Can someone please explain to me why Coutney’s idea of equality is never about getting equal amount of women to oil rigs, fishing boats, roofing and hard construction jobs, paving roads, mining minerals, cutting and transporting wood, driving truck rigs 1000s of miles, fighting forest fires, repairing heavy machinery, collecting garbage and cleaning sewers, climbing power lines during the dead of winter so millions of people can keep taking electric power for granted, etc?’

Arkdrey,
There are now women who work in those professions you mentioned or alongside them and are blessed with unique gifts that make them an integral part of the staff. I am not talking about support work that has been steroetyped in the past as work of mostly women’s domain such as washing clothes, cleaning and cooking but work doing inventing, strategic planning, gathering data as well as some laborious work.

The unequal part is if the women are denied jobs and pay on equal merit and also if they are subject to a hostile work environment from individuals who do not feel comfortable working with women in a professional manner.

Regarding discrimination in society it is true that people considered significantly attractive by society’s standards are treated better in many circumstances- though not always and even being considered attractive has burdens. People’s appearance shouldn’t be a factor in a hiring decision unless it’s because someone is unkempt and slovenly which can indicate their lack of mental and cognitive ability to do the job. I figure the discrimination you mean is when people aren’t given equal access to opportunities in society such as jobs, housing and such and this isn’t regarding dating type situations where people have freedom of choice in relationships.

But it is accurate that there are many forms of discrimination against people including income, intelligence level, cultural background, age, health, etc. It is unfortunate when people working service focused jobs such as in retail, laundry, restaurant, gas station, etc. aren’t appreciated as these services are essential.

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That’s really not the case with jobs with highest risk. Men are 10x more likely to die or be injured at workplace, and anywhere between 86-99% of top-20 most dangerous jobs are occupied by men.

I get that there’s a specialization preference based on strengths of either, but there’s a generic claim that society as a whole is unfair to women, and the above is one of the points that speaks against that claim.

There other issues where women can abuse men knowing that society has a bias of assigning guilt, for example. While more men abuse women, the men abuse by women is seldom take seriously.

I don’t think men are somehow victims on societal scale… but just showing the complexity of bias oriented to assume that men has done something wrong if a woman hits and screams at them.

Of course, historically, some jobs were male dominant and other female-dominant. That’s still the case for many… like certain scope of healthcare and education. Women historically worked separately from men. They had their own hierarchies and workspace which all developed in parallel. Workspaces then got gradually mixed, but there are still historically male-dominant industries that women are breaking into.

In any case where you are an “industry outsider”, there will be a scope of hostility, and obviously confused sexual boundaries that were not an issue in the past where men and women worked separately.

So, obviously there’s a lot of things to work through. But, the idea that our society is exclusively unfair to women because one can single out certain categories where it’s true, and ignore ones where the opposite is true. I’m merely pointing out that society is much more complex, and Critical Theory approach of “we’ll assume that’s true, and try to find all of the problems” ignores broader context.

For example, no there isn’t any pay gap when you consider that men work longer hours and overtime. You can’t assume inequality and mistreatment strictly from aggregate difference and ignore factors like differences in hours men and women work. Women would rather spend more time with family. Men are more likely to put in overtime. And that’s the Critical Theory approach. First assume that there’s a systemic problem based on A, B and C examples, and then point to aggregate stats without considering other factors that feed these.

And the issue with lack of promotion has to do with women being more agreeable, which they shouldn’t. I can’t tell you how many times women apologize to me for something which is absolutely isn’t their fault. It doesn’t play well in a workspace where one has to be more assertive and defend one’s ideas. That’s something that must be changes as a set of cultural upbringing habits.

Whether it should or shouldn’t isn’t the issue to the fact that people care much less about much broader scale of discrimination that’s going on with “no questions asked”. My father in law recently made a comment that the actress is too ugly to be in that role, which sort of underlines that attitude on a much broader scale.

If you are a beautiful woman, typically you have a much better future ahead of you, since the doors will be open a lot faster, especially if you intuitively understand how to use your sexuality to do so… and I don’t even mean sleeping to get favors. Yes, there are plenty of exceptions, but these are typically exceptions that prove the rule, since these tend to he surprising.

Agreed, and again, my point isn’t that we shouldn’t structure a more fair society. My point is that the school of Critical Theory, application of which you will find in this article, is one of the worst way to approach these issues. It’s an approach from a rather narrow position that ignores broader nuance and context.

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So true… But what is this ideal? Are we talking about a humanist ideal or a Christian one?

Coming from France (which has it own issues with equality in spite of our national motto, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”), I was shocked to see the level of inequality in the US (in law, healthcare access, employment, income, banking, housing, food, education, information, etc). And my reaction oftentimes was, “It’s not like that in France”.

So a friend of mine took me aside and said to me: “You have to realize that America is not France. In America, it is not that we don’t care about equality or fraternity. But we value liberty and opportunity much more” (I am paraphrasing here).

It was an eye opening statement. And this made me realize that I had been looking at the American society… with French “glasses”. Obviously (well, obviously now), the American “ideals” are not the same as the French “Ideals”.

So, what kind of “glasses” are we wearing? If we are Christians, it is essential that we adopt the vision of our Captain, Jesus. Because, while equality seems right on paper, it is important not to be blinded or derailed from our true purpose on earth.

In Philippians 2:6, it is spoken of the attitude of Jesus, “who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.”

Why? Because He was aware of his mission. He, the King of the universe, became a servant in order to save us. He, the Innocent Lamb, died for the guilty. There is nothing more unequal than that.

As Christian, we don’t want to forget our Savior’s example. It is a hard pill to swallow oftentimes but Jesus asked us to carry our cross as He carried his.

Also, we have to realize that, while we are supposed to uphold justice, fairness, and equity, this world has a “Prince” who doesn’t care at all about these values. As long as he is in control, we cannot expect better.

As Christian, we cannot use the values and methods of the world to solve the issues of the world. We know that this world is doomed. We are to adopt Jesus’ vision and Jesus’ ways to show that another way is possible. And it is not just about lip service. Our faith has to been shown through our actions (Jesus healed and served when He was on earth).

Also, we have to remember that Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world.

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Thanks Arkdrey ,it was not the point and I was not necessarily referring to you, in my comment, but it is an important one which, nevertheless should be considered.
Consequently, my question, still stands- given all that has been said on the issue, what are we going to do about it?

Thanks.

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Here’s a novel suggestion; stop trying to fix what isn’t broken.

One can even find memory verses to support such inaction; that is,”worry” like lilies in a field, reject the notion that it’s “not right” that some people have more talents than others and accept the fact there are always going to be poor people in the world, either mentally, financially or both.

What if the great equalizer in life is the essential fact that life is as fair as it can be because of its unfairness? That everyone is equal because no two people are the same? That the ultimate justice of everything lies in knowing that there’s no such thing as good or bad luck? That no one is sufficiently punished for their evil deeds just as none of us receives adequate compensation for our benevolence?

Sure. Some will say such inaction is not only “unchristian” but that doing nothing is actually the ultimate evil.

Conversely, however, it can be shown that this is precisely the approach Jesus has adopted for the past two millennia and that is this what our creator—except for a few purported exceptions—has decided to “not do”, since the beginning of recorded time. It can also be demonstrated by inconvertible facts that doing otherwise and spending one’s life casting about for some new immovable mountain to push aside, or trying to stop the inevitable, is foolhardy. Perceived “unfairness”, based on past experience, cannot be cured completely or vaccinated against, and aggressive stupidly will outlive everyone, just as surely as fire cannot be made “un-hot”. Thus, the SJW egotistically asserts and irrationally assumes, in any and all of his crusading, that he is smarter than the gods, who idly observe and stoically absorb while sitting firmly on their almighty hands.

(That said, if anyone touches one hair on the head of one of my loved ones, I will do whatever I can to destroy that person, or if a mosquito disturbs my evening stroll, I will do my best to correct that “evil injustice” and will try to terminate its existence, the gods–in their absolute inertia and eternal smugness–be damned!:wink:)

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Wow. Wow. Wow. Is that what woke looks like?

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You gotta understand; being a member in good standing and believing that your church has appropriated the titles of god’s chosen people and Christ’s remnant church—even if EGW’s absolutist assertions of divine inspiration and the requirement for strict adherence to a voluminous heap of daunting dictums tend to leave her followers feeling utterly unredeemable—such credulity can also lead to a sense of self-righteous snobbery in the membership and even inculcates in some of the sect’s adherents a condescending, elitist attitude towards those not so supposedly high-minded or liberally educated.

That said, my dad, a lifelong maker who spent the better part of his adulthood and career building SDA churches and schools with his own hands and mental skills, has undoubtedly redlined the “spinning in his grave” tachometer on this one.

He was one of the hardest working people I ever met and took great pride in what he considered the nobility of manual labor. So much so that when one of the faculty members of an SDA boarding academy tried to send some unruly teenagers to work with him as a form of “punishment”, my dad refused to allow them on the job site, this rather than permitting a college-educated member of the “those who can’t” class to demean him and his handiwork.

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Bruce,

Though I don’t share your vision about the SDA church I think that you are making a fair point here. We kind of “worship” higher education and some among us are really guilty of snobbery, of being condescending, and having an elitist attitude.

We forget that our Savior was a humble carpenter when he was on earth.

We try to be credible by the weight of our degrees whereas He changed the world by the weight of his convictions.

Nothing else to say but… nostra culpa (et mea culpa).

I appreciate the effort but I agree there’s nothing else to say, given the disparity in our basic assumptions.

For example, I no longer beleive that there is ever any need for “culpas”, yours or anyone else’s.

Instead, I come to see that my friends don’t need my apologies as they accept my essential humanity, while my enemies never think I’ve groveled nearly enough! :wink:

This must be in the top 0.01% of the most ignorant comments ever posted on this site.

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I don’t think that the problem is due to the disparity of assumptions. Jesus’ disciples also had a disparity of assumptions and opinions. The problem was that they individually put themselves above the others in the group.

We may have our assumptions since it is impossible to live without having some. But what makes the difference is our attitudes and mindsets. If I realize that my assumptions are just that, assumptions, and if I am willing to accept the fact that my assumptions are not automatically better than other people’s assumptions and if I keep an open mind then I can interact with other people without any problem. If not then I become a pain in the neck.

Of course, seeing oneself is the most difficult thing in the world.

Again, I disagree.

Seeing oneself is simple.

Just look at the good and bad you see in others and know that these are reflections of yourself.

As Thackeray, said, “The world is a mirror.”