“There are people in Europe who, confounding together the different characteristics of the sexes, would make of man and woman beings not only equal but alike. They would give to both the same functions, impose on both the same duties, and grant to both the same rights; they would mix them in all things – their occupations, their pleasures, their business. It may readily be conceived, that by thus attempting to make one sex equal to the other, both are degraded; and from so preposterous a medley of the works of nature nothing could ever result but weak men and disorderly women.” -Alexis de Tocqueville
Facebook informed me that today is International Women’s Day. A day in which we are to celebrate women and commemorate the great strides made in “gender equality.” Now I don’t mind celebrating women. But instead of hearing about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Miss USA, and Hillary Clinton, I’d rather remember Deborah (awesome female judge of Israel), Rahab (prostitute-turned-spy-smuggler), Ruth (brave young widow determined to provide for her mother-in-law), Esther (plucky queen who saved her people) and so many others.
…But the term “gender equality” gives me a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t believe in gender equality simply because the male and female genders are not equal to each other. Men and women are very different, and they were designed to excel at different things. Men and women are just as smart as each other, just as capable, just as responsible, just as brave, just as noble, just as hard-working as each other, and just as skilled – but not in the same areas. Gender equality might be a great idea in theory, but in practice, it leaves little room for gender differences. It instead seems to support the idea that a woman’s value is determined by how well she can do what was once considered “a man’s job” and consequently to degrade those jobs that were considered “women’s work.” So rather than reinforcing the concept of a woman’s intrinsic value being equal to a man’s, we have placed a qualifier upon her value: how well she can be a man. We would do better to remember that, regardless of the different jobs men and women may perform, their respective values were established at the beginning of time.
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27