Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Treatise pt. II - Aristotle and Sexism

Philosophy presents so many brilliant ideas and Aristotle's sexism is hardly to be discounted because it's dated.

That was meant to be an inflammatory statement. Heck, I'm a girl, er, I mean woman--and I'm hardly sexist against my own sex. Even so, lots of "outdated" ideas--including the idea that a man should be the leader in a relationship, in the church, in what-have-you--still ring true with something in me.

A solid half of me wants to be an egalitarian because then I would not be confined to roles that might never satisfy me. I honestly don't know if I'm cut out to be a mother. I love children. (I love them even more once they develop rational and growing minds.) But could I raise some of my own? I'm not the most sympathetic person. Be confident that if I express sympathy or concern, I really do mean it because I'm bad at feigning that. But kids need and want compassion even when their troubles are minuscule and insignificant in light of life as a whole. And they require a devoted audience for their sometimes uninteresting stories... I know--I have little sisters (whom I love). But of course I digress.

Really, my strongest desire to have children comes from the idea of sharing something like that with a man I admire and respect. And that's the half of me that is very attracted to the idea of complementarianism. I like the idea that I could trust someone to be a leader, to tend to the needs of others, and to be a partner whose strengths and weaknesses complement mine.

So once I am able to discern the nature of "femininity" as a quality (whether of the soul or something else), the major question will be, what does this mean for me as a woman?

I hope femininity manifests itself in many different ways. What are the implications of my role as a woman? Does femininity require that I be submissive or relinquish some of my liberties? If my femininity is demonstrated in my role as a mother or a wife or by my taste in movies or books or music, how does that restrain me? How could I be feminine and run a company? Or listen to metal music? Or be inspired by war movies? How can I tell men what to do and reject the overly emotional examples of women that my culture throws at me?

At the same time that I ask these questions, I'm very comfortable with the idea of a man (a wise, godly leader, mind you) taking charge. If I was in a "relationship," I imagine that I would trust him to judge the progress and direction of that relationship. I would trust my life to him. And if I didn't I wouldn't date him.

How can a woman be "strong, independent, and utterly feminine" as someone described Sarah Palin recently? How does that strength and independence mesh with utter femininity?

What? Why are you waiting like that?? I don't have the answers. I just ask the questions.

No comments:

Post a Comment