Maraiyesa Ayokunle –
The “feminism series” on views with ‘Kunle’ has generated lot of controversial feedbacks that implies that many people (both male & female) have little dogmatic knowledge of gender, gender roles, gender equality and gender equity.
As a Pentecostal Christian, so many people have hidden under the façade of “God’s word” to preach popular fallacies that are not enshrined in the word of God. No wonder the bible says ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. What then is the truth? Does the bible support gender prejudice? Does the bible affirm that males are superior to females?
Starting from the creation of human, the biblical account recorded that man was created first. The argument for patriarchy system is that since God created man first then that establishes his superiority over women. However, that line of argument is slippery because human himself was the last creature created in the creation story. If this argument is true that also mean all creation created before men are superior to him. This is a joke, right? Exactly my point, the argument that man is superior because hewas created first is a dry and deceptive joke. Even thoughhuman was the last creature created in the creation story, the bible made it clear that God gave human race dominion over all things that were created before him Gen 1 vs. 26-31.
Elucidating further on Gen 1 vs. 27, the bible emphasized that human and not only man was created in the image of God, and have the blessing of God to dominate the earth. The verse read thus “and God created man in his own image, in the image of God created him; male and female he created he them. No single word, phrase, sentence ascribed or implies that man was created superior not even the fact that part of the resources used to create eve was Adam’s ribs. Is man not created from clay himself? Is clay a superior being to man?
All through the Old Testament there is no injunction on gender roles, equality and superiority. However, the New Testament talks on gender role in the marital context. The most popular verses that has been grossly misinterpreted are found in Ephesians 5 vs. 22-25 which read thus “wives be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, being himself the saviour of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be to their husband in everything. Husband, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave his life up for it.”
The above verses admonished wives to be subject to their husband, emphasizing that husband is the head of the wife and the family by extension. If husband is the head of wife does that mean that man is the head of woman. Is the word man and husband or woman and wife synonymous? Is every man husband? Is every woman wife? Just as every unit and group must have a leader, the bible gives the leadership of marriage/family to man. However, this authority does not pass the border of that unit. A typical Christian home have the husband as the head, leader over his wife not every other woman.
If I want to deviate and argue as a radical feminist,I will go further to say that this injunction was given at a time when patriarchy was in its prime and women are incapacitated. It is then understandable that the most capable gender at that time was placed over the family. The submission of the wife itself is tied to the love of the husband. The authority and leadership of man in the home is tied to the fact that he must love sacrificially just as Christ loved the Church and die as a sacrifice for it. It is an authority that came with the highest price which back up the Christian leadership principle that leaders are servant. Even though he is the head of his home, he must sacrifice everything for it, including his life (if necessary) just as Christ.
It is a hasty generalization and audacious fallacy to extend your authority as a husband to your wife to every other woman. This scenario is similar to older sibling enjoying some privileges and taking the lead in many homes. However, this does not make him a superior human or affirms his/her authority over every human that is same age with his/her younger siblings. in fact, everyman has been in a situation where you have to submit to the leadership of a younger person.
Lastly, it is pertinent to note that leadership and superiority are not synonymous word. Leadership is a relative term, and the process of becoming a leader is fickle. I have different leaders in every aspect of my life; education, church, volunteering, clubs and I am also a leader over many people in different sphere. Whatever the case maybe, being a team leader or a team member do not make me an inferior or superior being to anyone.
So, the answer to the question is simple, the bible never declares any gender as superior. Men are giving the privilege to lead in their home and their headship is only applicable on their wife and not any other women.
About the author:
Maraiyesa Ayokunle is an indigene of Ago Iwoye, Ogun state, Nigeria. She is a graduate of English Language from National Open University of Nigeria. She bagged her M.A English Literature from Olabisi Onabanjo University. She is currently running her Ph.D. English Literature programme at Olabisi Onabanjo University. She is a fashion entrepreneur, the creative director of M.R design.
M.R design is a unisex fashion house that deals in bespoke tailoring, mass production, sales of fabrics, fashion school and ready to wear. She is also the event convener of Ijebu Fashion Festival. She is a public speaker, lover of art, writing and God.