4. WOMAN'S STATUS IN EARLY SOCIETY
Generally speaking, during any age woman's status is a fair criterion of the evolutionary progress of marriage as a social institution, while the progress of marriage itself is a reasonably accurate gauge registering the advances of human civilization.
Woman's status has always been a social paradox; she has always been a shrewd manager of men; she has always capitalized man's stronger sex urge for her own interests and to her own advancement. By trading subtly upon her sex charms, she has often been able to exercise dominant power over man, even when held by him in abject slavery.
Early woman was not to man a friend, sweetheart, lover, and partner but rather a piece of property, a servant or slave and, later on, an economic partner, plaything, and childbearer. Nonetheless, proper and satisfactory sex relations have always involved the element of choice and co-operation by woman, and this has always given intelligent women considerable influence over their immediate and personal standing, regardless of their social position as a sex. But man's distrust and suspicion were not helped by the fact that women were all along compelled to resort to shrewdness in the effort to alleviate their bondage.
The sexes have had great difficulty in understanding each other. Man found it hard to understand woman, regarding her with a strange mixture of ignorant mistrust and fearful fascination, if not with suspicion and contempt. Many tribal and racial traditions relegate trouble to Eve, Pandora, or some other representative of womankind. These narratives were always distorted so as to make it appear that the woman brought evil upon man; and all this indicates the onetime universal distrust of woman. Among the reasons cited in support of a celibate priesthood, the chief was the baseness of woman. The fact that most supposed witches were women did not improve the olden reputation of the sex.
Men have long regarded women as peculiar, even abnormal. They have even believed that women did not have souls; therefore were they denied names. During early times there existed great fear of the first sex relation with a woman; hence it became the custom for a priest to have initial intercourse with a virgin. Even a woman's shadow was thought to be dangerous.
Childbearing was once generally looked upon as rendering a woman dangerous and unclean. And many tribal mores decreed that a mother must undergo extensive purification ceremonies subsequent to the birth of a child. Except among those groups where the husband participated in the lying-in, the expectant mother was shunned, left alone. The ancients even avoided having a child born in the house. Finally, the old women were permitted to attend the mother during labor, and this practice gave origin to the profession of midwifery. During labor, scores of foolish things were said and done in an effort to facilitate delivery. It was the custom to sprinkle the newborn with holy water to prevent ghost interference.
Among the unmixed tribes, childbirth was comparatively easy, occupying only two or three hours; it is seldom so easy among the mixed races. If a woman died in childbirth, especially during the delivery of twins, she was believed to have been guilty of spirit adultery. Later on, the higher tribes looked upon death in childbirth as the will of heaven; such mothers were regarded as having perished in a noble cause.
The so-called modesty of women respecting their clothing and the exposure of the person grew out of the deadly fear of being observed at the time of a menstrual period. To be thus detected was a grievous sin, the violation of a taboo. Under the mores of olden times, every woman, from adolescence to the end of the childbearing period, was subjected to complete family and social quarantine one full week each month. Everything she might touch, sit upon, or lie upon was "defiled." It was for long the custom to brutally beat a girl after each monthly period in an effort to drive the evil spirit out of her body. But when a woman passed beyond the childbearing age, she was usually treated more considerately, being accorded more rights and privileges. In view of all this it was not strange that women were looked down upon. Even the Greeks held the menstruating woman as one of the three great causes of defilement, the other two being pork and garlic. [Brother Dave notes here: I think it was the old Spartan warriors who had a motto: "Shun all creatures who bleed for five days and do not die !" Ha ha. Progress is real, although seemingly slow to immature, inexperienced human minds.]
However foolish these olden notions were, they did some good since they gave overworked females, at least when young, one week each month for welcome rest and profitable meditation. Thus could they sharpen their wits for dealing with their male associates the rest of the time. This quarantine of women also protected men from over-sex indulgence, thereby indirectly contributing to the restriction of population and to the enhancement of self-control.
A great advance was made when a man was denied the right to kill his wife at will. Likewise, it was a forward step when a woman could own the wedding gifts. Later, she gained the legal right to own, control, and even dispose of property, but she was long deprived of the right to hold office in either church or state. Woman has always been treated more or less as property, right up to and in the twentieth century after Christ. She has not yet gained world-wide freedom from seclusion under man's control. Even among advanced peoples, man's attempt to protect woman has always been a tacit assertion of superiority.
But primitive women did not pity themselves as their more recently liberated sisters are wont to do. They were, after all, fairly happy and contented; they did not dare to envision a better or different mode of existence.
5. WOMAN UNDER THE DEVELOPING MORES
In self-perpetuation woman is man's equal, but in the partnership of self-maintenance she labors at a decided disadvantage, and this handicap of enforced maternity can only be compensated by the enlightened mores of advancing civilization and by man's increasing sense of acquired fairness.
As society evolved, the sex standards rose higher among women because they suffered more from the consequences of the transgression of the sex mores. Man's sex standards are only tardily improving as a result of the sheer sense of that fairness which civilization demands. Nature knows nothing of fairness -- makes woman alone suffer the pangs of childbirth. [Our loving Father God is far transcendent to (above) "nature", and even our evolving fruits of his Spirit -- fairness, justice, equality, cooperation, peace, etc. are above impersonal "mugger nature". Overall, it may now be best to think of "nature" as neutral, until greater Spiritual wisdom reveals convincingly that we do live and perfect in a universe that is both friendly and Fatherly.]
The modern idea of sex equality is beautiful and worthy of an expanding civilization, but it is not found in nature. When might is right, man lords it over woman; when more justice, peace, and fairness prevail, she gradually emerges from slavery and obscurity. Woman's social position has generally varied inversely with the degree of militarism in any nation or age. [Caution ! Spirit led humans should carefully elect to political offices only those Godly Persons who love and obey Jesus Christ the most ! - in thought, word and in DEEDS. Look at the unneccessary troubles recently, and near future thousand years, the USA and world will have, caused partly by electing leaders who are either whore-mongers or war-mongers or both ! Fantasies in the media of unrestrained sex and merciless violence will lead to the same in society. "You play, you pay." Bro Dave]
But man did not consciously nor intentionally seize woman's rights and then gradually and grudgingly give them back to her; all this was an unconscious and unplanned episode of social evolution. When the time really came for woman to enjoy added rights, she got them, and all quite regardless of man's conscious attitude. Slowly but surely the mores change so as to provide for those social adjustments which are a part of the persistent evolution of civilization. The advancing mores slowly provided increasingly better treatment for females; those tribes which persisted in cruelty to them did not survive.
The Adamites and Nodites [recent planetary history of about 37,000 years ago - on] accorded women increased recognition, and those groups which were influenced by the migrating biologically uplifted races have tended to be influenced by the Edenic teachings regarding women's place in society.
The early Chinese and the Greeks treated women better than did most surrounding peoples. But the Hebrews were exceedingly distrustful of them. In the Occident woman has had a difficult climb under the Pauline doctrines which became attached to Christianity, although Christianity did advance the mores by imposing more stringent sex obligations upon man. Woman's estate is little short of hopeless under the peculiar degradation which attaches to her in Mohammedanism, and she fares even worse under the teachings of several other Oriental religions.
Science, not religion, really emancipated woman; it was the modern factory which largely set her free from the confines of the home. Man's physical abilities became no longer a vital essential in the new maintenance mechanism; science so changed the conditions of living that man power was no longer so superior to woman power.
These changes have tended toward woman's liberation from domestic slavery and have brought about such a modification of her status that she now enjoys a degree of personal liberty and sex determination that practically equals man's. Once a woman's value consisted in her food-producing ability, but invention and wealth have enabled her to create a new world in which to function -- spheres of grace and charm. Thus has industry won its unconscious and unintended fight for woman's social and economic emancipation. And again has evolution succeeded in doing what even revelation failed to accomplish. [We are now blessed to be in a period of rapid conjoint revelatory-evolution -- evolutionary revelation, since A.D. 30 - on, thanks to our Master-Maker Jesus Christ ! See John 16:7-16 et al.]
The reaction of enlightened peoples from the inequitable mores governing woman's place in society has indeed been pendulumlike in its extremeness. Among industrialized races she has received almost all rights and enjoys exemption from many obligations, such as military service. Every easement of the struggle for existence has redounded to the liberation of woman, and she has directly benefited from every advance toward monogamy. The weaker always makes disproportionate gains in every adjustment of the mores in the progressive evolution of society.
In the ideals of pair marriage, woman has finally won recognition, dignity, independence, equality, and education; but will she prove worthy of all this new and unprecedented accomplishment? Will modern woman respond to this great achievement of social liberation with idleness, indifference, barrenness, and infidelity? Today, in the twentieth century, woman is undergoing the crucial test of her long world existence! [of nearly one million years, to date]
Woman is man's equal partner in race reproduction, hence just as important in the unfolding of racial evolution; therefore has evolution increasingly worked toward the realization of women's rights. But women's rights are by no means men's rights. Woman cannot thrive on man's rights any more than man can prosper on woman's rights.
Each sex has its own distinctive sphere of existence, together with its own rights within that sphere. If woman aspires literally to enjoy all of man's rights, then, sooner or later, pitiless and emotionless competition will certainly replace that chivalry and special consideration which many women now enjoy, and which they have so recently won from men.
Civilization never can obliterate the behavior gulf between the sexes. From age to age the mores change, but instinct never. Innate maternal affection will never permit emancipated woman to become man's serious rival in industry. Forever each sex will remain supreme in its own domain, domains determined by biologic differentiation and by mental dissimilarity.
Each sex will always have its own special sphere, albeit they will ever and anon overlap. Only socially will men and women compete on equal terms.
6. THE PARTNERSHIP OF MAN AND WOMAN
The reproductive urge unfailingly brings men and women together for self-perpetuation but, alone, does not insure their remaining together in mutual co-operation -- the founding of a home.
Every successful human institution embraces antagonisms of personal interest which have been adjusted to practical working harmony, and homemaking is no exception. Marriage, the basis of home building, is the highest manifestation of that antagonistic co-operation which so often characterizes the contacts of nature and society. The conflict is inevitable. Mating is inherent; it is natural. But marriage is not biologic; it is sociologic. Passion insures that man and woman will come together, but the weaker parental instinct and the social mores hold them together.
Male and female are, practically regarded, two distinct varieties of the same species living in close and intimate association. Their viewpoints and entire life reactions are essentially different; they are wholly incapable of full and real comprehension of each other. Complete understanding between the sexes is not attainable.
Women seem to have more intuition than men, but they also appear to be somewhat less logical. Woman, however, has always been the moral standard-bearer and the spiritual leader of mankind. The hand that rocks the cradle still fraternizes with destiny.
The differences of nature, reaction, viewpoint, and thinking between men and women, far from occasioning concern, should be regarded as highly beneficial to mankind, both individually and collectively. Many orders of universe creatures are created in dual phases of personality manifestation. Among mortals, Material Sons, and others, this difference is described as male and female; among seraphim, cherubim, and others, it has been denominated positive or aggressive and negative or retiring. Such dual associations greatly multiply versatility and overcome inherent limitations, even as do certain triune associations in the Paradise-Havona system. [Infinite Eternal Absolute Paradise Nucleus of God and Universal Reality and one billon surronding sacred transcendental Havona spheres -- the "Heaven of Heavens" dimly comprehended by some human visionaries.]
Men and women need each other in their souls and spiritual ascensions as well as in their mortal careers. The differences in viewpoint between male and female persist even beyond the first life and throughout the local and superuniverse ascensions. And even in Havona, the pilgrims who were once men and women will still be aiding each other in the Paradise ascent. Never, even in the Corps of the Finality, will the creature metamorphose so far as to obliterate the Personality trends that humans call male and female; always will these two basic variations of humankind continue to intrigue, stimulate, encourage, and assist each other; always will they be mutually dependent on co-operation in the solution of perplexing universe problems and in the overcoming of manifold cosmic difficulties. [Amen !]
While the sexes never can hope fully to understand each other, they are effectively complementary, and though co-operation is often more or less personally antagonistic, it is capable of maintaining and reproducing society. Marriage is an institution designed to compose sex differences, meanwhile effecting the continuation of civilization and insuring the reproduction of the race.
Marriage is the mother of all human institutions, for it leads directly to home founding and home maintenance, which is the structural basis of society. The family is vitally linked to the mechanism of self-maintenance; it is the sole hope of race perpetuation under the mores of civilization, while at the same time it most effectively provides certain highly satisfactory forms of self-gratification. The family is man's greatest purely human achievement, combining as it does the evolution of the biologic relations of male and female with the social relations of husband and wife.
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