Wednesday, August 26, 2009

National Women's Equality Day

Yesterday I was exclaiming my discovery (thanks to a GoogleDoodle made of telescopes) that it was the 400th birthday of Galileo's telescope. A coworker of mine responded, "Tomorrow is National Women's Equality Day!"

I was so excited to hear that. I mean, I grew up with a mom who was a housewife. Any jobs she held were out of absolute necessity and were scheduled during hours that we were at school or sleeping. She gave everything to her family, and I consider that no demeaning thing. I think of my own mother with the highest regard, and believe there is much more work to caring for a family and a home than your average modern feminists would acknowledge.

However, I also greatly admire women who take on other roles. Countless women have given themselves to the mission field, to the medical field, to education, to music, to art, to the corporate arena, and beyond.

I have to tell you that when I walk into an exam room to find that my doctor (or NPC, or PA) is a woman, I am greatly relieved. No matter how calm and gentle a male doctor may manage to be, there is still a much higher level of comfort for me when I am being attended to by a woman. And I have never ever felt that because my attending physician was a woman, she was less intelligent or less well equipped to take care of me. In fact, scientifically speaking, the biggest differences between male and female brains tend to be (since even these traits are not gender specific) approaches to problem solving (big picture vs. minor details, etc.), and styles of learning (tactile, visual, audio, kinesthetic, etc.). But regardless, women who work outside the home are also a huge help to society.

Imagine walking into a bank today, and seeing only male tellers behind the counter. Wouldn't that look bizarre? We are so used to being waited on by women in professions such as these, so why do female tellers get paid (on average) $1 less per hour than their male counterparts? Female employees in most industries make less than their male counterparts. Why is that ok? Why is that acceptable?

Days like this are necessary to raise the public awareness of the issue. The problem is, why does no one else seem to know it is National Women's Equality Day? There was a GoogleDoodle for Galileo's telescope yesterday, but nothing for NWE Day today. It is a national holiday, but it is not on any calendars that I have seen.

You don't have to be a card-carrying feminist to know and understand that women are vital to our society. Not just from a physiological standpoint of procreation, but we need the compassion, the dedication, the drive, the intelligence, and the insight of women as a driving force in our society today. More than just empowering women who work outside the home, mothers who are at home caring for their children and home are often treated as "less than" the men in the world with their lofty professions. If you believe that staying home to be a housewife and mother is a noble calling (as I do), than National Women's Equality Day should be important to you, too.

The same Bible that says "Wives submit to your husbands," also says "Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her (Ephesians 5:25). That is not a knock against biblical wifely submission at all, but just pointing out that the headship of a marriage relationship does not indicate that men and women are not equal in God's sight, intellectually, and insofar as capabilities. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3;28)

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