Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Status of the woman in the history

The Lord God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” So the Lord God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave names  ….  but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man. So the Lord God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The Lord God then built up into a woman the rib …. When he brought her to the man, the man said: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.

Gn 2,18-24

This page of the Genesis shows us the reality of the marriage in its origin, when the project was prompted by God.  The equality of dignity between the man and the woman is clear. However, following the sin the status of the woman in the history has lapsed. The question we ask is: why the original sin led to the decline of the woman versus the man and not vice versa ?…. Meditating on how, over the centuries, the woman has regained her human dignity, it seems that the reason is to be found in the second  mandate which they had received from the Lord, to subdue the earth, to which the woman, for various reasons, participated in a subordinate manner. Infact, the overall mandate was:  “God blessed them, saying: ’Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth’ “ (Gn 1,28). To subdue the earth and participate in the evolution of the progress meant  to suit it to the changing needs of the humanity. In the jewish as well as in the classic culture, it was as if the cry of joy of the man had disappeared in the history, because he no longer felt the woman next to him in his business affairs: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”. The subject of the appreciation of the woman was taken personally by Jesus, not because he has done it a subject for teaching, but due to his behavior toward the woman which appears in the gospels. We think of his conversation with the samaritan woman (Jn  4,7-26), of the sinful free attitude of the pharisee’s house (Mk 14,2-9), or of the episode in which  he entrusted to Mary Magdalene the task to bring the proclamation of the Resurrection to the apostles (Jn 20,17). The example of Jesus, however, was not transferred in the Church: even in the letters of Paul, the woman is clearly considered less important than the man. Going to glean on the subject over the centuries, beyond a certain appreciation of the woman taken place with the french revolution in the late eighteenth century, the history teaches that the decisive step took place in the second half of the last century when, in few decades, she has managed to radically change her condition, erasing any trace of inferiority and setting the stage for a more complete equality with the man. In those years it was even considered to suppress in God the name of “Father”, with clear accents of counter masculinity. The main reason for this change was the process of industrialization in which the woman since then has always participated, reaching also significant levels of career. The woman, beginning to participate in the social and technological progress and obtaining her remuneration, has regained, in the society and at home, that appreciation which has been lost over the centuries. her repositioning in the human history was, moreover, one of the reasons why the progress of the last century has made great strides. Nowadays a man can cry again: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” but to make possible to affirm this concept the woman should not lose her femininity or surrender to the counter masculinity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *