Monday 19 March 2012

How are we free?

Are we free? Are we equals?
I am tired of hearing so-called religious people condemn the idea of freedom and equality. How are we free? The question deepens – how as women, are we free?
The reality of rape is our continual reality in this place we call home. And when I think about it, it sickens me. The fact that God made me a woman and gave me dominion over my own body and then somebody comes and takes that away. By force. Against the desire of the person being raped. Who gives someone else that right! No one. We are taught about the sanctity of intimacy and the sanctity of our womanhood and yet here someone filled with evil destroys something sacred, someone cherished, something that belongs to you or me. Does that make us free?
And then we scream from our pulpits our women are inferior and men superior. Theologians (and I have heard them with my own ears!) simply state again – that a woman’s body belongs to a man – her husband and that she needs to submit to him in all ways including sexually. That is her duty. So where then are we left? Where is a woman left? Where is her voice? Where are her needs or wants or desires? Where is her will? Where is she? It sickens me.
I met a woman who was sexually abused within her marriage for many years, when she approached the church they told her that within marriage there is no such thing as sexual abuse – because a woman must submit to a man! I do not know how these people understand God but it is not the same God that I know – that tells me I have freedom, I have freedom over my own body, over my own choices, over my life. With that freedom, the reality of responsibility but the responsibility should be mine and not someone else’s.
I grow weary of people sending out contradictory messages – we need to start opening up those closed eyes and realize that we are who we are. Accept it and do not hate the sister who speaks up for equality it is because of her voice that one day someone may reach out to you. We need to embrace one another as equals and not as inferior, as co-rulers and not as masters and subjects.

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