"He for God only, she for God in him."
John Milton, Paradise Lost 4:288-9
The right and propensity to command, and the might to enforce, belong together. In God their separation is unthinkable, and the correlation is manifested in humanity God's image, in which men have the right and might to rule.
But this reasoning does not also justify stronger men imposing on weaker men, random variations with no special significance whereas sexual asymmetry is a creational structure with a definite role.
A woman can and should form her own opinions, though moulding them around her king's as far as possible.
On any given question, a particular woman may understand better than a particular man, and be able to teach him. A wise man takes advice of a wiser woman, and gives her much scope for initiative. In feminine areas like childcare her understanding is usually superior, and a wise man will generally permit her to work without interference, and where expedient to teach him. But united purpose is needed in such fields as much as in others, so in principle the man must rule; if she cannot persuade him she obeys his judgment, however confident that hers is better.
In neutral or mixed matters she is probably right on half of occasions; it may be hard to discern them, but he should try. In masculine matters she is less likely to be right so he should be more cautious. In all matters, the wiser she has shown herself, the more readily he should take her advice. Our model in this is Sergeant Bagnet from Dickens' "Bleak House"; whenever asked for an opinion he ordered his wife, "Old girl, tell them my opinion". She did so, beginning "I should think your opinion would be ...", and he always agreed with her.
Women are unsuited to masculine roles, and should only be given them in exceptional circumstances. For instance, in an organisation female experts should generally be consultants rather than managers.
Even if there is too little female input in certain areas, pushing women into masculine roles via quotas (mandatory or otherwise) does more harm than good.
But where circumstances and her aptitude make it appropriate there is nothing wrong with a man undertaking to take ongoing instructions from a woman, as part of a contract with her king.
"You would waste the talents of half the population."
It is feminism that wastes female energy, in the futile attempt to compete with men. Liberated from this, a woman is free to develop in a feminine way, which involves serving them. Unconsciously a woman often understands what consciously she denies, that she needs to be subject to the will of a man, which is why in this age of equality so many women dream of being forcibly fucked. (I mean "dream" literally, not figuratively. My claim that such dreams have become more frequent is based on memory of having read about such things, so I cannot quote exact numbers, but it is certainly true that such dreams occur.)
(Christianoid Egalitarianism) "Male headship is so Old Testament. The New Testament teaches equality between the sexes."
(Christianoid Semi-Egalitarianism) "I broadly agree about male headship, but the New Testament does also contain a doctrine of equality between the sexes, and putting the two together gives a balanced view that is very different from the absolute subjection of women that you propose."
Full androcracy is also the New Testament view.
Einstein jested that God casts no dice, but certainly he spun no coin to decide which sex his mediator would be. For him to be man was ipso facto to be male. If man had never sinned, the mediator would still have become a man; this was not a makeshift but an inherent part of God's plan to "bring many sons to glory" for which he made the world and in which he persevered even when sin increased the cost. So we see that male humanity was created compatible with hypostatic union with deity, and female presumably not. From eternity God is masculine, and to eternity he is male. To me this seems significant.
The gospel contains no life manual. Such a manual was not needed, for man's moral blindness arises from wilfulness not from disability (Rom 1.32). Instead it tells us what even the holy angels could not conceive, "the old, old story ... God's remedy for sin". Its author and apostles mentioned principles of conduct only as illustrations or applications; these "ethical passages" are useful as prompts but are no basis for an overall understanding, which instead must rely on a nexus of reflections such as those I have pursued above.
The following passages from the Bible illustrate my theme.
Genesis 1.27. "In the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." No indication here as to symmetry, but several of those below are clearly asymmetrical.
Genesis 2.18, 24; Mat 19.8. "I will make him a helper fit for him. ... They become one flesh. ... From the beginning it was [so]." It is important to understand sexual bifurcation creationally, in abstraction from the fall.
Proverbs 31.10-31. "A good wife who can find? ... The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. ... Her husband in known in the gates. ... Give her of the fruit of her hands." This song of praise to the best of women still implies unlimited male headship, albeit the woman is given much scope for initiative. Note that the fruit is not hers until given.
1st Corinthians 11.3, 8. "The head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her man. ... Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man."
1st Corinthians 11.14. "Nature itself teaches you ...." These words are unduly neglected. It is only one verse so proceed with caution, but I think it implies a general principle, and should warn us against identifying nature [fusis], which is good, with flesh [sarx], which in its characteristically Pauline sense is evil, even though they sometimes seem to coincide.
1st Corinthians 14.34. "Women ... are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate."
Ephesians 3.14-15; Heb 1.2. "... the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named ..." ... "He has spoken to us by a son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world." These point us to sexual asymmetry as part of God's creation plan.
Ephesians 5.24-25, 33 (likewise Col 3.18-19; Tit 2.3-5). "As the ekklesia is subject to Christ, so let women also be subject in everything to their men. Men, agapise your women. ... Let each one of you agapise his woman as himself, and let the woman see that she fears her man." Yes, fears (fobetai).
1st Timothy 2.11-14. "Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or have authority over men. ... For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor." Woman is in no sense "more guilty" of the fall than man; on the contrary, if it is literally true that Adam's first choice preceded Eve's then the earliest choice conditioned by the Defection must have been made by Adam. I guess he failed to guide her, leading to the overt defection of which Genesis speaks. Likewise women are not primarily to blame for feminism; they are victims of men's abdication.
1st Peter 3.1-7. "You women be submissive to your men, so that some, though they do not obey the word, may be won without a word ... when they see your reverent and chaste behaviour. ... Let not yours be the outward adorning ... but let it be ... the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit. ... So once the holy women ... used to adorn themselves and were submissive to their men." Some hints here, I think, about female manners.
(Androcracy in Name Only) "Surely there must be limits on this. Surely, if her king wants her to do something that is obviously wrong, she should do what is right instead."
This is just another way to say "I will obey him if I agree with him". There is no separate category of "obvious wrongs"; it is a sliding scale. Where will you draw the line? How "obvious" must it be to serve as excuse for your rebellion? That is, how confident are you in your own judgment about it? To allow exceptions would grant a license for arrogant women to defy their kings.
(continued) "But what if he tells me to lie to you about what I believe? Or poison you? That can't be right."
It might be. If he thinks I am (physically) attacking him, he is entitled to use all necessary means to stop me, including deceit and assassination. As with all other matters, it is not for his woman to decide but to obey.
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