Friday, Oct 24, 2014
Linda Downing

The other March Madness


Published:   |   Updated: May 2, 2013 at 12:54 PM

"March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb," says the old proverb. On all fronts, the lamb days are over. In 1987, Congress designated March as Women's History Month. Let's celebrate.

History is happening now. The December 2009 Vogue included the best story this writer has ever read of women's desire for equality. War correspondent Elizabeth Rubin, in "Embed With An Embed," wrote about being pregnant and embedded with soldiers in Afghanistan. To do the job she feels is her calling, she kept her pregnancy secret.

From April 7, 1805, when the Native-American woman, Sacagawea, began work interpreting for Lewis and Clark, until American woman got the right to vote on Aug. 26, 1920, was 115 years.

Before and since then, capable women labored under the misnomer of the "weaker sex," bound by unions naming men as "heads."

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands...For the husband is the head of the wife..." (Ephesians 5:22-23), a few words out of context, ruled the world before Paul wrote them. That's "why" he wrote them (keep reading).

Predictable frustration became irreconcilable differences, the battle of the sexes, in movies like "The War of the Roses."

By the time Oliver and Barbara Rose swing from the chandelier in the disastrous ending, this slapstick tragedy has well illustrated why world peace still eludes us.

The Global Gender Gap Index released a survey of 134 nations in Oct. 2009 that showed women still behind men in economic and political power.

Iceland came closest to 100 percent gender equality at 82.8 percent, other Nordic countries just behind. The United States dropped from 27th to 31st place. To his credit, President Obama's first signed law, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, made it easier for workers to sue for pay discrimination.

After her Afghanistan stint and the delivery of her baby girl, Rubin wrote: "Is it true that the toughest adversary for women is still other women?" It may be, since polls indicate a majority of women, most unable to give a logical explanation, prefer males in top positions.

National statistics indicate seven out of 10 in church on Sundays and 80 percent at midweek are women, yet 95 percent of senior pastors are men. Why?

Drew Dyck, a male graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary, wrote in the May 2008 Charisma: "This crisis is spiritual at the core," speaking of the decline of men in the church.

Let's look at the bigger picture: war on terrorism, worsening economy, failing education system, and devastated families. Covenants, including marriage, need all, male and female, to be equal, respected and actively solving these dilemmas.

Many of Paul's words speak to cultural problems. By "submit yourselves," he did not mean, "obey," but "depend upon." By "head," he meant "source," a servant.

That mentality upgrades the relationship of husband-wife, pastor-congregation, CEO-labor, Congress-people. Understanding it is sexually neutral, spiritually potent.

Understanding it, like the Chilean earthquake, could shake earth's axis and put us on the right course.

Women's History Month, an ode to March madness, could honor us all.

Finding truth requires the right starting point. That is the quest of this column. If you are a seeker of simple truth, we can find it together-side-by-side.


Linda M. Downing is a freelance writer. Contact her at lindadowning.com.

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