AN «IGNORED REVOLUTION»
Jesus adopted an attitude so surprising before women that it upset even his own disciples. In that Jewish society, dominated by men, it wasn’t easy to understand Jesus’ new position, welcoming men and women without discrimination into his community of followers. If something comes away clearly about his way of acting, it’s that for him men and women have the same personal dignity, without which the woman has to be an object of the domination of man.
However, we Christians haven’t yet been capable of extracting all the consequences that follow from the attitude of our Master. The French theologian Rene Laurentin has come to say that it involves an «ignored revolution» for the Church.
Generally we men keep being suspicious of every feminist movement, and we secretly react against any suggestion that could put our privileged situation over woman in danger.
In a Church led by men, we haven’t been able to discover the whole sin that is contained in the dominion that we men exercise, in so many ways, over women. And it’s certain that there aren’t heard from the hierarchy the voices that in Christ’s name urge men to a deep conversion.
We followers of Jesus must be conscious that the current domination of men over women isn’t «something natural», but a way of behavior profoundly corrupted by selfishness and the unjust imposition of our male chauvinist power.
Is it possible to overcome this masculine domination? The revolution urged by Jesus won’t be brought to completion by awakening mutual aggression and promoting a war between the sexes. Jesus calls to a conversion that makes us live in another way the relationships that unite us as men and women.
The differences between the sexes, besides their function in the origin of a new life, must be pointed toward cooperation, support and mutual growth. And to achieve that, we men must listen with much more lucidity and sincerity to the one who questions us and out of whom, according the Gospel story, «came power» to heal the woman.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf