Are Men and Women Equal?
We live in a society that prides itself on equality between the genders. Society preaches to us that whatever a man can do, so can a woman. This forward-thinking society regards equality as sacred. Equality is enshrined in English Law. The Equality Act 2010 aims to protect against inequality in society. Under the 2010 Act age, disability, race, religion and gender are among some areas that are protected from inequality. In section 11 the law states, “In relation to the protected characteristic of sex— (a) a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a man or to a woman; (b) a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference to persons of the same sex.” The law also promotes equality in the workplace (Chapter 3, sections 64-80). This is all well and good, but in reality, are men and women equal?
From a scientific perspective, what determines our gender is genetics. Male and female human beings have 46 chromosomes. 23 are given by the mother in the egg and 23 are given by the Father in the sperm. From the moment of fertilisation, when these chromosomes combine a new, distinct, living and whole human being life comes into existence. These 46 chromosomes, 2 control what our lifelong gender will be. These are known as the sex chromosomes or sex pair. If this pair is an XX you will be female. If this pair is XY you will be male. The female sex chromosome is always X, what determines the gender fundamentally comes down to which sperm cell from the man fertilises the egg. Sperm cells will either carry an X sex chromosome or a Y sex chromosome. If the one carrying the X fertilises the egg it will be a girl. If it’s the one carrying the Y it will be a boy. So this is the science and biology behind gender. We are assigned our gender by God in the womb of our mother. Gender and sex in our society are treated as two different things, but in reality, our gender and sex are the same.
Before I go any further let’s get a dictionary definition of the word equal. The Oxford English Dictionary defines equal in two ways Firstly, “the same in quantity, size, value or status. Secondly, “evenly balanced.” Men and women are different in a number of ways. However, they are both of equal value before God. The soul of a male is of equal worth to that of a female soul. However, this does not mean that men and women are equal in everything. God made men and women different and distinct for a reason. For example, the male brain is different to the female brain. The male and female skeleton is different. The male retina is thicker and females have better hearing than males. Females can verbally express their emotions better than males. Males naturally use movement to think. Boys are more likely to take risks. Females are easier to startle. Males are more likely to die from an accident than females. Also, females generally have a strong immune system than men. Gender dichotomy is clearly part of God’s plan and design. A number of people will reject these differences because it is socially unacceptable to promote the fact that in many ways men and women are not equal. In fact, from a biological point of view men are superior to women in some areas and women are superior to men in some areas.
When a woman gets married she is expected to take the family name of her husband. It is the norm in the United Kingdom, but there is no legal requirement for her to do so. In Japan for example it is a legal requirement for a married couple to have the same family name. It is also generally accepted that when children are born they take the surname of their father. Even though the child is equally created by the mother and father the male name is given. The mother has spent 9 months carrying the child, yet this is still not enough. This is to show that a child has been born within wedlock. There once was a time when being born outside of marriage was frown up and women were treated with hostility if they were pregnant by a man whom they were not married to. Society’s view and attitude on this topic have changed. As a society, we are far more relaxed about men and women having children outside of marriage. In 2017 a poll has shown that 48% of children were born outside of wedlock. A large number of these children took the name of their father. I am one of those who were born outside of wedlock and took my father’s family name. Personally, I prefer the family name of my mother. I have far more in common with family members on my mother’s side. I have never used my mother’s family name to introduce myself or on any document. However, I am just as much a “Rogers” (my mother’s family name) as a “Hughes” (my father’s family name).
The family is the bedrock of society. If you destroy the family, you destroy society. We have lost the true meaning of family in the western world. The decline in family values has resulted in the morality of society. As Christians, we ought to have Scripture as our final authority, not society or the mood of the current day.
In Colossians 3 the Bible says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged” (Col 3. 18-21). Scripture teaches that the wife is to submit to the authority of their husband as he is the head. Just as Christ is the head of the Church, the husband is the head of the wife (Eph 5.23 & 1 Cor. 11:3). However, husbands are not to rule over their wife with malice and ruthless authority. In Colossians and Ephesians, loving authority is promoted. This love is to be like the love Christ has for his Church. Christ purchased the church by love, Christ protects the church, by love and Christ keeps the church, by love. Just because someone has authority over you does not mean they are to do whatever they want. Christ’s authority over us is for our well-being and joy. In Ephesians 5:28 husband are told to love their wives as their own bodies, for the two have been joined together as one body in marriage. This biblical truth is now seen as an old-fashioned and outdated idea of family and marriage.
The attack on family values and gender roles are due largely to the feminist movement. Feminism has destroyed what it means to be a woman, there is nothing feminine about the feminism movement. The movement advocates equal rights for men and women socially, politically, economically and in every way possible. They reject the biblical teachings that married women with children are to be keepers of the home and obedient to their own husband (Titus 2:4-5). They also reject the biblical teaching that it is a curse from God to have women ruling over a people and nation (Isaiah 3:12). In his work The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women John Knox argued that against female authority. He rightly stated that the rule of women is both repugnant to God and nature. The feminist movement rejects the biblical roles of men and women in marriage, society and the church. They also defend abortion, stating it is a woman’s right to choose. Some feminist rightly speaks out against male-to-female transgender people partaking in female sports. Women are at a great disadvantage when competing against opponents who are born male. For example, in sports that require physical strength. This type of feminism is common sense and good. However, the number of people who call themselves feminists who promote a biblical view of womanhood is small. Radical feminism goes as far as to deny any difference between men and women. Militant feminist call on all women to raise up against God’s order for mankind.
The people of God ought to speak against feminism as an ungodly movement. Due to political correctness, many are so sensitive not to offend and remain silent on such matters. Many Christian churches have lost their way and voice by not using the authority of Scripture to speak against feminism. The Church of England is a prime example. On 12 March 1994, the first 32 women were ordained as Church of England priests. The service was officiated by Bishop Barry Rogerson in Bristol Cathedral. The first woman to be appointed diocesan bishop was Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester, appointed on March 26, 2015. In 1994 a number of Church of England ministers left the Church of England as the Church adopted an unbiblical and ungodly doctrine. They broke away and formed the Church of England (Continuing) which was formed on February 10, 1994. There were further protests made in 2015 at York Minister when Libby Lane usurped her place as Bishop of Stockport on 26 January. The Rev Paul Williamson stepped forward and boldly declared that female bishops are “not in the Bible” after the Archbishop of York asked the church if Mrs Lane should be ordained as a bishop. Rev Williamson wanted to speak on the “absolute impediment” but not denied the authority to do so.
God has clearly stated in Scripture that although men and women are equal in terms of their salvation and value as people their roles and position in society and the church are not equal. As Christians, we ought to promote and celebrate the differences between men and women. We ought not to be ashamed or embarrassed about differences between men and women. Traditional family values served this country well until they were destroyed. We live in a confusing world because men and women don’t know what their role, calling and position is anymore. God is not the author of confusion. Let men be men and let women be women.