Jimmy Carter on Male Readings of Sacred Text
My thoughts on the issue are up on On Faith
. The title isn't a very good reflection of the piece, but it'll have to do.
It's terribly complex to talk about equality. I wish there had been space on the On Faith post to dissect what equality might look like. As far as I'm concerned, equality does not mean that the lives of men and women become identical (at least not necessarily) but rather than men and women have the same ability to make choices about how to live their lives. That includes seemingly small daily choices about what to wear (and though we might like to minimize it, the practical reality is that our choices in what to wear affect how people see us, from looking at us as hyper-religious and consertive, to thinking of us as business partners, to reacting to our sexulity, or judging us as hippies, yuppies, and everything in between). And it includes major choices that affect the course of our lives - choices about who and whether we will marry, about when and whether and how many children we want to bear and/or raise, about what career to pursue, or whether to devote several years to raising children.
This is the equality I seek. An equality of opportunity and agency within our own lives. No doubt, many women would make choices that I would not make, and that might be perceived by me as anti-feminist, but it should be THEIR choice to make, not mine, not their fathers or their brothers or their husbands or their governments. Obviously, in some places men also do not have such personal freedom. That too, is a goal to work for.