Thank God for not making me a woman!(A man’s prayer)
ZK Pahrü Pou
THANK God for not making me a woman!!! If I were made a woman then I would be considered inferior to man. I would be confined to my own home and laden with domestic chores like my mother and sisters. My parents would poke me up early in the morning to fetch water and make fire while my brothers snore from their beds comfortably! I would be preparing breakfast for them. While I am busy with cooking, cleaning utensils, washing clothes and room floors, my Daddy and brothers would be enjoying reading newspaper and watching TV. I would get scolding from brothers when a utensil slip off my hands and make noise although he himself would never wash a plate.
My parents would not give me even a short recess to go out and play while my brothers play the whole day. I would be helping my mother in cleaning our newly born baby’s waste. I would be carrying the baby on my back who would unmindfully piss and shit on my dress. Then I would be considered ‘unclean’ by man who hardly does anything for the ‘production of life’.
Chickens and pigs would be grumbling early in the morning after night’s fast but my brothers would not pay any attention. I would be rushing to make peace with them by feeding them. Then I would be going to field while my brothers go to school. In this way, I would be busy throughout my life but my life-saving works would go ‘unnoticed’ and ‘unrecognized’ in our society. Therefore, I thank thee, oh God, for making me a man and not a woman!!!
Thank God for not making me a woman!!! If I were made a woman then I would not inherit equal property from my parents in spite of my hard work and contribution to the family. I would not get equal opportunity to get education and would not have freedom to choose my career. I would not even have freedom to choose my life partner like brothers. I would be treated as ‘other body’ within the family as I would be marrying off to outside clan members. The way I dress would be judged every day (from market to worship places) by man-made society simply because I am a woman. Sometimes, I would be verbally and sexually molested but people would blame me and not the perpetrator (man). I would be strictly warned to maintain ‘moral codes’ whereas my brothers would be free to roam around with ‘do as you like’ command. My own dear mother, who herself have ‘internalized’ patriarchal values from her childhood, would impose on me all these restrictions. Therefore, I thank thee, oh God, for making me a man and not a woman!!!
Thank God for not making me a woman!!! If I were made a woman then I would not be getting equal opportunity in the Church’s ministry. I would be side-lined in church leadership role in spite of my high theological training and spiritual maturity. Male chauvinist preachers would quote certain passages from Bible and try to keep me under men’s control as if submission to man is a gateway for woman to reach God. I would not be allowed to ‘serve’ Holy Communion but invited to ‘serve’ tea to men in all church special occasions and meetings as if I am their servant or cooks.
As a mother I would be crippled to attend church services because I would be burdened with the needs of my children and domestic chores. My husband would not show even a slightest sign of concern to all these burdens. When I get job in institutions or Church, my body would be torn apart as my husband/brothers would not help me in taking care of our home as it is like a taboo for a man. I would not be allowed to participate in decision making bodies by man-made society. When I speak in public, I would be judged as ‘woman’ and not as an individual person. When I talk about politics, it would be a nightmare for my husband/brothers and all his friends. Because of all these discrimination against women, I don’t want to be a woman. Therefore, I thank thee, oh God, for making me a man and not a woman!!!
While giving thanks to thee oh God, for not making me a woman, I have some questions to ask you God: Do you feel ‘happy’ for thanking Thee with derogatory remarks on women? Are women not fully human beings? Are they destined to serve men? Is inequality that exists between man and woman part of your good creation Or is this the result of the fall of human being? Is sexual division of labour that has been crippling women’s freedom of movement, created by Thee or man-made? Can a man ever enter into your Kingdom without repenting from his oppressive attitude towards woman?
Lately, oh God, I am realising that the man’s silent prayer—thanking thee for not making him a woman – totally nonsense because the God whom we believe and worship is God of Justice and Love. God indeed thou art not the cause of woman’s suffering. Indeed, biblically speaking, the oppression against women is the result of the Fall (Genesis Account) that resulted to patriarchy (deviation from God’s just rule to man’s unjust rule). We must redeem humanity from this fall and bring equality and harmony. God is a merciful God who hates any ideology/practice that depicts the other person inferior or worthless as everyone bears the image of God in him or her.
Men must repent from their aggressive acts and sinful prayers that oppress women. They need to learn the ‘sacrificial role’ of Jesus Christ, humble down and share leadership role in society and Church as well as share domestic chores along with mothers and sisters at home.
It’s time for our parents to burst out from patriarchal cocoon and give our sisters equal treatment at home, equal freedom of choice for their life, equal share of property and equal opportunity in education/profession like brothers. Our church leaders need to understand that God is Spirit – who is beyond sexual category and that woman need not possess man’s body to be in God’s ministry.
Above all, we need to change our mentality and prayer from “Thank God for not making me a woman” to “Thank God for making us (as man & woman) to enjoy our life together.” Let there be transformation in our society and let this transformation begin from your family today!