Saturday, May 30, 2009

Some things that puzzled me at the crossroads

Let me preface by telling you that I'm something of a feminist (and perhaps just a little bit of a conspiracy freak). I do not know if it's the way I was raised, of if I was influenced by having four daughters with my wife. Although I often caught a little friendly ribbing about being "henpecked", I was the first member of the family to join NOW.

Several days ago, I rode the trail to the lakeshore. I came to this intersection, at a pleasant park which seems to cater to family gatherings, but is also a trailhead.

From the photo, you may be able to discern that the trail to the lower right goes back the way from which I came. Going off toward the left is the Corps of Engineers trail leading to the lake, while another branch leads to the trailhead parking, which also serves the park.

As I approached the intersection, a lady on a bicycle crossed and headed uphill on the portion of trail that centers the photo. Not too far behind the lady, was a man on another bicycle who called out, apparently using the lady's name. "You're going the wrong way!", he shouted.

And I'm still wondering, "Was she going the wrong way, and, if so, how did he know?" The way she was going led directly to the restrooms and water fountains. Why was he so sure she'd taken a wrong route?

For so many years, since antiquity, the male has always dominated in virtually every human culture. Is there a reason for this, or was it simply a matter of brute force, or brawn over beauty? Does might automatically make right? I'll always wonder.

Does anyone remember the movie version of "Hawaii", when Julie Andrews (Jerusha) asked the young native girl, "Whose baby is it?", to which the girl replied without hesitation, "It's MY baby!" We all know it takes two to make a baby, but why is it usually implied that children belong to the father, and the mother was just an incubator?

Another puzzling thing to me is Genesis. Think about it!

Chapter I:26
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Then in Chapter V, which is the one used by Bishop Usher to count up the days since God created the earth:
1: This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him.
2: Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

In Chapter II comes that story about Adam and Eve, who began to lose favor with God through the actions of the woman, who, by nature, should be subservient according to this account. After all, she would not exist except for the sacrifice of a body part from Adam.

This third account, stuck in between the two other equally valid ones, is the one taught to kids in Sunday school, so it's the one we think of most often. Is there method in this?

There are those (some much more learned and historically oriented than Dan Brown) who believe that Mary Magdalene was never a prostitute. Is it possible that this conjecture was fabricated by the male priesthood to diminish her? I sorta think that "prostitution" and "priesthood" probably developed concurrently in the history of mankind. The bad rap given to prostitution over the ages could easily be a successful attempt to thwart competition.

Perhaps the concept of male dominance in society has always been just that. Allowing the "weaker sex" too much authority would certainly make life more difficult, wouldn't it?


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