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International Women’s Day

Tiffany Ward comments
| Culture

International Women’s Day, originally called International Working Women’s Day, is a day which commemorates the movement for women’s rights. In an attempt to display the necessity and value of women and their work, Women’s March created an international protest called “A Day Without a Woman.” On March 8th they are calling on women not to engage in any paid or unpaid work, not to spend any money, and to wear the color red in solidarity. From their website:

On International Women's Day, March 8th, women and our allies will act together for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity.

There is a lot of irony in this protest. While the official International’s Women’s Day campaign is calling on women to be bold for change, Women’s March is calling on women to be idle for change. Though this stands in a long tradition of boycotting and striking, I believe that it is fundamentally counter-intuitive to garnering the respect and honor of men.

Women are unbelievably important. It was not first a feminist who said that it is not good for man to be alone, but God Himself. Today, women are grasping at straws to say what God has already said. When God had created the world he created it good. Light and dark were good, sky and land were good, earth and sea were good, sun and moon were good, plants and animals were good; it was all good! When God created man, however, suddenly something was startlingly “not good.” This creation was perfect, and yet something was distinctly “not good.” It is not good that man should be alone. Man needed God to make a helper akin to him. Humanity was in no way complete until woman appeared, she was needed to co-partner with man for their work on this earth. Thus God made mankind in His image, both male and female (Gen 1-2). 

It is not surprising that the New Testament calls woman “the glory of man” (1 Cor 11:7). There was never such a high view of women in the ancient world (or even today) except for in the word of God, because He alone knew for exactly how high a calling He created women. The proof of woman's worth will not be shown by her neglecting her calling, but by her fulfilling her calling. She will be shown to be the glory of man if she, like Sarah, could recognize the dignity and honor of womanhood in all that it entails. Women are so glorious in the way they have been made, but they yearn to exchange that feminine glory to be seen as men. If women want to be praised, disappearing so that men notice their absence will not do it, but standing up in the strength and honor of fulfilling their role to be incredible and necessary helpers will.

No woman would want men to forgo their work for a day in a childish attempt to prove that they are worthy of respect. That would produce nothing but resentment. Yet, if men stood up and did their duties with nobility, satisfaction, self-sufficiency, and humility, we would race to praise them! As women we need to be consistent. If we want to be respected, we need to behave in a manner worthy of respect. It is worthy of respect to do our tasks, even under thankless circumstances, but it is dishonorable to forego our tasks and demand respect. The reason we see the latter occurring instead of the former is because the latter requires only one day’s effort and not a lifetime of daily sacrifice and humility.

We as women must first understand that we are made in the image of God, that woman was created to supply what was lacking, that men are in desperate need of the helpers of humanity, and that together men’s weaknesses highlight women’s strengths and vice versa. As women we have lost the power of our voice because we refuse to let God speak. Women need to be free because the Lord has made them free. Women need to be equal, because the Lord has made them equal and yet unique. Women need to be loved, protected, and provided for because the Lord has commanded this of men. We do ourselves a great disfavor when we try to say something better than God did. Today we try to say that man needs woman, and yet God has already said this and with an authority that is binding to the consciences of all men. Yet this same God has also called us to be dignified helpers and that is equally binding. Injuring men by ignoring our daily tasks while demanding them to respect us is not an act of unifying the sexes, it is an act of dividing them. However, fulfilling our noble calling with humility and joy in our hearts, whether it proves thankless or not, will garner the respect due us by men because it is this attitude which deserves respect. 

Author

Tiffany Ward

Tiffany Ward is a Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary student pursuing a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies. She lives in St. Augustine, Florida with her husband Ben who is pursuing ministry in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.