“Go Grannies Go”

grannyIt was International Women’s Day, 2008. In a powerful and evocative moment, for the first time, South African and Swazi grandmothers came together and demonstrated in Manzini, Swaziland, for women’s rights and gender equality…. fighting against domestic violence, elder abuse, lobbying for pensions, pushing for safety and rights of grandmothers and their grandchildren.  Grandmothers are a tremendous force for change in South Arica, as millions are orphaned because of AIDS and they are the ones raising the new generation. Strange that the biggest opposition came from men! They were the bystanders, men who yelled back at these women: “return to the kitchen and cooking”,  “go home old women” (courtesy of The Toronto Star).

I am sure this news evoked a whole lot of questions such as:

  • Were these men “church goers” who felt that was normal?
  • When did this culture start?  Where did the term “weaker sex” comes from?
  • Was it from the incomplete interpretation of Scriptures like Adam was created first, Eve later as just a help mate?  Eve was first beguiled by Satan?  “Let women learn in silence”?
  • Or is it simply the physical factor – “might is right”?

This scenario is not confined to South Africa. We may not like to admit it, but the West is not that far off.  Some may recall the slang/joke few years ago on women: “keep them barefoot and pregnant” or “their place is in the home”!

There is a lot to write on this, but I will reduce to the following observations for now:

  • ”Honour thy father and mother”, one of the ten Ten Commandments with a promise attached. Any that honour mothers will honour women.
  • Jesus respected even a woman caught in adultery.  Notice the venue, the holy temple, the holy men, quoting holy Scripture advocating stoning!  When pressed further, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone”, answered Jesus.  The holy men quietly slipped away. Jesus rebuked the holy and restored the sinner.  Jesus restored her self respect!
  • Jesus said respectfully to a Gentile Cananite lady: ”Dear woman, Great is thy faith” (NLT)
  • Jesus took seriously a son’s responsibility to his widowed mother, charging John to take care of his Mother. John obeyed, most probably at the church in Ephesus.
  • Paul affectionately called Rufus’s mother “also a mother to me”. Timothy was influenced by grandmother Lois and mother Eunice.  Paul considered Lydia, Priscilla, Phoebe, etc, as “co-workers” of Apostles. That is not a small honour!
  • Many missions abroad were pioneered by single women missionaries.

I read about Irwin Cotler, MP, Canada. “He became one of the thorn in the flesh to the Soviet Union for his work on the release of Soviet Jew Anatoly Shransky.  Russians called Cotler a spy and got him almost poisoned by the KGB.  Cotler was also one of the few Westerners picked up by the police in South Africa when he boldly told the Apartheid Regime to release Nelson Mandela, particularly when other mighty democratic nations were silent.  When asked where did he get the courage and guts to stand up for the rights of the oppressed?  He answered, “My mother instilled a passion for social justice”.

Our world would be far worse off but for the women who rocked the cradles.  It would also be a far better world if women were treated with respect as commanded in the decalogue and as demonstrated by Jesus.  “Go grannies go”!

God bless,     Danny Paul

PS: God willing, I will continue on this theme later on as Part 2.  In the meanwhile, I would like to hear from you on this subject.



9 Replies to ““Go Grannies Go””

  1. Danny
    This is great, you just touch in one of the points that make us men to make so many mistakes for not hear women and put them in the status that we still see them even on today’s time and all over the world.
    Peace in the world should start right at home (Remember Lisistrata?).

    1. Hi Adelino, Excellent Comments are pouring in from different directions. What a fantastic way to approach a subject from Biblical, Scientific and Classics (by Aristophanes) with a little bit of Adult Material, yet true. Thank you my friend.

  2. Wives are told to submit to their husbands as unto the Lord, and men are told to love their wives. Quite different from treating women as property. At the same time we are all equal at the foot of the cross because of God’s grace through Jesus Christ. Oh, the sinful ways of man as contrasted by the unmerited grace of God for those in Christ. I also feel that what is called “social justice” today is not founded on Biblical principles. Biblical justice and mercy are different. They are unifying and no one is a victim. They are spiritual in nature. “Social justice” divides and creates victims and is political in nature. Christianity is “giving” in nature. “Social justice” is “getting” in nature. Hard to explain in words what I mean. Good topic for a discussion sometime!!!

    1. Hi Ann, I am really fortunate receiving so many very thoughtful comments from readers. You brought two interesting words “submission” and “love”.
      Can a woman submit wholeheartedly without the Love of Christ? Can a man love his wife and die if necessary, as Jesus said, again, without the love of Christ?
      As to justice, when one starts classifying various kinds of Justice he/she can be treading on murky waters.
      God bless, Danny

  3. As one who went to a church with a woman minister for a few years, I must say that in all instances, especially her sermons, she was the equal of any of the men pastors I have had. Ann brings out a good point, which would be worthy of future discussion, regarding the theory of “giving” and “getting” regarding biblical mercy and justice vs secular social justice. It could be argued however, that Irwin Cotler’s actions in those instances were extremely ‘giving’. Now regarding the weaker sex, a story which always warms my heart and has been most inspirational to my faith is the story of the martyrdom of Blandina, as recounted by Eusebius. “Woman, what faith you have!” (Matt 15:28 NE)

    1. Thank you John for your comment. Your reference to St.Blandina forced me to read her martyrdom again. I will be writing a post on Mother Theresa of Calcutta in the near future, particularly her influence on Malcolm Muggeridge. God bless, Danny

  4. Lets look at women from a different perspective. By the way, just looking at women isn’t a very difficult thing to do. However, this is not the perspective I am considering here. We should ask why God created women, other than procreating another generation? Scripture indicates that they are to be a “helpmate”.
    Why would God see the necessity for creating a helpmate for men? Because we need a lot of help – obviously. Women process and acquire information much different than men. Their brains are significantly different than men. Women can contribute information in making decisions that men don’t see readily. It often pays to pay attention to them as they often are helpful.

  5. Danny, I don’t know if you have seen this before….

    Woman came from man’s rib.
    Not from his feet to be walked on
    Not from his head to be superior
    But from his side to be equal
    Under his arm to be protected
    And close to his heart to be loved.

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