Thursday, December 3, 2009

"Not Good for Man to be Alone..."

I took Advanced Placement (A.P.) Physics when I was in High School. The first semester there were about 15 girls in the class,but by the second semester there were only four of us left. It was a hard class. To this day I'm not quite sure what compelled me to stick it out, but I did. One day, a few days into the semester, the teacher took us four girls aside and thanked us for being in his class. He said that some years he didn't have any girls stick it out to the second semester and that those years were always the hardest. He said, "The dynamics of the class are different when it is all boys. It gets kind of rough. It changes things completely to have girls in the class."

I've been thinking a lot about what my physics teacher said because I just finished reading "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding. The story is about a group of boys, ages 6-12, who get stranded on an island by themselves. Things start out fine but by the end of the book everything is out of control and they are hunting and killing one another. It is a powerful commentary on human nature and the condition of our world today. While there are many interesting ideas brought up in the book the main thing I was struck by in this book is that these boys are "girl-less"; there isn't one girl or woman on the entire island. I couldn't help but wonder how different the story would have turned out if there had been a female presence on the island. Would just having girls in the mix have, like my physics teacher said, changed everything?

I'm inclined to think it would have.

Remember that not long after creating Adam and placing him in Eden God states "... It is not good that the man should be alone..." (Genesis 2:18). God then creates Eve whom He describes as a "help meet" or a "an aid or helper worthy of Adam" (James M. Harper, 1990). God doesn't leave Adam alone in the world by himself very long because there wouldn't have been anything for Adam to do there by himself except pet the animals and swim in the rivers. Adam needed Eve in order to fulfill his purpose on this earth and likewise Eve needed Adam to fulfill her purpose. Without each other they would have been nothing and God's work would never have gone forth. There is a beautiful balance created when men and women are equally paired and when they are working on a common goal. Neither man or woman is complete, in a spiritual sense, without one another.

The other thought I had when I was reading "Lord of the Flies" was that one of the reasons the world we live in now is so full of violence, inequality and hatred is because some people are trying to live as if women don't exist or that they aren't important. There are places in the world where women's voices and freedoms are smothered and silenced; places where women don't have the right to make their own choices concerning their bodies, their marriages, their children, or their futures. These women are living in a world that doesn't value them or care about what they have to contribute as individuals. If it wasn't for the fact that women can be sexual objects and can bear children they may as well not exist as far as some men are concerned. These men are trying to live as if it was good for man to be alone... just as long as he is able to use the women every so often to get children.

This type of attitude wasn't what God intended for relationships between men and women to become. God's great work will not be done by men only, nor by women only, but by men and women working together as equal partners. Satan knows this and he is doing everything in his power to convince men that they don't need women and women that they don't need men.This is a great lie and I feel it is one of the main reasons our world so closely resembles the Hellish type of society the boys in "Lord of Flies" created for themselves.

I feel strongly that if we are ever going to create a Zion like world, one in which there is no violence, inequality or hatred, men and women are going to have to remember that they need one another and that they are equals before God. We need the talents and gifts of both men and women to accomplish God's work. We will never heal our world if men continue to exclude women from their social, political and spiritual arenas and if women begin to do the same. Such a future looks bleak; not much different from the hopeless situation the boys in "Lord of the Flies" found themselves in or the rough state of an A.P physics class without girls.

It is not good for man to be alone. It is not good for woman to be alone. We need each other... desperately.

1 comment:

  1. That was a very interesting post--and I completely agree. COMPLETELY. I teach middle school and would, frankly, not want to teach only boys.

    At the same time, I'm not sure I'd like to teach all girls either. There are so many wonderful, important traits that both sexes have. The trick is to make them complimentary rather than oppositional. However, you write, "We will never heal our world if men continue to exclude women from their social, political and spiritual arenas and if women begin to do the same.
    It seems to me that no serious person in this day and age in the U.S. is advocating for girls to be excluded from anything. There may be some outliers and holdovers, but they are dinosaurs fading quickly. As a society, it seems that this is an argument that is over. I am not confident, though, that excluding males from things is seen to by quite so negative in polite circles.