iKLS F@¡th Matters Blog

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'THINK LIKE A WOMAN' - Dr. Kenneth L. Samuel

 

"Then he called hastily to the young man his armor-bearer, and said to him, "Draw your sword and kill me, lest men say of me, 'A woman killed him.' " -Judges 9:54 (RSV)

 

'Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man' is the title of Steve Harvey's best-selling romance guide.  The book
purports that if women are to get what they want from men, they must deal with men on men's terms.  

 

This message is echoed throughout the traditional sectors of society where gender roles are rigidly dichotomized and where persons of both genders are pushed to "Man Up!", "Grow a Pair", and "Develop the testicular fortitude that is necessary to get things done."  

 

But every now and then, our established patriarchies are disturbed by the Bible.  In the book of Judges, Abimilech was a ruthless leader whose blind ambition to dominate the northern region of ancient Canaan caused him to massacre his brothers and incinerate the cities that opposed him.

 

Upon Abimilech's blood-thirsty assault on the town of Thebez, the towns-people sought refuge in the town's tower.  As Abimilech approached the tower to burn it down, a woman on the roof dropped a millstone on his head and crushed his skull.

 

In order to deprive this woman of the recognition she deserved for having the courage, the ingenuity and the accuracy necessary to take down a tyrant and save her people, Abimilech (thinking like a man?) ordered his demise by the sword of his male armor bearer.

 

Despite the widely accepted role that black women have in raising children, sexism remains dominant in the black community. The largest black religious denomination does not allow women to serve as pastors, and in many black churches women are not allowed to preach as ordained clergy from the pulpit.

 

In the purported 'family hierarchy' of many in the black community, the status of women is clearly subordinate to the status of men. Steve Harvey and Tyler Perry might even suggest that strong black women should tone down their strengths in order to accommodate the sensitivities of the alpha male ego.

 

Both Shirley Chisolm and Barbara Jordan encountered resistance in their careers from black leaders because of their support for feminism.

 

Is feminism or womanism a help or a hinderance to the development of strong black families?  How often are you pushed to 'Think like a Man?', and does that in any way diminish your perception of the thinking of women?

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