Re: Superiority of Women

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Posted by Brett on September 03, 2101 at 09:51:57:

In Reply to: Chastity posted by Mike on June 11, 2101 at 02:59:48:

As far as women being superior, one quotation in Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Baha Abbas (not reprinted though, so the translation may be faulty) may be helpful to us Baha'i men (and women) who take this encouragement of women too strongly...

"As to the question of women being chosen rather
than men: In this cycle there were men who arose
through a divine power and who shone forth as the sun
from the dawning-point of holiness; and, likewise, there
appeared certain women who became side by side with
men. The expression which you quote, "Every woman
who is directed to the guidance of God in this great
age, will surpass men in every respect," signified that,
in this age, certain women will appear who will surpass
some men. It does not mean that they will surpass
all the men who have given their lives as sacrifices
in this Cause; for in this wonderful cycle there appeared
such men as his holiness Khudoos, his holiness Bab-el-Bab,
his holiness the "King of Martyrs" and his holiness
the "Beloved of Martyrs," his holiness the great Vaheed+F1 ,
and such ones who have no equals in the world
of existence.
If, in the letters to the maid-servants of the Merciful,
there hath been written in the sense of encouragement
(that form which such meanings can be inferred), the
purport is that some women in the wonderful age have
surpassed some men, and not that all women have surpassed
all men. The members of the House of Spirituality
must give unlimited encouragement to women.
In this age, both men and women are in the shadow of
the Word of God. Whosoever endeavors the most
will attain the greatest share, be it of men or of women,
of the strong or of the weak. (Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha Abbas, pp. 336-337)

As you may know, there are other quotations, indicating, for example, that in some cases in America, wives "have a tendency to exert an unjust degree of domination over their husbands" (Familly Life, p. 405), that women must "prove her capacity and aptitude" (`Abdu'l-Baha, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 283), etc. which are also useful to balance out the whole perspective on all the (rightful) encouragment of women if and when things get a little too extreme.

This is not to say, however, that because injustice can exist on both sides, that equality has been achieved, particularly in the area of eliminating violence toward women as well as in looking to women for new economic models based on shared experience, etc. or on consultative methods (see Prosperity of Humankind) nor is it obviously to say that innumerable examples of capable women do not exist.

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