brettz9 wrote:I don't know what you mean about boys dressing less masculine, unless you mean cross-dressing; the Bible speaks against this, but I don't know of anything in the Baha'i Writings about it (besides perhaps the injunction to be normal and moderate, but this can obviously be bent quite a bit without any explicit guidance).
I was just giving an example. Have you heard of the recent upsurge of "gender dysphorias"? These days, they treat people with Gender Identity Disorder with sex reassignment surgery (SRS)! They change patients' sex as a "cure," and what's worse, now they are starting to do this procedure on children. Can you believe that, transexual kids? What father in his right mind would listen to his son's complaints of wanting to be a girl, and get him an SRS? Abominable... (see http://www.leaderu.com/jhs/rekers.html
for more info on the disorder).
I've seen the quotation you refer to in one of Moojan Momen's books on Islam, but I don't have it handy.
Do you know which book? I REALLY
want to find that quote! What we are seeing today is a total fulfillment of this prophesy. Not only do we have the transvestites, but we also have people who are "unhappy" with their sex, changing it! How much more fulfilled could this prophesy get? Not to mention general patterns of dress (which I already referred to).
brettz9 wrote:I'd say that on the one hand, there is an excessive fear about being seen as feminine as well as a sad reality of domestic abuse (largely though not exclusively at the hand of males), and on the other, some imbalance at times against men.
I am not seeing that, that there is an excessive fear about being feminine in today's overly liberal climate. That's only a very small minority. Compare to places like san francisco. Political beliefs today are causing/encouraging men to be less masculine—that combined with the domestic abuse you mention. The domestic abuse, including bad parenting in general, certainly creates a huge vulnerability.
It was just in the news recently—since the 80s mens testosterone levels have been dropping by 1% each year. Hmm...
What more proof do we need that this prophesy has been fulfilled?
Also wives, in some cases, have a tendency to exert an unjust degree of domination over their husbands, which, of course, is not right, any more than that the husband should unjustly dominate his wife.
Brett...I am speechless sometimes how you are able to find these gems.
This is yet another example of what I'm talking about. I'm sure we have all seen this, wives taking over the families and emasculating the fathers. You don't see this usually (or to such a great extent) in Middle Eastern countries, probably because women don't have so much power over there in regards to divorce (here they have too much power in that regard). Again, I think this is related to the prophesy (or at least is paving the path to its fulfillment and further fulfillment)!
I have said in America and Europe that there is only the question of votes in which women have been held back and claim equality with men. In California they even have this right. In all other respects it is men who must demand equality of rights. How many men in Europe and America work from morning until evening and whatever they save is spent on adornments and jewelry and colorful clothes and the latest fashions for their wives who spend their time in pleasure and enjoyment? In reality, these poor men are servants of their wives.
Once a respectable gentleman came with his wife to see me. A little dust had settled on the wife's shoes. She instantly asked her husband to clean them. As the poor man was cleaning her shoes he glanced at me. I said, `Madam! Do you also clean your husband's shoes?' She replied that she cleaned his clothes. I said, `No, that is not equality. You, too, must clean his shoes.' Now then, it would be better if you occasionally stand up for the rights of men....
... I never knew these quotes existed! 'Abdu'l-Baha even saw this pattern of wives taking advantage of their husbands, and this certainly was a warning sign for what was to come. (I was listening to a talk show today blaming all this on feminism.)
brettz9 wrote:Now despite this, Baha'i texts as recent as 1995 also talk about a continuing imbalance in our society having too much of a masculine (not always male, by the way) approach to power and consultation.
Good you said "not always male," as we have just seen that women are now taking on these masculine roles (exerting their power, dominance, etc. in the family).
brettz9 wrote:There are way too many instances in the U.S. where dialogue is dominated by argumentation, often by men as well as possibly a few women who will engage them in kind.
"Few"? What about the quotes by 'Abdu'l-Baha we just discussed? I think it is vice versa. Just look at the rates of divorce. Half of all marriages end in divorce, and that figure is steadily increasing. Do the men usually instigate the divorce, take custody of the kids, keep their house, etc.?
brettz9 wrote:I think too often when men think of empowering women, they are thinking of the women who are already excessively powered up (and they thus don't consider its necessity or even desirability), and not consider the humble women who prefer to steer away from heated conversations altogether, and whose contributions (intellectual as well as social/emotional) are thus ignored and lost.
There are many men who escape from "heated conversations." But the point is, sure men engage in it, but it is also a problem seen in women too, otherwise 'Abdu'l-Baha wouldn't have referred to it. I'm not trying to say men are angels, but women aren't either, and we have to recognize that just as men have their tests, so do women. We shouldn't always blame the men just because historically they have been the dominant ones, I believe. That would be unfair.
Well, I'm just putting things together...I am, of course, not the first one to have seen this trend