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Your just getting all worked up because someone doesn't agree with you. Just because someone is not on your side doesn't mean you have to go and criticize them. Just keep your opinions to yourself, and stop forcing them on everyone, ok? Thanks!

This is the Debate Room. There are supposed to be opinions.

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I always feel torn between complementarianism and egalitarianism. On one hand, I don't think we should discount differences between men and woman but on the other hand if it works better for a particular family unit to have mom work and dad stay home with the kiddos I don't think that's bad... Mostly I'm just for anything that could possibly stabilize the "parents and kids" family. I'm a kid-atarian. 

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I always feel torn between complementarianism and egalitarianism. On one hand, I don't think we should discount differences between men and woman but on the other hand if it works better for a particular family unit to have mom work and dad stay home with the kiddos I don't think that's bad... Mostly I'm just for anything that could possibly stabilize the "parents and kids" family. I'm a kid-atarian. 

I actually get this.

On my street is a family where the mom works and the dad stays home, but the kids are just fine.

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 Mostly I'm just for anything that could possibly stabilize the "parents and kids" family. I'm a kid-atarian. 

 

 

Works for me o/

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Lefebvre, your name is Ethan, correct? May I call you that? Your screen name is hard to spell.

 

Anyway, why would it be impossible for a traditional Catholic to be a feminist? 

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Because ideological feminism cannot be divorced from an egalitarian perspective which takes as essential rights and principles -- the right to divorce, birth control, abortion et al -- things which the Church flatly denies. As well, Catholic ideas prior to Vatican II on the role of women in society were restricted almost entirely to motherhood and consecrated life, discouraging working outside the home while placing a premium on modesty and childbearing.

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I would just flat out disagree with you on that. First, I see no essential tie between egalitarianism and divorce, abortion, etc. Second, I see no essential tie between feminism and egalitarianism. Are you making a distinction between ideological feminism and feminism proper?

 

Ach, we need more distinct language. So much equivocation.

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Second, I see no essential tie between feminism and egalitarianism.

 

 

 How can you define feminism without reference to equality? 

Edited by Chris-M

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I agree that waving a confederate flag breaks different sorts of norms than modesty norms. Even so, however, I think that modesty ordinarily understood is a type of social norm, and that all social norms are collective standards of propriety.

 

 

To me, modesty is best understood as a cultural norm that negotiates the line between attractive and promiscuous behavior. That's an important line for reasons of sexual competition between people of the same sex and for reasons of mate-guarding between couples. Clear rules make it easier for everyone to pursue their own desires.

 

To me, there were/are some collective and normative agreements on this topic. Lingerie is not inherently sexual, but we would all think there was something a bit iffy about someone wearing a lacy thong and nigh-transparent bra to a beach party. We also generally agree that grinding  is less appropriate as casually social dance than a waltz, and while it's OK for married men to have a business dinner with women to whom he's not married, it's less appropriate for him to buy her a drink at a bar. These are all forms of sexual/romantic propriety, of which modesty is one sub-heading. While they are not universal divine laws, they are important norms for maintaining sexual etiquette inside a culture.

 

Clothes in particular are subject to norms like this because some ways of dressing are, in certain cultural contexts, lascivious. If prostitutes as a signaling mechanism wear their hair long, then long hair sends a signal whether any individual likes it or not. This does not justify raping or otherwise mistreating women with long hair or anything ridiculous like that, but it is a rule of the game that people have to consider in how they present themselves. And there's nothing especially wrong with that.

 

 

It is difficult to get these concepts across, because us moderns are liberal-by-default in our thinking, so that conservative or communitarian thinking becomes wholly alien to us. It appears to me that culture often acts as an unessential but vital norm. There is an essence of modesty. All cultures have this notion of the repression of the libido. This is the classic Freud that civilization is the repression of our sex-drive. Yet, it would be quite foolish to imagine there is only one right way to be modest. The essence of modesty is empty and indeterminate. It is the role of culture to determine modest then-and-there. It is the structure of culture which gives meaning to a piece of lingerie versus the meaning of a bathing suit, even if they would look quite similar to someone not familiar with our culture. The poststructuralist/Hegelian insight that concepts acquire meaning by negativity, by what they are not, is apropos here. A bathing suit is not a piece of lingerie. 

 

The left-liberal deconstructionist ideology tries to destroy all social norms by pointing out that cultural determinations are merely relative determinations. If there is no universal standard then all cultural standards are illusions, and oppressive ones at that — this is the spirit of Foucault. It is not a universal that women are 'forced' to wear bras and tops without being considered naked, so structures which force a female to cover her breasts are oppressive.

 

I am not convinced that liberal deconstructionism is a mature way to approach the ontology of the social. Surely there is a need to return to the essential and negate the old determinate. Yet, one should return to the universal so as to create something positive, not a pure negativity. So, for example, pants are great and it was a positive step to dissociate pants and prostitution. However, one cannot create change willy-nilly. We cannot merely start putting men in dresses, nor would I want to. The social dialectic evolves how it will evolve.

 

You see, I am horribly skeptical of this Rawlsian abstract person who is the real person. The social structure is very much a part of our ontology. We are an empty nothing without determination. And therefore, while our culture does not have an objective/absolute essentiality, it is, in many ways, the essence of our being. And therefore, I have come to learn a certain reverence for it once I got over my undergraduate fascination with Foucault and post-structuralism.

Edited by Wesker

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I am not convinced that liberal deconstructionism is a mature way to approach the ontology of the social. Surely there is a need to return to the essential and negate the old determinate. Yet, one should return to the universal so as to create something positive, not a pure negativity. So, for example, pants are great and it was a positive step to dissociate pants and prostitution. However, one cannot create change willy-nilly. We cannot merely start putting men in dresses, nor would I want to. The social dialectic evolves how it will evolve.

 

 

I'm still not as convinced as you as to realism about concepts like "modesty." It's just more parsimonious to treat modesty as a strategy that results when people's desires run up against the constraints of their environment. While there might be an essence, it just don't seem practically important to realizing a good state of affairs--which is what I care about.

 

I agree, however, that conservatives such as myself should adopt a more progressive outlook. We should not simply try to maintain the status quo. Instead, we should try to identify what is necessary to the culture and what can be improved through gradual change buttressed by natural and inevitable changes in environment.

 

Of course it's quite difficult to do that, since the Hayekian knowledge problem is a thing. But, you know, who said avoiding decadence would be easy.

Edited by Chris-M

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I agree, however, that even conservatives such as myself should adopt a more progressive outlook. We should not simply try to maintain the status quo. Instead, we should try identify what is necessary to the culture and what can be improved through gradual change buttressed by natural and inevitable changes in environment.

 

I think this goes back to the fact that there are two types of conservatism. The first is identical with reactionary philosophy and seeks to maintain the status quo or revert society to a previous golden age. The second, however, is one which seeks moderation, gives value to the social so as to constrain the caprice of the individual, and finds the depth of life in community, in the structure. I call myself a Conservative, because I adhere to the second definition.

 

In fact, I think that we can posit an axis of Progressive-Reactionary and Liberal-Conservative that fleshes out the concepts more distinctly. In that sense, one can be a progressive conservative, which might explain why my political philosophy appears to be a contradiction.

Edited by Wesker

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"I have a somewhat negative view of a girl who exposes herself in that scantly clad way, yes. But do I normally say it to someone's face? No. I mean, someone wore a shirt to my youth group with a mostly naked woman on the front and I didn't say a word, I actually talked to him. Do I think his shirt was okay? No. Do I think OMG HE IS AWFUL YOU ARE GOING TO HELL no I don't actually."

Your defence here is "yes I judge people for their appearance, but not to their face." I think the issue here is evident to the point that I genuinely don't need to refute it. I never said you thought the immodestly-dressed were going to Hell, either, so not sure why you're defending yourself against that.

"kay I want to say something first hand RIGHT HERE. You have NEVER. met me in person. I do actually find it very cold of you to assume I constantly bash people for their dress. Maybe I think it once in a while for a very bad outfit yes, but I rarely say it outloud. and I have even stated to people what I feel is immodest I don't expect a lot of people to live by because I feel uncomfortable showing my shoulder skin most of the time, and that is just me. I can't explain why I feel that way but I do. I am not holding YOU to that."

I have no idea whether you bash people in real life. I'm assuming not. But do you have a penchant for doing so on CTF, sometimes in Chat? Yup. As to whether you hold other people to your standards... I don't even know where to go with that, you give evidence of doing so any time modesty is discussed.

"I am a black and white person actually. I will not deny that. But I never said a single person here was some godless WENCH. I do not think someone with immodesty is a godless wench. Honestly with many of the issues in the world today it is one of the SMALLER sins. I honestly rather give people a free right to walk about naked than have them aborting children."

If you actually read what I wrote, the godless wench part was referring to Mike, not you.

"You don't know what is in my heart whatsoever."

Good thing I never said I did then, eh?

"But frankly you think you DO know, so that is simply YOUR CHOICE but I can also say you harshly judge me because I think homosexuality is not a sin and I do not follow YOUR standard of CATHOLICISM. Perhaps I did, but in the end would it not be calling the kettle black here if so? Because I also see you call Protestants heathens which is a long dead idea to Catholics."

Yes, I absolutely do judge you, and harshly, for your views on homosexuality. But not because of any particularly rigorous interpretation of Catholic doctrine -- indeed, I'm not even Catholic anymore -- but because you, a member of the Roman Catholic Church, refuse to abide by her teachings. Not by some imaginarily stringent standards of mine, but simply the standard teachings of the Church to which you profess obedience. I recognise that people may struggle with religious precepts, but I have no inclination towards those who blatantly, and with a clean conscience, defy their faith. Whether those in question are Jews who eat bacon, drunk Muslims, or pro-gay Catholics is irrelevant; the only standard I judge them by is that which they themselves have adopted.

Finally, I would like to point out that I'm not trying to go after you as a person Jazzy; but merely criticise the way you go about your views on modesty which are, I contend, inherently flawed in theory, purpose, and execution.

N.B: typed this on a phone, please excuse the messy formatting.

Judging people is a whole different story. Whether you tell someone to their face or you think it, your still judging, and there's no other excuse. That;s just it. 

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I honestly can't tell if you're actually reading my posts, or quoting them and making random accusations/observations.

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 How can you define feminism without reference to equality? 

 

Again, equality can be taken different ways. What I understand egalitarianism to mean is that men and women are equally qualified for all roles in life. We're obviously equal in worth, but not in design.

 

So this example is mostly for my own amusement, you can ignore if you like. Say someone calls 911 and reports a shooting. The shooter has fled the scene and cannot be located. Looking at the different units dispatched, which would be at least law enforcement and EMS, could you say that they are equal? In one sense, but not in another. (In actually, medics are totes awesomest, but for the sake of argument...) They are equal in value, both are there to save lives, but definitely not equal in roles. Medics aren't qualified the same way cops are or vice versa.

 

So I reference equality, but as regards worth and things of such nature.

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Again, equality can be taken different ways. 

 

So I reference equality, but as regards worth and things of such nature.

What do you mean by the idea of equality being taken in different ways? I understand your example, two people with two different jobs, but how does that relate to equality? 

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I'll try to phrase it differently. Men and women are equal in some attributes, but not in others. In this post, I'll use "equal" to mean "same," though I may use it differently at other times.

 

The attributes that I believe the sexes are equal in would include worth, having the right to certain legal protections, and other things that apply to all humans.

 

But then I believe that the sexes are designed differently (not the same, not equal) in certain respects. These differences complement each other. I don't even call them strengths and weaknesses, just differences. As a side note, I do not claim to have a list of exact specs for the male and female genders, that's a whole other discussion.

 

Edit: As another side note, I know that there are a lot of negative associations with complementarianism. it's definitely a view that has been much twisted and abused. People who are authoritarians in practice claim to be complementarians in theory.

Edited by lauralei

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People who are authoritarians in practice claim to be complementarians in theory.

 

This. I'm not a complementarian for many reasons, but this is one of them. 

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So I reference equality, but as regards worth and things of such nature. 

 

 

I once read an article at Feministe that claimed that "if you like women, you're a feminist." Obviously this was intentional exaggeration meant more to shame than argue, but if we took it at face value, then all sorts of ridiculous people would be feminists. 'Feminism' would become a meaningless term.

 

I feel the same way about defining feminism in terms of some sort of "equality of worth." I would argue that for "worth" to have practical value, it has to have some specification in terms of legally or culturally guaranteed rights and privileges. If commitment to some sort of politically real equality is not a necessary part of a feminist theory, then benevolent authoritarian theories could easily qualify as feminist theories, which is silly. 

Edited by Chris-M

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I once read an article at Feministe that claimed that "if you like women, you're a feminist." Obviously this was intentional exaggeration meant more to shame than argue, but if we took it at face value, then all sorts of ridiculous people would be feminists. 'Feminism' would become a meaningless term.

 

I feel the same way about defining feminism in terms of some sort of "equality of worth." I would argue that for "worth" to have practical value, it has to have some specification in terms of legally or culturally guaranteed rights and privileges. If commitment to some sort of politically real equality is not a necessary part of a feminist theory, then benevolent authoritarian theories could easily qualify as feminist theories, which is silly. 

 

I am not quite certain I assent with this, mate. The notion of equality in the 90s and 21st century is vastly different from that of the 60s. Feminism today appears to be either (a) an ideology against an active/passive hierarchy in sexual relationships; or, ( B) a philosophy which posits the social construction of gendered and sexual categories and opposes them with relativism/subjectivism. That is, we have a second-wave feminism which is Marxist and Egalitarian in the collective sense. It is about categories. The form of relations between the sexes has to be egalitarian. Second-wave feminism is a content feminismThird-wave feminism posits equality in the liberal subjectivist/relativist sense, and it is a contentless feminism. It is comfortable with prostitution and pornography. A female being brutalized in S&M pornography can read as the ultimate liberation of female sexuality. There are no rules, beyond the free choice of the individual. The only oppression is a social structure telling what one can and should do.

 

Dr. Foucault is the poster boy for the third-wave; a man who thought sadomasochism was the truest expression of sexuality and participated in BDSM orgies/clubs. That is why Žižek once joked that Foucault's philosophical concepts expand only with the expansion of his sexual galavanting.

Edited by Wesker

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I once read an article at Feministe that claimed that "if you like women, you're a feminist." Obviously this was intentional exaggeration meant more to shame than argue, but if we took it at face value, then all sorts of ridiculous people would be feminists. 'Feminism' would become a meaningless term.

 

I feel the same way about defining feminism in terms of some sort of "equality of worth." I would argue that for "worth" to have practical value, it has to have some specification in terms of legally or culturally guaranteed rights and privileges. If commitment to some sort of politically real equality is not a necessary part of a feminist theory, then benevolent authoritarian theories could easily qualify as feminist theories, which is silly. 

 

As previously stated, I'm down for legal and cultural protections of women's rights. Big fan of legal protections, especially when it comes to stuff such as individual financial security and equal right to education. Just curious, what do you mean by privileges? And to clarify, what do you mean by authoritarian? That seems to apply either to government or individual relations. I refer to individual relations.

 

To be clear, I do not mean at all to say that men and women are equal ONLY in worth.

 

I am not quite certain I assent with this, mate. The notion of equality in the 90s and 21st century is vastly different from that of the 60s. Feminism today appears to be either (a) an ideology against an active/passive hierarchy in sexual relationships; or, ( B) a philosophy which posits the social construction of gendered and sexual categories and opposes them with relativism/subjectivism. That is, we have a second-wave feminism which is Marxist and Egalitarian in the collective sense. It is about categories. The form of relations between the sexes has to be egalitarian. Second-wave feminism is a content feminismThird-wave feminism posits equality in the liberal subjectivist/relativist sense, and it is a contentless feminism. It is comfortable with prostitution and pornography. A female being brutalized in S&M pornography can read as the ultimate liberation of female sexuality. There are no rules, beyond the free choice of the individual. The only oppression is a social structure telling what one can and should do.

 

Dr. Foucault is the poster boy for the third-wave; a man who thought sadomasochism was the truest expression of sexuality and participated in BDSM orgies/clubs. That is why Žižek once joked that Foucault's philosophical concepts expand only with the expansion of his sexual galavanting.

 

Not so much tl;dr as completely over my head. I tried.

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Not so much tl;dr as completely over my head. I tried.

 

The intersection of sex and philosophy was a concentration of mine as an undergrad, so I spent some decent time studying this in an academic setting. The jargon comes naturally to me now and it is a strain to put it into the common tongue.

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an egalitarian perspective which takes as essential rights and principles -- the right to divorce, birth control, abortion et al

 

So we've been discussing whether there is a necessary link between feminism and egalitarianism. I'm also interested in what support there is for the statement that egalitarianism is tied to things such as divorce, birth control, abortion et al.

 

Unless, Lefebvre, you were referring to a particular slant on egalitarianism?

Edited by lauralei

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I am not quite certain I assent with this, mate. The notion of equality in the 90s and 21st century is vastly different from that of the 60s. Feminism today appears to be either (a) an ideology against an active/passive hierarchy in sexual relationships; or, (  B) a philosophy which posits the social construction of gendered and sexual categories and opposes them with relativism/subjectivism. That is, we have a second-wave feminism which is Marxist and Egalitarian in the collective sense. It is about categories. The form of relations between the sexes has to be egalitarian. Second-wave feminism is a content feminismThird-wave feminism posits equality in the liberal subjectivist/relativist sense, and it is a contentless feminism. It is comfortable with prostitution and pornography. A female being brutalized in S&M pornography can read as the ultimate liberation of female sexuality. There are no rules, beyond the free choice of the individual. The only oppression is a social structure telling what one can and should do.

 

Dr. Foucault is the poster boy for the third-wave; a man who thought sadomasochism was the truest expression of sexuality and participated in BDSM orgies/clubs. That is why Žižek once joked that Foucault's philosophical concepts expand only with the expansion of his sexual galavanting.

 

 

The post-structuralist element of feminism ("third wave feminism," although I think the historical distinction is iffy) is concerned with the elimination of cultural structures that militate against individual freedom about identity. It is therefore concerned with an equality of autonomy in self-construction and is egalitarian in a quasi-Kantian sense*. While its emphasis is more cultural than political, it still takes specific structural reform as its goal.

 

*As an interesting aside, what do you think of this idea that third wave feminism is quasi-Kantian? My argument would be that identity politics derives from a post-structuralist attitude towards social construction, which derives from Sartrean radical freedom, which derives from Kantian notions of autonomy. The philosophical currency traded in this evolution is the notion of a contentless sacred self that acquires meaning through moral choice / self-construction.

 

I'm also interested in what support there is for the statement that egalitarianism is tied to things such as divorce, birth control, abortion et al.

 

Birth control / abortion: Sex is significantly more dangerous to women than to men because women can become pregnant. In a biological sense, this means that women risk bodily harm from sex that men do not. In a legal/cultural sense, this means it is more difficult for women to walk away from unwanted children. In a professional sense, this means it is more difficult for women to have an active sex life while pursuing a career. All of these are exacerbated by inequitable cultural norms that shame promiscuity, but only for women.

 

Birth control and abortion mitigate that inequality by giving women autonomy over their bodies, even if they choose to pursue an active sex life. Thus, birth control and abortion help to make women civilly, socially, and professionally more equal with men, which many take to be feminism's aim. 

 

Divorce: First, it is obviously inequitable if it is easier for men to acquire divorce than for women. No-fault divorce is thought to undermine any cultural advantages men may have in negotiating regulated divorce. This makes more sense when you realize that women in the 19th century who got too uppity might simply be declared "hysterical" and unfit to make legal decisions. 

 

More than that, however, unilateral no-fault divorce is thought to give women more bargaining power in negotiating the division of domestic/professional labor. 

 

For example, suppose Sally and John are married. John, exercising male-privilege, refuses to do his share of domestic labor (cleaning, organizing, child-rearing). If Sally refuses to accommodate John and the house implodes, she'll get the blame because of inequitable cultural norms about domestic labor. If she picks up John's slack, however, then she'll have less time and energy to devote to a career, which will make her less desirable as a worker. Multiply this disadvantage by a 100 million households, and you end up reinforcing cultural attitudes that women are inferior professionals to men. It's a vicious cycle.

 

When you institute no-fault divorce, however, you give women the ultimate bargaining chip. Either John will do his share of domestic labor, or Sally is going to detonate the family, take half the family's wealth, all the kids, and possibly an ongoing alimony payment.

 

In this way, divorce empowers women and makes it easier for them to simultaneously pursue family and professional life. 

 

 

 

As previously stated, I'm down for legal and cultural protections of women's rights. Big fan of legal protections, especially when it comes to stuff such as individual financial security and equal right to education. Just curious, what do you mean by privileges? And to clarify, what do you mean by authoritarian? That seems to apply either to government or individual relations. I refer to individual relations.

 

I think where Ethan is going to say Catholicism and feminism are incompatible are precisely in those legal protections. It is difficult to say how exactly when both his brand of Catholicism and your set of protections are vague, which is why I'm pressing for specifics. 

 

A privilege is like a right except that it can be lost upon abuse. Privileges also tend to be more structural and less formal than rights (think "white privilege" vs. human rights). An authoritarian system is one where an authority deserves obedience from a subordinate. Right now, I'm not distinguishing between legal authoritarianism and interpersonal authoritarianism. Both can be obviously anti-feminist but benevolent towards women in concept.

Edited by Chris-M

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Lovely conversation quys, but I'm going to have to bow out for a bit. RL obligations.

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So, recently I've found myself discussing feminism with a lot of people. and I want to know what people think..

 

-Can you be christian AND a feminist?

 

-Is feminism good or bad for modesty?

 

-What would you define in your own words as the feminist movement?

 

-Do you think something has been made a part of it that really should not be a part of it?

See the thing about feminism is all about giving the same rights to women as what men get, (giving them the same salary for the same job, giving them equal chance to go study etc.) because "men and women are the same" and if you look out of an view point where the Lord told us to love our neighbor as ourselves then perhaps you can debate that feminism is a good thing. Yet looking a bit further into it can you see that when you bring feminism into the picture (seeing woman the same as men) you totally take chivalry out of the picture. Small things like men opening a door for a lady or pulling back her chair for her at dinner totally gets lost in it, because then women and men aren't the same. And isn't small deeds of chivalry a way of showing love as well? You make that decision.

 

Secondly I want to state something else from the bible. It says in Genesis 2:18 (Amplified)  the following : "Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him." Then later on in verses 21 till 24 in states the following: "And the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and while he slept, He took one of his ribs or part of his side and closed up the [place with] flesh. And the rib or part of his side which the Lord God had taken from the man He built up and made into a woman, and he brought her to the man. Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother  and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." 

You can be all about giving woman equal rights as men, as long as you remember that females were made to help the males. 

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