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  • Godwin Cotter

What is a woman? This question has been taxing the greatest minds of our time from presidents, supreme court justices, members of the Olympic Committee and children in kindergarten. Actually, I think the kindergarten kids are doing better with such questions, but that’s likely to change as they get more educated. The philosopher, Socrates, marveled at the realization that the more he learned, the more aware he was of his own ignorance. That seems to be modern education; the more years of learning you get, the less you know. But I am cursed as a slow learner, putting myself well behind the learning curve when it comes to the new, inclusive and continuously updated knowledge on gender and its permutations. That is why I am using my blog posting as a kind of public service announcement.

Perhaps I am one of the few North Americans left, dumb enough to still know what a woman is. Allow me to put my current ignorance at the service of humanity. Joe Biden is putting the powers of his keen mind at the service of the United States of America. Hollywood is using its high moral stature to lambast Ron DeSantis and mean-spirited parents' rights organizations. No more “What can my country do for me” thinking, now I am asking "What can I do for my country?"

Here goes: I began my search for what a woman is, by going to the place in the Bible where the first man meets the first woman. Adam had just been roused from a deep sleep and he set to marveling at the woman. It was like he was in a trance, he was struck by love harder than Romeo was at seeing Juliet. He mansplains the first definition of a woman, one that is both poetic and profound. "This at last is bone from my bones, flesh from my flesh; this one shall be called Woman" he declares. It seems like a happy ending, but the sadly, it's not.

After that point it seems like men often mistake women for human shields, scapegoats or the like. Hardly a chapter later, Adam is saying “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me the fruit of the tree and I ate.” Everything in his tone and words serves to spread distance between himself and the woman. He assigns to her the lion's share of their shared guilt. The role of woman as scapegoat, lightning rod or human shield continues all the way till the time of Christ. The Genesis patriarchs regularly disavow their wives when wife-hungry potentiates seem likely to combine wife-stealing with husband-killing (Genesis 12, 20,and 26). However, perhaps the most startling incident occurs in Genesis19.

God has sent down two angels to the sleepy city of Sodom to find out if it really is as bad as its reputation proclaims. The two angels spend the night at the house of Lot, and shortly after, a rage mob assembles outside the residence, demanding Lot send the two angels out to them so that they might know them carnally. It is difficult perhaps to put this story in modern context, but let's imagine a group of woke politicians, media execs, newly minted children’s educators with the latest gender ideologies, tech tycoons, celebrities, etc, banging your door demanding unfettered access to your children’s minds. Lot is anxious to maintain the status quo. It would be a great social faux pas for harm to come to his two male guests, so he contemplates using his daughters as human shields or shall we say, diversions. He says "Look, I have two daughters who have not known a man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof."

We’ve got to realize that Lot had gone through a slow but systemic morality downgrade from living many years in a wicked city like Sodom. North Americans wouldn’t even think of sacrificing their womenfolk for the status quo. Never! Those girls who feel uncomfortable or unsafe in inclusive women's washrooms are just being backward in their thinking, we need to educate them more. Those parents yelping about visits to pre-schools by drag queens, convicted felons and congressmen for I-Love-to-Read month, just hate reading. These exemplary members of the community are modelling inclusivity, new gender roles and literacy. They're not micro-aggressing the pre-schoolers budding sense of who they are made in God's image as male or female. Don't forget, we're so smart and educated now, nobody knows any longer what males or females are anyways.

The pattern is broken somewhat in the New Testament. The Pharisees still use the woman caught in adultery as a human shield when they drag her in front of Jesus. Like Adam they are anxious to talk about her sin; she is their diversionary speaking prop in a scary conversation with an itinerant preacher who keeps besting them in every encounter. Anyways, Jesus engages in intellectual combat, disperses the crowd and is left alone with the woman.

So to the question posed in the blog title, "What is a woman?" I think scripture is saying the only way to know what a woman is, is to love. Adam knew the answer when he loved Eve. After Christ rescued the woman caught in adultery from the murderous male mob, He was left alone with the her and engaged in a private and healing conversation. Christ revealed He knew not only the woman's past and present but also her very soul. Perhaps the reason we can't answer the question "what is a woman?" is because we don’t love women. We’re lacking heart knowledge. It isn’t a deficiency of head knowledge, although sometimes I wonder about that too with what the highly-placed or highy-educated are saying about what constitutes being a woman.

In today's Repentance comic page I recount some conversations I have witnessed. I remember a late night conversation in an all male environment when the talk meandered into dangerous territory; personal questions. One guy was asked why he wouldn't marry his long term significant other. He responded "Why buy a cow when milk is free?" Commitment-phobes do exist. There's those who won't commit to a member of the opposite sex. There's those who won't commit to the gender God gave them. There are people who won't subscribe to my blog.

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