To say that I was not lucky to call Australia home would be only short of inferior pride. I witnessed what it was like to be on the other side of the western world. To live and breathe among those who have little compared to what you call much. And yet, as I walked along the dusty road with children running by my side, I reflected on the months of wandering and remembered the differences in cultures, but the familiarities as well. Australia and Papua New Guinea. Singapore and India. Very different, but very much the same.
Imagine a banquet table, with quests that represent every nation on the planet. Everyone at the table breathes and functions the same way. Same red blood, same thirst for water and hunger for air. Sure, we all look different, but so I am told about everyone, even within one culture there are differences.
Around every ones neck is a thing called culture. We carry it with us and it is what separates us from the nation next to us. Each necklace is coloured uniquely, sending an array of colours and patterns along the table. Each has brought a dish to share, with ingredients that represent each part of what their nations stands for.
Looking around the room, the host asks you which nation is inferior and which dish is the most valuable. How can you determine this when we know no two people are the same? Rather, each is different, but together, in harmony, each nation has something else to bring. Neither is better, so we begin to embrace what each individual, each nation, each culture can bring to the table. Together they make one family: the World.
It is the same with Man and Woman.
For centuries, the church and society believed that it was Gods will for man to rule over women. For man to be the dominant gender and women were to submit to the authority that came with being a man. This hierarchy was unchangeable. In many cultures, women’s value was degraded to simply being a waste of space and women were left without a voice. It must be ‘Gods will’ for one to be born a woman, and even if they were not being abused, they were not being given an opportunity to walk fully in the identity of being a woman. Women were weak, men were strong.
When women, especially in the western world, stood up for a change in culture, society began to give them a voice. To vote, to speak, to be in leadership and to have authority. They began to recognise the traits that women have and attributes they are blessed with that man is not. Yet, women began to campaign for ALL women’s rights and then they ended up just flipping the table. Man is not better than women, and neither are women better than man. But much like the nations, they both present different dishes to dinner that compliment each other in harmony.
A thing called family. A movement called partnership.
If we were to look back over our own history, we now stand in disgrace for thinking that whites were better than blacks. And for what reason other than the differences in culture? And yet, a lot of the world still stands believing that Man is better than women and we are ok with it. Instead, let us stand up for the women who do not have a voice, but be careful not to silence men in the mean time.
You see, like nations, there are many different types of women, and many different types of man. Instead of looking through our own ‘opinions’ of what man and women look like, look back at how we were created. A flamboyant man, filled with love and creativity and energy – is still a man. And a tomboy, skater girl who wears all black and hates pink – is still a girl.
If society stopped telling us the definition of man and women by personality, we might actually start embracing a new era of family, where each and every Individual man and women brought something to the table that represented their own, unique personality. If more individuals had the chance to express who they really are and were made to be, we would see more men stop trying to be women and more women stop trying to be men.
Partnership should be complimenting not conflicting; completion not confrontation.
And equality is not being the same as everyone else around you, but it is in having no hierarchy between members. Neither is better than the other, but rather they both bring something different to the table, and that’s ok.
We were made different for a reason, and the moment we stop trying to silence these differences, but embrace them, knowing and being confident that it is not to make you look weaker, but so that together we are stronger.
This Christmas, come and be apart of the greater family. It is time to change.