Essay, Research Paper
When the Bible was written in the early years of civilization, society held a severe prejudice towards women. This prejudice is reflected in the written word of the Bible. While these sexist ways may have been accepted by society at that time, they are definitely not appropriate today. I find it unbelievable that women are ?supposed to live? by the same discriminatory fashion they were about two thousand years ago. According to Lu Ann Bransby in Woman: A Formula for Victorious Living, the Bible dictates how women should look, live, and even love.
According the Bransby and her interpretation of the Bible, there are strict rules as to how a woman should dress. Bransby believes items such as satin slacks, bikini underwear, and swimsuits are marketed to have an erotic theme and suggest sin (23). However, I believe dressing in the afore mentioned items does not suggest sin. They only allow a woman to emphasize the God-given features of her body. Woman dress according to what is in style so that they can look fashionable; they do not dress in order to sin. Bransby also states that ?sexy clothes set [a woman] up for ridicule?and causes people to wonder if she?s a born-again Christian or a prostitute? (26). I think it is a bit drastic to compare a born-again Christian with a prostitute. There is quite a wide range within those two extremes. Wearing sexy clothes does not eliminate one from being a Christian. However, supposing that Bransby is ?correct? in her interpretation of the Bible on woman?s clothing, the demands are still outdated. In today?s society, people often judge others on their looks. Wearing clothing that enhances looks should not be considered sinful, as long as the clothing is not blatantly baring personal body parts.
The Bible also dictates how women are supposed to live. There are specific decrees for working women. ?The best advice God gives working women is to work quietly, orderly, steadily, and to mind our own business? (Bransby 39). I find it absurd that women are supposed to strictly just mind their own business all the time. A woman needs not just to mind her business. She needs to be aware of what is going on in the workplace. Gossiping, eavesdropping, and ?tattle-telling? are indeed inappropriate, however, it is enjoyable and acceptable for a woman to socialize and learn about other?s ?business? in order to make friends. In Bransby?s interpretation, she writes that even if nothing seems to go right on the job ? still don?t quit (39). On the contrary, I find that if a woman is unhappy with her work and knows that better opportunities are accessible ? seek them! In society today, there is no reason for a woman to be completely unhappy at work and continue to be silent and miserable. A woman should use every appropriate option available to have a career that makes her content.
Regarding relationships, the Bible has much to say. Of course, interpretations differ and Bransby?s certainly are extreme: ?Whatever happened to the old-fashioned morals of modesty, decency, privacy, abstinence, chastity, fidelity, [and] shame?? (55). Bransby answered her own question; these morals disappeared because they are old-fashioned. Society does consider kissing and ?making-out? acceptable around the early teenage years. In biblical times, this may have been considered inappropriate, but the present should not be based
upon the standards of the past. Bransby goes as far as to depict the ?perfect men.? She relays warning signals of the wrong type of man: has financial difficulty, drinks alcohol, curses, tells dirty jokes, makes excuses, has enemies (57). Today it would be extraordinarily difficult to find a man that has not committed any of the preceding ?wrongdoings?. Additionally, Bransby boldly points out that masturbation is equivalent to ?self-abuse,? just as pre-marital sex (fornication) is wrong as well (71,55). Therefore, it can be understood that if a woman can not receive pleasure from neither a man, nor herself, she must be expected to suffer from not being able to fulfill very natural sexual desires. That misery is not only unreasonable now; but it would have been irrational to ignore natural harmless desires in biblical times as well.
While the Bible itself is prejudiced and outdated, Bransby?s interpretations amplify them even more so. In today?s society, women are more independent and do not rely on men for everything. With this independence came a new set of ?rules? and while they remain unwritten into any Bible they are customarily practiced and should not be considered sinful as they were about two thousand years ago.
Bransby, Lu Ann. Woman: A Formula for Victorius Living. Oklahoma City: Lord & Bransby, 1999.