From: M. M. Medeiros (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Jun 24 1997 - 17:28:12 EDT
> Theresa List wrote about the subject words.
However unpalatable it may be, it seems to me necessary to postulate a
society in which woman simply didn't count.
Such a society survives in the traditional Islamic setting of the Middle
East, where women are not even acceptable as witnesses and are subject
to an enormous number of restrictions on their actions.
I don't know the Middle East first hand, but I do know the Islamic
society (Sufism-influenced) of Central Java, where a woman is simply an
adjunct of her husband. They have a proverb: "Swarga nunut, nraka
katut." If he goes to heaven, his wife/wives humbly follow behind. If he
goes to hell, they are dragged there with him."
In Saudi Arabia, when Queen Elizabeth visits, she is accorded the status
of "honorary man." When a great spiritual figure like Rabiah came along,
she was explained as "really a man."
Much, much about this can be learned by studying traditional Judaism. I
fear the answer really isn't to be found in the language, but the
culture. Realizing that the implications are not in tune with the times,
I offer this comment with trepidation.
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