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Are Strength, Dominance, Decisiveness, Protectiveness Masculine Qualities?

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Harry Haller, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Gurfatehji

    In another post, the qualities above were described as masculine qualities, although not sexist, I feel this statement nonetheless implies that gentleness, subservience, are feminine qualities, I have to say, till I thought about it quite hard, I would have agreed with this, however, whilst discussing it with my wife yesterday, she laughed and replied, 'elephants and spiders, look it up', so I did, The leader in every herd of elephants is actually the female, we all know about the black widow, the queen bee, the praying mantis (gulp), it seems the animal kingdom is hugely unaware of masculine qualities, in fact, a lot of the females are a lot bigger than the males (a bit like Florida), so why in human society, do we name certain qualities masculine and certain others feminine, surely a strong woman, is just that, a strong woman, rather than a woman with masculine qualities, I mean, a strong woman sounds a bit like the magnificent picture of Mai Bhago by dear Bhagat Singhji, rather than say one of my Aunties who has been blessed with the features of Dolph Lungdren.

    I consider both my wife and mother hugely strong women, although my mother is extremely emotional, which is also where I get that from, my wife, being a nurse, is quite hard, whereas I am as soft as the softest toilet tissue!, I cry at films, I love chocolate, I hate sport, I like a good cuddle and a hug, interestingly, when my wife is in one of her hard moods, and I am in one of my soft moods, I did used to feel a slight uneasiness about the shift, although, as time has gone on, I have realised we are just two people, friends, lovers, helping each other through life, no one has a monopoly on being strong, or in control, we just tend to leave whoever is in a position to behave in that manner, to get on with it

    Given the way the animal kingdom works, is it only a matter of time before men realise women are not only their complete equal, but possibly stronger, more dominant and certainly more protective than they are
     
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  3. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Harry ji

    Animal kingdom is not a very good example of proving what qualities Should male posses or what qualities should females.We belong to species of mammals and in most of mammals Males are bigger and stronger than females.A males life revolve around increasing their strength fighting with other males and finding a mate while females lives revolve around giving birth and caring for their young one's.In most of mammals species males hardly take part in caring and bringing up young one's.Even among Elephants Males are much bigger,stronger
    and live alone as no predator dare to attack a lone full grown bull elephant on the other hand for the protection of young one's female live in herds and frequently come under attack from Lions and sometimes Tigers.In most of mammals Beta males Hardly get any chance to mate as stronger genes have to pass to younger generation While almost all females mate and give birth as survival of species depend upon How effectively female raise their young one's
     
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  4. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Kdsji

    informative, thank you, however the basic question is, who says what qualities are masculine or feminine, given that we are closer than ever to what I would say is sexual equality, although we still have a bit to go before we can truly say that the sexes are equal, why is wanting to clean, cook, and rear children seen as a feminine trait, and leading, bringing home the bacon, etc seen as masculine
     
  5. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    If you ask then I say because this is most successful model of civilization adopted by Humans.If you leave Elite developed world which is not more than 10% of total population you will see a strong earning ,caring husband is always most demanded.In many area's of world men still go to hostile condition put their lives on risk to bring bread as extra bit of physical strength give them edge
     
  6. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Kdsji

    The last time I was in India, I noted that women were working on building sites every bit as hard as men, I think we can agree that in this present day, women and men are pretty equally matched, even physically, I accept my wife is better in some situations than I am, she accepts I am better in others, the danger, to my mind, starts when you have males who are convinced that they are better suited to be in charge, married to very capable females who then end up being told what to do by people who sometimes have no clue at all, lionesses being led by donkeys, if you will.

    Also this is not an Indian or Sikh problem, I see such attitudes right here in the west, but as Sikhism is quite an enlightened religion, that makes no distinction between the sexes, it would be nice to see more equal treatment of men and women, and less consideration for the fragile egos of fools.
     
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  7. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Yes women do work on Building sites, in farms or anywhere but only if they accept lesser wage that is why there is always large scale migration of men from villages compared to women.Physically men are always preferred for work which require strength.The labour market is like men highest wage women at No.2 and Children the cheapest workers ,that is why you will also find so many children working as hard as any adult even when their height
    don't even reach your waist.

    And I am really sorry Physical difference are their if there is not then why Men and women don't play unisex sports?
     
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  8. Kanwaljit Singh

    Kanwaljit Singh India
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    Women don't have problems, they are ready to give a fight. Remember there are mixed doubles in tennis too!
     
  9. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Are you serious kanwajit? do you really follow sport? Mixed doubles does not mean Men vs women it means One woman and one man team.BTW just check the records of women and men players and read the difference.The fastest bowl thrown by Man in Cricket is 161 kmph while Fastest thrown by woman is 120 kmph.similarly 100 metre record held by man is 9.59 second and 10.59 by woman I can go on and on.Forget about competing majority of women Tennis players are not even ready to play 5 setters .When Justin henin was asked that about 5 setters she said men are stronger we can't play 5 sets,Ivanovic straight forward declined that 3 setters are best for women.

    In 60s and 70s gender test was introduced for women in Olympics because there were reports that Transgenders were sent by communist countries in disguise of women so it is necessary to check whether the player who win is actually a woman
     
  10. Harry Haller

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    kdsji

    I think we can concede that men are physically stronger than women, so let us move on to dominance, decisiveness, protectiveness and mental strength

    I have to confess that it breaks my heart when I see married couples, sikh or not, where the wife should be the natural leader, but ego, tradition and culture means she is playing second fiddle to a moron.
     
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  11. Harkiran Kaur

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    Unfortunately this is not the case, or else we still wouldn't be fighting for the right to do seva at Harmandir Sahib like kirtan, palki sahib seva, chaur sahib seva, I don't think a woman has ever sat on tabiya there... How about acting as one of the Panj Pyaras? You will find MANY MANY 'Singhs' who like ot emphasize the differences between men and women when trying to justify why women 'can not' be one of the Panj Pyaras. Certain sampardas / sects / deras also explicitly tell the bride during anand karaj that she is to consider the husband as 'God' (Parmeshwar) while he is told to view her as his 'faithful follower'. Even the lavaans the man leads, the woman follows. I think this attitude goes beyond mere cultural influence. It has become wound into the fabric of Sikhi.

    And no it's not just Sikhi. It's all across the world. The male need to dominate, coupled with having the extra muscle required to subdue women. Most women don't go willingly into the secondary role. They are partly brought up / taught to, and partly forced / muscled into it.

    I don't think that the base reason for men having more muscle was designed to put women into a subordinate role. I think it was meant more for times long ago when men had to compete for a woman physically. In hunter gatherer societies, men and women shared tasks fairly equally and there was even crossover. There were women who prefered to hunt and men who gathered and they weren't discouraged.

    It was only when society became agrigarian. People amassed 'things' and land and 'things' and land had to be passed down to children. Men wanted to make sure the children were theirs only and the way to do it was limit freedom of the women. There are many essays on this. It was all about amassing possesions, and ensuring direct lineage to pass down family assets. It was also easier for the women who were pregnant or nursing most of their adult lives, to do the less physically demanding household tasks while the men farmed. Thus, women became pushed into secondary, subservient existence while men dominated them and kept the public life for themselves.
     
  12. ActsOfGod

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    Please provide references to these essays.
     
  13. Harkiran Kaur

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  14. ActsOfGod

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  15. Harkiran Kaur

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    Why does it matter who its by? It addresses the same subject... There are many authors who have observed the same thing, in hunter gatherer societies, women are treated more as equals. Once agrarian society popped up, men did the hard work in the fields, women stayed at home. Staying at home was not valued as much as bringing home the bacon so to speak, so women started to be devalued. Along with being devalued came being seen as secondary, and given a secondary role to go along with it. Additionally, agrarian society people started amassing property. The husband was seen as the owner of that property (because of course the women were devalued and seen as not providing at all in their now lesser role of home-maker). In pre-agrarian society women gathered. Many days, the men came home from hunting empty handed. The women always provided the berries, plants etc to eat regardless of whether they had meat or not. The fact that they 'provided' was valued. We turned into a society where only those who provide are valued and those who 'serve' are devalued. Being a home-maker is seen as a position of service, being a servant to the husband and family. There was no direct providing anymore. Additionally, with amassing of property came the need to keep property in family lineage. This was most often only through male heirs. Another hit on women. Women eventually became part of that property themselves. Prior to agrarian society, religions were feminine based. There were feminine 'Goddess' figures. The ability for women to bring forth life was celebrated. Abrahamic doctrine killed all idea of any feminine power and made God into a male deity, made anything to do with childbearing, menstruation, even breastfeeding seen as disgusting. Women were now seen as spiritually unclean because of these, and seen as spiritually inferior to men. Men also competed for wealth and property. And dominated other men as well and this was also not really present in hunter-gatherer society. It doesn't matter which author you choose. The evidence is there to back it. Just look at CURRENT models of hunter gatherer societies!
    Unfortunately, even though we have come a long way. This view that women are inferior still persists EVEN IN SIKHI. Many Singhs act actually disgusted at the idea of a woman being one of the Panj Pyaras. Not because they truly want to just uphold 'tradition' etc. As that would not command the type of disgust I have witnessed. It goes deeper. These Singhs actually hold contempt towards the female gender to the point that they view it as blasphme or disgusting to think a female member of the Khalsa could initiate others or be put in a high revered position of authority or leadership. That would mean acknowledging she is equal spiritually to them and that wmen hold equal authority in life and in Sikhi. This same disgust carries over to seva at Darbar Sahib etc. It's not merely wishing to uphold tradition but those who oppose women's seva there (kirtan etc) actually voice disgust at the idea, as if a woman doing kirtan at Darbar Sahib would sully the place with her very 'femaleness'. Of course not all Singhs are like this... its a few sampardas who are perpetuating it. Damdami Taksal / Sant Samaj, and some other deras. These same deras perpetuate the idea of Patti Parmeshwar. Husbands are God over their wives and obedience is expected on the part of the wife. She is but a servant under his authority. He is told to view his wife as a 'faithful follower'. Thats actually in their Rehet Maryada so I am not making anything up. You can view it yourself. So they evry much do view women as inferior to men and they view men as being in authority over and in charge of women. Hence, the disgust at the idea of seva like being one of the Panj Pyaras. How could they envision putting someone they see as inferior and disgusting, in a highly revered position of leadership? Btw in comparison with the agrarian emergence, they also view menstruation as being impure and disgusting. They also command women not to do seva of SGGSJ while on their periods.

    As for dominance being an inherent trait in men in general. I dont think so. I think men because of testosterone, are more competitive. This however leads to dominance, which is partly the competitiveness but also partly society / culture taught. Its partly our own fault as women for laying there like a rug and taking it (accepting submissiveness and a subservient existence in return for a roof over our heads). And then perpetuating the same thoughts in our children. Children need to be taught to see everyone as equals.

    Gurbani says "As Gurmukh look upon ALL with a single eye of equality for in each and every heart the divine light is contained"
     
  16. ActsOfGod

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    Do you mean Hinduism? Pagan religions? Wicca? Do you feel that your beliefs are more aligned with the 'Goddess'-based religions? Chandi/Durga is a very powerful and commanding figure in Hinduism. A Goddess. A warrior, not submissive to anyone. All the male figures were bowing and prostrating themselves in front of her. More to your liking, perhaps?

    I really wish you'd back up your assertions with some sort of data. You paint in such broad strokes. "Abrahamic doctrine" that covers a a lot, maybe you could narrow it down a bit? I mean, if you're going to accuse all Christians and Jews of being misogynists due to their religious beliefs, at least have the decency to back up your claims with some data.

    I personally know several devout Christians (who faithfully follow the "Abrahamic doctrine") who would be aghast at reading what you just wrote. They would deny your allegations and would prove that they do not believe in that and do not practice it. These folks are about as far from misogyny as you can get.

    Please do share what you have witnessed.

    Btw, just to clarify, the problem appears to be with some practitioners of the faith, not Sikhi itself (as you seem to be claiming above with your "EVEN IN SIKHI" in large capital letters).

    I'm sure it is. But what I'm curious about is why you keep going back again and again and again and again to these sampardas. Why are you giving them such significance. Are you their follower or something?


    Yes, Gurbani does say that. Maybe it's time to start practicing it.

    [AoG]
     
  17. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    Christianity:
    Ephisians 5:22-33
    Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
    Colossians 3:18
    Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
    1 Timothy 2:12
    I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
    1 Peter 3:5
    For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands
    1 Corinthians 14:35
    If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.

    Those are just some. Direct from the Bible.
    I won't even get into witch hunts etc. Or the iron masks husbands used to lock onto their wives faces if they were loudmouthed. Or how women are seen as unclean during childbirth or menstruation. Or that they are doubly unclean if the baby is a girl than if it was a boy.

    Jewish men actually pray every day thanking God that they were not made a woman.

    Islam Quran:
    Quran (38:44) - "And take in your hand a green branch and beat her with it, and do not break your oath..." Allah telling Job to beat his wife (Tafsir).
    Quran (4:34) - "Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great." Contemporary translations sometimes water down the word 'beat', but it is the same one used in verse 8:12and clearly means 'to strike'.
    Bukhari (72:715) - A woman came to Muhammad and begged her to stop her husband from beating her. Her skin was bruised so badly that it is described as being "greener" than the green veil she was wearing. Muhammad did not admonish her husband, but instead ordered her to return to him and submit to his sexual desires.
    Muslim (4:2127) - Muhammad struck his favorite wife, Aisha, in the chest one evening when she left the house without his permission. Aisha narrates, "He struck me on the chest which caused me pain."
    Abu Dawud (2141) - "Iyas bin ‘Abd Allah bin Abi Dhubab reported the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) as saying: Do not beat Allah’s handmaidens, but when ‘Umar came to the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) and said: Women have become emboldened towards their husbands, he (the Prophet) gave permission to beat them." At first, Muhammad forbade men from beating their wives, but he rescinded this once it was reported that women were becoming emboldened toward their husbands. Beatings in a Muslim marriage are sometimes necessary to keep women in their place.

    Hinduism Law of Manu
    13. “Chandalash ……………” – 3/240. Food offered and served to Brahman after Shradh ritual should not be seen by a chandal, a pig, a cock,a dog, and a menstruating women.
    17. “Balya va………………….” – 5/150. A female child, young woman or old woman is not supposed to work independently even at her place of residence.
    18. “Balye pitorvashay…….” – 5/151. Girls are supposed to be in the custody of their father when they are children, women must be under the custody of their husband when married and under the custody of her son as widows. In no circumstances is she allowed to assert herself independently.
    19. “Asheela kamvrto………” – 5/157. Men may be lacking virtue, be sexual perverts, immoral and devoid of any good qualities, and yet women must constantly worship and serve their husbands.
    20. “Na ast strinam………..” – 5/158. Women have no divine right to perform any religious ritual, nor make vows or observe a fast. Her only duty is to obey and please her husband and she will for that reason alone be exalted in heaven.

    These are just some...you can see women have very much been belittled, and treated like garbage by practitoners of pretty much every religion. At least in case of Sikhi, we don't teach it. It's not in Gurbani. And why do I keep bringing up certain sampardas? Because unfortunately they have control in Darbar Sahib. Women were (are) actually by rules allowed to do kirtan there. Why it hasn't been actually put into practice? DDT and Sant Samaj actively protested it. Not just kirtan but nearly all seva there. This is supposed to be our most religious place, certainly the icon that the world recognizes Sikhi for. If a tourist goes there, they will see only men running things. They will see only men performing religious duties. It gives a wrong picture that Sikhi actually teaches women are inferior like every other religion.

    Anyway this is getting slightly off topic. But maybe not.... it proves that in history and in nearly all cultures, women have been pushed aside, treated as inferior, given less rights, its been written into nearly every religion that women's only duty is to serve their husband and obey him. Life pretty much sucks as a female throughout history. So maybe Harry Ji is somewhat on point suggesting domination is an inherent masculine trait.

    And yes I did clarify that it's only some people in Sikhi... my point was that Sikhi is not immune to it. That's why I used caps... to show that even in our own backyard we have those types. They certainly don't count for majority - though I have been on receiving end of quite a few nasty comments about women being Panj Pyaras - everything from women are 'defective' males, women were born female as punishment for karma, women are not considered 'manuki dei' (not sure what that is), women are unclean, women can't possibly produce Amrit because Guru Ji will not come if a woman is one of the 5, etc.... also been in a bunch of arguments with them about wives. There are quite a few SInghs who want and believe that women are inferior and should be 'obedient' to their husbands. Submissive etc...
     
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    #16 Harkiran Kaur, Mar 16, 2016
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