Since the beginning of time, females have been mistakenly considered second class citizens. Even today, females are considered inferior to their male counterparts in many parts of the world. In our country, it was not until the nineteen century, that females eventually got the right to vote. But what is the thinking that delegates females to a lower status? Until the modern period, the bleeding that accompanied childbirth and menstruation was seen as unclean and thus abhorred as “defiled blood” and was a cause of discrimination against women throughout the world. Could it be this reproductive mechanism that causes society to think that women are inferior? *
The following is a conversation between Oyasama (female) and a male follower who Oyasama thought was treating his wife as a second class citizen. As they were both looking out into the fields. She stated:
“Did you notice those pumpkins and eggplants? They are big, aren’t they? The plants bear fruit because the flowers bloom. Not a single plant bears fruit without its flower. Now ponder deeply. The world says woman is unclean, but there is nothing unclean about woman. Man and woman are equally children of God and there is no discrimination. Woman has a duty, a duty to bear children. Her monthly period is the flower. Without the flower there is no fruit. Understand this well. Take the pumpkin; if its big flower is gone, that is the end of it. In many things, there are flowers that bear no fruit. But to bear fruit without any flower is impossible. Ponder deeply. There is nothing unclean about it.”
There are definitely differences between males and females, especially physically. What was once thought as a negative attribute (menstruation) , should now be thought as a positive attribute. The blood is God’s preparation for the growth of the future generation of children that will inhabit the earth. Without this cleansing, both males and females will cease to exist. Because of this special reproductive process delegated to women, should we not view women as superior to men?
*resource from tenrikyology.com