Women

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Women are the female of the human species, with the biological role of bearing offspring (pregnancy and childbirth). In preparation for this role, women's breasts begin to grow at puberty, forming the most obvious physical difference between women and men other than the reproductive organs. Other differences include a layer of subcutaneous fat under the skin which hides the underlying musculature, and a wider pelvis to facilitate carrying the baby and allowing it to be born. Women also have a greater proportion of fine vellus hair over certain areas of their skin (such as their face and legs) than the coarse terminal hair which appears on men.[Citation Needed]

Men have typically two times more upper body strength than women, and around 50% more leg strength. [1] Women have slightly longer average lifespans than men, which results in women overtaking men in population by middle age despite a 1.05:1 boy to girl ratio at birth in the United States. This rate varies among countries.[Citation Needed]

Women in history

Compared to men, relatively few women have had impact on history as leaders in diverse fields, but a small number of women have had enormous impact. They include Isabella of Spain, Joan of Arc, Margaret Thatcher, Elizabeth I, Boudicca, Catherine the Great, Cleopatra, Marie Curie, Benazir Bhutto, Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Mother Theresa.

Women in the Bible

Genesis

The Bible says that women, like men, were created by God on the 6th day of Creation, as told in The Book of Genesis:

So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27 (KJV)

But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. Mark 10:6 (KJV)

Genesis further elaborates that God took a rib from Adam, the first man, and from it created Eve, the first woman, as a helper for Adam when the animals, which had been created for that purpose, proved unsuitable:

And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. Genesis 2:18-22 (KJV)

According to some biblical literalists, Eve caused sin and suffering to come into the world when she convinced Adam to eat from The Tree of Knowledge, an act directly forbidden by God Himself. As punishment for this, God declared that women shall experience great pain in childbirth.[2]

New Testament statements on the role of women

Saint Paul also has much to say on the status of women in society, most memorably that women should submit to their husbands just as the church submits to Christ. [3] [4] [5] [6] The Old Testament law also states that if a man sells his daughter into slavery she must consent and "not go out as the menservants do."[7]

The New Testament contains several instructions regarding the role of women:

  1. Women are to dress modestly and not wear "broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array."[8][9]
  2. Women may learn in silence, but may not be permitted to teach[10]. Some interpretations limit this rule to the teaching of doctrine.
  3. Women are not permitted to speak in church.[11]
  4. Women are to be subservient to and follow the instructions of their husbands.[12][13][14][15]
  5. Women "shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety."[16]

These viewpoints are not widely accepted in secular, first-world nations, although many believers still adhere to them. However, Christians do not always agree on how literal or universal these directives are intended to be. For example, dressing modestly is interpreted by some Anabaptists to mean that women should only wear black or dull colors and that dresses should cover the entire arms and legs, whereas most non-Anabaptist Christians consider the directive to modesty as simply meaning that garments should not be wrongly provocative. The directive that women should not speak in church is regarded by some as being literal for all situations, but due to other New Testament passages which indicate that women were allowed to publicly testify in the early church[Citation Needed], the most common Christian interpretation[Citation Needed] of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 is that women in the Corinthian church were in the habit of conversing casually and gossiping during the church service, and that the apostle Paul was telling them not to do that. However, that interpretation is at odds with the following Scripture passage:

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. 1Timothy 2:11-15 (KJV)

References

  1. College women have 50 to 60 percent of the arm and shoulder strength and 70 percent of the leg strength of their male counterparts. Human Kinetics
  2. Genesis 3:16
  3. Ephesians 5:22-24
  4. I Corinthians 11:8-9
  5. I Corinthians 11:4-7
  6. I Corinthians 14:34-35
  7. Exodus 21:7
  8. 1 Timothy 2:9
  9. Peter 3:2-6
  10. 1 Timothy 2:11-12
  11. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (Spoken by Paul>
  12. Ephesians 5:22-24
  13. Colossians 3:18
  14. Titus 2:4-5
  15. 1 Peter 3:1-7
  16. I Timothy 2:15

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