Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Emancipation Matters.

For some reason the Beatles’ song No Reply started running through my head earlier. The singer is lamenting the fact that the woman he wants to get off with is not reciprocating his feelings, and the line I kept hearing was:

If I were you, I’d realise that I
Love you more than any other guy

This is something else I’ve only just noticed is odd. What he’s effectively saying is that she should choose him over other men because he loves her more than they do. Her preferences don’t seem to count.

*  *  *

And I discovered only this evening that it wasn’t until 2006 that the Anglican Church offered an alternative to the traditional marriage service, allowing for the woman’s vow to ‘obey’ her husband to be omitted.

The argument for making this change is even more interesting. It was to avoid the possibility that the word ‘obey’ might be taken as justification for domestic abuse by men, and encourage passive acceptance of that abuse on the part of the women. It wasn’t because the concept of one partner being obedient to the other was innately unacceptable. I suppose this approach was taken so as to avoid any doctrinal divisions over the issue of male superiority so beloved of the Judaic tradition, in which case it’s an interesting example of the political side of religion.

No comments: