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When tribal chieftains counted their women among their goods and chattels, when medieval knights rode to holy wars inspired by towered ladies, when women themselves were content to languish in boudoirs reading tomes of long-drawn-out sentimentality, the world was still firmly in the grasp of the traditional account of creation as given in the second and following chapters of Genesis. Therein "the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose." The supposedly divine right of the Adam-man to take what he chose, and the supposedlu divine obligation of the Eve-woman to be fair, and to obey a human lord, constituted the original separation of powers and privileges which later became the rule in every new development of human civilization.
But alongside all material history goes the search for God, the divine Principle of being, and many women, out of their greater necessity, and with whatever light they have had, have sought the better way with their whole heart. The result has been a striving upward through the centuries, and as upward striving brings its due measure of freedom, so the history of the human race reveals for women a steady march toward freedom from the restrictions imposed upon them while as yet they were not sufficiently alert to resist them and to replace them with woman's birthright. So much of the upward march has been paced off since the day of tribal chieftains, knights-errant, and ladies languishing, that the human mind to-day deems women emancipated.
Now emancipation is a good word. It has been applied to those periods of human progress that have revealed an upward turn for some group somewhere. But just in that measure that it describes a human concept of good it is fraught with unattractive possibilities. For the human concept delights in contrasts; if it desires what it considers real good, it would also make attendant thereupon a real evil with all the gamut of variations and combinations in between. Such a fate seems to have befallen the latest human concept of emancipation, with the result that altruistic editors of metropolitan magazines and suburban daily papers have struggled to preserve to the world the womanliness of women by conducting symposia among the intellectuals and the moralists up and down the land, calculated not precisely to slay the "young child" but perhaps rather to find for her the proper nourishment. Well-intentioned as these attempts are, no matter how concerned for the welfare of the "modern girl" the moralists and the intellectuals may be they will fail to find the solution for her problems unless they look carefully to the first chapter of Genesis. There, in the record of creation that precedes the later record and is wholly separate from it, is written: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Commenting upon this verse in her "Exegesis" of Genesis, in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 516), Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: "It follows that man is a generic term. Masculine, feminine, and neuter genders are human concepts," and on the following page she continues: "The ideal man corresponds to creation, to intelligence, and to Truth. The ideal woman corresponds to Life and to Love." In the next paragraph she notes, "God has countless ideas, and they all have one Principle and parentage." Thus it is evident that God's creation is man coexisting with God and therefore reflecting the freedom of all-powerful, all-knowing Mind, ever present Life.
Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.
Where to Seek for Happiness
SIR HENRY JAPP
Man's Right of Dominion
EDITH WILDE PARKER
Faith and Works
EDMUND R. CUMMINS
In His Likeness
MINNIE CRUDUP VESEY
The Writing of Articles
Gustavus S. Paine
I am grateful for the physical healing, and still more so...
Ivan B. McBride
It seems to me that the time has come to send in my...
Frances W. Newbury
Only those who know something of the unspeakable joy...
Winifred M. Richardson with contributions from Eleanor A. Lannan
I want to express my gratitude for Christian Science and...
Eva Hammond Churchill
After using material means for many months without receiving...
Signs of the Times
with contributions from A Gentleman with a Duster, Cornelia J. Cannon, Herbert Bates, McCready Sykes, Francis Rogers