I’m sure everyone has heard the proverb: “Give a person food and you will feed them for a day, but teach them how to fish and they’ll be fed for a lifetime”.
I’m also sure that anyone who follows my blog will know that I’m an ardent believer in empowering women here at Windgrove — a refuge for learning. Not by giving them food for a day, but providing them with those technical skills normally “reserved” for men.
She’s only been here for a week, but visiting American feminist artist Margaret Wingard has already “squared up” a construction site applying the “3,4,5” technique, plumbed underground water pipes, measured and cut beams with power tools before nailing them in place with a nail gun, constructed tree guards and, as well, planted out three different species of ecualypt trees: blue gums, ribbon gums and silver peppermint.
Gutsy, hands on, real bloke stuff.
By providing such opportunities, I feel that I’m doing my bit to help shift the global mountain of culture that denies women a full, equal place in society.
Out here on the land with the sort of people that come through Windgrove, I get the sense that we’re winning in this shift towards gender equality, but yesterday morning I read that the Australian Anglican Church says that their new wedding vows — which involve a woman pledging to ‘submit’ to her husband – are not sexist. According to these recently re-written wedding vows (based on the Bible), the man doesn’t have to submit to the woman.
Where’s the equality in this? To me it’s just another slam dunk for atheism. And that’s a pity.
A Chinese proverb states: When the sleeping woman wakes, mountains will move.
And it ain’t going to be some Prince Charming who will wake her. She’ll wake herself up. And when she does, she’ll not only wake up with a keen, imaginative desire to create a better world, she’ll have the skills to actually build whatever it is she wants to build.
The mountains will be moving all right. Just to get out of her way.