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Paul the misogynist

February 13, 2017

Paul can’t be called a misogynist, a male chauvinist. That would be like tomorrow’s generation looking down on us spitefully for being products of our time despite all our contributions to their own progress! No, to have been a teacher of truth doesn’t mean one has become flawless, a god-figure who sees all, knows all, understands all. Neither does it mean that to not have been such an omniscient entity meant one must have refrained from all contributions to a better grasp of truth (for self or society). Now, I’m not talking of instances where there’s been a deliberate suppression of truth (known/understood already), but where accepted modes of understanding have continued (most understandably) purely for those not being sufficiently, compellingly, successfully, finally challenged (maybe even afforded!). Where this principle is applied, we understand the tone and tenor of a number of supposedly now-branded ‘antiwomen’ passages. Clearly he sees in the male/female arrangement an order, something natural, and hence prescriptive of practice. Maybe not even a compulsion, but a preference, a recommendation, possibly the highest standard of conduct as he sees it. Now we may not agree with the specific rigorous applications he draws from his principle or see anything noble in such extreme austerity, but to conjure in a rather reactionary fit our own fanciful principles for life (directed against Paul i.e.) might be a most risky venture. Hence it is best to use those passages for principles that time (or knowledge or experience) hasn’t challenged. That’s where Paul’s defence lies!


From → observation

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