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Old 6th August 2010, 06:34 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,584

Originally Posted by Sacredcello View Post
It seems that it wasn't until the 20th century that prejudice against women (giving the right to vote to women, as just one example) was finally overcome. Before that time, women were seen as less worthy as people.

I don't agree that all the generations of humanity prior to the 20th century were prejudiced against women. The faithful, despite being sinners, have in every generation treated men and women with respect as children of God. This is abundantly clear from the Epistles, which mention many men and women working for the spread of the Gospel.

The way that secular society treats women in recent times has improved to some extent. But in many ways it has also worsened. Women are pressured to be sex objects, to have sex outside of marriage, to use contraception, to support abortion, etc.

But I don't believe the claim that, even many centuries ago, women were treated like property or like children. Countless men and women married and had loving relationships, in which each treated the other with profound love and admiration and respect. And although past societies had strong differences in roles between men and women, this did not necessarily imply oppression.

Sin is the reason that women have all too frequently been mistreated in society in the past. But sin has not utterly prevailed, such that only the 20th century could free us from certain sins. It is grace and Christ that frees us from all sins, including mistreating other persons (for any of various reasons).
Ron Conte
Roman Catholic theologian
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