The scenes coming out of Kabul, Afghanistan this past week are deeply disturbing, and on so many levels.
Recent reports suggest women and children have been attacked and killed in the aftermath of the Taliban’s return to power. One woman was gunned down for not wearing a burka.
The oppression comes in various forms.
Dozens of photographs show workers painting over massive street advertisements featuring women. Not because they are sexually suggestive or immodest, but simply because they are unapologetically women.
Literally, women are being erased this week in Afghanistan.
The majority of the world looks upon such things as misogynistic and patriarchal, or at its worst, a return to an oppressive stone-age. This is the polar opposite of human progress. And it stands in direct contrast with the influence Christianity has upon the status of women.
Remove the belief system that unquestionably substantiates that both men and women are created in the image of God, and this is what remains.
A culture where womanhood is erased is inhumane and should be challenged in the strongest voice. But radical Islam isn’t alone in erasing women. In the most sophisticated centers of today’s culture, so-called “people of science” erase women in equally dramatic fashion.
The academic journal Breastfeeding Medicine released a new position statement, authored by eight medical doctors, informing medical professionals that the proper protocol is now to utilize “desexed language” when referring to the natural feeding of babies by their mothers. Words like, “breasts” is to be replaced with “chests”, “nursing mothers” are now “lactating persons” or “human milk-feeding individuals,” and “birthing people” is preferred over “mothers.”
Does anyone find this disturbing and perplexing?
Just weeks ago, journalist Katie Herzog wrote a widely circulated piece based on first-hand accounts explaining how professors at leading medical schools now “sincerely apologize” to their medical students for simply implying that only women can get pregnant.
“Why would medical school professors apologize for referring to a patient’s biological sex?” Herzog asks. Because, as one medical student explained to her, “acknowledging biological sex can be considered transphobic.”
Even the Journal of Women’s Health has declared “It’s time for OBGYNs to care for people of all genders.” Additionally, abortion advocates can no longer refer to abortion as “woman’s health care” because “We do pregnant people a huge disservice when we imply with our word choices that cisgender women are the only ones who need reproductive care.” Even within progressive circles, it is now offensive to mention womanhood.
Earlier this summer, the White House’s federal budget actually referred to pregnant women as “birthing people” in a section regarding maternal mortality. (You can see it for yourself here at the bottom of page 18.)
Womanhood is erased when speaking of women as women becomes threatened. But that is precisely where we are. While Muslim political radicals erase public images of women in the war-torn Middle East, medical professionals operating in the name of science do the same in the West.
All people who value the wonder of genuine womanhood should be outraged by both instances because one is as misogynistic as the other.
Please join me in praying for the tragic situation in Afghanistan and let’s continue to lift up the distinct and beautiful gift that God created in women.
Photo Credit: Lotfullah Najafizad.