Dear Mangi Nating
I couldn’t resist weighing in on the discussion so here is my take / 2 cents worth.
On “emancipation of females … and their place in a male dominated society”
Women rise only as high as we men let them to rise and this applies equally in the family unit as well as in the broader community. As an example I know a professional family where the man of the house made a conscious deliberate choice to let his better half develop intellectually and professionally, so that she could stand head to head with him in those areas. He took the role of the home-maker for several years and allowed the wife to first finish a degree and then follow that up with a postgraduate degree. There seems to have been little conflict due to those choices – in fact it has probably strengthened the family unit as both realise that each is dependent on the other for success and whatever has been attained is due very much to and belongs to all members of the family. As for the possibility of blurring their roles – that has not happen yet perhaps because of their strong religious affiliations where understanding of traditional male/female roles is firmly entrenched. I believe a strong religious base (namely Christianity) has both a unifying as well as a liberating role.
Feminism has probably contributed to the dislocation and breakdown of the family unit because it advocates a complete break with the traditional male female roles, which in turn leads to the blurring of roles and disappearance of the need for role models. Perhaps that could explain the rise in same sex relationship making headlines today. Seems to me the Christian model of marital harmony is the best – men and women being equal partners in the business of raising the family. After all Eve was formed from the bone take from Adams side (ribs) not from his foot as some men think in the treatment of their wives.
On “Women and supposed ‘Prostitution’ for economic reasons”
Most women by nature have a strong inborn instinct for preservation and ensuring the survival of the species – ie they will do everything within their power to protect and provide for their children, their husband and all that they count as precious. As such many women who marry for economic reasons could in fact be driven by the desire to provide for parents and siblings. I know of several (wife’s) cousins who married Australians and now, residents in Brisbane are the family’s sole providers. Often I believe they do so at a cost to their own happiness because many are living in relationships that are close to ‘hell on earth’. That to my mind is a selfless act and constitutes an ultimate sacrifice. Nothing could be taken away from them for making such a costly sacrifice.
As for prostitution in the normal sense of the term, I am inclined to think that it’s endurance as the oldest vice and profession is primarily due to two reasons apart from the more obvious (consequences of sin) of course. Both are male related.
Like any commodity it can only be traded if there is demand. Men want it so it is available. Without demand it there would be no prostitution.
Prostitution is an indictment on the part of fathers and husbands and is often the result their dereliction of duty to adequately provide and care for their dependents. Mothers and daughters are driven into despair and prostitution because of the need to provide for the family. I concede there are exceptions.
On “Relevance of Bride Price”
While this writer has never had to pay a single toea for his bride price, it is my observation after a number of years of married bliss that the institution is relevant today even though it gets abused by both unscrupulous parents as well as the groom. By that I mean some parents think the groom and his people have an endless vault of cash rivalling that of the BoPNG so they try to extract the maximum possible compensation for their daughter. On the other hand the groom thinks the bride price is a licence for him to use her as a punching bag.
Abuses aside let me enumerate my reasons even though my evidence is anecdotal.
From a parent’s point of view, a daughter is equal to several sons, therefore raising her up is prime investment. Note that this is without factoring in the Bride Price she will fetch later. The simple reasons are that they view her as more likely to be around in the time of their need –whether that be in sickness or old age, than a son. She is more likely to show sympathy, demonstrate care, tenderness and regard for their situation and actually provide for them even to their dying day than a son. As men we have shifting loyalties and a penchant for being swayed more to our wives people, even to the point of neglecting and absconding from our filial duties. Unless of course our spouses show a better spirit than us, which means they take care of both sides of the family without favour or bias. In which case the groom’s parents have really gained a daughter without losing a son. Pity the poor family blessed only with sons!
PS That’s a year’s write up so I think I’ll retire after posting this.