Wed | Feb 19, 2020

Robinson wrong on 'virtuous' women

Published:Tuesday | April 17, 2018 | 12:00 AM


I reference the article by Gordon Robinson, titled 'Why I don't want a virtuous woman', which appeared in The Sunday Gleaner's In Focus section on Easter Sunday.

The ideal 'virtuous' woman being extolled in Proverbs 31:10-31 reminds me in many ways of Jamaican women whom I have known throughout my life - the hustlers, working and taking care of family, often alone.

The woman of Proverbs 31 is a multitasker -a successful home manager giving priority to the welfare of her family; a successful businesswoman involved in real estate deals, manufacturing and the sale of textiles and clothing. She considers the welfare of her employees and is involved in charitable work. Her wisdom is valued and thus her advice is sought and appreciated.

Her religious beliefs are the foundation of her life. Her husband is proud of her achievements.

The chapter concludes in verse 31 that this industrious and conscientious woman should be given the reward and praise she has earned. In other words, her worth must be recognised and rewarded. I see this as support for women's rights, and so did the women of the suffragette movement in the 20th century.

Advocacy for women's rights gained momentum in the 20th century. In Britain, the suffragettes, in their campaign for women's right to vote, used Proverbs 31:31 as the slogan for their campaign. Women in Britain achieved the vote in 1918.

The Book of Proverbs, written several centuries before Christ, contains wisdom of the ages, much of which remains relevant today and ought to be practised in Jamaica. It's good literature and is worth reading.


Kingston 20