Happy International Women's Day

You may have noticed today's Google Doodle commemorating International Women's Day (IWD). It has been celebrated every year on March 8th for almost a century now.

Setting aside a day to more publicly celebrate and honor women, as well as to advocate for more equality in their rights and treatment, is a God-honoring, good thing. But, as Mary Kassian notes in her post today, there is an unfortunate assumption among most advocates of IWD that for women to be treated as equals among men, they must be treated the same. In other words, their roles and responsibilities must be interchangeable.

Mary responds to this assumption with an insightful word for both men and women:

We don’t need women to be more like men—or men to be more like women. We need radical, counter-cultural men and women who dare to delight in God’s design.

I know that as long as we live in this sin-tainted world, women—the softer, more vulnerable sex— will suffer unjustly at the hands of sinful men. Legal protection/intervention is absolutely necessary to try to alleviate her plight. But gender-bending and role obliteration does not help our cause. It just makes matters worse. It is when men sense their responsibility to benevolently protect and provide that women will experience the dignity and respect that is their due.

Equality will not be achieved by pushing for gender-neutralization of male and female roles. Women do not need to be the same to be equal. On this International Women’s Day, I encourage you women to embrace and delight in what it means to be a woman. But more than anything, I call out to you men to step up to the plate and be men.

For more on this subject, see our resources on biblical manhood and womanhood, and, perhaps most fitting for today, the message John Piper gave at the 2008 True Womanhood conference—"The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood."