THE feminine genius which the late Pope John Paul II speaks about in his Letter to Women in 1995, are thoughts that one loves harboring without fear of oversimplification; and continues to provoke kind thoughts and warm affection, as one recalls how endearing ones mother is and all the women that came close in between. This comes not only because March is the month of women, but because of that primordial gratitude that the world owes to women.
The genius of women pervades in all history and in all facets of human endeavor. But nothing comes higher than her realm in the social and ethical dimension which deals with human relations and spiritual values. “In this area,” says John Paul II, “which often develops in an inconspicuous way beginning with the daily relationships between people, especially within the family, society certainly owes much to the “genius of women”.
Humanity would plunge into monstrosity—as it had in some points in history—without this “genius”, which should be more fully expressed in the life of society as a whole, as a matter of existential exigency.
Our heart bleeds at how many of the womenfolk have been ill-treated by some cultures and men as if they were properties that can be acquired and disposed at will. This inhumanity is caricatured in some cultures that abort fetuses the moment they are discovered as potential females. No matter the “religious” justification, treating women as mere appendage of men is inhuman. Which is why polygamy is exploitation of women pure and simple.
In this context, it should be everybody’s job to ensure that women regain full respect for their dignity and role. And this should be contemplated and initiated right at the very heart of humanity—the home.