Sunday, September 27, 2015

Three Times A Lady

The longer I teach, the more difference I see in the way boys and girls think. I make a conscious effort to have the boys treat the girls with respect and encourage the young ladies to carry themselves, well, as ladies. As a guy, I think being called a lady is the same for a girl as a boy being referred to as a gentleman. Not everyone agrees as you will see in this entry from April 4, 2007.

There was an article this week on the USA Today website regarding the naming of collegiate women's teams. The piece, authored by Christine Brennan, takes the position that the use of the term Lady in front of a mascot demeans the stature of female athletics. She mentioned a number of universities, concentrated in the south, which have retained the gender link. Most prominent of those Brennan referred to would be the University of Tennessee Lady Vols who captured the NCAA basketball crown last evening. Tennessee's legendary coach, Pat Summitt, disagrees and feels the title is woven into the fabric of the team's statewide and national fan base. Summitt believes the Lady Vols moniker will remain unchanged. Brennan's viewpoint is that it is a patronizing tag. I asked the girls in my classes their opinion. Most like the fact that our Westbury Christian girls' teams are called the Lady Wildcats. Their reasoning revolved around the belief that Lady distinguishes them from our boys' teams. I agree with Christine Brennan that the use of Lady can lead to some awkward names. The men's teams of Centenary College (Louisiana) are deemed the Gents, short for Gentlemen, I suppose. That would make the women's squads the Lady Gents, a perfect oxymoron. But I think it's a stretch to see the use of Lady as offensive. The girls in my Bible classes certainly aren't offended by it. Maybe they just haven't been educated enough.

I sat by Shara in Bible study tonight. Several summers ago, I preached Shara's wedding to Russell, my fellow teacher/coach at WCS. Recently, I asked her why she referred to me as Coach Hawley when her younger sister Emilee, who was on my high school basketball team, addresses me as Steve. Shara told me she just could not use my first name. I told her that from that point on, I would refer to her as Mrs. Carr. The twenty-five year old Shara, mysteriously, has begun calling me Steve. In my school roll book are always names I don't recognize. Some students choose not to go by their birth certificate names, often preferring a middle or nickname. I think you should be called what you want to be called. In Acts 11, we are told that the term Christians was first applied to believers in Antioch. I wonder who thought it up. What would a copyright be worth in today's market? Believers and disciples and followers of the way are all synonyms for the faithful in the scriptures but Christians has remained the more common title through the centuries. Since Shara is a woman, and an extremely beautiful one at that, does that make her a Lady Christian? In Galatians 3, Paul emphasizes that in Jesus there is neither male nor female. That's good enough for me. I think I can tell the difference anyway.

Applicable quote of the day:
"If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman."
Margaret Thatcher

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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