I believe in a supreme being but I do not subscribe to religion neither do I believe that there is only one male or female God. I have held this belief for three years now but on March 12th, 2017, I accompanied my family to All Saints Cathedral for Sunday service. During the praise and worship session I forgot that I was merely accompanying the family and I became a clapping, dancing, singing member of the congregation. As the service progressed, I felt elevated beyond just being a member of the congregation and I shared a spiritual moment with the preacher of the day. Dr. Julius D. Twongyeirwe said words that I have not heard before in Church.
The wonderful preacher man told the congregation that while the Bible says that WIVES should submit to their HUSBANDS, the same bible impliedly tells HUSBANDS to submit to their WIVES. Dr. Julius quoted from Ephesians 5: 22 and 25,
“Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord.”
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
Webster’s Universal English Dictionary defines the word SUBMIT to means surrendering (oneself) to another person. In essence Christ was submissive to the church. He did this by giving himself up or surrendering or submitting to the Church. Clearly that verse does not mean that men are a superior force to which women should submit. It only means that both men and women are equal and when they become HUSBAND and WIFE, they in essence are submitting to each other or giving up themselves to each other.
These words transcended my spirit from being a Church-Avoiding-Agnostic to a Church-Enthusiast-Agnostic. For once in a long time I felt that Church can be a community to belong even for an Agnostic who upholds Gender Equality.
I am an example of Ugandans who choose to avoid certain ideological inclinations because we feel alienated from a group. I chose not to subscribe to religion because (among other things) the Church previously denied me biblical evidence of Gender Equality. I know that some Ugandans (both male and female) have chosen to avoid the topic of Gender Equality. In fact many that I have interacted with believe that Gender Equality is simply feminist propaganda.
I want to be a Dr. Julius D. Twongyeirwe to the Ugandans who believe this. I want to preach to you the message of Gender Equality without asking you to convert into a feminist or to subscribe to feminism. I want you to find evidence that man and woman are fundamentally equal and I wish that you will make an independent and informed decision to uphold Gender Equality regardless of your religion, culture, sexuality, economic status, social status or education status.
The journey of life begins upon conception when the male sperm and female ovary merge to conceive a baby. Simple science tells us that you cannot conceive unless the ovary and sperm unite. This in itself speaks of an essential symbiosis between a man and a woman, so essential to the extent that humanity cannot reproduce if these two dissimilar species (female and male) antagonistically exclude each other.
I choose to refer to the relations between men and women as symbiotic because a ‘symbiosis’ is an interaction between different species. Men and women are different and their differences enable them to complement each other. Here I speak of relations not in the sense of romantic relationships or child to child relationships, or child to parent relationships or any other kind of relationships. I speak of relations in the most general sense to refer to interactions between the male and female species within different spheres ranging from social, cultural, economic, or institutional.
If you can appreciate the relevance of two different species in the sustainability of a symbiotic relation then you can choose to believe in Gender Equality because without MAN, there cannot be WOMAN, and, without WOMAN, there cannot be MAN.
The world functions better when we choose gender equality and complementariness and the world fails when we elevate one sex over the other.
A symbiosis can be mutualistic, commensalistic, parasitic or it may involve interspecific competition. Symbiotic mutualism with regard to men and women involves both sexes benefiting from each other. Symbiotic commensalism involves one sex benefiting without affecting the other: it is selfish but not destructive to the non-beneficiary. A parasitic symbiosis is one where one sex benefits at the expense of the other: it is both selfish and destructive to the host (whether male or female). Interspecific competition is a kind of symbiosis where the two different sexes compete for the same resources and if the resources are not sufficient for both, then the survival of one is threatened.
The most common symbiosis between man and woman is Interspecific Competition or parasitic symbiosis. Men and women are in a constant battle for the world’s resources. If you want the scales to tilt in your favour you have to manipulate power structures within society. These power structure are what we refer to as Patriarchy or Matriarchy. In a Patriarchy men hold the Staff of Power. They are the heads of the family, they are the heads of government and the decision makers. They feed and feed on the resources until there is little or nothing for the women. In a Matriarchy the women Rule. They determine who gets what, they are powerful and the men are their subjects. Again they feed and feed on the resources until there is little or nothing for men.
The idea that a man and a woman are fundamentally equal is a hotly contested subject that often sparks arguments and verbal fights between its discussants. Women and men only fight over gender equality because we see each other as potential competition and therefore device means to outcompete each other or to be parasitic. I implore you to choose mutual symbiosis. The world functions better when we choose gender equality and complementariness and the world fails when we elevate one sex over the other.