All patriarchal organizations are inclined to express and honor masculine traits. Religious organizations are no exception. We rarely hear about Jesus Christ’s feminine traits although he manifested them and spoke of their importance often. Masculine traits are, indeed, to be honored, but they are only one-half of the whole.
A woman’s true power rests in her feminine values and her willingness to insist those values are as critical to society as men’s values. Today, more than ever, women’s values need to be front and center.
John Ruskin (1819–1900) was an English artist, scientist, poet, environmentalist, philosopher, and the preeminent art critic of his time. Ruskin’s lecture Sesame and Lilies, first published in 1865, stands as a reminder of the role of women in society: