The film 'Miss Representation' and the role of women today
A Christian Science perspective.
I’ve slept on it. Barely. My viewing of “Miss Representation,” that is. It’s a film that, according to its website, “explores how the media’s misrepresentation of women has led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence.” I found it astonishing. It made me wonder how we got here – to this terrible negligence of more than half our population – and what to do about it.
I had to go to the place I always go in times like this: in prayerful humility to God. In my silent reasoning and listening, it occurred to me that everything wrong in our society comes from a misunderstanding of God’s nature. If everyone knew that all was under divine, loving control, there wouldn’t be any envy, greed, fear, guilt, shame, or anger. In short, we would be at peace with ourselves and others.
I practice Christian Science, a religion discovered and founded by a woman. Her seminal work was to unlock the spiritual meaning of the Bible – to help us understand God’s nature. Mary Baker Eddy faithfully, respectfully, rebelliously dug below the material surface of things to discover the spiritual truth. In doing so, she revealed that God is just as much feminine as He is masculine. In fact, she wrote, “[W]e have not as much authority for considering God masculine, as we have for considering Him feminine, for Love imparts the clearest idea of Deity” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 517). And she interpreted the first line of the Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father which art in heaven,” this way: “Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious” (p. 16).
Before women could legally vote in the United States, Mrs. Eddy discovered lost Christianity (one that included healing like the early Christians had practiced for some 300 years after Jesus’ ascension); built a global church; published her own books (founding her own publishing company); started The Christian Science Monitor, which still circulates today the way she intended, free from the yellow journalism that prevailed in her day.
No doubt her understanding of the omnipotent nature of the divine as “harmoniously” masculine and feminine helped make it possible for her as a woman to accomplish so much in what was then considered a man’s world. So no matter the odds against girls and women (the statistics, day-to-day challenges, even deliberate, strategic attacks to disparage females who are in the public eye, based on their gender), we can keep going as she did and make a revolutionary, positive difference in the world.
So this morning, as much as I want to run around and make a lot of noise about the horrific statistics reported in “Miss Representation,” scream at passersby about the injustice of it all, instead I’m going to improve my concept of God. Then I can more faithfully see His-Her reflection in every individual, harmoniously masculine and feminine. Like so many women who have gone before – I will stay the course with the strength, gratitude, persistence, patience, and courage that flow unabated from that Mother Love, God.