Eugene Cho

The oldest injustice in human history is the way we treat women.

Update [January 5, 2012] I read and saw this video yesterday and it tore me up. While perhaps this case and this girl’s situation may be extreme, the mistreatment and abuse of girls and women are nevertheless still common. It is and continues to be the “oldest injustice in human history.”

Don’t turn away. Read this article and watch this video:

Nicholas Kristof/NY Times

In every culture and in every part of the world, this injustice is present.  What is the oldest injustice in the world?

It is the way that “we” view, treat, and oppress women.

It would be erroneous for me to say that Asian culture is entirely proned to be against women but I can share my personal experience that as a young Korean man, I was influenced – partly through the Confucian culture and worldview that women were born to serve their fathers as young girls, their husbands when they got married, and their grown sons when they were older mothers.  Their lives and purpose – in part –  revolved around men.

As a person of the Christian faith, I learned – in bits and pieces (both in subtle and occasionally in direct ways) that women should be our “partners.” They should be quiet, submissive and know their place.  Obey and honor their fathers, love and submit to their husbands, and raise godly sons and daughters.

Why didn’t I learn that women and men are both created in the beautiful image of God?  Why didn’t I learn that while we have different roles, we are also created equal in the image of God?  Why didn’t I learn that through Christ, women and men can do all things through Him who gives strength and grace.

I still remember this email that I received from a congregant couple years ago after a sermon I gave at Quest regarding women:

But at one point today, you said, “Women, you were created equal to men in the image of God.” I mainly write because I don’t know if you realize how powerful that statement was. I don’t know if you realized what it would feel like to hear that statement coming from a man — what it would mean to me, and possibly to other individual women and men. You didn’t even say it to me individually…I have never been told by a man, Christian or not, that I am equal to him. I have never been told by a man that I am equal to him. And equal in that we are both created in the image of God…I cried all the way home. How is it that I’ve never been told by a male person that I am equal to him? That I am equally beautiful and broken? That we are both created in the image of God?

…Women are deeply wounded by living in this world, and wounded that men don’t fight for us. Instead, they fight to rule us, and we…sometimes we fight, but most of the time we believe them when they tell us we aren’t worth our weight (sometimes taken literally). Today I felt like a man was fighting for me, not because I can’t fight for myself, but because he recognized the wrongs in a world and a Church that have benefited him unfairly.

So, I ask you a simple question for dialogue:

Why is it that women – across cultures, religion, and history – are oppressed?

I read this article today from Nicolas Kristof [NY Times] about girls and women that have had acid thrown at their face in an attempt to deform them.  It is a brutal story.  I wasn’t sure if I should swear, cry, or pray and  I think I ended up doing all three.  The quote that sticks out to me the most and it may be one of those quotes I will never forget is from a 17-year-old girl Aghani girl named Shamsia. Some men on motorcycles threw acid on a group of girls who “dared to attend school.”  In response, Shamsia told reporters from her hospital bed:

I will go to my school even if they kill me. My message for the enemies is that if they do this 100 times, I am still going to continue my studies.

Amazing.  The world needs women and men like Shamsia.  Please take a few minutes to read the article and pass it on to others.  Here’s the original link:

Terrorism in this part of the world usually means bombs exploding or hotels burning, as the latest horrific scenes from Mumbai attest. Yet alongside the brutal public terrorism that fills the television screens, there is an equally cruel form of terrorism that gets almost no attention and thrives as a result: flinging acid on a woman’s face to leave her hideously deformed.

Here in Pakistan, I’ve been investigating such acid attacks, which are commonly used to terrorize and subjugate women and girls in a swath of Asia from Afghanistan through Cambodia (men are almost never attacked with acid). Because women usually don’t matter in this part of the world, their attackers are rarely prosecuted and acid sales are usually not controlled. It’s a kind of terrorism that becomes accepted as part of the background noise in the region.

This month in Afghanistan, men on motorcycles threw acid on a group of girls who dared to attend school. One of the girls, a 17-year-old named Shamsia, told reporters from her hospital bed: “I will go to my school even if they kill me. My message for the enemies is that if they do this 100 times, I am still going to continue my studies.”

When I met Naeema Azar, a Pakistani woman who had once been an attractive, self-confident real estate agent, she was wearing a black cloak that enveloped her head and face. Then she removed the covering, and I flinched.

Acid had burned away her left ear and most of her right ear. It had blinded her and burned away her eyelids and most of her face, leaving just bone.

Six skin grafts with flesh from her leg have helped, but she still cannot close her eyes or her mouth; she will not eat in front of others because it is too humiliating to have food slip out as she chews. [read full article]

Here’s a portion of another  article:

But sometimes it’s very personal. It wasn’t a government or a guerrilla insurgency that threw acid on this woman’s face in Pakistan. It was a young man whom she had rejected for marriage. As the United States ponders what to do in Afghanistan — and for that matter, in Pakistan — it is wise to understand both the political and the personal, that the very ignorance and illiteracy and misogyny that create the climate for these acid attacks can and does bleed over into the political realm. Nicholas Kristof, the New York Times op-ed columnist who traveled to Pakistan last year to write about acid attacks, put it this way in an essay at the time: “I’ve been investigating such acid attacks, which are commonly used to terrorize and subjugate women and girls in a swath of Asia from Afghanistan through Cambodia (men are almost never attacked with acid). Because women usually don’t matter in this part of the world, their attackers are rarely prosecuted and acid sales are usually not controlled. It’s a kind of terrorism that becomes accepted as part of the background noise in the region. …

“Bangladesh has imposed controls on acid sales to curb such attacks, but otherwise it is fairly easy in Asia to walk into a shop and buy sulfuric or hydrochloric acid suitable for destroying a human face. Acid attacks and wife burnings are common in parts of Asia because the victims are the most voiceless in these societies: They are poor and female. The first step is simply for the world to take note, to give voice to these women.” Since 1994, a Pakistani activist who founded the Progressive Women’s Association (www.pwaisbd.org) to help such women “has documented 7,800 cases of women who were deliberately burned, scalded or subjected to acid attacks, just in the Islamabad area. In only 2 percent of those cases was anyone convicted.” [full article]

Irum Saeed, 30, poses for a photograph at her office at the Urdu University of Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, July 24, 2008. Irum was burned on her face, back and shoulders twelve years ago when a boy whom she rejected for marriage threw acid on her in the middle of the street. She has undergone plastic surgery 25 times to try to recover from her scars.

Shameem Akhter, 18, poses for a photograph at her home in Jhang, Pakistan, Wednesday, July 10, 2008. Shameem was raped by three boys who then threw acid on her three years ago. Shameem has undergone plastic surgery 10 times to try to recover from her scars.

Najaf Sultana, 16, poses for a photograph at her home in Lahore, Pakistan on Wednesday, July 9, 2008. At the age of five Najaf was burned by her father while she was sleeping, apparently because he didn’t want to have another girl in the family. As a result of the burning Najaf became blind and after being abandoned by both her parents she now lives with relatives. She has undergone plastic surgery around 15 times to try to recover from her scars.

Filed under: christianity, emerging church, family, quest church, religion, , ,

64 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    Dude, wonderful post. Thanks for the challenge and keep it coming.

  2. Emily says:

    Wow, I hadn’t heard of this. That’s horrible. I told my sister about this, she’s spent time in Afghanistan recently, and she told me about how there are also a good number of women who are burning themselves as a suicide attempt or simply to show the world how miserable they are. http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2008-05/2008-05-27-voa23.cfm?CFID=73135481&CFTOKEN=41255226

  3. Michelle says:

    I just finished the book, “Infidel” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It’s her autobiography of growing up in the Muslim world. It’s a must read for everyone. She details how she came to be an advocate for Muslim women.

  4. Phyllis says:

    thanks for posting this!

  5. Dadofiandi says:

    Thanks for showing what can happen when inequality is indoctrinated in ones society. I think too often people don’t realize the implications their beliefs.

  6. Ronda says:

    This is an outrage, many women in the united states suffer this endeavor but not like this. It is shocking and brought me to tears…it almost makes me want to figure out how to help out these women and find a legal way to proceed, it is devestating.

  7. Daniel says:

    This truly is probably the oldest injustice in human history. That’s why the way Christ treated women was so radical and unlike anything the people had ever seen before. That is also why as the Body of Christ, we are called to be opposite of the world around us, and not be another male-dominated, hiearchical institution.

    Even in the west, while there is little danger of things like having your face burned with acid, there is still a prevalent attitude that women should be subservient to men, especially for some reason, within the church. Maybe the outworkings of such an attitude are different here, but the heart condition is the same. It is one that simply desires to have power over others, and it is the complete opposite of the heart of Jesus, who laid aside all of his power and glory to come to earth, to walk and talk with us, and finally die for us.

    While stories like Ms. Azar’s are truly horrifying, they should wake us up to the underlying defect that exists in the hearts of every person. Only when we ourselves submit to the One who submits himself, can such attitudes and actions be a thing of the past. May the Church learn what it means to live as men and women, brothers and sisters, in the Kingdom of Heaven, where:

    “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

  8. Jim Chen says:

    That is so sad. Let’s at least pray for our sisters in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.

  9. elderj says:

    Horrid and tragic indeed and another symptom of our common depravity. You ask why women are oppressed or put another way, why men oppress women across cultures, religions, and history? The answer is simple, but disturbing. We (men) oppress women because we can. Our physical strength coupled with the depravity that is common to all humanity means that we simply can enforce our will upon the weaker sex with relative impunity. Our depravity can show itself in ways that the depravity of women usually cannot. (Theirs comes out differently; no less evil, but nonetheless different.) I would add also that many men fear women or perhaps better said that they fear what women represent; the power of bringing life in to the world and of nurturing that life. I don’t know.. I’m rambling now.

    Having said all that it is clear that despite all the fits and starts and failing in the history of the Christian religion, it has been the most positive religion for women overall. Even in churches that disagree about issues of gender roles (I hate that phrase), women are still generally held in much higher esteem than in other religious traditions.

  10. CS says:

    This post made me think of an excerpt from the book “The Shack” (theological controversy aside)….

    “But then….why is there such an emphasis on you being a Father? I mean, it seems to be the way you [God] most reveal yourself.”

    “Well”, responded Papa, turning away from him and bustling around the kitchen, “there are many reasons for that, and some of them go very deep. Let me say for now that we knew once the Creation was broken, true fathering would be much more lacking than mothering. Don’t misunderstand me, both are needed — but an emphasis on fathering is necessary because of the enormity of its absence.”

  11. artpage1 says:

    What do you mean this “We,” Keemosabi?

  12. Tom says:

    I appreciated elderj’s comments.

    Seems like the phrase ‘because we can’ could probably explain pretty much any specific example of oppression. Clearly applicable here.

    No doubt in my mind that Christianity does best by women among the various major religious traditions.

    Not sure how to explain why men have been able to so easily oppress women over the ages. Certainly has nothing to do with intelligence or social skills. Maybe originally it was just about physical strength, or maybe something about the differences in ‘defend/nurture’ roles vis a vis the family. Those early differences may have created an opportunity for oppression that snowballed into complex social and religious systems that reinforced that original unfairness and made change very difficult. I’m not an historian or anthropologist so I feel very out of my depth here.

    I’d love to hear the thoughts of more knowledgeable people re the deeper roots of this particular kind of obvious injustice.

    But women, by almost any measure, have done better under the increasing authority of scientific secularism during the past few centuries in the west than they did in thousands of years under the authority of various religious traditions around the world, including Christianity.

    Something to consider for we Christians as we do our theology and make our everyday decisions.

    Really liked what CS had to say too. Maybe we help create the theologies we need, even when there are very unfortunate unintended consequences. I had an early mentor who taught me that ‘when you solve one problem you create another.’

  13. elderj says:

    Tom – I don’t know that there are deeper roots. If oppression wasn’t handed down to us, we would invent in some form or another. I was trained as a historian, and causation is a very tricky issue in historical scholarship. Much has changed through the centuries, including the rise of secular materialistic worldviews in much of the so-called West, but we haven’t markedly improved in not oppressing people. We had in this country mass misogyny during the latest election. How different are we really from those in Shakespeare’s day who marveled that a mere woman could lead England? Sad to say that autocratic and tsarist Russia had more female leaders than enlightened democratic America has.

  14. Thanks for this. I’m going to link to it from the Emerging women blog.

  15. Steve says:

    Eugene, check out this book, “Liberating Tradition”. It’s a good conversation starter about the very issue you’re talking about here, especially for those of us in evangelical churches.

  16. Jenny says:

    Fantastic post. My thoughts? Men oppress women because women ALLOW themselves to be oppressed. It’s that whole “your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you” thing. We’ve traded our freedom in Christ for the security of social norms, the possibility of someone loving us and taking care of us.

    Obviously, individual women are not to blame for the abuses and indignities they suffer, but consider this. It was a woman who gave birth to the abuser. It was in all likelihood a woman who raised the abuser. Women make up more than half of the world’s population, and these cycles of abuse don’t continue without women’s compliance and assistance.

    Women have to stand up and INSIST on their equal standing, insist that the insanity end. The problem is convincing women of their equal standing in the first place. It’s hard for women to REALLY believe that they are created equally in the image of God when only male faces and pronouns are considered worthy of representing-um-Him?

  17. Katie says:

    @ Eugene: Would you mind elaborating on this a bit:
    “Why didn’t I learn that while we have different roles, we are also created equal in the image of God? ”

    @Jenny: While I think I understand your point, I have to softly disagree. Yes, women (and those who are oppressed) need to stand up against oppression; they need to be strong and willing to resist social norms and injustices. But I think it is wrong to say they are complacent and compliant and language such as yours can too often and too easily be turned against the oppressed when in fact you intend for it to empower them. Rape victims don’t allow themselves to be raped and minorities don’t just allow themselves to be discriminated against. While some may not actively fight against it, that does not mean they willingly submit. And the responsibility does not fall on the oppressed to stop the oppression. It is shared, yes, but I would argue a larger share falls on the oppressor.

    I wholeheartedly agree that the oppressed need to believe they are created equal and that something is wrong, but what does it take for them to believe that? It usually takes others telling them this truth and empowering them. It is a very difficult leap from not believing in yourself to believing in yourself.

  18. Bethany says:

    @Jenny:

    I agree with you that, often, women actively and passively participate in the oppression of self/other women, perpetuating the cycles of abuse and injustice. However, to say that men oppress women BECAUSE women allow themselves to be oppressed is to rob men of their free will, the God given ability to act independent of the depravity surrounding all of us. Men oppress women because they choose to oppress women, and women participate in the oppression because they choose not to believe that God has grace enough to fully redeem fallen creatures. To distribute blame unequally is, I believe, to undervalue the divine revelation in each of us. God has given us the capacity to know good from evil, right from wrong, regardless of the muddy and confusing world we live in. God reveals Himself in some way to each of us, and we all have the right and responsibility to respond.

    That said, it is exponentially easier to maintain a position of dominance, than to crawl out of a position of subjectivity. In this regard, I believe that men have a heightened responsibility to advocate for their sisters human worth and fair treatment. Yes, women need to stand up and insist on equal standing. But, when our voices are silenced and our faces are burned, we need our brothers to speak for us.

  19. Teresa says:

    i never heard of this. i’ve heard of women being lit on fire when they were not following under their male rules, such as not meeting the family deity. i cannot believe that the robes are seen as holding women back, when really they are more fashion when you think about it, especially next to this story.
    i agree with you bethany, well said. years ago i had a cashier job at a small specialty market. i could wear any bottoms, shorts, jeans, skirt, etc. with my work shirt. it was a summer job on the water down the road from a beach in a wealthy area so i’d spice it up with a skirt, i was a young woman. one of the deli hands would harass me sexually everyday we worked together or i saw him. look me up and down down and up, tell me he had dreams of me and i should be careful of my bf, and he wanted to take me to jamaica ( he was from there) and six flags, etc. no one would listen to my stories of these things except for the owner’s sister, the chef. she made the complaint and talked to the guy, but one of the older woman who did office work said that i was asking or it. did i go up to him and say hey, i want u to make me feel uncomfortable? just like these women getting burned, do they asked to be oppressed? i feel as though a good chunk of females these days do put tat message forward with how the media shows a woman “should look”
    this is not the only time i have ben sexually harrassed or molested. i am a big believer in feminism and the power of a woman for more than how a male may see her. i cried when i read the beginning how she cried on her way home realizing she has never been told by a man she was equal, or even worth it. my past relationships have been like this, used, taken for granted, and pretended to treat me well while i was accepting these exceptions as human faults, we all have them. my last ex boyfriend, oh man i could go on with him, and the one before! but he would never stick up for me, in front of friends or co-workers, and even his boss! he stuck up for them and gave them more respect then his own girlfriend/best friend who was giving him her heart and love and care. we didn’t have to get married, but i would still like to be treated well; “treat others as you’d like to be treated”. classic. his boss once asked me if i swallowed at a work drink get together at his home. i told my boyfriend and he just laughed and said that’s just who he is. one of his co-workers was one of the most sexist dirtbags i have ever met, and he tried giving him credit for being a good guy, which i NEVER witnessed. he smacked female butts, harassed them, and talked about my breasts often. i just, i can go on forever.
    although one last, it came to a point of being harassed by so many men as being a easy piece of meat available to every man, in their own minds, that i wanted to disfigure my face so i could be left alone and the harassment could stop. i’ve been sexually molested quite a few times in my life as well. it is NOT ok. i just couldn’t be confident, like katie was saying, building up that confidence is hard unless you have the support you are looking for and need. i got that from my therapist, how to deal with certain situations. he was one of the most amazing people i have come in contact with. Somehow, soon, i would love to see and live within a world or place or state or neighborhood of equality and respect. at least respect. a serious R-E-S-P-E-C-T. women need it, if they’re smart like most of us are. i am just waiting for that man who will take my side as i take his so easily.

  20. Jenny says:

    Bethany, you said it much better than I did. Certainly, individual women are not responsible for their own oppression, and certainly, it is much easier for men to maintain a position of dominance than for women to forght for their freedom. And I’m certainly not trying to rob men of their responsibility for their crimes!

    I wrote what I did largely out of frustration with the complacent attitude of so many women. Too often we are content to accept the status quo-whether it’s being barred form the pulpit, or barred from the schoolroom-and think we’re being Christlike by not standing up and screaming for our rights. But our silence on those issues only validates and encourages those who would like us to remain silent.

    Those of us women who HAVE been given a voice need to stop taking it for granted, and start using it. Yes, when our voices are silenced and our faces are burned, we need somebody else to speak for us, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a knight riding in on his white steed. It could be a princess who was so horrified by the injustice she saw outside her window that she picked up her sword, fought her way out of the ivory tower she had been unknowingly imprisoned in, and rushed to her sister’s aid.

    We women have to take responsibility for protecting our sisters and ourselves-we have played the victim too long. Yes, all too often we ARE the victims-but that is not a helpful mindset to operate out of. I truly believe that the battle against women is a spiritual and psychological one regarding the inherent worth of women, and that this battle is ours. (And God’s, of course!) In the end, a man can’t insist that we women respect ourselves enough to stand up for ourselves. Only we can do that, each on our own. And when a woman realizes that she is really, truly, created in the image of God, and therefore has immeasurable worth, no one is ever going to be able to bind her into slavery again. Disfigure her body, maybe. But not her soul.

    That seventeen-year-old girl who said her attackers could throw acid on her one hundred times, and it wouldn’t stop her from going to school, is more than a victim. She is a conqueror. We would all do well to tear a page from her play book.

  21. Eugene, thanks for sharing this. The things that happen to women are appalling. Thanks for speaking out.

  22. janowen says:

    Eugene, thank you for bringing this topic up. I will struggle to say this clearly so I hope my heart shines through. I have never been physically abused by a man, but I have been deeply hurt by men in church because I am a woman in leadership (even asked to quit my job as worship leader because men were uncomfortable with a woman leading) . That can’t compare to the atrocities committed against women around the world, but I think it is the common thread that breaks my heart and makes me want to confront the issues I see in the church at large.

    To be clear, my husband is wonderfully supportive. He thinks I can do whatever God calls me to do and has always been a true partner in marriage – my best friend. I now serve at a church where this is not an issue either, so if anyone clicks on my link, just know I am treated respectfully where I serve.

    But I have seen and experienced a disturbing trend – the teaching that it is “God given right” for men to be in authority. I would argue that spiritual authority does not emanate from the “y” chromosone, but from how we live our lives. Spriritual authority can only come from living for Christ. Yet we have suggested by our teachings that being male makes one spiritually superior and gives men a license to be prejudiced against women, to be prideful even, in the name of religion and in the name of God. It’s the underlying prejudice that I find reprehensible and totally unacceptable in a group of Christians.

    I wrote a series of posts recently that you might find interesting. This is a HUGE topic to me – my place of “holy discontent” if you will but I will be honest. MEN will have to join the fight. When I “fight” I am seen as divisive, bitter, angry, and a troublemaker. (see my posts, you’ll see my language is very gentle and loving) If I talk about it at all, I am rocking the boat. This is acceptable for men, not for women. MEN, you must open the doors for women and become champions for this cause – because it will take a man to confront men about male pride and spiritual arrogance. I have had some influence with the many men I work with, but I believe a man can call other guys to accountability on this issue in ways it will simply not be heard if voiced by a woman. Sad, but true.

    I hope you’ll read:

    http://aworshipfulheart.typepad.com/a_worshipful_heart/2008/11/lovingly-agree-to-disagree.html

    http://aworshipfulheart.typepad.com/a_worshipful_heart/2008/11/rocking-your-boat—some-things-to-think-about.html

    and perhaps most of all, read about why i care so much:

    http://aworshipfulheart.typepad.com/a_worshipful_heart/2008/11/wrapping-it-up-why-i-care-so-much.html

    Thanks Eugene. I appreciate you.

  23. eugenecho says:

    @katie:

    honestly, i’m not sure how i can elaborate more on that except to say i just didn’t hear many people around me speak about women: their beauty, worth, purpose. not much from the church about how women and men were both created in the image of God. it was more of adam first. then the woman from the rib. and so forth.

  24. eugenecho says:

    @elderj:

    thanks for your comment. i forgot to respond in affirmation to your response about “why.”

    “because we can…” is brutally true in my opinion and why so much exploitation – of all sorts – tend to happen.

  25. [...] Eugene Cho over at beauty and depravity had some pretty intense conversations going on in the last week about abortion and the oppression of women.  [...]

  26. Laura says:

    I belong to a small house church and every week lately the male pastor has been saying the words that men and women are equal, the gospel story applies to men and women equally, or God’s call is for men and women equally. I whole heartedly agree with the woman that wrote the note to you. You have no idea how powerful it is to hear those words from a male, particularly in a church setting of any kind.
    Every week, I think he dispenses a bit more of the grace of God to the women in that group, without even knowing it.

    thanks for the post.

  27. Katie says:

    @eugene:

    it’s too bad i’m only now seeing your response. i need to be better about tracking my comments. anyhow, i should have been clearer in what i was hoping you would elaborate on. i definitely relate to your story of not hearing about women much, particularly in relation to also being created in the image of God.

    however, my original comment was more in response to “while we have different roles…” i’m not sure that i agree, though it’s likely i’d find myself somewhat sympathetic or in partial agreement with what you meant by that. i just wanted to hear a bit more of what you meant by different roles that are based on one’s sex (which is what seemed to be implied-or maybe that’s a bad inference on my part).

    thanks!

  28. Emily says:

    I myself, raised in the US have felt oppressed as a college woman. I remember trying to stand-up for not being mistreated by an ex, male classmates, and even some male aquaintances in church. In return, I was told that my thinking was “inferior” or that I was “just complaining” and a lot of people (esp. girls) would avoid me because it must have been my fault somehow; that I deserved being put-down. I have also been told before that it de-mascinulinates men if I speak my mind because feminine girls are complementing a man’s masculintity.
    I may not be the most talented woman there is, but I feel like when I take care of myself, people, especially some men, feel like they have to find a way to put me down to make themselves feel better. Or if it’s their fault, they blame the woman.
    I don’t wish to hide my abilities and talents just for men to like me; if they feel intimidated to the point that they have to put me down, it compels me to wonder why this thinking process still exists. I’m done with making excuses for other people’s behavior,and just shine :)

  29. Emily says:

    Thank you for writing this post. It truly spoke me when I was reading it and my heart goes out to the women who are fairing it much worse than I am.

  30. [...] way, contribute to the celebration of their voices, gifts, and presence and highlight the need for continual justice. Each year on March 8 the world takes time to observe International Women’s Day. It is a day [...]

  31. mina says:

    thats so sad
    i feel like crying so sad

  32. Eve says:

    Thank you for posting this, honestly. More people need to speak out against such injustices, because in spite a strong presence of organizations that are meant to empower women in many areas of the world, women are still looked down upon and abused in those same places, as well as others.

    I often hear people attempt to justify certain things by saying anything that’s been around for a long time must not be that bad, but concerning the oppression of women and oppression in general, it’s been present throughout human history and there’s nothing that can possibly justify it.

    Again, thank you.

  33. [...] but here are some worth checking out: Ultimate Fighting Jesus, My Quasi-Conversation with Rob Bell, The Oldest Injustice in the World…, and Supporting Women in all Levels of [...]

  34. Glory O says:

    OMGoodness! this terrible and i think those men in places like that, need to get over themselves and let women be free to do whatever

  35. [...] The Oldest Injustice in Human History is the Way we Treat Women [...]

  36. anna riley says:

    how would someone get involved if they wanted to help some of these women who have been burned?

  37. magdi says:

    i cried so much reading this :'( i cant believe that there are people that are actually like that….

  38. leila says:

    sometimes i feel like giving up, i don’t understand how can we humans hate this much? for what?
    we have the entire world upon our feat, yet the only thing we keep on reinventing is new ways to hurt each other.

  39. Religious institutions, taking their cues from wherever the primal abuse began, continue to supervalue the male gender in roles of service, leadership, and authority.

    Eugene, until more Christians come to understand that men and women are equal and not simply complimentary, this problem will persist in the church. I get especially vexed when people say that men and women are “equal, but complimentary.’ In other words, when friends in denominations that don’t ordain women, and, indeed, derive complimentarianism from scripture, they somehow feel justified in saying “men and women are equal” on one hand, and “but not really” on another. This has to be abandoned wherever it remains.

  40. [...] at my church, there’s great privilege and power in simply being a man. This is why I contend that the treatment of women is the oldest injustice in human history. We can talk equality and equity all day long and while we can acknowledge how far we’ve come, we [...]

  41. Lookin' Out for the Opressed says:

    As a woman, I deeply appreciate the shout-out. However, I have to suggest that your title is false. The Deaf have been oppressed as a group for far longer: records date back to 1,000 BC of laws limiting the rights of the Deaf–and it was not uncommon then. What is more, there is legislation (in some places, anyway) protecting the rights of women. You wil find no such laws protecting the Deaf as free and EQUAL people. Google Deaf oppression. It will break your heart. Just my two cents. Thanks again for your beautiful comments.

  42. [...] Jesus we know that young and old…women [oldest injustice in human history] and men…regardless of race, ethnicity, and background…were made in the beautiful image [...]

  43. [...] I’ve contended before on my blog, the treatment of women is the oldest injustice in human history. It’s so old and so taken for granted, that we don’t quite understand what’s at [...]

  44. [...] Source Share this:ShareFacebookStumbleUponDigg   If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it! [...]

  45. I just came back from Northern India where I learned that many women are injured or killed in “kitchen accidents” and millions of girls are aborted, killed or abandoned because the community prefers men. Agra is an area document by http://www.census2011.co.in/census/district/517-agra.html to have a larger population of men than women; a ratio that continues to grow toward a male population out proportion with the rest of India and the world. As we drove through the streets, I could not help but notice this reality along the 4 hour ride to the Taj Mahal (an architectural marvel created to honor a loved woman). Hmmm..

    My heart was broken as I learned more about the conditions for women, their struggles, abuse and unjust killings. This article just added to my load. God has heard their cries. I have seen their pain. I am struggling with what to do, but sharing their stories is a good beginning.

    Thank you for sharing. Thank you for giving voice to women around the world.

  46. [...] few days ago, in response to a book I refuse to mention or link to Eugene Cho updated an old post.  For some reason I read it, and regret it.  Not because it was a waste of [...]

  47. Melody says:

    I wish I had time to read all the comments.

    What is most profound in what you said, for me, is that women are (also) made in God’s image and men/pastors don’t tell us. than ever. Or at least often enough. Recently while preaching on Gen 1-3, my pastor felt it was more important to emphasize the part about Adam and Eve “becoming one” than that we are each made in God’s image. The knowledge that I am made in God’s image is one of the most profound and liberating verses in the entire story of the Bible.

    Thanks for your tireless voice against injustice of every kind. God bless you.

  48. [...] contended before on my blog, the treatment of women is the oldest injustice in human history. It’s so old and so taken for granted, that we don’t quite understand what’s at stake – not [...]

  49. [...] act. As a Christian man, it matters how I think about and treat women. My friend Eugene writes, "the treatment of women is the oldest injustice in human history. It’s so old and so taken for granted, that we don’t quite understand what’s at stake – not [...]

  50. [...] THE OLDEST INJUSTICE IN HUMAN HISTORY IS THE WAY WE TREAT WOMEN – a link to a video I strongly urge you to see. [...]

  51. [...] on, especially in a lot of other countries around the world. In one extreme abuse situation in Pakistan, men throw acid on the women to try to deform them. When I saw this, it made me angry at the men [...]

  52. Mn says:

    Every culture, EVERY PART OF THE WORLD!

  53. HAMBLOK says:

    people who do this are disturbing and insane. They should be brought to justice! Everyone has rights in this world

  54. mario says:

    is extremely sad to see those type of injustice in the world we clearly see that the world is under the rule of Satan, but the good news are that Jehova God will cure everything soon (Revelation 21:4). please search jw.org to see the brilliant good news from God.

  55. […] for my son and daughter to grow up modeling gender equality, to be advocates and fight against the oldest injustice in history of […]

  56. […] for my son and daughter to grow up modeling gender equality, to be advocates and fight against the oldest injustice in history of […]

  57. […] (this is actually the title of an earlier post on Cho’s blog here) […]

  58. For long term whitening, a combination of the two methods is one of
    the best ways to keep your teeth looking great.
    This article was prepared by Wolfgang Hofbauer on behalf of Cosmetic & Laser
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  59. Langston says:

    Reblogged this on I Smell Like Jesus and commented:
    My heart has been squeezed to the point of being broken. I am going to do my part to end this injustice.

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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

I love my church. So proud of the ways they seek to embody compassion and justice. Some of them were in downtown Seattle this week to demonstrate their solidarity with Ferguson.

I'm in the middle of a 3 month sabbatical at Quest. I'm grateful for this time of rest and rejuvenation...but I miss my church dearly. Can't wait to be back in October. There are some amazingly beautiful churches around the world. Just remember though that true worship begins when you exit the church walls and live out your faith and convictions.

#LightandSalt
#PrincetonUniversity Home, sweet home. 
#seattle 17.5 Year Anniversary!
We still got it. We look gooooood!

Blessed to be back in Princeton, NJ for couple days recently. We had our wedding ceremony in Korea but got "legally" married in the US at Miller Chapel in Princeton Seminary. So, it was only fitting to go back and have my kids take our 17.5 Anniversary  pics. Someday when our kids become adults and they feel like their parents wronged them or neglected them, and they feel like they need to get counseling... I'm going to show them this picture and say, "I HAVE PROOF. WE TOOK YOU TO NYC AND BOUGHT TICKETS TO WICKED ON BROADWAY!" RIP Robin Williams. 
Folks: Please go and - call or hug your loved ones. Tell them you love them. Remind them how you much appreciate them.

We need to (re)learn how to be more human. Don't avoid eye contact. Don't hide behind gadgets. Smile often - both to neighbors and strangers alike. Ask about peoples' stories. And listen.

And most importantly, remind yourself that YOU are loved. Not just merely by your loved ones but also by the ONE who created all that is good and beautiful.

my tweets

  • Let's be wise. Let's be humble. Let's be careful of the hero complex where it's about us...rather than about God. - youtube.com/watch?v=s7j68b… || 12 hours ago
  • The proof of God's love is that He knows everything about us - incl. our mess, brokenness, and shame - and still pursues us. This is grace. || 16 hours ago
  • RT @NaomiLizBlog: "Our contentment comes from a life of gratitude and generosity." Review of #overratedbook by @Eugenecho @David_C_Cook htt… || 16 hours ago
  • A wise person prays, "God, how can I be a part of what YOU'RE doing?" rather than, "God, be part of what I'm doing." youtube.com/watch?v=s7j68b… || 21 hours ago
  • Rest. Reflect. Rejuvenate. Remember, it's a marathon and not a sprint. Let's keep running this race for the glory of Christ. || 1 day ago
  • Everyone needs a season of rest. Just make sure the season doesn't turn into years. Or that rest becomes complacency or worse, to apathy. || 1 day ago
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