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Equality of Husbands and Wives; Children and Nintendo Games

Oct 16, 1995

I have a Chinese husband. As you might know, Chinese husbands don't seem to treat their wives as equals. When I was in college I watched the women's lib movement with some interest. I don't feel like a feminist, but I'm not entirely happy with the Chinese traditions toward women. What's your opinion about husband-wife relations, in terms of equality, etc.?

I think that husbands and wives are equal in value, and should treat each other that way. It's unfortunately true that men have mistreated women for thousands of years. (As a man I feel quite apologetic about this.)

I also watched the women's lib movement with interest. I believe that the women's lib movement was necessary, and is still not finished in it's work of liberating women worldwide. The "glass ceiling" in corporate America, for example, should be completely shattered. The problem is that the women's lib movement has become too radical and too hateful toward men. Equality for women shouldn't mean inequality for men.

Considering the fact that God created both men and women, it would make more sense to respect both men and women equally, because both men and women reflect God's nobility. From that point of view, a woman represents "half of God" and a man represents "half of God." How could a husband mistreat his wife who reflects half of God? Rather, we should treat our wives like Queens. (And of course, wives should treat their husbands like Kings!) This method of treatment between men and women, and husbands and wives, is very reasonable if we look at our husband and wife as God's son or daughter.

The Chinese tradition seeks harmony within the household based upon the proper order of "subject and object", or "plus and minus". If you consider how much havoc has been wrought in western households when the husband and wife both sought to occupy the "plus" position (many times resulting in divorce), the Chinese system has something to recommend it. Two pluses will automatically repel, just as in magnetism.

The Chinese system must be considered deficient, though, because not enough honor is given to the wife. Although husbands and wives can find harmony in a plus and minus relationship, isn't it more unselfish and loving if both parties relate to each other in a revolving plus and minus relationship? In other words, sometimes the husband can be a plus, and sometimes the wife can be a plus. Ultimately, if both treat each other with true love and God-centered respect, they will even compete in caring for each other!

Men and women would do well to remember the interchange between Jackie Gleason and his wife on the Honeymooners TV show. Gleason told his wife, "I am the King, and you are nothing!"

The wife responded by saying, "Well, then you're the King of Nothing!"

What shall I do about my two sons, age 6 and 8? They sit glued to their Nintendo games at every opportunity. I thought the games might be a nice diversion for them, but I'm beginning to get worried about them. Any ideas?
Nintendo Mom

I can only tell you what I do with my children. When they watch too much TV, I tell them I can see the yellow ooze coming out of their ears from brain rot -- and then I turn the TV off.

My opinion about Nintendo is even lower. My children try to play it whenever they go to a friend's house -- but they don't play it in our house 'cause they ain't got one. (And they never will.)

What they do have is a plethora of computer programs that look like games, but are actually educational programs that teach them all kinds of interesting things. They have math equations that fall out of the sky and explode if they don't key in the answer right away. I give them access to the computer whenever they want (unless my wife is typing her column.) They're delighted with the chance to "play games" on the computer, and I'm delighted that yellow ooze isn't coming out of their ears.

Take my advice. With all due respect to the Nintendo company, chuck it, and buy educational computer games. With CD-ROM's proliferating, your children will never lack new "games" to play.

Peter Falkenberg Brown is passionate about writing, publishing, public speaking and film. He hopes that someday he can live up to one of his favorite mottos: “Expressing God’s kind and compassionate love in all directions, every second of every day, creates an infinitely expanding sphere of heart.”

~ Deus est auctor amoris et decoris. ~

(Comments are moderated and must be approved.)
Peter Falkenberg Brown
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