Letter: Gender roles in history


Traditional gender roles extend back far beyond the industrial revolution of the 19th century. In ancient scripture, Eve’s name in Hebrew means “Mother-of-All-Living.” Women in Bedouin tribes had stewardship as tent-builders and tent-keepers for their families, while a man’s stewardship was to provide and protect resources in the world outside of the tent. In Proto-Indo-European roots, the term “husband” is a kenning meaning “house-builder” because a man was responsible for building a new home for his betrothed. In Old English, a Lord was the hlaf-orde or “loaf-guardian,” while his Lady was a hlaf-dige or “loaf-kneader.” In Elder Packer’s “Parable of the Keys,” the man has two keys and the woman has one. The man’s first key grants him entrance into the sanctuary where the woman presides, and his second key helps them to open a covenantal ark which cannot be accessed without the singular key of the woman.

Our Creator has blessed males and females with a variety of equal but complementary roles throughout the ages, including the Herdsman and the Housekeeper.



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