I've had a few different careers during my working life, and they seem to have one important thing in common. Each required specific technical training and skills in order for one to become competent. Accordingly, by way of building technology and management, I finally ended up as a professional teacher, having gone to a teacher's training college and graduated with a distinction.
Sometimes you hear things, but they do not resonate, they don't hammer home their impact with much force because, somehow, their passage is too fleeting and they touch you too lightly. It is not that I was clueless about Pavlov's dog, but until the in-depth study of psychology at teacher's training college, I was not fully conversant with its full application.
In case you might have missed it, Pavlov was a Russian physiologist, who went on to win the 1904 Nobel Prize for his work studying digestive processes. In his study of dogs' digestive processes, he discovered that if you gave the dogs a physical food stimulus you caused the dogs to AUTOMATICALLY secrete saliva, i.e., they salivated.
But even of greater interest, he found that if you sounded a bell before you brought in the food, the dogs salivated at the sound of the bell. By doing this exercise a few times, the dogs learned that the sounding of the bell was a precursor to the arrival of food and so in anticipation they salivated.
Here is the amazing thing; even when there was no food, to see or smell, and the bell sounded the dogs, as usual, salivated. Based on his observations, Pavlov suggested that the salivation was a learned response, and so his experiments proved. All of Pavlov's work is embodied in what today we call "classical conditioning" and has many applications, including behavioural modification and mental health treatment as well as a treatment for phobias, anxiety and panic disorders.
Our civilization seems to have conditioned men to disrespect women in general, and young women in particular. Everywhere I look, and I have a habit of making sure I am in touch with what is happening across the globe via the internet, women are grossly disrespected, many are abused with impunity, and others are disregarded as if they are sub-human.
Take as an example the Muslim Countries. Women are forced to dress in ways that are restrictive, not to ensure their modesty (modesty is a good thing and all women should dress modestly) but to conform to an image that men determined. These women are forced to walk a few steps behind their men folk when they are walking together, and married women cannot talk or do most things except they first get the permission of their husbands. Women in these countries are still seen as the property of men, and sadly, most abuse there goes unreported.
Here we have a modern, Muslim world that seems anchored in an archaic, and outmoded way of life, that have made no concessions to modernity. The notion that women are men's property, the same devilish notion that underpinned slavery, is as evil in intent as it is nauseating in practice. But try telling that to the practitioners.
We can see why Muslims are so implacably opposed to Christianity, for since the intervention of Jesus into the conduct of this world, He has set this planet on a new and progressive trajectory as regards women. By his example he showed the proper way to treat women, for he treated women with respect, he gave them roles and positions in defiance of societal norms and all through his ministry, he was very calculating in including women.
See with what respect and inclusion he dealt with the Samaritan woman at the well, who was, in truth, a societal outcast (John 4:4-42).
See how he lauded Mary, and set her up as a brilliant seeker of truth, when he visited her home and she and Martha had a family dispute (Luke 10:38-42).
See how he treated Mary, and honoured her, for the anointing of his feet as a symbol of his death and burial (John 12:1-12).
See how he chose Mary Magdalene to be the first one to see him after his resurrection and to carry the first post-resurrection message (John 20:14-18).
See how he chose the women to be the first ones to know that he was resurrected, and knew that the women, without hesitation, would do the right thing (Matthew 28:5-8).
There are other examples of Jesus setting the tone for the proper treatment of women, and although it took women a long time to garnish certain rights, most countries treat women better now than they once did.
But it is the West, and not the East, that has NOT thrown overboard its dog-like behaviour, and the enormous harm, disrespect and chauvinism are everywhere to be seen.
Here in the West too many men, and some of them have a worldly intelligence which does not seem to make any difference, regard women as nothing but a sex object.
Because of this obsession, that women are nothing but sex objects, some men devour an enormous amount of pornography, and they regard child pornography as a mere enhancement to their diet.
These evil beasts even manage to convince governments to protect their right to access unlimited porn on the internet. The United States of America does just that, and recently excoriated China for preventing the free flow of pornography into China. It seems that countries that still want to maintain a semblance of decency find themselves being opposed, vigorously, by the USA. Chauvinism, it seems, have low friends in high places.
These evil, sexist beasts are polluting the entire world with their obsession and they are in the habit of praising and elevating people of their own ilk.
A man like Hugh Heffner, the founder and owner of PLAYBOY magazine, is their hero and god, and he is feted and admired by these corrupt people.
Some so called "decent" newspapers and publications can't get enough paparazzi inspired nudity and lewdness for their salivating public, and would go to great lengths to acquire even private, intrusive photographs to satisfy this craze.
We now have young women, so brainwashed, and lacking in self-worth and self-respect that they, themselves, are taking lewd photos of themselves in their bedrooms, and bathrooms, and sending them to these publications. This, along with posting sex videos, and sexually titivating material on the internet, seems to be their most consuming passion.
And all because men, lots of lost men, still cling to their dog-like habits.
It would be foolish of me, yea hopelessly naive, to think that a world of lost men will, by a nudge here, and there, reform, and be converted, and become model citizens. That is not going to happen, and because of what Jesus said, (Luke 18:8), the future will likely be worse than what obtains now.
These men, who still cling to their dog-like habits and regard women as usable sex objects, are in truth, not real men, but are caricatures of real men, and are pursuing models of masculine behaviour more suitable to the jungle, to beast without brains, Neanderthals bloated with naked, lustful, uncontrollable urges that have no place in a modern, progressive civilization.
Real men respect women, because their wives are women, their sisters are women, and because their daughters are women.
Real men are not controlled by their urges and instincts as if they are mindless creatures, but realise their capacity and strength to think things through, go against the tide, and be different.
Real men know what it is to empathise, be in the shoes of a woman, and understand the insulting and derogatory existence women undergo on a daily basis; and will NEVER support and give credence to such sexist, demeaning, loutish conduct.
Real men, in truth, have jettisoned their wild, dark, dog-like side and have embraced maturity, and are at a much higher place. This place is beautifully summed up by the Apostle Paul like this: "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." (1 Corinthians 13:11)
Every man who wants to transition from the old and ugly ways of thinking and acting, needs to get acquainted with Jesus Christ of the New Testament. Then something quite amazing happens. He finds that as he draws nearer to Christ, he becomes more in sync with His teachings and practices, and his attitude as regards ALL people is changed.
Men need to change their dog-like habits, and the very best way to do it, is to embrace Christ fully and find, like so many of us has, that "... if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Books by this author (non-fiction except indicated otherwise)
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Dr. Henderson Ward received his Doctor of Divinity in theology, with distinction, from Masters International School of Divinity, USA, where he is currently a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Ward's career involved pastoring, evangelism, and teaching. Copyright 2013