RJS over at Scot McKnight's Jesus Creed has had an interesting series on whether or not women are human, taking off from writings on this by Dorothy Sayers. It is nuanced and in no way am I critiquing what RJS has written, or Dorothy Sayers, for that matter.
Why would women in our culture be seen as less than human today? We know that Jesus treated them as equals in the sense that they are fully human. Is there something about a woman's femininity, or femaleness which fills out a full humanity? And is there something about a man's masculinity, or maleness which fills out a full humanity? This is not to say that either a man or a woman is not fully human. It begins to question what being human is or involves.
Part of being human is being in relationship. This seems to be one part of what it means to be made in the image of God. God as Trinity: Father, Son and Spirit, is inherently relational. We are made to be relational beings, relating to persons: to God and other humans. So to be fully human means we need to have relationships. Indeed it is not good for the man to be alone or apart from other humans, as Genesis 2 tells us, because something about being human is missing. Although Adam's need of another human was not gender neutral. Therefore God created the woman in the narrative. This was for marriage and procreation, but also for much more.
Read the above mentioned posts and the threads from the series on Jesus Creed for what others see and think about this.
Are women seen as less than human? This is obviously so in the past, but probably more subtly so now. And in what ways?