* This week's Torah portion is concerned with vows. It doesn't like people making vows. The Torah enforces all sorts of restrictions about vows. The Torah lets men feel in charge because they have 24 hours to revoke a wife or daughter's vow. I think this is more about a man feeling in charge of his domain than actually giving men power. It is similar to the Torah's approach to slavery -- evolutionary not revolutionary. The Torah makes slavery difficult. It makes it difficult to annul the vows of his wife and daughter, giving him but 24 hours.
* Do modern men need to man up and take charge of their households? I was raised to believe that the man has the final vote in the home. He's the one in charge because he is more rational and less ruled by his emotions. I had this modern atheist Jewish girlfriend who said to me, "You are so afraid to set limits on me, but when you do, I'm just a meek little lamb."