I’ll begin with the second sentence of paragraph five. I also want to make a disclaimer here…there is much more in this essay that I can’t touch on in one post, or it would end up being ten pages long. There are issues in it that I plan to talk about more in later posts. For example, in paragraph five, the author touches on the subject of women pastors and stay-at-home dads, and I think these subjects require entries of their own.
Here we go…
“Our problem lies in the fact that there is no one righteous and we are all opposed to God-we are all feminists at heart. And we can’t wake up one day and decide to be a Proverbs 31 woman any more than a man can decide to lead like Christ.”
~ It’s true that no one is righteous and we are all opposed to God, until He regenerates us and makes us alive in Him. But here is where the author’s ignorance about what feminism is comes shining through. It’s wrong to speak about our sinful nature as being on equal footing with feminism without qualifying what type of feminism you’re referring to. When the Bible talks about our sin nature, it doesn’t have anything to do with male/female roles or equality between the sexes. I also find it ironic that complementarians use Proverbs 31 to show that women should be homemakers, when Prov. 31 actually disproves that notion(Prov. 31:15-18,).
“Many times we are so busy looking for the woman with the hyphenated name that we miss the woman who scoffs at a man for opening the door for her. Both of these actions are products of our feminist heart.”
~ There is absolutely NOTHING Biblical about a woman taking her husband’s name when she gets married. There is NOTHING sinful in hyphenating your name when you get married. The Bible simply doesn’t command a woman to take her husbands’ name at marriage, period.
If a woman scoffs at a man for opening a door for her, she is rude, whether she’s a feminist or not. If a man scoffs at a woman for opening a door for her, he is rude, whether he is a feminist or not. The other day, I was going into a store and there was a man directly behind me, so I held the door open for him. He said, “Thanks”. It’s really not complicated. Rude is rude, and that doesn’t have anything to do with feminism.
“My ‘recovery’ from feminism is not about learning how to bake pies or a decision to be more feminine(though these are important and helpful things), it is about repentance. Repentance of my desire to be in control and to raise my fist against God’s created order.”
~ Okay, I’ll state the obvious here: there’s nothing wrong with wanting to bake pies. There’s also nothing wrong with NOT wanting to bake pies. But my questions are as follows: Is the act of baking pies feminine(no!) and where in the Bible does God ever tell women to “be more feminine” or to “pursue Biblical womanhood”? The answer: nowhere. There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that men or women should pursue masculinity or femininity; we are to pursue Godliness.
~ The last sentence here is the final one I’m going to comment on, because I think it really sums up what the author believes about women and their relationship to men. From what I can tell from this essay, the author believes that feminism started in the Garden of Eden, when Eve decided not to follow her husband’s divinely given leadership, which would explain how we have all inherited this sinful “feminist” tendency. She believes in the theology of “The Created Order”. This statement by Marg at Newlife sums up this misinterpretation of the creation narrative nicely~
~ “Complementarians have completely missed the point of the Creation of Eve narrative and instead, they have read hierarchical authority into it. They believe that because Adam was created first, he was to be the leader; and because Eve was made second, she was to be the submissive follower and helper.”
In the creation narrative, God never tells Adam to be Eve’s leader, and never tells Eve to be submissive to Adam. There is no hierarchy in the creation of Adam and Eve; in order to read hierarchy in this passage, you already have to believe it before you read it. But it simply isn’t there. In fact, in verses 24 and 25, we see how delighted Adam is to have a partner, someone who is so much like him, with whom he will have the most intimate relationship. There is no mention of Adam “leading” or possessing any type of authority over Eve, or of her “following” him in this passage.
Eve was not the first feminist. She was a sinner, just like Adam. They both sinned because they wanted to be like God(Gen. 1:5-6). There is absolutely no shred of evidence that Eve was sinning because she did not submit to Adam, or that Adam’s job was to lead his wife.
“Early advocates for gender equality, so many of them devoutly Christian advocates, swam boldly against the tide of public opinion, sacrificing much in securing rights that no sane contemporary woman would relinquish if given the choice to do so – ‘rights’ which anti-feminist authors Mary Kassian, Barbara Hughes, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and Beverly LaHaye gladly avail themselves of on a daily basis.” ~ Jocelyn Andersen, “Woman, This is War!”( page 50)
Many Christians, both men and women, seem to be completely ignorant and unappreciative of what women’s rights advocates accomplished. A brief and honest look at women like Sarah and Angelina Grimke, Harriet Tubman, and Margaret Fell(just to name a few) would show that early women’s rights activists were not man-hating, Bible-bashing heretics. These women were all Bible-believing Christians with legitimate concerns about slavery and women’s rights. Another brief and honest look at world history would make this clear: men have dominated women in horrific ways since the beginning, and something desperately needed to be done about it. Yet Christians today are still under the impression(deception) that women’s rights/feminism are evil and bad for society. The fruits of these women’s(and sometimes men’s) labors speak for themselves. As Christians, we have nothing to fear when someone starts talking about feminism, in terms of women’s equality(justice) in their ability and *right to serve along side men.
* “…the word ‘rights’ is not a curse word. The United States of America was founded by a war fought to win what are readily acknowledged as inherent, inalienable (God-given), human rights. What many women are unaware of is that the inalienable rights referred to in the United States Declaration of Independence were directed, at that time, towards white males only. Other than their right to live in this country, petition their government, and pass their citizenship along to their naturally born children, women possessed few rights of citizenship in the United States either before the Revolutionary War or after.” ~ Jocelyn Andersen, Woman, This is War! (pages 35-36)