I have been Yentil my whole life, I blame my dad. I loved having deep, theological, political, and life in general debates and conversations with my dad. He has never put down my ideas and always respected my opinions. He always encouraged me to think outside the box, and to voice my opinion. So 100 years ago Jewish time, when women were not allowed to study the bible, my dad totally would have been the one secretly teaching me in the shadows. I am not so sure I would go to the extent of dressing like a man to get my fill of religious scholarly banter. But I’d be very tempted!
I have been following the Emma Watson story and how her speaking to the UN against the inequality of women has caused a series of ‘sexual threats’ against her and other feminist speakers.
The word feminism, as Watson says, has turned into a negative phrase, something people shudder at now. I think she is right.
As a Christian, there is a very blurry, sometimes extremely prejudice and heated point of view about women and our rights. The age old question is, “where is our place, and in what situations should we be put in it.” Churches have been fighting over this for centuries. Thanks Paul for being so vague!
I do not agree with extreme feminism at all, and I believe it is so extremely damaging to our society, you might as well bomb all the men in the world and call us superwomen, in my opinion. My definition of extreme feminism would be to make men a lesser sex, to hate men, to dominate the world, to rid the world of all gender, to abort babies because we have the right to, and to loathe the very essence of femininity. This I strongly strongly disagree with.
Unfortunately, because of this extremism, the majority of the church shudders at the term feminism now.
However, let’s not throw the feminist movement out with the crazies. The church NEEDS feminism, and so do our daughters.
I am not going to get into a religious debate over it, not on my blog anyway, though I’m itching to throw a bunch of scriptures about God’s unbiased love for women.
If I have to do that to convince you God sees equal worth in women, then I don’t want you reading my blog.
Here is why I believe the church needs feminism.
There is a dying world out there, there are cultures and societies around the world that need Jesus so badly it is sickening. There are daughters who are being raped by their fathers, and sold into the sex slavery trades. There are women working long hours to support her family on 1/4 the wage her dead husband received. There are girls around the world denied an education because of their gender.
Our daughters could run the risk of being raped on a university campus and be told by authorities or the Universty staff , to not drink so much next time. Without feminism, our daughters would be expected to marry by age 14, and not pursue her passions. Without feminism, Jesus’s line in the sand that he drew when he held the adulterous women under his arm, would have been in vain.
There are some who are culturally forced to cover their faces. There are women around the world who will be beheaded for speaking up against a man. There are women in your churches who have a passion to lead, or to write and feel it’s not their place, so they die a little inside, as they serve cookies. There are women in work places who have to flirt with their bosses to get a raise and daughters aborted, or given up for adoption, because they don’t bring honour to a family as much as a boy would.
That is why we need voices of feminism to rise up and bring God’s truth, that he places a high value upon His daughters.
Why don’t we, the church, be the voice of feminism, instead of slamming it’s door? Why don’t we be louder than the crazies who raise their kids genderless.
God has placed women on thrones and he’s put them in prisions washing the feet of the prisioners. He’s put Margaret Thatchers in Office and Mother Teresa on the streets of Kalkuta. He has put Joyce Myers behind spotlights, and Billy Grahams mother, by his side serving.
Let’s not be afraid of feminism, let’s be the one to define it correctly, and let’s aggressively fight for the liberation of women throughout the world.
As far as using rape as a threat against a woman speaking up for equal rights….. “Watson’s point exactly” .
2 thoughts on “Why the church needs feminists”
Sheila Gregoire says:
Woo hoo! So right on.
I was absolutely disgusted by the threats Emma Watson received, and I absolutely agree with you 100%.
The earliest feminists were acting out of Christian principles. Today feminism and support for abortion seem to be equated, which is really too bad, because the first feminists were absolutely pro-life.
Feminism, as it was originally envisioned, was a force for tremendous good in the world. Here in North America, where the main battle that is still being waged is simply about abortion, it’s easy to dismiss feminism.
But in other parts of the world, as you say, where little girls are still getting their genitals mutilated, or where they’re not allowed to leave the house, or where they don’t get educated like their brothers, we need feminists. And if the church becomes anti-feminist because it’s so Western focused, then we do “the least of these” a tremendous amount of harm.
Oh, and we seriously need to stick up for Emma Watson, too!
Yes! Yes! and Yes!