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I am a Feminist. I am a Christian. No Disclaimer. – Angela Drylie

02 Oct

Christ as Holy Wisdom

feminism n (1895) 1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes 2 : organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests — feminist n or adjfeministic adj

I am constantly bemused by the number of people I meet who say “I’m not a feminist but…. [insert statement that implies the person making the statement believes in the importance of equality between men and women]”. Many of my friends, my uni mates, work colleagues, and wider family do not think they are feminists, yet believe in the equality of women and their right to fair treatment. Kelly Clarkson claims not to be a feminist yet protests against the “Old Boys’ Club” she is constantly up against in the music industry. Just who do all these people think a feminist is? Contrary to popular myth, feminists come in all shapes and sizes, ages, genders, sexualities and religions. You do not have to a) be a lesbian, b) be abundantly, unabashedly hairy, c) eschew makeup and all kinds of laughter (although if you so choose any of the above, that is entirely up to you). It is not a prerequisite that you hate men. In fact, you can even be a man and still be a feminist. In fact, you can be a Christian, even a Lutheran and still be a feminist. Heck, I even know some pastors who would describe themselves as feminist. I even would go so far as to describe Jesus Christ as a feminist. The Feminist even.

Sojourner Truth in 1851 argued: “that …man…, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? …From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.” While he was bodily on earth, Jesus consistently acted in a manner that affirmed the worth and equality of women. Christ advocated for the equal application of Jewish law to men and women (Jn 8:3-7). Christ appeared after his resurrection to women first and commissioned them to give statements about this (in those times women were unable to give evidence in a court of law) (Jn 20:13-18; Mt 28:8-10). He included several women within his close group, teaching them (Mt 27:55-56; Lk 8:1-3; 10:39, 42). Throughout the Bible, God ordains female leaders, apostles and prophets such as Miriam, Deborah, Anna, Mary Magdalene, Priscilla and Junia. The first chapter of the Bible highlights that both men and women were made in the image of God (Gen 1: 27). God even answers to names with feminine overtones – for instance, ‘El Shaddai’ can be translated as “The Breasted One” and has connotations of abundance and fertility.

Christianity in general has always been concerned with issues of injustice and oppression. Feminism can sit comfortably alongside other important social justice concerns such as disability, poverty and homelessness, exploitative trade practices, Indigenous rights and the rights of prisoners. Despite this, many Christians still seem loath to be associated with feminism. I think this is partly to do with confusing the arguments of some feminists with the arguments of the whole group. Christians are not a homogenous group. We are not all prudish, cross-wearing, Bible-waving, teetotallers (though again, if you so choose, that’s your prerogative). Feminists are not a homogenous group either. The stereotypes are merely stereotypes. There is only one criterion in order to be a feminist: that you think that equality and fair treatment of women is a good thing. So am I a feminist? Absolutely. Do I need to qualify that? No. Do you believe that equal rights and fair treatment for women is a good thing? Yes? You are a feminist.

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9 Comments

Posted by on October 2, 2011 in sociology, theology

 

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9 responses to “I am a Feminist. I am a Christian. No Disclaimer. – Angela Drylie

  1. Christian P.J. Bahnerth

    November 11, 2011 at 4:57 am

    Wow, what a start with a heavily weighted first definition of feminism! I do not think that no. 1 definition represents the equality of the genders, The second definition must surely be closer to the truth. With respect to the first definition, would the word “masculinism” also convey equality of the genders? I think neither of them do, they both show a bias toward a gender specific agenda.

    Now I might have left you thinking; “here is a woman hater.” Quite to the contrary. My immediate family and my immediate social circle has more females than males, with mutual respect and love. I have always believed that men and women have been created in God’s image but with different vocations. The differences below the colarbone have been described and documented so often that I do not need to go into that here. However, the internal differences in the head are often overlooked. By divine design the female has more neural connections between the left and the right brain, and I think rightly so, very few men can cook a meal and look after a toddler on the floor at the same time, women can. Very few men can nurse a baby and at the same time do something else, even the natural nursing is beyond men; the best I could do is let the babies sleep on my chest. Very few men have the compassion and the patience that nursing staff regularly display in the hospitals I visit. Yes, there are male RNs also, but fewer in number and in suitability. However, when it comes to “one track minded” tasks” requiring great, undivided and in dept concentration, the situation seems to be reversed.

    I might be accused of “complimentiarism”, maybe so, but that is how it works in our household, my wife and I can both cook – her result is always right, I tend to experiment a bit. My wife can see what many activities need be done during the day, I tend to be locked in one one task at the time, and yet this has worked now for over 50 years, thank God, and we pray to keep it going.
    My wife is very good at puzzles, jigsaw etc. whilst I am more of a bookworm. My wife and I can both cook (bake, braise, saute, BBQ, stirfry, etc.), knit, sow and I can even crochet, whilst my wife is a wizard at preserving and making cakes and slices. There is an advantage being brought up in a multi domestic disciplne household.

    I think that God created women and man as a team, neither of which could get the wanted results by him/her self. Women being lesser than men? NO way, nor is it the other way round! Equal in creation, different in Vocation.

    Barney

    Ubi Verbum Christi, ibi Veritas

     
  2. Kristen

    November 14, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Barney, I’m a woman, and I also do best at locking on one task at a time. I tend to give each task my undivided, in-depth concentration. I’m terrible at multi-tasking. I have no idea how I’d have managed if I’d had to be a single mom, since I do NOT cook with a toddler at my feet very well. Either the toddler gets into stuff, or the dinner gets burned. Or both.

    Am I unwomanly?

    When you say “different in Vocation,” do you mean what that usually means: man’s vocation is to lead and woman’s is to follow? If not, I wouldn’t call you a complementarian. But I do think it’s inaccurate to take the differences between you and your wife, and imply that these are the differences between all males and all females across the board.

     
    • Barney & Co

      November 14, 2011 at 8:31 am

      Kristen, thank you for your considerate reply. It is a biological fact that women have more neural connections between left and right brain. I can accept that there are cases where not all of these connections are active. But as a Father of 3, a grand-father of 4 and a great grandfather of 1, I have seen it time and again – not only in my own family – that women are more “naturally” multiskilled than men. Are you unwomanly? That is the same as asking me “am I unmanly because I can cook, knit and crochet?” The Lord God in HIS immeasurable wisdom has created many variations on a theme within the genders. Through circumstances or through life experiences some wives – as in Navy, Army and Air Force wives – had to learn the tasks that would in other circumstances befall the male of the household. This does not make the female more “male” or vice versa. Hence, I believe, from practical experience, that females are – by divine design – more capable at multitasking than their male partners.
      Yes, I believe that male and female have different vocations, when the female is in the later stages of pregnancy to shortly after the birth of the child(ren) the husband MUST intensively support his wife, or he would not be worthy of being a man at all. Having said that the husband is to support his family at all times, I have tried that during our 50 year + marriage.
      My previous posts have shown that in my marriage (since 1961) my wife and I have shared tasks where possible, even though I was away for work many times this has worked for us.
      On leading and following, do you not think that husband and wife should walk sis by side?

      Barney

       
    • Barney & Co

      November 14, 2011 at 8:31 am

      Kristen, thank you for your considerate reply. It is a biological fact that women have more neural connections between left and right brain. I can accept that there are cases where not all of these connections are active. But as a Father of 3, a grand-father of 4 and a great grandfather of 1, I have seen it time and again – not only in my own family – that women are more “naturally” multiskilled than men. Are you unwomanly? That is the same as asking me “am I unmanly because I can cook, knit and crochet?” The Lord God in HIS immeasurable wisdom has created many variations on a theme within the genders. Through circumstances or through life experiences some wives – as in Navy, Army and Air Force wives – had to learn the tasks that would in other circumstances befall the male of the household. This does not make the female more “male” or vice versa. Hence, I believe, from practical experience, that females are – by divine design – more capable at multitasking than their male partners.
      Yes, I believe that male and female have different vocations, when the female is in the later stages of pregnancy to shortly after the birth of the child(ren) the husband MUST intensively support his wife, or he would not be worthy of being a man at all. Having said that the husband is to support his family at all times, I have tried that during our 50 year + marriage.
      My previous posts have shown that in my marriage (since 1961) my wife and I have shared tasks where possible, even though I was away for work many times this has worked for us.
      On leading and following, do you not think that husband and wife should walk side by side?

      Barney

       
      • Katie and Martin

        November 14, 2011 at 9:37 am

        “On leading and following, do you not think that husband and wife should walk side by side?”

        That’s the point Barney. It works in the Church as well. We’re different, but not so different that we restrict each other to proscriptive roles.

         
        • Barney & Co

          November 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm

          We do not restrict each other, the Word of God has prescribed roles and vocations, I cannot go against HIS Word.

          Barney

          Ubi Verbum Christi, ibi Veritas

           
          • Kristen

            November 14, 2011 at 9:33 pm

            Barney, if you believe the Bible has “prescribed roles and vocations” for men and women, we do not agree. I am not “going against His Word” in differing with you on your interpretation of it. I believe God has the right and power to call anyone to any calling. The only difference in “vocation” between men and women that I can see is that only men can father children and only women can bear and nurse children.

             
      • Kristen

        November 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm

        Barney,

        Yes, I absolutely feel husband and wife should walk side by side. I absolutely do not feel that man’s vocation is to lead and woman’s is to follow. I agree with you that one thing God designed men to do is support and protect their wives during those vulnerable times of pregnancy and breastfeeding.

        I think you are right that there are more synapses between the lobes of the brain in women than in men. I don’t think that necessarily translates into multi-tasking, though. I have seen men who are excellent multi-taskers, and like me, there are many women who are not.

        I suspect that the increased connections between the brain lobes makes women more like to read the “subtext” in any given situation more easily than men do, and that having fewer connections means men find it easier to compartmentalize their thinking and emotions. I don’t know if that necessarily translates into multi-tasking, however.

        But I suspect we agree more than we disagree. 🙂

         
        • Barney & Co

          November 14, 2011 at 8:06 pm

          I have no medical or physiological training, other than a lapsed first aid certificate. It still seem that the female gender is more likely to have the gift of multitasking. I could be inclined to agree with you that some have that gift more abundantly than others; and that some men have some of that gift also. I still believe that because of their neural differences, females think different in some respects than males.

          Barney

          Ubi Verbum Christi, ibi Veritas

           

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