23 Nov

“Any woman who says she is not a feminist, but wishes to be treated as more than a piece of seagull poo on the windscreen of life, has simply got the terminology wrong.”  Attributed to Kaz Cooke

Recent events in Australia and around the world – from the accusations of misogyny, to the sad and senseless death of Jill Meagher, to the shooting of young Pakistani girl Malala Yousufzal have sparked a wave of feminist debate about the right of women to be safe and to live their lives without fear of ridicule or harm.  More than 320 000 people have joined Jill Meagher’s Facebook tribute page (unsubstantiated) and almost 30 000 people gathered in Melbourne in her memory.

Feminism is not a dirty word.  It quite literally and simply means insisting that the political, economic, and social rights of women are clearly defined, established and defended as equal to men.  The feminist movement has always sought to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.  In short a feminist is “an advocate or supporter of the rights and equality of women“.

Over the decades, the feminist movement in Australia and indeed many parts of the world have campaigned for and achieved to varying degrees women’s rights when it comes to contract law, property ownership, right to vote and reproductive rights.  Further, feminists have advocated for women’s workplace rights, such as maternity leave and equal pay.

Sadly, the feminist movement has even had to work hard to ensure that women and girls are protected from domestic violence, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.  There are many who argue that while feminism has mainly been focused on women’s issues and rights, the very fact that feminists seek overall gender equality, means men’s liberation is a necessary part of feminism, and that indeed men have also benefited from gender equality.

I am confident that almost of my family and friends are 100% in favour of rights and equality for all.  Most of them want to see an end to gender-based discrimination in society, the home and the workplace.  Most, if not all of them, would agree that women should be free and safe to walk our streets and that young girls like Malala should be free to speak up about injustice.  And yet most of them would not call themselves a feminist.  I wonder why?  Reference: To be or not to be a feminist, Tish Champion, in AEU Journal SA, 44(7), Nov 2012, p19

We have every reason to be thankful for feminism.

As most people support the equality of women it can be said that most people are feminist.  However, some people will want to refer to something nasty that individuals have done in the name of feminism but that gives us no reason to dismiss feminism.  Plenty of wars, child abuse and domestic violence are carried out by Christians but that gives us no reason to dismiss Christianity.

Without feminism in the LCA women would still be barred from taking leadership roles in the congregation and from participating at District and National Synod levels.

You may like to review the growing freedom that women have had in the LCA.


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9 responses to “Feminism

    • Karin

      December 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      Jingo. Thank you for that link. I also have a few reasons of why men should not be ordained ministers.

      1 when the going got tough, the men ran away. Only the women, especially Mary Magdalen remained with him at the cross. Otherwise Jesus would have died all alone, abandoned by all. But he did not. Mary Magdalen was there

      2 when Jesus was resurrected he appeared to a woman first and she got it. He then commissioned a woman to go and tell the others, i.e to spread the good news.Clearly Jesus wanted women to do this job.

  1. Katie and Martin

    November 27, 2012 at 1:06 am

    It’s a rather convincing list, isn’t it? It highlights how biased and culture-laden are the values underpinning male-only ordination. The thing is we can only say that when looking in – when you’re on the inside of such values the world looks very different.

  2. Jura

    December 6, 2012 at 9:08 am

    I support equality for men and women, so that makes me something other than a feminist. Cannot call everyone that supports equality for women a feminist since it is based on the idea that men are privileged and born harmful/broken.

    • janine

      December 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      feminism is based on the idea that men and women are equal. in all my years if being a feminist i have never heard the notion that men are born broken. certainly men are privileged, if the weren’t there wouldn’t be a need for feminism.

      the idea that people are born broken is one i’ve only ever heard from the church.

      • Jura

        December 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm

        Don’t troll me like that, please.

        • janine

          December 8, 2012 at 12:57 pm

          jura, i am honestly puzzled.

          i have no idea how disagreeing with you and stating my opinion is trolling.

  3. Katie and Martin

    December 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Feminism is primarily about equality between the sexes, but doubtless there are many version of feminist hegemony. We agree that it is a leap for men to use the term of themselves. ‘Pro-feminist’ is a term that has gained traction for some in the men’s movement.


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