Friday, April 8, 2016

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats: My Thoughts on Modern Feminism

My daughters and I have been having many conversations lately about Feminism. What is it? Is it needed in America today? In our world as a whole? Is it Christian? I’m not twenty anymore. I have a little life behind me. I’m not full of wisdom.  I have a long, long way to go before I can say that, but I do feel that with age I am beginning to recognize wisdom when I see and hear it, and I am also able to recognize a fad or a bully pulpit when I hear or see it. The thing that stands out to me about feminism is its selfishly demanding attitude, its divisiveness and disunity, and its lies.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:5-8

Jesus Christ himself became a servant instead of demanding his rightful place as GOD. Am I better than Jesus? Who am I to make demands when Jesus himself became a servant? I wonder if we’d even still be talking about this Jesus guy if he were just one more person who was born on this earth, grew up demanding to be recognized, yelling about his greatness, and then being put to death. Probably not. We are still talking about him because he came to this earth and served those who were beneath him, loved those who were unloving to him, and died for the very people yelling ‘crucify him!’ so that they could live. By that example, we Christians should never demand our own way. We should be the hardest working, most loving, most humble people in the room.

Feminism upsets me not because it is too big, but because it is too small. Not because it’s fighting for the rights of women, but it is fighting for the rights of only women. A rising tide lifts all boats. Do you want to help women? Then help all people. Do you want to change the world? Then start with changing hearts. People don’t need to hear more rhetoric about why women are getting a raw deal; the world needs to hear about Jesus.

Do you want to change the way women are treated in developing countries? Feminism is not your answer, Jesus is. Don’t shout from the rooftops that women are being oppressed and should not take it anymore, shout from the rooftops to EVERY MAN, WOMAN, AND CHILD  that Jesus loves them. 

Feminism will not change the culture of an andocentric society, only the love of Jesus will. Yelling loudly for all to hear, posting on social media, starting arguments with all your friends and loved ones about why women are oppressed might make you feel better or make you feel like you are doing something to change the problem, but I assure you this is simply adding to the noise. If you want to make a real, lasting change give to a missionary that is translating the bible into a developing country's language. Volunteer at a refugee help group. Just telling women they’re oppressed does not help them. The love of Jesus changes lives; men’s lives, women’s lives, and children’s lives. Don’t just aim for helping women, aim for helping humanity. Don’t be part of the noise, be the hands and feet of Jesus. 

Modern Feminism, just like its past counterparts tells us that we can have it all. We can do it all. We SHOULD do it all. If we are not, we are letting half the population down. Modern Feminism tells women that if they have the audacity to put another human being’s interest above their own they are doing it wrong.

To this I say a whole-hearted hogwash! Every child deserves to be someone’s top priority, deserves to be nurtured and loved. Every child deserves a mommy. Nothing makes me more incensed than hearing people talk about that poor sad woman who gave up everything to stay home. She lost her career, her possibilities, wasted her education, just to be a stay-at-home mom. A child deserves his parent’s best. An education is wasted because a mom chose to pour it into her children?

One bit of wisdom that I am learning in spades right now is how fast childhood truly is. Eighteen years may seem like an eternity when you have an infant, but in no time you will be looking over college acceptance letters and wondering where the time went. Work will be there. Careers will be there. You will have given up something, you will have lost some momentum to be sure, but it will be so worth it.

In this modern age there are so many ways to skin a cat, so to speak. You don’t have to throw away work-you when you have children and become only home-you. There are more ways than are even imaginable to make it work. Women don’t have to give it all up and stay home with their kids. There are so many, many ways to work and parent these days. But for the moms who do decide to stay home for the pre-school years, or all the years, you are not doing it wrong and don’t let anyone tell you that you are. Back when I started having kids some 20 odd years ago the mommy wars were in full swing; the Stay At Home Moms vs. The Working Moms.  I’m here to tell you, no one wins in war. You do you, but more importantly, you do what GOD wants you to do.

And that right there is the crux. Feminism has made itself God. Feminism says how we should live and what we should believe and how we should speak, and that is God’s job. I pray if I’ve taught my children anything it’s that the best place for them to be is in the center of God’s will. He will direct them. He will direct them to who they should marry, what jobs they should have, if they should stay home, if they should work, and on and on it goes. They, be they boys or girls, should follow Christ’s example and humbly serve others, love others, and put others before themselves.

If we submit ourselves to the Lord, if we humbly serve one another, if we desire His unity and His truth for all lives, well, then feminism won’t even be a thing.

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