7 Reasons I am a Feminist (Counter to GirlDefined)
I came across a blog post the other day by GirlDefined. Kristen Clark shared seven reasons why she does not call herself a feminist. Her reasoning intrigued me.
Her basis for rejecting the term “feminist” could be a page out of the book of my life. If her name hadn’t been on the top of the post I probably would have had to check to make sure I didn’t write that piece a few years back on my Stay-At-Home Daughter Blog because the logic and wording was near identical to what I had once believed.
After coming from a viewpoint very similar to Clark’s, then studying this topic in the Bible intensely for 3 years, and finding myself on the side of Christian Feminism, I wanted to give a counter to her seven points.
Here are 7 reasons I call myself a Christian feminist:
1. Christian feminism celebrates God’s unique design for each individual
As a Christian Feminist, I believe that God is a creative God with a unique plan for each person’s life. I don’t support a narrow, patriarchally influenced, cultural standard of womanhood or manhood, but instead embrace God’s unique design and calling for each individual.
I have heard people say that God universally created or “defined” women and men to act and behave in certain ways (women nurture, respond, and follow while men provide, protect, and lead) or perform specific jobs (women are to be homemakers and men are to be breadwinners). They say these things are tied to the core of our the male or female sex but I can’t seem to find a single Bible verse that says this. I do find biblical stories showing diversity among godly women (and men) including female protectors like Rehab, Esther, and Zipporah, and providers like the women who financially supported Jesus’ ministry and leaders like Debora, Hulda, Junia, and Priscilla.
2. Christian feminism sees both sexual exploitation AND sexual repression as degrading
Patriarchal societies do one of two things and often both: exploit women’s bodies for their own gratification or hide women’s bodies because they are thought to be shameful or dangerous. Whether we flaunt ourselves for men or hide ourselves for men the emphasis is still on performing for men instead of dressing and acting according to our personal preference and conviction. Feminism encourages women to decide for themselves what is comfortable for them to do and wear. Christian feminism encourages women to allow the Holy Spirit to guide them in this personal decision.
3. Christian feminism values all lives
Christian Feminism is about realizing each person’s intrinsic value, raising every life up to the same level of social equality and opening up the doors of opportunity for everyone. This includes valuing and protecting unborn life… and those carrying this life before, during and after the pregnancy.
4. Christian feminism celebrates both female leadership AND male leadership
As a Christian feminist, I love to support men who are leading well. I support both men and women in the home, church and workplace who join together to lead, serve, and empower others through the Power of the Holy Spirit.
I support leading men in real life as well as publicly on my blog and social media platforms. In fact, I’ll do that again right now!
Thank you to my husband Will Easter, my editor and friend Nate Horton, minister and advocate BozTchividjian and Domnic Misolo, and bloggers Tim Fall, Steve Neu, Gov Pappy, Nate Sparks, and many more for continuously leading others to support and empower the marginalized.
5. Christian Feminism values homemaking
As a Christian Feminist I see the value of a homemaker and I celebrate both men and women who choose to follow this career path, whether they do so full time, part time, or seasonally. I also fully support men and women who do not feel called to this path. I recognized God has an individual calling for each life. I believe there is value in every calling God gives.
6. Christian feminism celebrates unique differences between the sexes AND within the sexes
As a Christian feminist I believe that God created each person uniquely and that no one should be pushed into a “one size fits all” gender box. I recognize the differences between sexes AND within sexes. I am all for celebrating our distinctions, but I am against the rigid polarization of personalities and attributes based on sex.
7. Christian feminism encourages an overcomer mentality
We live in a patriarchal world that has been this way since the fall of humankind. Women have been and often times still are oppressed and victimized. As a Christian feminist I seek to help men and women recognize disfunction in their lives and all around them, and to overcome the results of the curse by pursuing the redemptive way of the Kingdom through love, peace, and equality.
I do call myself a feminist, a Christian feminist in fact, but I have a very different belief system from what Clark assumes.
Kristine, if you read this post I want you to know this isn’t an attack against you personally. I encourage you in your journey of truth seeking. May I recommend that you check out some of my favorite Christian feminist (Egalitarian) bloggers? Whether you agree with them or not I think you will find Christian feminism to be quite different from what you first supposed.
"At the core, feminism simply consists of the radical idea that women are people too" -Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist)