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Feminism vs. Femininity

I got a great question in a comment today about feminism. Michelle asked me what I thought about it all, mentioning that she thinks Jesus was a feminist because of how well he treated women. A great point! Here's my take:

The modern feminist wants more than equal pay for equal work. She believes passionately about the right to choose an abortion and about the victimization of women in our patriarchal society. She typically believes that women should behave more like men. There is, in effect, a denial of femininity. Think about it: a woman must work outside the home, have no children or very few children, be aggressive in her pursuit of worldly success, serve in the military, on the police force, etc. I think the worldview is best summed by Hillary Rodham Clinton in an old Nightline interview with Ted Koppel back in 1992:

"I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession which I entered before my husband was in public life."

Her comment implies that she would have been less of a person if she'd stayed home and raised her daughter. This is the feminism I fight against in my own mind daily. And this is the feminism that is espoused by a respected public figure. This is the feminism vomited all over our girls in our culture.

Let me say that I am not an uber-conservative (as one of my PW friends has put it) and I don't believe that women should not be educated or cannot enter the workforce at all. If a woman is physically capable of performing as a fire fighter, and her husband and children are not neglected because of her job, then more power to her. I don't think my little girls need to wear long flowery dresses to be modest and feminine. And while I will train my daughter to keep the home, I will also see that she gets an education to provide for herself should the need arise someday.

Femininity celebrates that God has created us male and female. It delights in how the sexes complement one another, realizing that they have different roles but equal standing before God. It embraces feminine traits and desires like having children and doesn't seek to turn women into men, which I think is the most degrading aspect of feminism.

In a sense, femininity started with Jesus recognizing the value of women in a culture that routinely denied them any rights or privileges whatsoever. And God, through the apostle Paul, tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church, a radical statement in the first century when women were basically treated like property.

That's my beef with feminism. Thoughts??



i think i've just reclaimed the feminism word for myself because it sounds like your def. of femininity!

(did i get the right amount of n's in that? it's late!)

it seems to me not so much what you do, but what your attitude is as you do it, yes? that's what i understood from what you said.

i like that.

August 3, 2007 at 11:05 PM  

I think the word feminism has been hijacked by the feminist movement (much like the term gay by the homosexual community - when reading an old time book aloud to my son I am hesitant to say "gay" because in his world it now means something totally different).
Now...I think we should take it back because, you're friend is right, Jesus was radical with women - the first feminist - recognizing the value of women, his creation. I hold to feminism advocating women to be all that they are capable in kindness, humility, partnership, responsibility, etc.

August 4, 2007 at 6:52 AM  

I couldn't have said it better myself!

August 4, 2007 at 1:14 PM  

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