Feminism is a tough topic to cover as a Christian, but I’m here writing about it because we need to know the truth. My goal is not to offend, but if you are offended, I trust that it is because of the truth, not because of me.
Dictionary Definition: Feminism (n) 1) The theory of the political, economic, and societal equality of the sexes. 2) Organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.
Wikipedia Definition: Feminism Is a range of social movements, political movements, and ideologies that aim to define and establish the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the sexes. Feminism incorporates the position that societies prioritize the male point of view, and that women are treated unjustly within those societies.
When we look at the dictionary definition of feminism, it seems innocent. Noble even. However, the movement of feminism in society has taken a different turn. The way that second definition is worded masks the truth of what they’re advocating.
Normally, I wouldn’t use Wikipedia as a source, but the article on feminism is backed up, researched, and cross-referenced extensively. The article summarizes the history of feminism, which dates back to the 1830s in France, as well as the many movements and ideologies feminism has supported. Before we can decide where we stand as Christians, we need to know the facts. Here is a portion of the mission statement from the National Organization for Women (NOW) Foundation:
“The Foundation works to enhance the status of women in the United States and around the world through many strategies, including advocacy, litigation, and education. The litigation of the Foundation seek to protect reproductive health options, as well as focusing on other areas of concern for women, such as pregnancy discrimination, employment issues, discrimination against women in the military, sexual harassment and exploitation, lesbian and gay rights, civil rights, sex discrimination in insurance, and ending violence against women.”
“Feminist movements have campaigned and continue to campaign for women’s rights, including the right to: vote, hold public office, work, earn equal pay, own property, receive education, enter contracts, have equal rights within marriage, and maternity leave. Feminists have also worked to ensure access to legal abortions and social integration, and to protect women and girls from rape, sexual harassment, and domestic violence. Changes in female dress standards and acceptable physical activities for females have often been a part of feminist movements.”
Over the centuries, feminists have focused on and fought for different things. The “first wave” began in the 1830s and advocated for the abolition of slavery, a woman’s right to vote, equal pay in the workplace, divorce reform (making divorce easier to obtain, legally), and a woman’s right to custody over her own children.
The “second wave” challenged the idea of gender and classed it as a social construct brought on by capitalism. Marxism was sown deep into the foundation of this movement, led by Simone de Beauvoir, Victoria Woodhull, and Voltairine de Cleyre. Patriarchy was brought under attack during this movement, as well as marriage. Sex education, homosexuality, and abortion rights were more minor issues that weren’t universally agreed upon by the leadership, but were still discussed and fought for.
“Third wave” feminism continued with the blurring and destruction of gender, as well as focusing on issues of racism, homosexuality, and exploring sexual freedom. Terms such as “anti-gender” feminism began to be used. One of the leading women of this movement, bell hooks (pseudonym), wrote a book entitled, “Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom.”
“In her 1994 book ‘Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, hooks writes about a transgressive approach in education where educators can teach students to ‘transgress’ against racial, sexual, and class boundaries in order to achieve the gift of freedom.”
Essentially, this wave was rebellion against what was seen as meaningless tradition. Or, as bell hooks called it, “white-supremacist-capitalist-patriarchy.”
Late 2012 introduced the #metoo movement, which launched the fourth wave of feminism. This wave champions female empowerment, “rebel women,” body positivity, sex positivity, and the homosexual movement. The fourth wave also gave rape and sexual assault victims a public voice.
That’s a lot of information. Some of these things are good, while others go directly against Scripture. We’ll pick out a handful of issues to discuss and compare against what God says for next week.