The other day my roommates and I were having an in-depth conversation about something that was said in one of our classes. I have many opinions and I let them know what they are. All of a sudden one of them asked: “You’re a feminist, aren’t you?” At first, I was surprised… I did not realize that it showed so much! But then I was encouraged because my new roommate had a clearer understanding of my viewpoint than I thought she had.
Feminism is defined as “the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.” Yet sometimes it feels like feminism is less acceptable in the Church than the other F word. There are a few assumptions people have when they hear you say “I am a feminist.”
The first is that you must hate men. Please let me say that I do not hate men. I harbor no resentment towards them whatsoever! On a daily basis I interact with men who, whether they know it or not, are feminists themselves. They want equality of the sexes to exist in our culture and they do not see women as less than.
Another assumption people make when you say you are a feminist is that you would be angry if a man did something polite like holding a door open for you. Ooookay, I get this all the time. Here is my retort: I know you opened that door for me not because you think I am incapable, but because you are being polite. I will gladly accept that small act of chivalry because I am not intimidated by who you are. Holding a door open is a kind and polite gesture, in my eyes.
Many assume that there is no way a person can believe what the Bible says AND be a feminist. There is a way and I’m here to prove it. God created men and women equally and uniquely. We were made to work together, not overpower each other. If we were created equally, then why do we not see each other that way?
One of the best examples of this ideology in our culture (that women are physically inferior) is this Super Bowl ad:
I see how our culture has greatly affected our opinion of gender norms. Girls can be strong! There is no reason why we should be appalled that a girl is good at sports and a boy is good at art; that a new mother wants to go to work and her husband wants to stay home to take care of their child.
On this same train of thought, we need to remember that men can be vulnerable. In fact, there was a campaign that was started called “Man Up”. Studies have shown that many men feel they are not allowed to cry and still be “masculine.”This bottling up of emotions can cause heartbreak and even suicide. If you would like to watch the campaign ad it is here (Warning: strong language). The video shows men and boys crying, showing that emotions are not feminine, but human.
I am taken aback when a professor, in the middle of class, makes the over-generalization that a song can only be masculine if it is about power and feminine only if it is about emotions. It causes me so much frustration when my friend who wants to go on the mission field with an organization is not accepted because they will only accept males (single or married), not single females. It saddens me when women put down all men in a #metoo post when 1 in 7 of those men have been assaulted. I am a feminist because I believe men and women were created equally. I am a feminist because I give a sh*t about other human beings.