Why Can’t Christians Be Feminists? Part 2


Here is another post I came across about how Christians cannot be feminists: https://aidee1604.wordpress.com/
The post begins with an experience that the author had. She says “Months back, I was supposed to meet up with a friend to discuss the future of a certain project we had been assigned to carry out. The meeting was scheduled for 1 pm but I found myself sitting and waiting till 3 pm before my supposed partner showed up. Now, his excuse was that he had forgotten something at home and had to rush back to get it. On a normal day, that’s no big deal but I was upset. Let it be known that I had called him several times and he kept saying ‘I am close, give me 5 minutes’. Of course, I was not stupid to think he will make it in 5 minutes time so I called back every 20 minutes and he gave me the same response. When he finally arrived and I expressed how upset I was, he kept laughing and saying, ‘just forget it now, shebi I am here”. I refused to let it go and kept asking why he had to lie about being close instead of saying he had forgotten something. His reply this time was unbearable; ‘why are you angry like this, don’t you know you are a WOMAN?!’” Sounds like a great friend. I certainly wouldn’t be friends with him after something like this. I’d like to know why her being a woman made it okay to lie to her.
She goes on to say “I remember telling a friend about it and she said; ‘You should have unleashed the FEMINIST in you on him.’ We had laughed over it then but it got me thinking if my being offended by that statement made me a feminist or if feminists were the only ones allowed to be angry by such statements.” I’m not really sure why that statement is something to laugh at. In my mind, releasing the feminist in me on someone means telling them why what they said is not okay and how it affects the female portion of society disproportionately. Frankly, I think the asshole deserved a feminist rant. As to the bit about if being offended makes you a feminist, I’d say yes. Feminism is about equality of the sexes. If women do not deserve to be treated as equals to men, then what the guy said is nothing to be offended about.If you believe that women should be treated as equals with men, then you have the right to be offended, and you are a feminist.
The author then says “I do not consider myself a feminist because I am Christian and I believe that word has been to a whole different level.” I’m not completely sure what this statement means. What word has been used on what different level from what? Why can’t you be a feminist and a Christian?
She then continues “Before I proceed, here is the definition of feminism: An aim that women should have the same equal rights as men; the struggle to achieve this aim. Now, link that definition with the Christian faith and beliefs… do you see something wrong there? Something out of place? Your answer will determine how much of an eye opener you need.” That really depends on what you consider Christianity to be. Christianity is not one cohesive group with one set of goals and one belief system. In fact, once you get outside of individual churches, it is difficult to find two Christians who agree on much outside of Jesus being the son of God and the Bible being important. So who’s to say whether or not feminism works with Christianity? Personally, I don’t find the Bible to be very friendly towards women, but the Bible is not Christianity.
She then says “A lot of abstract protests and behaviours like, legalization of abortion, recognition of prostitution as a career and the most outrageous of all, the right for women to move around without shirts as men do can be tagged directly or indirectly to this feminism craze. This also includes the continuous rise in the rate of Divorce and emergence of female pastors.” These can all be accepted by feminists, but that doesn’t mean that all feminists accept these things. There are pro-life feminists and sex-negative feminists, though I’m not sure why any of these mean you can’t be a Christian and a feminists. For starters, not all Christians are against abortions, and, obviously, if there are female pastors, then there must be Christians who support such things. Not all Christians are part of the purity craze either. So what does any of this have to do with Christianity? And, even if all those things did reflect badly on feminism, there are Christians who take joy in the death of soldiers, Christians who believe that all gay people should be executed, Christians who pray for the suffering of others, and Christians who commit rape. Should I judge all Christians on the ones who commit these acts?
She states that “In the creation account of Genesis 1, God’s first word on the subject of men and women is that they were equally created in the image of God (v. 27). Neither received more of the image of God than the other. So the Bible begins with the equality of the sexes. As persons, as spiritual beings standing before God, men and women are absolutely equal. Therefore, men and women are without question equal as humans, but they are also entirely unique as creatures. They are not only distinct sexually, but almost every other aspect of their natures is different as well. I believe these differences should be apparent, maintained, and even emphasized in everything, from the way we walk and talk to the way we work and dress. Men should never try to be women, and women should never try to be men.” I don’t think that the story of Adam and Eve is the best one to turn to to claim that men and women are equal. For one, there are two different accounts. For another, God tells Eve that she is to serve Adam. And he creates Eve for Adam’s pleasure. Clearly God did not intend for them to be equal. And how are men and women so different? People keep saying how different we are from each other, but what of these differences can’t be explained by culture? What do you mean by men trying to be women and women trying to be men? Do you mean that men should never try to be nurturing? That women should never try to move up it the work force? Because that’s not men trying to be women or women trying to be men. That’s men trying to be good fathers and women trying to be successful employees. Or do you mean that nobody should be transgender? Because that’s not men trying to be women or women trying to be men either. That’s people trying to be themselves.
She goes on to say “I bet there were people who were nodding their heads at my earlier stated list of abstract protests feminism has caused until they saw ‘emergence of female pastors’ and they’re like ‘Why do you have to say that?’ but unapologetically, I will say that has been one of the greatest flops feminism has caused to the Christian world…1Tim. 2:11-13 says: ‘I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.’” Wait…I thought you said that the Adam and Eve story stated that men and women were equal. Now you’re saying that it says the exact opposite. Which is it? Are we or aren’t we equal? I find it funny how quickly people blame Eve for everything wrong with the world. For one, the reason Adam wasn’t deceived was because the snake didn’t go to him. For another, Adam and Eve did not yet possess the knowledge of good and evil. How, exactly, were they to know that disobeying God was a bad thing? And why would God give them freewill but not the tools to use it? How can Eve even be blamed?
She then argues “In the case of submission, Eph.5: 22-33 says wives should submit to their husbands and husbands should love their wives as they love their bodies. Is this unfair? Maybe but, If you do not want to submit to a man whose wishes don’t match yours, then marry the right man. Paul did not say ‘women submit to your boyfriends’ he said ‘husbands.’ So if your boyfriend’s way is not the same as yours, terminate the relationship while you can else, you will be compelled to submit to that for the rest of your life except divorce comes to play and we all know God is against that!” The Bible was written in a time when the concept of boyfriends didn’t exist. There was not dumping the guy if you don’t like him. In fact, many women didn’t get the change to even meet their future spouse until the wedding. So the Bible was not written with the option to leave your potential husband. As such, if your argument is that we should do as the Bible instructs, then you don’t get to dump your boyfriend. You don’t even get to have a boyfriend. Even the Duggars are too liberal with their daughters by the Bible’s standards. Did Jacob’s wives have any say? Did David’s? So why should you?
The author goes on to say “When a man refuses to take up his responsibilities such as providing for the family, the woman is left to fill this void and don’t blame her if she starts to hold the horse’s reigns with him behind.” We live in a time when it requires two incomes to sustain a family. How exactly to you expect husbands to fulfil this role? Should they be working 80 hour work weeks? Perhaps you think they should just live at work and mail their paychecks to their wives? How about rather that trying to maintain an archaic lifestyle that no longer fits in the modern world, we catch up with the modern world and enjoy actual equality.
“Now, I am not a female chauvinist. I am career driven, I admire outspoken women and I firmly believe that men and women should get equal pay for equal work but I will never choose a career over grooming and taking care of my future home and I will be submissive to my husband.” You started off saying the exact opposite of what you said above. You yourself are career driven. This means that you will presumably find yourself in charge of men. Yet the Bible is against this. You may also find yourself in a position where you are the main income earner. Will you give up your career and let your family enter into poverty because it’s better than taking over those reigns from your husband? This would be a very silly thing to do. Why is it that you can enter the work force, but your husband can’t help out with the house? If one is okay, shouldn’t the other also be okay?
She then states that “I believe a man should cater for the bills on a date.” Why? You have a job. And the Bible says nothing about the rules of dating. Dating didn’t even exist when the Bible was written.
She states that “I believe a woman should aspire to being a good home maker (note, I did not say aspire to marriage).” What is a good home maker? It’s not really a well defined term. Does it just mean keeping the house neat? Because I think guys should get in on that too. Or is their more to it? Personally, I have more important things to do then ensure that my house has all the latest furniture and appliances. And I don’t really care if anybody likes my wall colour or the objects hanging from said wall.
She goes on to say “I believe a man should cater for his family including the wife not minding if she has a job or not. The saying, ‘My money is mine and my man’s money is ours’ is no joke.” So, in your mind, a man should get as many jobs as it takes to pay the mortgage on that $400,000 house, and keep the bills paid and food in the fridge, but he can’t ask his wife to get a job even if over working can lead to health problems? That seems pretty selfish to me. That statement sounds like a joke to me. If I make $60,000 a year, my husband can’t ask me to help him pay for the things that I use, but if he only makes $40,000 a year I can ask him to pay for everything? And men say that feminists want to take their rights away!
She then says “I believe women should be noticed and not ignored in public places.” Um…I’m not sure where this one is coming from.
She says “I believe women should be allowed to participate in choosing their leaders.” Why should women get to vote if they can’t even preach?
She argues that “I believe a husband should be able to cook, clean and care for his children’s hygiene just because it is important and he could assist when necessary though, it is the role designed for the woman.” How was it designed for women? The ability to give birth doesn’t make one able to cook. And why should men help with the housework if you can’t help with the bills? It’s called equality for a reason: each partner does equal work. Nobody should be expected to do more than the other.
She then says “I believe a wife should be career driven and hard working so as to assist with finances when ‘necessary’ even though it is the role designed for the man but she should never put this before managing her family.” But you already said that she doesn’t have to. You said the husband can’t make her (which is odd since, if she is subservient to him, he should be able to make her). Again, we live in a world where very few women can choose not to work.
She goes on to say “I believe a man has no right to hit a woman or control her. God said lead not drag!” The Bible doesn’t condone violence against women? What about this: “Therefore, you prostitute, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because you poured out your lust and exposed your naked body in your promiscuity with your lovers, and because of all your detestable idols, and because you gave them your children’s blood, therefore I am going to gather all your lovers, with whom you found pleasure, those you loved as well as those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around and will strip you in front of them, and they will see you stark naked. I will sentence you to the punishment of women who commit adultery and who shed blood; I will bring on you the blood vengeance of my wrath and jealous anger. Then I will deliver you into the hands of your lovers, and they will tear down your mounds and destroy your lofty shrines. They will strip you of your clothes and take your fine jewellery and leave you stark naked. They will bring a mob against you, who will stone you and hack you to pieces with their swords. They will burn down your houses and inflict punishment on you in the sight of many women. I will put a stop to your prostitution, and you will no longer pay your lovers. Then my wrath against you will subside and my jealous anger will turn away from you; I will be calm and no longer angry” (Ezekiel 16:35-42)? This seems very violent to me.
She finishes by saying “I believe one cannot be a feminist and a Christian at the same time…With all these, I can’t be called a feminist neither should I be called a female Chauvinist. I will rather be called a Christian woman in-progress.” You still haven’t said why you can’t be both a Christian and a feminist. You hold very contradictory views. I think that before you can say whether you are or aren’t a feminist, you should decide what it is you actually believe.

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15 responses to “Why Can’t Christians Be Feminists? Part 2

  • shirleyjdietz

    There is so much in this post that I would love to respond to. As you said, “Christian” is a term used to describe a great variety of people. Feminism has become a term much like that. People are people no matter what group they decide to align with and some of them are going to act badly, some of them immorally. They have these differences in addition to differences they may have because of their hormonal mix.

    The guy who made someone wait three hours and joked about it is a jerk and was playing a person he must have known something about. What kind of person waits three hours, even if they’re being told he’ll be there in five minutes? I would have been gone long before that and I wouldn’t have had to call it feminism. I would have called it logical – I have stuff to do and he missed his appointment.

    Christianity is following Christ in his attitudes, actions and beliefs. The major revelation of those attitudes, actions and beliefs is the Bible. It shows us who we are and who God is, but takes more than a superficial reading. It has layers and it’s spirit nature makes it applicable to all people in all time.

    An interesting subject and I found your responses to the “Christian, not feminist” very reasonable.

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  • Katherine

    Nicely done. It all really depends on the lens through which a person is viewing the Bible, I think. If a person is coming at the Bible with a very literal, fundamentalist lens then they are never going to see how feminism and Christianity intersect, because they weren’t programmed to view it that way–to them, things like “cultural context” and “allegory” are liberal hoodoo used to twist what they view as an ultimate, untarnished, unchanging Truth. You can refute their poorly made arguments until you’re blue in the face, but honestly I think if the way you view the world is that different at its core, you’re never going to end up on the same page.

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  • emilysbrainworks

    Actually, there are Christians out there who don’t believe Jesus was the son of God.

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  • jillatjlah

    Food for thought. When in doubt, it’s best to go to the source. Some people may be surprised by what the Bible has to say about the role of women.

    https://www.gci.org/bible/poetry/prov31

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  • aetherhouse

    Ah, the old Paul passages about wives being quiet in the assembly and submitting to their husbands. It’s a shame that Paul’s works get so much truth put into them from Bible readers, as he thought terribly of women and was no more than a speculative follower of Jesus. Paul was convinced that the Second Coming was going to occur any minute in his lifetime, so obviously he didn’t have inside information from God, you know?

    There are plenty of times in the Bible where God or Jesus can be attributed with direct quotes, so at least I can understand how those quotes are seen as “law” in the eyes of a Bible literalist. But there is almost no reason why Paul’s works should be taken as anything more than a document of one man’s opinions, or one man’s interpretation of the Old Testament, which is how you should accept the sermon of any other preacher.

    Anyway, I really dislike what the woman in this article is suggesting – “my husband is to be my income slave, while all my money is just for lipstick and dresses!” How sickening. Your husband is not your ATM machine. You are not a delicate flower only meant for dusting countertops and watching soap operas while your man drags his tired body through a 60 hour work week. You are an able-bodied human being – GO DO SOMETHING. I understand how it’s often cheaper to stay at home with your kids rather than to pay for childcare, and many people stay at home to homeschool….but she didn’t even seem to make this argument from the POV of a mother as much as from the POV of a housewife.

    And you know, back in Bible times, the husband actually got paid to marry you from YOUR family in the form of a dowry 😉 If we really want to follow how the Bible knew marriage, the in-laws better fork up!

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  • Why Can't Christians Be Feminists? Part 2 | Christians Anonymous

    […] Source: Why Can’t Christians Be Feminists? Part 2 […]

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  • pcoffeythoughts

    Feminism has a ruined side that partakes in hating men. This is unchristian behaviour. The fact remains your friend lied to you and thought you didn’t deserve the truth. That has nothing to do with feminism. Live your life by the truth and the golden rule ‘ treat others the way you would like to be treated’ not how they treat you.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      How many feminists hate men? It’s not a common occurrence within the feminist movement. Most feminists are perfectly fine with men. Heck, most feminists are heterosexual women, and a number are married. Why would a woman marry a men if she hates him? And a growing number of feminists are men. Why would men join a movement of people who hate them?
      How is hating men unChristian? Where in the Bible does it say “thou shalt not hate men”? Or anything about not hating, really? I would argue that hating men for being men is simply immoral. I would say that it’s immoral to hate. It has nothing to do with Christianity.
      I wasn’t talking about my own personal issue. However, the lying wasn’t what made it a feminist issue. What made it a feminist issue was the fact that the guy used the fact that she was a woman to justify lying to her. As if he would owe the truth to a man but not a woman. That’s sexist. It’s discriminating against her for being a woman. It has everything to do with being a feminist.
      If I were to live by the golden rule, shouldn’t I assume that the way others treat me is how they want to be treated? Besides, if someone treats me like shit, I’m not going to treat them nicely. Why should I reward them for bad behaviour?

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      • pcoffeythoughts

        Just because someone decides to be a liar to you, don’t become a liar like them. Be better than that. The golden rule is not about assuming that other people are employing it to live their lives but that the only behaviour in the world that you can modify is your own. So be the best person that you can be and treat others in the best way that you can regardless of how they behave. Thank you for taking the time to reply to my comments. Your last comment made me smile as my daughter thinks the same way.

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  • katethekempf

    I enjoy your writing, and i appreciate your sensical view on this writer’s contradictory statements. But it seemed a bit easy for you to pick her arguments apart, as she seems to not be a very good writer, nor an organized thinker. Have you come across any really intelligent writer who holds the same view as the writer you’ve critiqued? (Specifically, that a woman should submit to her husband.) I realize there aren’t a ton of bloggers who have super extensive knowledge of both scripture and post-modern feminism, but I just wondered.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      I try not to pick apart any arguments simply to pick apart arguments. I’ve noticed quite a few Christian women making the same argument, but most of them do so with very similar arguments to her own. I haven’t found anyone more intelligent than she is, but I also don’t want to say that she isn’t intelligent enough. I think these arguments come more from their having been taught “a woman’s place” from a young age as opposed to actual ignorance. I find it scary that so many women are willing to say that women are equal to men in one moment and then say that women should be subservient to men in the next. I’m hoping to get more people to realize how problematic these beliefs are.

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  • saraharnetty

    A lot of contradictions there. I was getting confused reading it (not because of you. I get you were only quoting).

    In terms of Ezekiel, in case you’re interested, the way I look at it, is when God talked about the ‘wife ‘ if you like, in the Prophets, He was talking about the nation of Israel. ‘Prostitution ‘ and ‘adultery’ in this context was alluding to the idolatry that the Israelites repeatedly committed. Much of the Prophets in the bible was metaphor and imagery. The imagery of the fallen prostitute symbolised the collapse of Israel.

    Hope you don’t mind my explanation.

    Liked by 1 person

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