i hate feminism. not really.
ok, well sort of.
do you hate me now? that’s ok. (not really, because frankly, i like to be liked.) but i’ll pretend it is. because i’m writing to share hearts, and i can’t get my feathers ruffled if you don’t agree with me, when you haven’t heard what i really have to say yet. and i can’t write for real if i don’t really share my heart, which is breaking these days for what the word “feminism” has done to women.)
what i mean by that big, fat, loud statement, “i hate feminism,” is that i hate the brand of feminism that says i need some external “thing,” some outside realm of success, to validate my being as a woman; i hate what it does to my heart and to my life as a wife, a mother, and just-a-girl-in-the-privacy-of-my-own-world. and most of all, i hate what it is doing to the women i love.
the past few years, i’ve seen marriages crumble, and pre-empting that, i’ve seen women crumble. they bear the weight of the image they’ve been sold, that all women can be perfect, and have it all, and do it all. they bear it until it crushes them, knowing that for some strange reason they personally cannot live up to that image.
i’ve seen beautiful women turn ugly as they demand what they think are their rights, to be “free” from commitments, “free” from daily demands of the people they love, and “free” from the drudgery of real life. they leave their husbands, first with their imaginings and their words, and then eventually they leave physically, deserting behind them a trail of broken hearts and broken dreams, their own hearts and dreams chief of the list.
in the church, there is a tendency to hide whatever doesn’t fit our ideal of the perfect life (a man-made, unbiblical view of life, incidentally), and so the mirage of what could be shimmers enticingly ever-out-of-reach. it leaves us aspiring for a goal that is unachievable. like the famed fruit that long-ago seduced eve, the myth of superwoman dangles in front of us, daring us to reach out and snatch it, desiring perfection and receiving instead a rotten apple that sours our stomachs and shatters our hearts.
women who seem to have it all together (and i have tried to be chief of these), cooking the perfect meal and giving their children a brilliant education and making their husbands drool and running races on the weekends and still making it to church on time to sing in the choir fill our news-feeds and our instagram pages. and no one admits that it’s a front. it sends the majority of us, when we are all broken and lacking perfection, into hiding behind our carefully crafted posts.
and it drives away those who aren’t sure about the whole God-thing. because who wants to be part of a Stepford-perfect group of magical fairies, when she knows she can’t ever get wings of her own?
a friend said to me once, “God is the author of feminism.” at first i recoiled in my gut at her statement, and then she expounded. she reminded me that God created the first woman and He, through Jesus, reinstated her value when he gave women a place of honor in his followers and in the early church. yes, of course, there are instructions on order and respect within the church and within marriage. but those instructions do not in any way diminish the freedom, the beauty, and the value of women. in fact, when we desperately seek His heart for us instead of the goals and caricatures others design for us, we find that in humility and in service, we are built up and edified.
so i do hate feminism. i hate the brand that says women have to do everything, to be everything, and to desert their first call to love and serve those in their lives, in order to find worth.
i hate the feminism that says men are bad and no one can be trusted and perfection is achievable and “finding myself” is a real goal apart from finding who i am in Jesus.
and i embrace God’s view of women that says when we allow Him to love us and to call us, and when we love Him back by loving others, we will be exalted to a place of high honor. and that honor, when it gives my Papa glory, is ultimately my life’s greatest joy.
i’ve been awakened to read in the mornings, and this passage comes up over and over. feel free to click over here to download a copy for yourself.