I’ve loved taking part in feminisms fest this week, and have really appreciated thinking this issue through with others. There have been some great posts all linked up in the sites below, so do check them out:
- JR Goudeau – feminisms and me (stories of feminism)
- From two to one – why does feminism matter?
- Preston Yancey – what have we learnt? (I’m linking up today with Preston.)
These are the things I have learnt:
- There are still so many negative associations out there with feminism.
“We think women only want the power because they don’t outwardly have it. The assumption is that feminists don’t want equality, they want power. You also think that if a man lays down his power, a woman will take it. That’s reinforced in the media. Look at Everybody Loves Raymond and that line in My Big Fat Greek Wedding about the man being the head and the woman being the neck. It’s already assumed and portrayed that women really have the power.”
This post from Caris Adel’s husband was really helpful in identifying the preconceptions that people (men and women) have when it comes to feminism.
- Feminists don’t want to replace patriarchy with matriarchy, we want something different. I suspect the above suspicions of feminism arise because people misunderstand what the goal is – not to win the war by having women on top and men subjugated, indeed not to war at all. This post by Suzannah Paul was probably my favourite of the week – ‘I want to burn the whole thing down and start anew.’ All oppression shall cease: a theology of power and feminism. This is utterly where I’m coming from.
- Feminism is not anti-family values – this post from stay-at-home mother Jenn Lebow was so helpful in communicating that.
- The Bible is not anti-feminist. I love this piece from Preston Yancey, which shows this, gently and beautifully.
- This stuff matters. There are so many women who are bruised by their experiences when men in the church try to stop them from doing ministry or say unthinking and hurtful things, believing they are doing theology well. I am friends with a number of thoughtful conservative evangelicals, and I think they would be shocked to hear of how Kay was treated as a Children’s Worker. I read this and it just made me feel so sad. Conservative men who are reading my blog- would you please take the time to read this?
- Men can be feminists too. (If you go by my definition, that is!) Who’s in? And I loved this post by Abby Norman about how patriarchy short-changes the guys as well as the girls. Feminism: not just for girls.
- Angry feminists are still fun. (And often have significant cause to be angry…) Hannah and Esther are two of my favourites.
- I am left with some questions, too. ‘How will we achieve change?’ is the main question I’ve been asked – and it’s my question too. I don’t like warring and I don’t want to battle – and yet how else do you change systems? This piece by Emily made me ponder these questions, just through her story of her teenage self kicking a boy in the shins. It made me wonder, is that the only way that sexist men will change their minds? Do you have to do it by force? I am fearful that might be so.
I am not sure what my role in all this is. I don’t think it is to fight in quite the same frontline way as others of my feminist friends are doing. I think that is important, but it is not my role.
I suspect my role is to do what I do boldly and without apology, expecting to be respected for it. Sometimes just being a positive example can be enough to start to shift prejudices. And I will keep whispering to the many women who are not respected as equals, who are told they are disqualified from something by virtue of their gender, who have been so bruised by the untruths spoken over them that their wearied hearts begin to believe those lies. The shouting will hopefully bring about change and we need the feminists who shout, but I think my role in this sphere is to whisper.
Over to you:
- How has this week changed the way you see feminism?
- In this particular debate, are you called to shout or whisper?
Liked this post? Do stay in touch – subscribe by email or like my Facebook page.