Eugene Hung is a talented writer and fierce advocate for women. He recently started a new blog –feministasiandad.com – and we can’t get enough! He graciously let us repost this from his site so we could share it with all of you and spread the word about his inspiring new blog. Check it out and give him […]
As young Christian feminists you join a company of women and men dedicated to the cause of moving beyond the Curse and its dark shadow cast upon Eve’s daughters. We are very glad you are here.
I feel compelled to share with you a few things I have had on my heart for a long while. First, I want to let you know how deeply I admire your strength and determination to fulfill your calling in spite of closed doors and restrictions placed on women by the church. Some of you I know personally. Others I have come to know by reading your books, and/or blogs, and following you on Twitter.
To be honest, I am not sure my younger self would have had the fortitude you have shown in the midst of bullies on social media and Internet trolls. In spite of these obstacles you keep moving forward. And, it is not just your fortitude I admire. In the face of public shaming, and even threats of bodily harm, you have shown remarkable grace.
Speaking of public shaming and threats of bodily harm, I am sorry things are not better by now. Sometime back in the 1970’s, when my generation began our own journey toward liberation, we naively believed that by now things would be settled. As children of the modern era, we were schooled in the myth of progress. We became convinced, that just as the Berlin Wall had fallen, the barriers against full inclusion of women in society and the church would one day crumble. Women would soon take their birthright as priests and joint heirs with Christ.
In the words of Letha Scanzoni and Nancy Hardesty, we would become All We Are Meant to Be.
I don’t really like to identify myself as a feminist. I am – to borrow and slightly modify our priest’s description of herself – an outspoken, straight, white woman with a slightly ridiculous collection of education and degrees. I am somewhat uncomfortable aligning myself with feminism, mainly because feminists have gotten a pretty bad rap from the people in my former evangelical circles. I am, for the record, also still somewhat uncomfortable with saying I have a priest, and that said priest is female.
Saying that I am uncomfortable with those things, however, does not make them less true.
Until recently, if I were to be asked if I was a feminist, my reply would have been a noncommittal, “Not really.”
Of course, being a woman, I was never opposed to women’s rights, nor did I doubt my ability to be as capable as men in most situations. Claiming to be a Christian feminist however, still seemed extreme; as though one of the main requirements was to hate men, or at least regard them as the weaker sex.
Recent events, articles, videos, and social networking posts have both inspired and troubled me enough to reclaim the word feminism for what it is: providing help to women who are being stripped of their basic rights or humanity.
From the editor: We had so many wonderful submissions that we’ve extended our series of personal stories of Christian women who identify as feminists. Up today, a post by Kim Hunt, Communications Manager for The Micah Challenge, a movement of Christians inspired by Scripture to undertake effective advocacy, passionate prayer, and lifestyles of justice to see an end of extreme poverty.
“My adventure to becoming a Feminist was kind of like one of those silly love stories you read where people say they were halfway there before they even knew they had begun. My mum is a Feminist, though she hardly ever uttered the actual word.”
Today the average Christian looks like a poor Nigerian woman rather than a European well-educated male as in the past.
In 2050, 72 percent of the world’s Christians will live in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and a sizable share of the remainder will be immigrants from one or more of those continents.  Because of this, the Western church must be honest with the reality that Christianity is now a globalized religion, and its Euro-American roots have ceased to be the solely relevant voices.
On Mondays we’re sharing personal stories of Christian women who identify as feminists. We hope that hearing these stories will broaden our understanding of this important social movement and give us a fuller context for our conversations about equality in the Church.
I was having a casual night in with some friends when one of my male friends said something (I can’t remember what), and I responded, “Sexist!”
He responded, “Feminist!” to which I said, “Proudly.”
That was the end of that but our short exchange was oddly similar to two small children hurling insults at each other on the playground.
Welcome to the third installment of Feminist Friday! Today’s topic is second wave feminism. The revolutionary nature of second wave feminism is what many think of when they characterize the entire movement as “those crazy feminists” – so we’re bound to have some fun!
This post is a short synopsis (not a thorough education), and it’s meant to help us better understand this word that we throw around so often in Christian debates about a “woman’s place”. So please check out why we are writing about feminism, and be open to some good discussion!
It’s Monday! Here’s another personal story from a Christian who identifies in some way as a feminist. We hope that hearing these stories will broaden our understanding and give us a fuller context in which to have conversations about equality in the Church.
It seems Hermione Granger finally got to speak in front of the Ministry of Magic.
Well, sort of. Last September, actress Emma Watson recently presented at the (entirely Muggle) United Nations conference, advocating for the organization HeForShe as its goodwill ambassador.
According to the company’s website, HeForShe is “a solidarity movement for gender equality.” Watson emphasized the vital role men must play to help end such inequality, calling for both sexes to work together for the common good. She applauded those who were “inadvertent feminists” in supporting gender equality without realizing that’s what feminism actually means.
Watson’s call for joint cooperation between genders for a greater cause has a resounding Christian theme for backing. It demands God’s body work together to fight injustice and the oppression of its own members.
What would it look like for God’s people to unite in solidarity for one another?
Just over a year ago, I interviewed thirteen Christian women about their understandings of faith, gender, and feminism for my senior thesis sociology research.
Although the research was a requirement for my undergraduate degree, it was a perfect opportunity for me to explore my own tensions surrounding faith, gender identity, and social norms through the experiences of others.
To be completely honest, I began this research wanting to further reaffirm my own beliefs about women’s full inclusion in church life and leadership. My formative years at Scripps College had forged a strong feminist identity in me, and my coursework in sociology gave me a foundational knowledge of gender construction and practice.
Although I was (and continue to be) committed to conducting my interviews in ways that limit the influence of my personal bias as much as possible, I was afraid to possibly hear women agree with traditional narratives about gender and women’s roles. What would I do if they voluntarily embraced a worldview I thought was limited and damaging? How would I interpret their stories?
From the editor: On Mondays this month we’re sharing personal stories of Christian women who identify in some way as feminists. We hope that hearing these stories will broaden our understanding and give us a fuller context in which to have conversations about equality in the Church.
“Not long ago, for the first time, I used the word ‘feminist’ to describe myself. Not because something radical has changed about what I believe about women and men, but because I’ve realized that I’m no longer interested in hiding from a word in order to avoid other people’s ideas about that word. Of course, it’s not quite fair to say that nothing has changed. I listened to classmates declare that they have gotten “Him’d” out of male depictions for God. I announced my intention to refer to the Holy Spirit as ‘she’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘it.’ ‘You’re one of those people,’ responded a friend.”
Christians don’t know very much about feminism. It’s one of our “knowledge blind spots”. This wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, except that today we find ourselves in the middle of a 35 year-long debate on what the Bible says about a “woman’s place”. And for a group of people who hate when we ourselves are misrepresented in the media, we sure make a lot of public claims about this topic that we know so little about.
In my own journey, I became a Christian and an egalitarian before I had even grown into a woman. I didn’t learn about feminism until I was in graduate school. And, if I’m honest, I did so begrudgingly.
The term “feminist” gets thrown around a lot in the Christian debate about “a woman’s place”. Having been involved in this debate on the Christian blogosphere for the last year and a half, I have noticed that while many like to talk about feminism, it seems that very few actually know much about it. In fact, I’m not sure any word is more misunderstood and misused in evangelicalism today than “feminist.”
Last year I taught a college course on Women in Politics where we spent 4 weeks going over the history of the women’s movement. We also evaluated egalitarian theology, and the stories of women who were personally touched by feminism. This seemed to help my students understand the power dynamics between men and women in society and have more educated discussions on the topic in class, so I thought it might be of help to others as well.
I’m a big advocate for what I like to call “tension living.” If this life has taught me anything, particularly where faith is involved, it’s that black and white do in fact occupy a significant amount of mutual territory, and there is more than enough grey to go around. Ryan O’Neal from Sleeping At Last […]
As we saw in the previous post, a recent article by Matt Walsh argued that feminism is unnecessary for Christians. Today I want to examine the second objection that Walsh raised (with the understanding that I am picking on his article because it represents a widely-held view among many Christians). His second question is equally […]