Monday, October 16, 2017

Why we need feminism--A Christian Girl's perspective


This post is different from most that I've done, but I'm going to give it a whirl. Bear with me.

Before I begin, I'd like to reinforce, in case any of you are worried, that my views on feminism do NOT include being "pro-choice". I am 100% pro-life, and I'm not sorry if that offends you.

Okay. Here we go: Why we need feminism--A Christian Girl's Perspective

Feminism--and how and why it applies to a Christian Girl's life--is something I've been thinking about a lot.

I know feminism is fighting for women being equal to men, but today I want to talk about how feminism means equality among women.

So before I begin (wait, did I already say that once? Oh well), I'd like to point out that when I say feminism throughout this post, I'm talking about the idea that women are equal and we need to treat each other as equal beings with equal rights to make our own decisions. If that makes sense. If it doesn't, hopefully it will.

We need feminism.

We need feminism so women can feel accepted and loved no matter what they choose to do in life.

We need feminism so that women can choose to stay at home and be a mother and not be judged by women who chose a career for "wasting their life".
We need feminism so that women who choose a career and not have a family are not judged by women who stay at home with their children for "wasting their life".
We need feminism so that women who choose to have children and work outside the home are not judged by other women for "neglecting their duty as a mother" and "not caring about their children's lives".
We, as women, should be loving and supporting each other, no matter what role we are serving in society, in our communities, and in our homes. The last thing we need is to be judging each other for individual decisions.



One of my former leaders and a friend has given me permission to share part of her story.
She is a good, faithful, Christian woman (though perhaps she'd laugh to hear me say that, it's true), and I have no doubt that she does everything she can to follow the Lord's plan for her. The problem? Some people doubt that. People judge.
I'm going to start her story after she was married (which in itself, though she married a man who is perfect for her and I'm certain it was God's plan, brought judgmental comments), when she didn't have children right away. In her case, she wasn't able to, physically. In this particular church, having a family is considered extremely important and girls are taught from an early age that having a family is the most important thing she can do. That being said, of course people would understand if it wasn't a matter of choice, but of actual possibility--right? These Christian women would love and support their sister anyway--or rather especially--right? There were a few women who loved and supported her through this. But it's tragic how much people judged her for it and shunned her and things. In her words,
"I honestly could write a book of the comments I heard during those five years. My response? I withdrew from anyone that I thought would have a negative comment. I told very few people of our struggle and the ones that were supposedly the “perfect” members of the church offered no sympathy, no support, or a caring hand. They only offered the judgey eyebrows, the whispers, and the cruel chuckle of an invitation given to another baby shower."
This is not what being a Christian woman should be. We as Christian girls and women need to be the ones to love each other no matter what, and stop judging based on ideas of righteousness, or as in too many cases, self-righteousness.
What if, instead of judging, we stopped to consider that God was planning and guiding her life just as He's guiding anyone else's? And that she is following that plan?
The judging didn't stop when she did, after much praying and waiting, have a child.
You see, she works outside the home. The judgmental comments about that are plentiful, too. In her own words, "Those comments are hurtful too, but because I became stronger they tend to roll off my back a little easier these days."
But why do people feel the need to judge her for making the decision she felt was best? Why judge someone for following God's plan for them?
She quoted this, and I 100% agree:
"When it comes to:
This woman is one of the strongest women I know, and it is clear that she loves God and does what she can to serve and follow Him. She does not deserve being judged for the way she's living her life.
To finish her story with a few more of her words,
"As long as Heavenly Father knows your heart and knows what you are working towards, that is the ONLY person we ever need to answer to. The point is, if we are truly going to love our fellow sister, this terrible judgement and strange hierarchy of how you fall on the “are you a good [Christian] woman” status has to stop."
(Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experience!)

Ladies, this is why we need feminism. So that women like this absolutely wonderful woman aren't made to feel worthless and inferior. People have and do treat her like she's worth less, and that kind of judging needs to stop.

As Christian women, we try to follow the will of God, wherever that leads us. And you know what? It's not going to be the same path for everyone. Can we understand that?


If someone from church is a mother who works outside the home, stop before judging her for "neglecting her child's needs". Do you think this was a decision made with a lot of prayer? You bet. Do you think she's doing it because she doesn't care about her children? Absolutely not. Do you think she is doing her utmost to do what's best for her family, and follow the Lord? Absolutely!

If you work outside the home and see a fellow woman at home with her children, stop before judging her for "wasting her life" as "just a mom" instead of pursuing a career. Her decision was made with prayer and trusting in God. And you know, she's working a whole lot harder than it looks like she is. Being a mother is a lot of hard and dirty work; it's not easier than choosing a career.

We need feminism so that girls who don't get married until later in life aren't made to feel worthless and wayward. We need feminism so that girls don't feel like they aren't of worth if they don't "have a man". We're all agreed, yes, that we as Christian girls and women are trying to follow the Lord as best we can. We are agreed, then, that this includes these unmarried young women.

Some of these girls haven't had much opportunity to date or consider marriage. If you're a married woman, stop before you judge them. If you are one of these women, don't you dare give into anyone who makes you feel worthless and unloved and unneeded. If you're doing everything you can to serve the Lord, and He's going to bless you for that. He has a plan for you, and nothing you do can change that. If you know one of these young women, refrain from judging them or making them feel like their life is wasted if they don't marry. God has a plan for them, too, remember?


Other girls have opportunities to marry but decide not to, at least not yet, because they want to focus on things like education or a career. Is this okay, deciding not to get married right away? Of course it is! These girls are doing their best to follow God's plan for them, too. Stop before you judge them for "getting distracted by the world" or "being 'too good' for marriage", or anything. These girls have every right to live their life the way they feel is following the Lord's plan for them.
If you are one of these girls, don't let people make you feel worthless and incomplete because you've chosen not to get married yet. Keep following God's plan, and live your life.

We need feminism so that girls who do get married young aren't judged for "tying themselves down" at "such a young age". We need feminism so that girls who skip education and a career and have a family at a young age aren't judged for being reckless and hasty.
These girls are no different from the rest in at least one thing. They're doing their best to follow God's plan for them, too. They are choosing the path that they feel the Lord wants for them.

We need feminism because no girl or woman deserves to feel worthless or inferior for following God's plan for her. 

We need feminism so girls are taught that their worth comes from being a daughter of God, a King, and not from anything else the world tries to tell them. We need feminism so that girls are taught to love their sisters because they all have the same worth she has. We need feminism so that we are united as sisters, instead of divided by differences.

Now, I've talked mostly about how we need feminism for equality among women. Now to turn briefly to the slightly more controversial topic of feminism as equality with men--from a Christian girl's perspective.
Men and women are equal, yes. Does that mean they are the same? Obviously not.
Here's my Christian girl feminist's take on men vs. women.
Men and women are equal but different. We are equal because we each have gifts and abilities that the other doesn't, and many that we share.
An idea I see a lot in feminism is that "women are equal to men because we can do anything a man can do". I don't see a problem with this, necessarily, but I think that's not giving women--or men--the credit we--or they--deserve.
You see, the way I see it, women are equal to men because we can do the things men can't do. And men are equal to women because they can do the things we can't do. And we are equal to each other because we can use our different but equal qualities to work together.
We need Christian feminism so that we recognize that women are equal to men not simply because they can do anything a man can do, but because they can do things a man can't do.

In summary:
Stop. Judging. Stop judging other girls and women for the paths they choose.
Your worth comes from the fact that you're a daughter of a King, and that's what matters most.
Those around you have that same worth.
Stop judging.
You are amazing because you can do things men can't do, not just the things they can.


Now, how many people have unfollowed my blog by this point? I'm torn between hoping I didn't offend people and feeling no apology for what I've said. I believe in what I've said. I am sorry if I've offended you or hurt your feelings. I do realize that not everyone is going to agree with what I've said. And that's okay. That's another reason we need feminism, is so that people can disagree with everything I've said and still be treated with respect.

To all of you, though, I will apologize for all the rambling and ranting I did. Also for anything that didn't make sense. This is a pretty difficult topic to work with, so I'm sorry if I didn't do an ideal job!

To those of you who stuck around this far, tell me your thoughts!

30 comments:

  1. "We need feminism because no girl or woman deserves to feel worthless or inferior for following God's plan for her."

    100% amen to this post. Can I just...no, okay, this was perfect. That's all I can say.

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad you agree. Thanks so much for your comment!!!

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  2. Man alive just YES. I love you and this blog post. ❤❤❤❤👍

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    1. THANK YOU. Love you too, dear. <3 <3 <3
      (Also loving the new profile pic)

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  3. I heartily agree with everything in this post!!

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    1. Aw, I'm so glad!!! Thank you so much for your comment!!

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  4. If there were a button for anything higher than highly enjoyable, it would be clicking on it so hard my mouse would crack. As it is, I'll make do with "highly enjoyable."
    But this post was more than that, Rae. It was TRUE.
    I'll probably link back to this from my blog--more people should read this!

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    1. Aw THANK YOU, Miss Elizabeth!!!
      I'm so glad you agree. Thank you so much for your comment!!!

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  5. UM YES YES YES YES YES YES YES HECK YESITY YES.
    The best thing about this is I was JUST thinking about this same thing!!!!! I actually wrote a poem about it that I'm going to post on Burning Youth sometime.
    It's really really sad how much women seem to be so judgmental and critical of eachother- myself included!
    Women have the ability to be so protective and loving and gentle- men can be too, but women are motherly in a way men can't be.
    Women should be loving and supportive and sisters to eachother yet we aren't! And it needs to stop.
    We do need feminism and I am so so so glad you posted this, dear. It really needs said.

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    1. THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR COMMENT
      Oh really!! Funny how that goes sometimes.
      Exactly!
      Yes, yes yes! I'm so glad you agree.
      Thank you so much for your comment, Esther!!!

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  6. I wouldn't go as far to say I am a feminist, since I disagree with many of the feminist movements. But I do agree with this post. :)

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    1. I definitely see where you're coming from. Being a feminist has a lot of negative connotations in today's society. But hey, I'm glad you agree with these views anyway. :D
      Thanks so much for commenting!!!

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  7. Wow. I'm impressed. That's exactly what I want to say but can't find the words for. Powerful words.

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    1. Oh, thanks, dear!! So glad you liked it.

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  8. Great post, Rae!! If I had the time and the energy I could get into a discussion on this, but unfortunately I haven't. :(

    Just wanted you to know this was an excellent reminder to me, so thank you! It really is far too easy for me to judge people for their decisions when those decisions don't make sense to me. But I know God's opinion is the only one that truly matters and that He sees the big pictures while I see but an insignificant spot. And I have to remember, too, that even if so-and-so isn't doing things the way I would do them, God is still working in her life the same as He's working in mine. We're all a work in progress. And who am I to say what is the proper way of doing things? I'm still making mistakes and learning new things all the time myself! So yeah. Thanks again for the reminder because I needed that. :)

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    1. Haha, I understand.
      Yesss, exactly!! Haha, you summed up what took me a long post to say.
      I hope this post wasn't too...too. Anything. For you. I really tried to keep it inoffensive and such. With "feminism" and all. I was shaking as I hit publish because of the negative connotations around that word.
      Anyway, thanks so much for your beautiful comment, Miss March!!

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  9. You bring up some good points, Rae. Women should be respected and allowed to be able to fulfill their vocation - motherhood or career. I personally don't believe a mother should work unless it is economically necessary (i.e. to pay debts, etc).

    I agree with almost all of what you said in the post. But you keep using the word "feminism". What you described as feminism and what feminism actually is are two different animals. Completely.

    Instead of feminism, Christians need Respect for the Dignity of Women. Respect uplifts and does not pass judgement. Feminism does the opposite.

    Catherine
    http://frugallyfancyfarmlass.blogspot.com/2017/04/a-word-about-feminism-and-utopias.html

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    1. I completely understand where you're coming from, especially after reading that post you linked to. And I respect that.
      I admit, I had some qualms about using the word feminism because of the negative connotations, including the ones you brought out in your post.
      But I wanted a word that conveyed the idea that women are valuable. That women are equal. The word feminism means the idea that women are equal to men, and I wanted to focus on the part implied, that "women are equal". To each other.
      That women can do what they feel is best with their lives without the judgments of other women.
      I 100% agree that a lot of the things generally associated with feminism, the ones you listed in your post, are wrong and I strongly disapprove of them.

      Anyway, that was probably more than you wanted. I will apologize for anything I said that felt wrong to you. I understand what you're saying.
      And I super appreciate your comments!! I really appreciate that you voiced that. Thank you.

      I 100% agree with the need for Respect. That's a good word to use. Thank you!

      Again, thanks so much for your comment! I hope I haven't offended you.

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    2. Please don't worry, you haven't *hugs* All I could see was someone completely misunderstanding your post from that one word and having a knee-jerk reaction. It's hard to find a word that would describe that, you're right.

      Catherine

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    3. That makes perfect sense! I'm so glad I haven't offended you! *hugs back*

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  10. ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!! Thank you so much for speaking for those who can't!

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    1. Thank you so much!! I'm so glad you appreciated it! Thanks for your comment!!

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  11. YES. Just YES. (Also, pro-life forever:))

    Something else that's been on my mind recently also is that there is still this stigma (both in secular and sadly, Christian circles) around women who separate from their abusive husbands. People are so quick to judge, and often blame the woman for her husband's actions. (What's the reasoning behind that, people??) Aren't we, especially as Christians supposed to HELP the suffering??

    Lol anyway sorry for the little rant:)

    ~Rilla Blythe

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    1. Oh YES, I completely agree with that. It's so sad how people treat each other even within Christianity. We need to support those women. Totally agree.
      No, don't apologize! It's welcome.

      Thanks so much for your comment, Rilla!!

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  12. I feel that you don't understand what actual feminism is. And you are substituting feminism for Christianity. People need morals and decency, period. Christianity changes hearts which changes actions, not "feminism."

    I don't think "Christianizing" a blanket term really makes for clarity at all. All of the anecdotes you shared are first of all, anecdotes, and second of all involve people doing wrong. We don't need something "extra." I feel that you make overly broad statements about "feminism" and "judging."

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    1. Hi Livia!
      Feminism is the idea that women are equal to men, by definition. I specifically wanted to focus on the part "women are equal".
      I know feminism has a lot of negative connotations, but in itself it's just a simple concept, one I agree with.

      I definitely agree that we need morals and decency in general! And definitely, Christianity!

      I simply wanted to focus on how that applies to the lives of women, specifically, because while yes, we all need to treat each other with respect and stuff in general, I feel like sometimes there's even more of a problem among women. And women often get short-changed and made to feel inferior, more than "people in general".
      Therefore I used the term feminism! I wanted to convey the idea of empowering women! That women can do whatever they feel is best for their lives! And that we as women are equal, and we need to treat each other so!

      I appreciate hearing your thoughts! I hope I've clarified some things.

      I do apologize for any negative ideas that were conveyed through my use of a word with so many negative connotations. I respect your right to disagree, and thank you for voicing your opinions! I believe this post has been even more controversial than my Pride and Prejudice vs. Fake P&P post!
      I'm afraid I won't retract anything I said in this post, so I respect your right to stop reading my blog if you feel so inclined. :)
      Have a lovely day!

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    2. I think that you misunderstood me. I’m trying to point out some concepts because we can tend to live in a bubble world where no one corrects. Please don’t take this negatively. My main points really weren’t about your argument (because that, quite frankly is rather vague), and I don’t see it as controversial. What I mainly want to point out is the lack clearness and accuracy in your terms. And I think this is what a lot of arguments about “feminism” involve (actually many things). We aren’t all on the same page.

      The dictionary definition of feminism is not merely the one you state regarding equality, it can also be termed as women's rights movement. See Merriam Webster. That is my issue. Feminism is NOT a simple concept. It is frequently treated as a blanket statement and used to mean whatever the person wishes. And your definition could be interchanged with Christianity and the whole tenor of your article would be the same. That is what I meant.

      Also, I think we need discussion and disagreement or there is no point in thinking, talking, or writing. We could all preach and ignore everyone. I like your blog; I’m not going to unfollow because of a post.

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    3. I see what you're saying! I appreciate that you took the time to voice your thoughts! Thanks for your comments!

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  13. AMEN GIRL. PREACH IT. Love love love this post so much. I think it's hard for people to actually accept that feminism is actually a GOD-THING and it's biblical and it's actually the way things were meant to be. Of course, I don't think we should actually label ourselves "feminists" because, no I'm not a "feminist" I just believe in the way God meant for things to be, which feminism (the actual belief) is just that; not the title tho.

    Does that make any sense or am I just rambling? I apologize, I'm kinda hyped over the topic, I'm so glad I found your blog and this post! Okay I'm gonna go now and read the rest of your posts. Byeeee:)

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    1. Yes exactly! And yes I know what you mean, the name has such degrading connotations, while the belief itself is simple and very true!
      That does make sense!

      Haha well, welcome to my blog!! See you around. :D
      Thanks for your comment!!

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