A Response to Matt Walsh: “Christian women: feminism is not your friend”

scrabble-feminism

Yesterday, popular Christian blogger Matt Walsh wrote a post entitled, “Christian women: feminism is not your friend.”  I recently subscribed to Matt’s blog because I’ve enjoyed several of his posts, which were humorous and smart.  After reading this particular post, I felt compelled to respond.  As a life-long Christian, I think I have a good understanding of Matt’s perspective.  He’s clearly a great guy, husband, father, and a talented writer.  I also deeply appreciate Matt’s passion for unborn children.  All life is sacred; on that we agree 100%.  What I’d like to add to the conversation is the perspective of a faithful believer who feels comfortable with the term “feminist.”

I am keenly aware of the negative reaction to that word among many Christians.  As I was growing up, I heard horrible things about feminists and how they were wreaking havoc on our country’s values and heritage.  In fact, a woman showing a back bone in her family, work and church relationships, or resistance to the status quo, was labeled a feminist, almost as though the term were synonymous with “bitch,” with the implication being that she was rebellious or sinful.  The problem is, we are generally blind to where the status quo is nothing more than a cultural norm.  It is a fact that we are more likely to come to our conclusions about issues according to the consensus of our peers, rather than through logic and critical thinking, as much as we believe we have been logical and critical.  As much as Matt or I blog, it is likely that readers’ viewpoints will remain unchanged.  You can see this from the comments under Matt’s post.  Those who already agreed enjoyed his post, those who disagreed were agitated.  It is in relationship that viewpoints shift.  Therefore, it is very important that we get out of our comfort zones, meet and listen to people of differing perspectives, get to know them and where they are coming from, and honor them as individuals bearing the image of God.  That is how our perspective grows and we gain a fresh understanding of our own beliefs as well as the beliefs of others.

So, let me respond to some of Walsh’s points about feminism.  I believe they could be boiled down for simplicity’s sake to:

1.  Reject the term “feminist” because on the spectrum of feminism there are extremists who advocate for the murder of innocent unborn children, and why would you want to be associated with that?
2. Christianity has always been pro-gender equality, as evidenced by a quote from Thomas Aquinas over 80o years ago.
3.  Feminism is irrelevant now because women can vote and buy property.  Feminists are no longer fighting for equal rights, they are redefining “what constitutes a ‘right’ and what constitutes ‘equality.'”
4.  The pro-life movement is the only equal rights movement left in America – and their biggest opponents are feminists.
5. Men and women are equal in human dignity and intrinsic value, but are not the same because of genetic differences of maleness and femaleness that feminism rejects, which is ruining family stability.

1.  Reject the term “feminist” because on the spectrum of feminism there are extremists who advocate for the murder of innocent unborn children, and why would you want to be associated with that?

If you follow this logic, you will reject the term “Baptist” because the extremist Westboro Baptists are hateful to homosexuals.  There are over 1,400 Baptist denominations in the United States, with a wide spectrum of beliefs ranging from ultra-conservative, King James Only Fundamentalism to ultra-liberal American Baptists.  The adjective “Baptist” does not adequately identify the Biblical interpretation or cultural norms of any given Baptist church.  But I know a kind conversation with a Baptist would help you to understand their perspective.  I am a Baptist and have been misjudged by others because of this term.  So should I drop it?  I also know I have misjudged others on a regular basis because of the adjectives used to describe them.

2. Christianity has always been pro-gender equality, as evidenced by a quote from Thomas Aquinas over 80o years ago. 

Here is another quote from Thomas Aquinas that paints a different picture of women:  “As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of woman comes from a defect in the active force or from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence.”–Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, 13th century

I certainly agree with Matt that Jesus Christ granted full equality to women, and I would also suggest that the stories of Old Testament and New Testament women leaders are remarkably counter-cultural, set in a strikingly patriarchal world.  But Christianity also has a dark history of patriarchy, with centuries and centuries of teaching about the subordination of women.

Here are more quotes from theologians who have influenced Christianity:

“[For women] the very consciousness of their own nature must evoke feelings of shame.”–Saint Clement of Alexandria, Christian theologian (c150-215) Pedagogues II, 33, 22

“Woman is a temple built over a sewer.” –Tertullian, “the father of Latin Christianity” (c160-225)

“Woman was merely man’s helpmate, a function which pertains to her alone. She is not the image of God but as far as man is concerned, he is by himself the image of God.” – Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo Regius (354-430)

“The word and works of God is quite clear, that women were made either to be wives or prostitutes.” – Martin Luther, Reformer (1483-1546)

“Thus the woman, who had perversely exceeded her proper bounds, is forced back to her own position. She had, indeed, previously been subject to her husband, but that was a liberal and gentle subjection; now, however, she is cast into servitude.” –John Calvin, Reformer (1509-1564)

Here is an even longer list of similar quotes.  It is clear to me that Christianity has an ugly history of sexism that cannot be covered up or ignored.  It is something to examine and root out, as it is contrary to the example we have in Christ Jesus.  Christian feminism that casts a light on sexism and patriarchy in the Church is good.  Christ is cleansing his Bride of all her impurities and it is important to follow where the Spirit is leading.  Many Christian leaders see the releasing of women into ministry as the next big awakening coming to Christianity.

3.  Feminism is irrelevant now because women can vote and buy property.  Feminists are no longer fighting for equal rights, they are redefining “what constitutes a ‘right’ and what constitutes ‘equality.'”

Let me tell you about a few of the relevant issues that Christian feminists are fighting.  Did you know –

In the US (links here here and here):

  • Women make up 51% of the US population – but only 20% of Congress
  • 35 women have served as US governors compared to 2,319 men
  • 71 countries in the world have had female presidents or prime ministers – but not the US
  • US women continue to earn 77 cents to the dollar that men earn, but African- American women earn only 64 cents and Hispanic women make only 56 cents to the dollar.
  • Women comprise 46% of the labor force, but 59% of workers making less than $8/hour
  • The more education a woman has, the greater the disparity in her wages
  • Women earned less than men in 99% of all occupations
  • Women own 40% of all US businesses and employ 35% more employees than all the Fortune 500 companies combined
  • The US is the only major industrialized nation without paid family leave
  • Depression in women has doubled since 1970
  • 38% of girls are molested before turning 18, 16% of boys
  • Only 5% of child sexual abuse is reported to law enforcement
  • 93% of sex offenders describe themselves as “religious”
  • Rape survivors are more likely to suffer from depression, abuse alcohol and drugs, or contemplate suicide
  • 70% of women in the workforce are mothers; yet we have no national paid leave child care or flex time policy

And here’s where it gets really important: Worldwide (links here here here here and here:

  • Women represent 2/3 of the illiterate population
  • In 33% of countries, daughters are not given equal access to school
  • Girls receive less food, less medical care, are married off young, and start bearing children at a young age, affecting lifelong health
  • There are 27,000,000 human beings living as slaves today
  • The average age of trafficking victims is 12
  • Only 1-2% of victims are rescued; 1 in 100,000 traffickers convicted

4.  The pro-life movement is the only equal rights movement left in America – and their biggest opponents are feminists.

Last night, I was wondering what Matt Walsh would say about Affirmative Action.  Funny enough, that’s what today’s post is about.  I would highly recommend reading Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol, about the systemic discrimination, hopelessness and limited economic opportunities facing the people of the South Bronx.  This was a life-changing book for me, and many of my political viewpoints were changed after reading this heart-wrenching book.  Mostly, Kozol’s book gives an eye-opening snapshot of what he calls the punitive, blame-the-poor ideology that has swept our nation.

I do not agree with Matt that the pro-life movement is the only equal rights movement left in America.  As much as I believe in the sanctity of unborn life, I am equally concerned about the sanctity of post-birth life.  One of the primary reasons that women have abortions is because they cannot afford children and will receive little help.  I am also thinking of immigrants, the homeless population, innocent civilian victims of “just wars”, unequal access to health care, lack of resources for single mothers, etc.  To be a Christ follower is to be moved with compassion for the poor.

5. Men and women are equal in human dignity and intrinsic value, but are not the same because of genetic differences of maleness and femaleness that feminism rejects, which is ruining family stability.

One example of a cultural norm that feminists resist, is the trend of labeling qualities as feminine or masculine, so that there is shame for someone who holds qualities that are not typically designated to their gender.  Shame is dehumanizing, thus to shame someone is to sin against them.  Personalities are so complex that this tendency ends up hurting many, many men and women.  Boys are bullied for “being a girl” or “being a sissy,” and girls are restricted from activities deemed unladylike.  I believe this is an important issue to consider.  How does our culture shame men and women who are not stereotypically masculine or feminine?

In an article entitled, “Embracing the Feminine Side of God” on the Red Letter Christian website yesterday , Tony Campolo said, “Not only do I love the feminine in Jesus, but the more I know Jesus, the more I realize that Jesus loves the feminine in me. In a day and age when so many women are trying to rediscover the side of their humanity that the world deems masculine, I find Jesus is helping me to appreciate those dimensions of me the world calls feminine.”

In Matt’s post, he says, “So I urge you: unbind yourself from the bondage of this term that’s become inexorably tied to a demonic dogma that obliterates the unity of the family, drives a wedge between a wife and her husband, and digs a giant chasm between a mother and her child.”  Tell me if that doesn’t sound a little extreme, like Pat Robertson’s infamous characterization of feminism:  “The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”

For those who consider themselves to be Christian feminists, this issue of “equal but different” is at the heart of the problem.  The Bible is predominantly understood to designate specific roles according to gender, which restricts women from positions of authority in the home or church.  Matt’s language describing feminine and masculine qualities makes me think he is coming from a complementarian perspective.  An egalitarian perspective interprets Scripture to say that women are equally made in God’s image, equally gifted by the Holy Spirit with the same types of gifts as men, and are equally eligible for leadership if that is what God has called them to.  It is a critical issue in the church and can be a contentious topic of discussion.  All I can say is, from my own experience and studies, the egalitarian perspective has rung truer, and I am always excited to share my viewpoints with complementarians who haven’t really considered another perspective.  I would recommend this article by theologian N.T. Wright as a good place to start as you consider another point of view.

I guess I’ll leave off here for now.  I understand that as a blogger, it is smart to be controversial and keep people talking about and visiting your blog.  Matt is really gifted in getting conversations going!  Thank you for reading this and God bless.


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30 responses to “A Response to Matt Walsh: “Christian women: feminism is not your friend”

  1. Must be great to throw statistics out with 0 understanding of how they were derived. That 77 cents figure has been disproved many times but I guess if you were a feminist with an ax to grind the truth is inconvenient. Wouldn’t want to jeopardize that power grab would you?

    Last time I checked the God is pretty clear where He standard on liars, usurpers, and hypocrites.

    • I’d suggest if you want to criticize with some validity, you provide some statistics or references as the author did 🙂

      • And also maybe address more than one issue, since her point was not based on this fact alone and still holds true without it?

      • Gladly:

        Pay Gap is Nonsense: http://www.stlouisfed.org/publications/re/articles/?id=480

        More Homeless Men: http://goodmenproject.com/good-feed-blog/why-are-men-more-likely-to-be-homeless/

        Boys More Likely to Complete Suicide: http://www.endteensuicide.org/about.html

        Women Abuse Restraining Orders: http://www.wcvb.com/Restraining-Order-Abuse/12138374

        Feminist Teacher Bias Against Boys: http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2013/01/10/politics-and-feminism/the-shameful-truth-about-our-treatment-of-boys/

        Men Are Disbelieved When Raped: http://www.vocativ.com/underworld/crime/hard-truth-girl-guy-rape/

        Feminism hasn’t caused ALL of these, but it stands in the way of discussing them. It is an absolutist dogma that amounts to little more than a false god for those that want revenge on men for perceiving crimes.

      • You know, JSantorelli, the word “feminist” has a definition.
        It is: “1. the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men. 2. an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.”

        If you tell me feminist teachers has a bias against boys, it would mean “teachers who believe in equality has a bias against boys,” a claim which would be a contradiction in terms. If you say Linddykal’s feminist attitude cause boys to avoid her, you say that her belief in equality and treating boys equally well as girls is not good enough for boys, who want preferential treatment.
        As long as the word “feminism” means what it does, we cannot deny we are feminists. You are welcome to complain loudly about people who claim to be feminists but are not really, who do not stand for equality. But they won’t be the topic here, unless you prove we are them. We feminists are opposed to unequal treatment and injustice – it is the definition of feminism to oppose that.
        Why is it entirely just to be a feminist and not a masculinist? Because the word “masculinist” share a word structure with “feminist”, but does not have a similarly equal meaning. (“Masculinist: an advocate of male superiority or dominance”)
        Oppose matriarchy if you want to – we would too, except that matriarchy is not institutionalized in the church – the front we (Christian feminists) are working on – like patriarchy.
        (And if you call Ruth a liar for quoting statistics that could be opposed with other statistics, could we call you a liar for your claim that women do less work? Statistitians say “If we look at the sum of paid and unpaid work, women work more than men (2.6 hours more per week on average”
        http://www.oecd.org/gender/data/balancingpaidworkunpaidworkandleisure.htm )

    • Whoa dude, liars, usurpers, and hypocrites? The Jesus I knew treated prostitutes like they were human beings and not objects. It could be argued that Jesus was one of the biggest feminists of all.

      You are showing a lot of statistics about male abuse and that it’s not believed as readily. This is the patriarchy that feminism is trying to smash. All is means is that women are people. Feminists, especially Christian feminists are nice! I promise!

      • @Lindy: I wasn’t talking about prostitutes! I was talking about feminists! The patriarchy has nothing to do with those statistics not being believed because it’s feminists don’t believe them! Did you not read the article about how feminist bias is the result of boys getting more failing grades? That has nothing to do with patriarchy!

        If feminists were “nice” as you say then they would find a gender-neutral term or also subscribe to being masculinists which none do. A lot of former feminists like Susan Sarandon have done so. I believe in equality and would like to see culture change but not the matriarchal efforts of feminists. When women can put their feminine pride aside (which is what Eve failed to do) real progress can be made.

      • You say your articles aren’t the patriarchy, but they are. The homelessness one says a large factor is men aren’t prone to ask for help. (Help=weakness=feminine=undesirable.

        Men don’t report rape because its seen as weak, shameful, and something that happens to women. Patriarchy hurts men too, that’s why feminists want to change the culture.

        I’m a teacher and I do fail more boys. I fail them mostly because the failing ones act up, ditch class, and don’t turn their work in. If you have a solution for this I’d love to hear it because I can only help them so much, at the end of the day its their academic career. I don’t want to give a D or Fail anybody.

        As for Eve I’m not sure what you mean by her feminine pride. Disobedience towards God knows no gender.

        I’m not sure why you dislike feminists so much. If a woman aborted your child, or broke your heart, betrayed you, assaulted you, or abused you I’m sorry. There are bad women as well as bad men. But brothers and sisters in Christ can work together to spread the faith.

      • @Lindy: Here is men asking for help and feminists standing in the way of us getting it (http://www.joshuakennon.com/the-warren-farrell-protest-at-the-university-of-toronto/) literally!

        None of those articles I cited have anything to do with patriarchy. It has to do with feminist obstructionism. Warren Farrell also tried to create a White House Council on Boys and Men. The result is the Obama Administration (the biggest feminist sympathizer) denied it.

        Family courts used to base custody decisions on the Tender Years Doctrine that was instigated by feminist Caroline Norton. Despite it no longer being law the way family court cases go, men always loose just as they did under Tender Years Doctrine.

        You say boys fail more because of not doing the work? Well, women get paid less on average because they to do less work. (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303592404577361883019414296) Maybe you all should stop complaining about that imaginary pay gap because its your own fault. Same with female CEO’s. Most women don’t want those jobs so quit trying to “ban words” because again its your decision. See how that works?

        Feminists only want to change the things that affect women. They are happy to leave everything else in place. Lastly, there is no “patriarchal conspiracy.” I was never invited to a “boys’ club” meeting so it amounts to little more than a feminist blame game. Take responsibility for your choices because that’s what men do.

        Boys ditch class because when you have a female teacher you know from the start you are at a disadvantage. Newsflash, even the boys that do attend get worse grades than girls because of feminist influence. Independent outside review boards have found that female teachers grade boys less for the work THEY DO (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2102759/Why-boys-failing-grade-classroom-Lack-male-teachers-reason-according-new-study.html). Its not because they ditch class. Your comments are quite misandric. Maybe you should ask your male students WHY they ditch it. They can probably pick up on your feminist attitude and they know that means they are going to get kicked while they are down so they avoid you. As a remedy I think we should stop hiring female teachers and put a quota system like women favor for every other job. Or we should do single sex education and hire only men to teach the boys.

      • I’m getting the feeling you don’t fully understand what patriarchy is/means because those articles you cited are very clearly steeped in the problems of patriarchy.

        You are going all over the map with your response and I’m frankly not sure where to start. I didn’t know we were talking about Obama, or the wage gap, or parental rights.

        I’m not sure what you want me to say about the video of the angry feminists blocking the door. I don’t speak for them. Angry Christians block the doors to abortion clinics all the time. I don’t speak for them either.

        I leave my Christianity and political views at the door. It’s not my place to share them to my students. I purposefully don’t answer when they inquire about these, because I want every kid to feel I’m “on their side.”

        I want all my students to succeed, and I put blood, sweat, and tears to try to make that happen. Some students (of both sexes) either have no interest in school or have such chaotic and severe problems in their home life that school is not a priority. I find that sad. The insinuation that they’re failing because I’m a woman teacher is, for lack of a better word, silly.

        Feminism is about changing the culture so that women are not just a hole, but a human being. That are body is our own and has a right not to be raped or beaten. That we get to decide with who and when we have sex. That we have a right to decide our destiny: the right to work to support ourselves or whether or not to have children.

        These are all wonderful things and I will always be proud to be called a feminist without apology.

      • @Linddy: Ever hear Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers? She has written extensively on the subject of how feminism has hurt young boys. The fact that anyone can sit around and chalk feminist activities to patriarchy is absurd and insulting. It’s a scapegoat to deny responsibility for the “girls’ club.” You don’t have to tell your students where you stand on the issues. Boys are a lot smarter than you think at reading their mentors. Those articles I gave all gave different view points on issues feminists grip about.

        Here is what I find frightening about this “feminism” you espouse. It sounds a lot like totalitarianism in that many of its subscribers seems to think its perfect, all-knowing, all-wise, and always good. You what that sounds like to me? Extremism and a false god. The sin of pride is deadliest of all because it always “feels” right.

        Allow me to point out one more contradiction in your post. In one breath you say “I’m not sure what you want me to say about the video of the angry feminists blocking the door. I don’t speak for them.” Then you say “Feminism is about changing the culture so….” First you can’t speak for feminism then you can? Sounds like whimsical emotion and such has no place in deciding anything that can affect the lives of others. When feminists do something wrong in the name of feminism you cannot say anything? When men do something wrong its a big patriarchal conspiracy that you expect action on? Am I getting this clear?

      • For reasons of your own you seem to have a chip on your shoulder and dislike feminists. That’s your prerogative and your right. Be well.

  2. I found his article very misogynistic. I am proud to be a feminist Christian woman!

  3. Lovely post. I’m not surprised you were met with vitriol in the comments here, some people are very threatened by the idea of equality. Some of those quotes in your blog were a really tough read. 😦

  4. Thank you to everyone who has read my post, shared it, and commented! I appreciate your participation in the conversation. I’ve been busy with company this week and haven’t had the space to interact, so I’m sorry for that. My desire with the post was not to defend all feminists, but to explain why many Christians identify as feminists today. That seemed to be Matt Walsh’s point of contention. I’m guessing he hasn’t read “Jesus Feminist” or many egalitarian blogs or books. I think the important takeaway is to love one another and reserve judgment of others until you have spent time with them and can understand why they have come to their conclusions.

  5. Feminism isn’t about putting women above men. Men can benefit from feminism because they get to live in a world with equality and they also get to talk about some of the suffocating gender roles that men have to deal with. And men do have their own issues with gender roles and masculinity (not getting enough time to spend with their families due to little to no paternal leave; being told that expressing emotion is wrong/bad; feeling that they need to uphold some sort of masculine ideal; sexual assault against men/boys; violence against men etc etc). These are all really important things to talk about. But you know who isn’t to blame for these things?! FEMINISTS. Socially constructed gender roles and gender biases stand in the way of talking about equality and the roles socially constructed gender norms create. And it stands in the way of both men and women moving forward towards equality.
    Please do talk about and challenge gender roles, but don’t do it by hating on feminists. And before anyone even responds with, ‘But what about feminists who hate men and stuff?!’ I would also like to ask, ‘What about priests who have sexually assaulted boys and girls? What about extremists in EVERY OTHER -ISM or religion? Is it fair to say that every person who identifies as Christian must want to rape children? No. That is a terrible generalisation and completely inaccurate. So please respect that feminism is for men and women. And entertain the idea that there are feminists who love men, respect men. Also, entertain the idea that men can be feminists too (I know it might sound crazy, but I know a few. They’re real. Trust me).
    Freedom and equality are not finite. By giving women more agency over their lives you do not take it away from men. Freedom doesn’t work that way. When freedom and equality are given to those who have not had it/or have had it in a limited capacity, it can only enrich and grow a nation.

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  7. Q: How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: That’s not funny!!!

    As a former athiest to gnostic to now born again christian I observe those who “grew up” christian seem to do/say/act much like the heathen I once was. The only christians I know who grew up christian and now are true christians are the ones who slightly stumbled or fell away enough to see that their former “grew up christian” ways were of the world.

    70% of divorce are filed by women. Domestic abuse is split 50-50 between husband/wife and more women physically abuse their kids than men. STOP before you start… Men are MORE violent in their abuse, but women perpetrate more abuse.

    95% of college age divorce is filed by women. If we look at these figures that would state that women are faultering in their commitment to marriage. IF WOMEN ARE SO MUCH BETTER THAN SINGLE WOMEN RAISING THEIR KIDS SHOULD HAVE BETTER KIDS AND OR LESBIAN COUPLES RAISING KIDS. The family is the core of society. Why is society getting worse? The feminine imperative is progressing and patriarchy is dying.

    Please prove that as feminism progresses and more and more women are throwing their husbands under the bus things are getting better. The leaders in the christian church are even afraid to confront this issue. Father’s day sermons bash fathers. Mothers day sermons are how great mothers are. These sermons and pastors who affirm women and put down men only perpetuate the thinking.

    Question: Men have tons of programs in the church to “Man up!” Either they are stupid or women are more moral, which one is it?

    • “examine yourself against scripture”:
      Trust me, we do. Blogs like this one and mine are pretty much about examining scripture (even as far as studying the Greek and Hebrew, to see what nuances may have been missed in translation), and holding ourselves up to scripture, not culture and tradition.
      “over 70% of women file. closer to 80%.”: Not true. The majority of women never filed for divorce. Some, once again including me, have never even been married.

      And to claim that the gender who ask for divorce more is necessarily the gender who is less committed to marriage is a very superficial view of marriage.
      If marriage is only a piece of paper and sharing a home, then the one who file for divorce is the one breaking the marriage. If marriage is a mutual commitment to care about the best interest of your partner, then the one who file for divorce is usually the unhappy one, the one whose needs was not cared for, the one who notices that something is (irrepairably, if the partner don’t want to change) broken.
      Other times the one who files for divorce is the one who, when both partners want divorce, just happens to be the one who does the chore of going to court. Men often leave practical chores to women.
      Since marriage is more than a piece of paper, a marriage could already be completely broken and poisoned before the paperwork is asked for. Children in 2-parent families do better as a rule, but part of the reason is because happy homes with 2 good parents where children thrive are likely not to end in divorce. Divorce is part of being, on average, from a generally less stable home, not the one factor that makes the difference between whole and broken children.
      I encourage you to get a wider view of marriage, one that sees it not as just having a piece of paper from the state (which means the undo-er of the paper breaks a marriage), but about commitments and promises that could be broken even without and before filing for divorce.
      “IF WOMEN ARE BETTER…”: Feminists do not say women are better, even at raising kids. Gender-role related Bible twisting, also known as “Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” say they are better at raising children.
      “Why is society getting worse?”: I see much evidence that society is getting better: More people are living in democracies (less bullies from above). People live longer. Child and woman abuse is actually prosecuted while in patriarchal eras people turned a blind eye. A smaller percentage of the world lives in poverty. (If you look at history, and see how downright brutal – including sexually abuse – for example the Roman world in the time of Jesus was, you would see what society really look like when some people -slaves, women, children- have no rights before the law.) The amount of Christians (at least in name) in the world are growing at a faster percentage than the amount of people in the world. Where many handicapped people used to be placed in institutions, many are now reaching at least a part of their potential (which makes me excited, as I have a handicap that could be managed a lot better with modern-world knowledge and modern-world attitudes towards handicapped people). People are divorcing less than they did in the 1980s.

    • Your “man up” question is actually a good one. There are men’s programs in the church, and even more women’s programs.
      But men are asked in church to step up, and women to not usurp, to step down, to encourage men to lead. No, men are not stupider, nor are women more moral. The point is that people with a men-should-lead view see, when men and women are equally wise and equally involved in decision making, men who should step up and women who should step down.
      They teach men they are falling short, because they expect men to have more leadership qualities and responsibility. Feminists are not asking that much of men. Feminists ask men and women to work for God by their gifts, not their gender, to lead only where that is their gift. We don’t ask all men to man up. For one thing, “up” implies higher. And “man up” imply that it is manly to do the so-called higher up things, not womanly. Feminists don’t see a hierarchy whereby one gender should be higher – patriarchalists do.

  8. over 70% of women file. closer to 80%.

  9. If you are a true christian you will read and understand the different roles of men and women, especially within marriage. If this offends you then you need to do as Paul said and examine yourself against scripture. Is the bible God’s word? If it is, we need to understand, believe and obey. If not? Your faith is in vain and meaningless. Do you trust God? Than submit to Him, repent when you are not following Him, turn to Him and obey His commands.

  10. Jeff, we are very happy to dialogue with you about gender roles, divorce, domestic violence, etc., with the caveat that the goal here is redemption–“the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.” I believe that you and I have that same goal, but I would ask that you be more charitable and gracious to those who hold different views than yourself. You make many judgmental statements about who is “in” or “out” of true Christianity. There are Christians who hold different views on many, many issues. How can you say that someone else’s faith is “vain and meaningless” without even knowing that person’s heart, because they believe that there is equality in Christ? Can someone be a Christian without having 100% correct doctrine? Absolutely. I am sure that there is not one person whose understanding of God is complete and faultless. You are convinced that there are clear gender roles mandated in the Bible, and I am convinced that there is equality in Christ. Who is to say that the other person is not a Christian? This blog and Retha’s and others like us are not trying to bash men or usurp authority or put women on a pedestal. We are trying to combat a patriarchal worldview that we believe is contrary to the Gospel, that keeps women who are called and gifted for leadership from serving alongside their brothers in Christ. We are all called to submit to each other, to serve and love one another. We are equally made in God’s image, equally called to serve God and one another, equally depraved and fallen human beings, equally made for dignity and greatness. The Beautiful Kingdom Warriors is here because of a strong spiritual conviction, and we are glad to have you here to discuss these matters. Let’s just agree to listen to one another in a spirit of love and humility.

  11. Pingback: What Does a Christian feminist look like? | Baptizing Feminism

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