Yup, I hate hashtags but I titled this post with one.
I used to be relatively conservative and more modest than what I am now. Over the years I morphed into a feminist. How did this happen? In America it seems women have liberty because we can work, speak in public, and not be accompanied by men outside. As I continued attending church and started observing media with more scrutiny, I realized there is a silent oppression of women in our country. It isn’t overt like in Saudia Arabia.
Women in our country still make 70 cents for every dollar a man makes. Discussing finances is considered taboo so frequently this discrepancy isn’t revealed. Rape victims are still predominately women and are too scared to speak up because we’ve fostered the idea that immodest dress permits a woman to be violated.
In churches, we speak about submission and how women are to heed their husband’s instruction while neglecting the latter half of this all too popular Ephesians verse that husband’s are to love their wives as Christ loved the church (giving himself up). Women are refused ministry positions unless it is for women or youth because we are told a woman isn’t to instruct a man, forgetting that the verse in Timothy was written this way because the women were disrupting services causing chaos, not streamlining transforming sermons as is often the desire of most female spiritual leaders today. We forget about women in the Bible like Deborah (a judge in the OT who would have observed the law and ensured others in the temple did too—much like male pastors do today). Congregations dismiss the fact that if Queen Esther hadn’t been vocal and operative, thousands of Jews would have been killed due to a male’s jealousy for power and respect. We talk about how men are to be providers forgetting that women have contributing roles in marriage and that it is a partnership, not hierarchy. (Men can feel burnt out if told they must carry the burdens of their family’s financial and spiritual needs. Most I’ve spoken with prefer to work and provide spiritually, but they shouldn’t be forced or expected to do so.) Women shouldn’t be told that her place is in the home and her husband doesn’t have to do household chores.
In media, women are either depicted as sluts or domineering, overbearing dogs.
Women are mocked for feeding their children naturally because we are told that we are beckoning temptations for our male counterparts, over-sexualizing her form and shaming her. Men can walk around topless and we neglect that women have visual sex drives too.
I’m not saying I’d walk around without a shirt unless I was meeting the needs of my child (which is more important than the comfort level of full grown adults capable of turning their heads so as not to gawk at my briefly exposed breast), but as long as men are allowed to do so, women should be allowed to as well. We both have chests. Some fat men have larger ‘boobies’ than petite breasted women! Shouldn’t men be covering those up?
As I espouse these ideas trying to raise awareness of the injustices, my devotion to Christ is questioned. Friends feel the need to hold me accountable because my vocalized opinion is seen as disrespectful. I’m told that I’m walking an unfaithful path in this regard.
I’m not adhering to the conservative Christian interpretation of biblicism as I used to and it is making my church counterparts uncomfortable, disturbed, concerned while they omit, or fail to recognize, pervasive interpretive pluralism.
Soap boxes and rants are seen as passive aggressive rather than a call to awareness of larger issues like female oppression and the prevalent thought that men aren’t essential.
So I’ll use this disclaimer: I’m commenting on societal norms not due to the injustice put on me or due to the odd requests of ‘my authorities’ and peers, but because I hope my daughter has freedoms I didn’t even know I lacked until recently. I’m fighting for the cause of another, one to whom I hope this world will be a better place because I spoke up for her since she can’t do so yet.