Feminism can be viewed as an F-word by a lot of Christians. You might even only be reading this because you were offended by my title.
In a world that seems to be up in arms about anything and everything, it’s not surprising that the term‘feminism’ elicits widely varied responses.
Some people think feminism is man-hating, some think it is against biblical theology. Some people believe it has empowered women around the globe and deeply impacted gender prejudice. Some people have no idea what it is or what it means and don’t really care to find out.
You might be the proudest feminist you know. You might have a lot of confusion and offense re feminism. You might have absolutely no idea what I’m going on about.
Regardless of where you are on the feminist spectrum, this article is for you.
“I’m not a feminist because feminists hate men.”
False. Incorrecto. Nope.
Most feminists do not hate men.
I can acknowledge that some so-called ‘feminists’ are extremists and anti-men, but just because some women twist feminism into a justification for man-hating doesn’t mean you can’t call yourself a feminist.
I love Jesus and I still call myself a Christian even though there are people in this world that read the same Bible that I loveandtwist it to validate their hatred and bitterness.
Let’s take a look at the definition of feminism:
“the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” Merriam-Webster
Feminism, by very definition, is the equality of the sexes. Feminists of past and present have been fighting for this very thing.
Fighting for the equality of the sexes doesn’t take away from the rights of men, but rather brings women and men further and further towards equality.
I will not excuse the behaviour of those few that in the name of equality have tore down men and turned ‘all men’ into an enemy. I acknowledge that such people exist and can say wholeheartedly that they fight against what feminism actually is, the equality of the sexes.
As a movement, feminism exists to make waves in cultures that put women below and/or after men in politics, the economy and in any other area within society.
Feminism and the Bible
There have been so many amazing feminists – women and men – who have changed history with their fervent pursuit of gender equality.
What about Deborah from the Bible (book of Judges)? She was a prophetess and the fourth Judge of pre-monarchic Israel. She was also the only female judge mentioned in all of the bible, so all round, she was a very cool woman.
This is definitely up to personal opinion here, but looking at the definition, I’m sure Deborah would have considered herself a feminist.
“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah chapter 32, verse 27
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis chapter 1, verse 27
God, the God of all flesh, created mankind (male and female) in His own image. Male and female are both in equal standing to God.
God didn’t intend for women to be less than men, nor men to be less than women. He formed male and female in His own image. How can one be less than the other if God has made them both from His very reflection?
Rabbis also teach on God’s feminism in the Sifre.
“And the daughters of Zelophehad drew near" - When the daughters of Zelophehad heard that the land of Israel was being divided among the tribes with portions given to the males but not the females, they gathered together to seek counsel. They said, “The mercies of God are not like the mercies of people. People have more concern for males than females. But the One who said and brought forth the world is not like this. Rather, God’s concern is for both males and for females. God’s concern is for all, as it is said, “God gives sustenance to all flesh” and "who gives beasts their food" and "God is good to all and God's mercy is upon all God's works.”Sifre, Numbers 133
God values both women and men so much. His love for his children is unconditional and doesn’t discriminate by gender. He doesn’t discriminate by anything.
Jesus died and rose for all, men and women, so that we all may live for Him and bring Him glory with our lives.
God’s original design for this earth was the equality of the sexes. Kingdom culture doesn’t put either gender above another but works together to bring glory to God.
So, if you were already passionate about feminism before reading this, I hope this stirs you up even more.
If you were previously wary of the “f-word,” I hope feminism isn’t such a scary word to you now.
Laura Murphy is an excitable and fast-paced Brit, living in Australia. She can’t sit still; she has a serious addiction to sudoku, and she can be won over by a good cup of tea and a laugh. Studying to become a doctor, she is expectant and excited to see all that God is going to do with her life.