Monday, September 22, 2014

Feminism and the line it draws {part 3}

What started out as one post about feminism and real world situations, became much too long for one post.  

So in the interest of length, it became a series and this post, part 3. If you missed Part 1, read it herepart 2 is here. Please 

come back and read the remaining parts {I'm not sure right now how many there will be}.  

I welcome your input and real world examples too.

Last weekend, I attended a Beth Moore Simulcast event.  The subject?
Finding your identity and, more importantly, finding your identity in Him, the one who created you for a purpose.

We talked about women in the Bible, what a Godly woman looks like, and the fact that Jesus changed the story of every woman he met and still does today.

Beth talked about what it means to be equipped, courageous, and loved.  She talked about why having girlfriends is so important to women and why God made us the emotional beings that we are.
She also talked about how emotions are helpful but also hurtful.

She talked about competition and comparison with other women and why it's a terrible trap to fall into.  She talked about how to stop it and begin repairing our hearts that have been poked full of holes due to insecurity.

Do you see the link between feminism and insecurity (girl drama), yet?

In most cases, feminism works against us. It doesn't make us look stronger and like a gender that can survive without men.  It turns us against one another instead of helping us embrace the role God created us for: community with other women (and men).

I'm one who likes to tie everything up with a pretty little bow.
It took me a couple of extra days to post this which I originally thought would be the final piece in a 3 part series. That's because this isn't a finite issue and, as far as I can see, can't be tied up with a pretty little bow.
Since it's on-going, this may be a topic I revisit as life presents opportunity to do so.

For now, I'll share something that Beth shared at that conference last weekend.  It's meant to empower us as women of God; the women He created us to be - not the women the world tries to tell us to be. She called it an Identity Declaration:

"I am a woman of God
Redeemed by Jesus Christ
Loved, pursued, and chosen
Equipped with words of life.
Clothed in strength and dignity
Commissioned here and now
Gifted by the spirit
Forgiven and Unbound."
~Beth Moore

Further reading and source list for this series (other than previously noted):

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Feminism and the line it draws {part 2}

What started out 2 days ago as a post about feminism and real world examples, became much too long for one post.  

So in the interest of length, this will become a series and this post, part 2. If you missed Part 1, read it here. Please come back 

and read the remaining parts {i'm not sure right now how many there will be}.  

I welcome your input and real world examples too.

Recently, as I sat around a table talking with some new friends, the subject at the table turned to men's and women's roles in the household. A statement was made similar to this:

Last year the yearbook (at a local Christian school) was a huge problem for me.  When I read the Dreams and Wishes for the senior girls and they all said something like - "marry a Godly man and raise a family," I took action.  I told the principal if he wanted to keep me and my family at his school, that wasn't the way to do it.  I don't want my daughter to learn about Biblical submissiveness and think she can't be something other than a wife and mother.


I have paraphrased and considerably cut down what was said on this subject but those were the highlights.
I have to tell you I was alarmed.

At first, because I was afraid words would come spewing out of my mouth without prior consent.
Second, because I felt I must say something, but wanted to choose my words wisely.

Does this bother anyone else?
On one hand, I can understand why this mother was alarmed.  I didn't see the yearbook in question but if so many of the female senior comments were the same that she thought it was a brain-washing, I do agree that it's problematic.

Probably not for the same reasons she does.

On the other hand, I want my daughter to learn at an early age that God created Man and Woman.  He created us differently with a purpose and we can never be "equal".  "Equal" means "the same" and God did not create us "the same." I'd even go as far as to say we shouldn't want to be equal to men.

Do I think it's wrong that a man doing the exact same job as a woman likely gets paid more, simply because he's male? 

Does it bother me that positions that were typically male when I was growing up {i.e. school principal}, are now predominantly female {at least in these parts}? 
The answer would be "yes!" again.

Does that make me anti-woman? 
Not at all.

Our society teaches us that we need to fight for our rights.
The Bible teaches us that we all have equal access to the Spirit through Christ regardless of gender, race, or socio-economic status {Gal 3:28}.

There is so much I could say about feminism and what the Bible says about it.  It is certainly intertwined with the Biblical term "submission;" a term so often taken out of context and a source of argument.

I tend to agree with this view on the matter:
Submission is a natural response to loving leadership. When a husband loves his wife as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25-33), then submission is a natural response from a wife to her husband. The Greek word translated “submit,” hupotasso, is the continuing form of the verb. This means that submitting to God, the government, or a husband is not a one-time act. It is a continual attitude, which becomes a pattern of behavior. The submission talked about inEphesians 5is not a one-sided subjection of a believer to a selfish, domineering person. Biblical submission is designed to be between two Spirit-filled believers who are mutually yielded to each other and to God. Submission is a two-way street. Submission is a position of honor and completeness. When a wife is loved as the church is loved by Christ, submission is not difficult.Ephesians 5:24says, “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” This verse is saying that the wife is to submit to her husband in everything that is right and lawful. Therefore, the wife is under no obligation to disobey the law or God in the name of submission.

I think were our society more apt to do everything out of love {as Christ loved the church}, there would be less conflict, in general, but especially between men and women. 

Ladies: the world has lied to us.

The world would have us believe that because men have higher paying jobs, for example, we as women are substandard citizens.

The world would have us believe that as women we can do everything we want in life for ourselves; who needs men?

The world would have us believe that being female equals being weak.

The world would have us say, "we can do everything they can do better," and "why shouldn't men try harder to be like us? That would sure make life easier!"

Do you see how the feminist argument is ambiguous? 
Creating a double standard is never the pathway to a resolution.

What do you think?
Stay tuned for Part 3...

Further reading and source list for this series (other than previously noted):
Jesus was a feminist...
Matt Walsh on feminism...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Feminism and the line it draws {part 1}

What started out as a post about feminism with several real world examples, became way too lengthy for one post.  So in the interest of length, this will become a series and this post, part 1.
Please come back and read the subsequent followups, the number of which is currently uncertain.  I welcome your input and real world examples too.

I've been feeling all sort of out-of-sorts lately.

There's been a lot going on, but what else is new, right?

It's in those times when I really "don't have time" to think deeply about anything that I notice a pattern.

The repetition of a subject in my life.  

A subject that's almost impossible to think about because it's so convoluted, indefinite, and, in some cases, downright ugly.

And I get anxious because the recurrence of a subject like this means it's probably the next thing I'll write about, or worse, be forced to defend my opinion on.  I don't really know how to write about this one for all the reasons I stated above.

But here it is: FEMINISM.
My stance on it is certainly not going to make me popular {as if I, or my opinion, ever was}.

It all started with my daughter and an issue at school over a week ago. 
At the end of last year, Sweetpea auditioned for a coveted spot on the school news team and she got it.
There are two teams, but she earned the first spot on the Monday, Wednesday, Friday team putting her on camera 3 days a week.
This is right up her alley, because she loves to perform - sing, dance, act - you name it, she loves it! Especially if it involves a stage or a microphone!

Then one day she tearfully tells me that she "might have to switch to the Tuesday-Thursday team." When I asked who told her this and why, she told me the name of another child. 
A child who, unfortunately, we have had several problems with starting in Kindergarten.

This other girl wanted to join another school activity that met at the same time as her own commitment to the Tuesday-Thursday news team.  

And, I'm sorry, but how did that become my child's issue? 

As a matter of fact, my daughter wanted to join two other clubs at the school.  Because of her commitment to her travel dance team and the news team, she had to decline.  It was too much and I am trying to teach her about commitments and priorities. 

For the sake of time, I won't give more details, but I handled it.
She didn't ask me to, although this other little girl has since called her a "baby" for getting her Mom involved.
I took it upon myself to go into the school and nip the whole thing in the bud before it got out of hand.
The end result is that she did not forfeit her spot that she rightfully earned and the administrator in charge was in complete agreement that she shouldn't have to.

As a Mother, I think one of the most challenging things is to teach my kids balance.  I want them to be kind and compassionate and treat others as they want to be treated instead of as they so often get {mis}treated.

But I have to tell you, we have been dealing with "girl-drama" since she was in kindergarten.  While my child creates plenty of drama at home, I can say with absolute confidence that she is not the one initiating this drama at school.  And, now, beginning the 6th year of school for her, I'm just DONE with it.  There comes a point when you say to yourself that "mean girls" learn to be mean from someone and it needs to be stopped.  

They learn it either because the mean, catty behavior is modeled to them, or because a parent/guardian sees it but doesn't correct it or punish it, allowing it to continue.  I can tell you that without a doubt, if I found out my daughter was saying and doing to other girls the same things that have been said and done to her, she wouldn't forget her punishment for a long, long, time.

Now I can't go and wage war against other 10 year old girls {or even their Moms}, but I can certainly become and advocate against female competition and comparison.

Here's something I came across in my research of what the Bible says about feminism and I happen to agree:
Modern feminism is a counterfeit solution to the real issue of the inequality of women in a sinful society. Feminism arrogates to itself the right to demand respect and equality in every aspect of life. Feminism is based in arrogance, and it is the opposite of the call to the born-again believer to be a servant. The modern, militant feminists call women to rise up and rebel against the order that God has given to mankind. That brand of feminism seeks to impose humanistic values in direct opposition to the Word of God. Feminism was originally a positive movement, focused on giving women the basic rights God intends for every human being to have. Tragically, feminism now focuses on destroying all distinctions in the roles of men and women.

Read more:

So what does feminism have to do with Sweetpea and girl drama? Isn't the big feminism war between women and men?

Here's my take on it...

Our society has started teaching girls from a young age that they are inferior to boys.
This comes in a variety of ways ranging from sports that girls aren't allowed to play to careers that boys are encouraged to pursue while girls are discouraged from pursuing them.

I realize that's a very simplistic view, but stick with me.

The insecurity that results from feeling inferior trickles into all of a girl's relationships.

She feels that everything is now a competition she has to win; that every situation is a need to prove herself. Even at a young age, girls feel the need to assert themselves to gain the better position.  The concept of being happy for your friends' accomplishment is quickly taking a backseat to avenging one's own disappointment.

Girls begin acting out against any other girl who has something she wants but has yet to achieve.

Unfortunately, I think little girls have witnessed too much female competition and comparison between "big girls."
That's where the problem starts, but I think it's also where the problem can end.

In my opinion, Feminism draws a line in the sand; which side are you on?

Come back for part 2 of this series tomorrow and be sure to add your thoughts or experiences in the comments.

Further reading and source list for this series (other than noted above):