The Fight for Feminism
The feminist movement in America has been one of the most destructive forces Satan has used to bring ruin in both the culture and the home. Angry women who have experienced abuse and mistreatment from men rightly scream for justice. Feminism throughout the 20th and 21st centuries has been used as a way to right wrongs, but, in seeking equality, women continued to push the envelope on what is the acceptable and normal place of a woman within society.
The feminist movement brought about the 19th Amendment in the early 20th century, giving women the right to vote. Although it may look innocent on the surface, and even necessary, this was the beginning of change to the social infrastructure of the American family. No longer was the man of the household responsible to represent his entire family while voting. Households became divided. Now women were given the opportunity to vote for themselves, often against their husbands.
With the start of World War II came countless openings in factories and the workforce. Previously women would have been looked down on for taking jobs away from breadwinning men and stepping outside of the sphere of the home. With propaganda such as ‘Rosie the Riveter’, women were not only encouraged to fill the shoes of men, but were portrayed as heroes for keeping the country running while their men were on the front lines. Thus began the normalization of women in the workforce.
The 1960’s were marked by the sexual revolution, and saw feminists fighting for abortion and equal pay rights, influenced largely by Betty Friedan and her book The Feminine Mystique.
While it would appear that feminism has been empowering and calling attention to the plight of women for only the last 100+ years, a closer look will reveal that the fight for feminism and equality has been around much longer.
Since the Beginning
Feminism has been defined as (1) the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes and (2) organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.1 In the articles and books written by feminists, their goal and hope is to become completely equal with men. They desire all the political and social opportunities that men are given: the ability to climb the professional ladder, the right to earn just as big a paycheck as any man, and the ability to enjoy the pleasure of sex while divorcing themselves from the possibility of procreation and responsibility.
Frankly stated, feminism raises “men” who have the biological capacity to bear children. Women say they want what men have. At the root of it all feminism is a desire for control, and a lack of trust. Whether we realize it or not, this root is a part of each of us as women. Feminism has been around longer than the past 100+ years, and has been affecting lives since the beginning of time.
“Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Genesis 3:16).2 That word translated desire “implies an aggressive desire, perhaps a desire to conquer or rule over, or else an urge or impulse the woman has to oppose her husband, an impulse to work against him.”3 It is part of the curse, part of our sin nature for women to desire control and subtly manipulate, both in the political arena and in smaller areas within the home.
Though we would never admit or show our support for the feminist movement today and its liberal agenda, the feminist attitude caters to a woman’s natural bent, and is something that we need to actively fight against and surrender at the foot of the cross. Far too often we settle for manipulation and the lies the world feeds us about a successful woman, instead of trusting and embracing the role for which God has designed us. Even within our conservative circles we can become ashamed of desiring the unique call God has given to women.
A God-given Calling
During my senior year of high school I would avoid talking to people about school. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed school, and was proud of the fact that my formative training was just about completed. But there was a follow-up question that I learned to brace myself for, “What are you planning to do with your life?” Sometimes it was, “Where are you going to college?” I started off answering the question by proudly declaring that my dream career in life was to, Lord willing, someday be a wife and mother, and raise my children to be Daniels in our hostile western culture. In the meantime I would continue to work, and seek to walk into various opportunities as God brought them.
As the year progressed I experienced more unease about my childhood dream, and embarrassment about how small my aspirations appeared to other people. Being a wife and mother was all fine and good, but what else was I going to do with my life? People insinuated that a woman needed something more on the side to truly be successful and use all her potential. I had grown up believing that to be a wife and mother was one of the greatest callings God could place on a woman’s life.
Within the Anabaptist community, I have seen an increasing number of women feel the need to find part or full time work outside of their home and family for various reasons. Not all these wives and mothers are empty nesters either, some have very young children. And while every situation is different, I believe it becomes dangerous when all of mom’s energy is thrown into work, and her God-given sphere of influence within the home suffers and is put on the back-burner.
Although many of us may be unmarried, and have no idea when or if we will ever become a wife and mother, how we view these roles and encourage young mothers around us will greatly affect our future.
Embracing the Difference
God has given women a set of gifts unique to her. It has been said before, “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world” (author unknown). Women have the ability to tear down the men in their lives or to build them up and be an encouraging force. Women have the opportunity to create a safe haven for their family members, away from the chaos and harassment of the world.
Our culture desperately needs women who are willing to embrace the role to which God has called us. I believe we should revel in our differences and not compare ourselves to men, but be grateful for the ways our strengths and weaknesses compliment each other.
| Sarah Miller lives with her husband Timothy near Sarasota, Florida. She has a passion for the truth and sees most things in black and white. Sarah enjoys reading, traveling to new locations, or spending time with her husband.
1. “Feminism.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 21 May 2016
2. The Holy Bible, King James Version. Nashville: Holman Bible, 1998. Print.
3. Grudem, Wayne A. “Pg. 38.” Evangelical Feminism & Biblical Truth: An Analysis of More than One Hundred Disputed Questions. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012. Print.
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