The house that I grew up in was an extremely conservative one,where the word “feminist” was said with a sneer if it was said at all. It was synonymous with words like “communist,fascist and in fact it was usually said in the phrase coined by Rush Limbaugh-“Feminazi”. As a teenager the only feminist that I really knew existed was Hillary Clinton and …..well those descriptions,in the realm of worldviews,were pretty close to accurate-given a few more liberties and minus a few genocides.

  I only knew two things about feminism,one that it was started as a movement by women for the right to vote,and two, that it evolved into the monster that is the proponent for abortion or “a womans right to choose”. Feminist were loud,mean and they didn’t like being women. Or so that’s what the stereo types said. I heard preachers and even my mother once said that there was no such thing as a “Christian feminist.” A whole culture war has become of something that should have been unifying and the reasons are unfounded,unproven and ill researched on both sides. 
     The religious and conservative women claim they are not feminist (as I have done) however many of those same women hold jobs and want to hold jobs and would not like to be told they were not getting the same pay as their male counterparts. The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was only signed in 2009 and the Paycheck Fairness Act is still being stalled in the Senate. I am sure that these conservative women also would not want to have to prove that they were not instigators in sexual discrimination in the work place or a rape anywhere in the their world. I also believe that these same women would want to be taken seriously if they had something to say. If any of those issues apply to a woman and her reality then by definition that woman is a feminist.
    However,according to Gloria Steinem, a woman cannot be a conservative and a feminist. I guess Susan B. Anthony was arrested so only one political party to have voters…..
     In the past few years I have actually self studied women’s issues and feminism writings and I find it is as varied as any writings on Christianity itself. Feminism was founded for truly one purpose:women’s equality in the home,work place and society and that is not something that Jesus looked down on nor is it something should be so severed from religion. We are all created in His image correct? There is also nothing I have found in the Bible that says women are to be condemned to a lower class,a lower intelligence or even the kitchen. The Proverbs 31 woman is not a humble servant like so many try to portray her  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=proverbs%2031&version=NIV   She works hard,makes business decisions and has wisdom (which means that she thinks). So I am thinking that God is pro woman here. Several times in the Bible, prostitutes were used by God to fulfill a purpose, (hiding spies) forgiven by Jesus and not stoned, and even in the Old Testament (Genesis 38) God punished the man who did not take care of his daughter in law by giving her to his remaining son in marriage and caused her to prostitute herself ( the options for women at the time). Jesus visited and discipled women in their homes (Mary and Martha…no mention of their husbands so the argument of looking holy lest someone think you are a whore is irrelevant here) Jael killed an enemy of the state per se’ when she called him into her tent and when he went to sleep drove a nail through his head-and Debra (a  Judge in Israel prophesied this. ) So in reality the “Christian God is anti woman” argument does not work for either side of the feminism culture clash. I think that the feminism cause,at its core is open to all women,even though Ms. Steinem may not agree.

    I recently read a book by a third wave feminist (Jessica Valenti) called “Full Frontal Feminism”,and though it was like reading a liberal version of Anne Coulter (insulting and un informative and thus only enjoyed by those who agree with every word said) I did learn a few things about what is never ever discussed about feminism and women’s issues. She talked about a women’s meeting that was held by feminist organizations and there was a pro-life speaker attending. The speaker was not pushing her pro-life stance, she was there to give an account of something that had happened to her. In her story she told about planning to have her child naturally at her home. She had become dehydrated and had to go to the hospital for fluids,because she had a C-section in the past the hospital was not going to allow her to leave and tried to pressure her into having another c-section there. When she left anyway the authorities came to her house,she wa shackled and taken back to the hospital and forced to have another c-section. She tried to sue the hospital and could not because of laws protecting the rights of the unborn. She came to this meeting to discuss,even though their views on abortion differed,she understood that they were united in their concerns reproductive health issues and rights. What if a woman does not want to induce labor? Have an epidural? For readers concerned….this woman went on to have more children-in home-with no problems derived from her past c-section.

     So maybe the true feminism issues effect all women-when women are aware of it. So many of us are not because we hear one side,or because of our upbringing we only see the fight against Roe vs. Wade. Personally I think that if Roe were overturned it would cause on all out civil war….but thats another blog. One thing I noticed in all my surfing of feminist websites such as Ms. Magazine and Feministing.org is the whole hearted push for legislation. Feminism has become a special interest group and it shouldn’t be. On any feminist website I can find upcoming legislation that in some way is anti-woman and a list of conservative politicians that are for it. Some of these did disappoint me.  Then I can go to a Christian activist website and find the exact opposite-legislation that threatens the nuclear family and or essential freedom and the list of liberal politicians that are for it. My whole life I have heard about all the liberal causes that our tax money  funds. Guns for anti-Israel groups. Advertisers that support gay agendas. Tax money that goes to abortion agendas etc. That being said I was not exactly pleased to find that our tax money also goes to “purity balls” and since we do keep the public schools going,it also funds crappy sex ed. Abstinence only is always taught in one particular way ( I know I have always been an avid pupil) that at some point will fail in some arena of life). The reality is morality cannot be legislated and maybe as religious people we should not be an annoying special interest group. Just as feminism shouldn’t we all need to realize that a politician is just that-a politician. Just because he promises to overturn Roe does not mean all Christians should vote for him and just because he promises a whole lot of said Pro Woman legislation-does not mean he will forget all his other buddies.

   That being said.

I’m still shocked when I hear that a woman is physically abused. I’m angered when a hear a woman still gets raped in this society. I was shocked when I was touched at one of my jobs. I was stunned when I realized I was being discriminated against at one of my jobs and it was ignored because I wouldn’t deal with the situation by transferring. I was stunned again years later when,at yet another job, I was told I couldn’t be openly relied upon  at because “people might think something” (obviously if your boss depends upon his female employee then he is sleeping with her right?) I hate it when I spoken to as if I were a teenager because it happens to be a man doing the speaking.  I’m shocked daily when just in conversation with male friends I find their cold hard judgement is swift and based on the way a girl dresses,speaks and what her dad does for a living. Sometimes I am shocked that we were all raised in the same decade. The sad thing is, I am the most shocked when what I hear from a young man is profound,educated and forward thinking on women…..I guess that is when I realize that maybe I am feminist after all.

 “Modern invention has banished the spinning wheel, and the same law of progress makes the woman of today a different woman from her grandmother”-Susan B. Anthony

“What you should say to outsiders that a Christian has neither more nor less rights in our Association than an atheist. When our platform becomes too narrow for people of all creeds and of no creeds, I myself shall not stand upon it”-Susan B. Anthony

  It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union…. Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less.  ~Susan B. Anthony

“If women are expected to do the same work as men,we must teach them the same things”-Plato

“I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman”.  ~Anaïs Nin

and then there is this….

I listen to feminists and all these radical gals – most of them are failures.  They’ve blown it.  Some of them have been married, but they married some Casper Milquetoast who asked permission to go to the bathroom.  These women just need a man in the house.  That’s all they need.  Most of the feminists need a man to tell them what time of day it is and to lead them home.  And they blew it and they’re mad at all men.  Feminists hate men.  They’re sexist.  They hate men – that’s their problem.  ~Jerry Falwell-

 
 

 http://www.nwlc.org/our-blog/wage-gap-women-still-make-less-men, 

http://www.womeninthebible.net/1.8.Deborah_Jael.htm 

http://advocatesforpregnantwomen.org/articles/forced_c-section.htm

 

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