To be crystal clear, those are not scary labels to me, and for the most part I thoroughly embrace them, but how society views them can be scary. Like most groups, the radical individuals are cited and given attention, while the real issues are not. For feminists the image of burning bras and slander against men is what is called to mind for a large percentage of the population. Christians can also bring bad images to mind, people who hate those who identify as homosexual, transgender, or any variation that is not strictly male or female and those roles, or maybe that church that pickets/protests soldier’s funerals, or whatever it is that is bad. Those are the groups I personally identify with, but other religious groups and other political groups get the same view of “Oh hey, look at those people in the news, they’re representative of the the whole group”, when in reality they’re not, and hopefully most people are able to identify that. So while I want to focus on those, there are definitely others that I want to acknowledge. I don’t readily tell people that I’m feminist and a Christian in those words, per se, but I do try to let them know in gentle terms that I follow Christ and try to love everyone, as well as the fact that I believe in equality for everybody.
Now to the fact that I identify as a feminist AND a Christian?! What is that?! Honestly, I’m still struggling with both of those parts of my identity and how they affect each other. As a Christian the basic premise of my life is that: 1. I believe God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (though that’s a much more abstract concept in my mind), 2. Jesus died for my sins, 3. I am forgiven, 4. God loves all people, 5. the Bible is not concrete, as it was written by man. There are a few others, but it’s hard to establish all of them and it’s an ever growing list. But hey, doesn’t the Bible say women should submit to their husbands and not teach over men? Yeah, it does, but as a feminist I have a hard time with that. As far as I’m aware it doesn’t say in the Bible that women are to be the primary supporter of men, or to be doormats. Also, it talks about stoning people and a bunch of other violent crap that goes on, so should we do that? Um, no! Why would we? Why would we think that women can’t teach over men? Why do we think that women need to submit to their husbands? Now, I’m not married and it’s been awhile since I’ve dated anyone, but I’m pretty sure marriage is about loving and respecting each other and supporting each other and accepting each other the way you are, not an unequal balance. Doesn’t it also say in the Bible that we shouldn’t be unequally yoked? Wouldn’t that happen when women submit to their husbands and don’t make decisions on equal ground and authority? I just read a blog/paper on Pinterest about this particular issue, which got me actually writing about this, though I’ve wanted to for some time. It was claiming that the key to a happy marriage is the woman submitting to her husband, and while she can express her opinion, it’s ultimately the husband’s decision as the head of her and the rest of the household. It scares the shit out of me that people actually think like this. How archaic is that?! What happened to Jesus teaching about love being pretty much the greatest stuff ever?!? Obviously that’s a very loose translation, but I think the message still applies. Not that love isn’t necessarily present in a marriage where the woman submits to her husband, but ultimately it comes down to love, not traditional, and absolutely silly, gender roles. So there’s my rant about that. I had a guy mention to me that I should make him a sandwich to which I asked him why I would do that, and he replied something stupid about my gender, which I honestly can’t remember, and then when he told me to “take a joke”, I had to respond that feminism isn’t a joke. We haven’t talked since. How can I respect a partner when they don’t show me the same respect? How can I love my partner when I don’t get that love back? That’s not a healthy relationship (because I’m obviously the expert).
I know I’m writing this soon after Emma Watson spoke about feminism and that isn’t what sparked it, but what she’s doing is great and society needs to shove it and get over themselves, because women are great and should be treated equally.
P.S. My toes peel sometimes, which is really weird and kinda gross, so haha!