Friday, November 11, 2011

Feminism or Misogyny? A Lament for the Death of the Woman

Let me ask you a question. If you were a female that had all of the traditional traits of a female, and someone told you that you needed to rid yourself of as many traits that characterize you as female in order to take upon as many traits that characterize males as you possibly can, would you call it "feminism"?

Let's get our minds around this for a moment. Modern feminism (via Margaret Sanger, Gloria Steinem et al.) essentially argued (although I don't think they ever did so explicitly) that if women were ever to be considered as equally valuable as a man, they must pursue the things that men pursue and take upon the same traits as men, as they would then be capable of the same "successes" as men. Once they did so, they would finally assert themselves as equals in all things.

Now, I think their campaign, for the most part, was successful in terms of convincing our society. Women began to (partially) shun their traditional roles as housewives and mothers, they started to wear pants instead of dresses, they shortened their hair, and (most importantly in the minds of many feminists) they began to practice what they considered their reproductive rights (i.e., contraception and abortion). The last of these was considered an essential for any woman who wanted to compete with men in the work place, or even to live as men live, as Margaret Sanger argued, men can have sex with women without consequence, because he can walk away, but the woman cannot walk away from a pregnancy that results from sex. Hence, men are superior to women in their pursuit of pleasure, and women must be as capable of the same feats as men, or (in Sanger's mind) they would not be of equal value. Although people aren't as explicit with this anymore, I recently heard this argument resurrected by a lawyer who said that unless women can have abortions, and she chooses to do that when her career is on the line, she will never be able to compete with men in the workplace. Hence, abortion is necessary for equality. I would add that this was the primary push for contraception by Sanger as well. Contraception makes us all equals because childbearing hinders a woman's progress to become like the male (obviously).

Now, you may have thoroughly drunk the Kool Aid on this one. In fact, I'd be shocked if you hadn't, since our culture no longer questions any of these things. The movement was so successful that these assumptions and the daily practices built upon them have become the norm. No one questions. Like good little workers, they just go about doing, and leave the thinking to the previous generations in whom they place all of their trust and hope that they were smart enough to get it right.

I don't have such trust in the previous generation, especially since that generation ran counter to the entire history of the world, and especially counter to the Bible and Christian doctrine for its entire existence beforehand. So I do question it. I don't care so much about dresses to jeans, although it can express gender distinction. I care a little about length of hair because it does express a gender distinction according to the Bible; but I care a whole lot (obviously) about biological gender distinction and how it evidences the woman's God-given role to play in the world (which I'll discuss below).

Whether or not one has drunk the Kool Aid, however, is one question; but my main contention here is in the name itself, and whatever you believe, I hope that you agree with me that calling a movement that seeks to annihilate every ounce of what makes a woman distinctly a woman so that distinctions can be turned into similarities with the man, should be called anything but "feminism," as this is not a lifting up of women, but a destruction of womanhood altogether.

Now, I believe it is impossible to destroy it altogether, and our culture proves that. Not all of the women who have been duped by pop feminism have ceased from having all children (just most of the children they would have had). They have not all cut off their hair (only those who are trying to become professors in universities as the ideal feminist consistently keep their hair chopped off). They have not all shunned the home life completely (just in terms of attempting to balance it with a career)--our modern school system, where we send our children off for most of the day, helps the woman to do this. But you do see that women in our culture, in general, have come to pursue traditional male roles much more than they had before, some of the younger generation even seeking to talk "like men," which is always so attractive.

So how is this all feminism? If someone told me that I had to change everything distinctively male about me in order that my male characteristics appeared much closer to female characteristics in order to be equally valued, I don't think I would call this "masculinism." It would be absurd for me to do so.

Now, what most feminists will say is that these roles and traits are only traditional, and were made up by men in order to place women in subordinate roles. Of course, that's complete nonsense, and easily refutable, since it is the biology of the man and woman that set them apart and feeds into their roles, not made up traditions. Women are usually the physically weaker sex and it made sense for them to stay at home and do work that did not require you to lift a 200lbs or hunt large animals (yes, it's still work when you're at home--another debunking of the pop-feminist myth that women who stay home are lazy). Men were also adorned with strength for defense of the household. Hence, it made sense to have him go off to war, and the woman to stay home. But the biggest biological factor for the woman, and Sanger as well as other feminists knew this, is the bearing of children. The role of woman is linked to her biology in terms of bearing and raising children. This is not a made up tradition. It is a massive part of who the woman is as a woman.

So ask yourself for a moment. What would naturally occur in the relations of a man and woman without the unnatural obstruction of a foreign agent to hinder what would occur? The woman, according to her nature (i.e., who she is as a woman) would have children. She would produce milk to rear them. Her superior abilities to oversee a household exists for her to raise her children. They are, hence, wasted on a Fortune 500 company, not because the woman can't run that company equal to, or even better than, a man, but because that is not what she was meant to do with those abilities.

Again, you may not like where this is going, but why in the world would you call a movement that argues against exalting the biology of the woman and supports her suppression of her biology "feminism"? It's simply the opposite. Women today have been trained well that they are worth less than those who make a name for themselves as men do in the workplace, or accentuate their submissive femininity versus being a "smart and strong person" (which I guess means taking a dominant posture like a male), and so they have become true believers, unlikely to ever return to the days when women were most satisfied and pleased to be women.

For those of us who are true feminists, and I have always considered myself as such (having come away from the pop-feminism I thoroughly believed as a child--in fact, I used to believe that women were better than men and hence should run everything), it is truly a sad thing to see angels fall to earth in order to become equals with dogs (no offense intended toward my own gender). But the woman is a sacred creature. Within her alone does the God of the universe still create. I've always said that if we knew where Eden was, the place of God's creation, we would build a shrine around it. Millions, if not billions, would sojourn there for the mere chance to gaze upon it, or even, if they dare, touch it. We would do all this because we would know that the hand of God had touched that sacred place. Yet, that place is gone, but there is one place that remains upon the earth where God still creates, where His hand has still touched, and that is inside the woman when He creates in her a child (Gen 4:1; Exod 4:11; Job 31:15; Ps 139:13). Is her womanhood not sacred, and is it not therefore true that she who accentuates her womanhood is sacred? In other words, isn't it rather true that feminism exalts the woman in her distinctiveness, not in her similarity with the man? Isn't it rather true that she loses her sacredness when she is told to lose her distinctiveness or even to try to hold onto both, as one must give way to the other at any given moment (i.e., you can have children or a career at moment x, y, and z; but most modern careers do not allow you to have both within those same moments of time).

What I'm saying is not going to change our culture. It's not going to change your mind if your life is steeped deep into the muck and mire of pop-feminism (usually in practice, since theory was the duty you gave to your twentieth century forebears). To some extent, there's nothing we can do now in terms of our society as a whole. We simply have to make accommodations for the way things are in our own lives and in the lives of others. We've just lost what was vital to us, and we await its ever increasing consequences. So I'm really just asking you to mourn with me the loss of something sacred-- perhaps, our most sacred creature of all. She was God's final answer to a humanless world when no other creature could accomplish her task. She was the hand that rocks the cradle, and through it, ruled the world in a very different way than the way of the man (a far more powerful way than the path of the man's). Behold, the ruler of the household is gone. The salvation of our children's world is missing. She has left us because we treated her poorly. We knew not what she was, so she became what we are, and now the society fastened by the bolts of her work sinks in ruin. She can do our work better than we can, but we cannot do hers. No one can. There is no replacement that will do. She was unique among all God's creation. And because, as fools, we did not celebrate her, she will no longer hold our world together.

Whatever pop-feminism is, it isn't feminism. One who seeks to annihilate the distinctions of the female can never be considered such by thinking people, but this philosophy thrives upon people not thinking. Our task now, as Christians, is to mourn our losses, seek out a recovery within the Christian subculture that unthinkingly has adopted much of these male chauvinistic assumptions, and begin to celebrate and honor women (starting with our wives) at home. We need to shun all demeaning language or insinuations that would assume the falsehoods of pop-feminism that celebrates every small move a woman makes in becoming more like a man, and begin to speak well of women who do the good of God in the world by having and raising children as the managers of the household. If we fail to exalt the woman in her "distinctives" as a woman, we are no better than the preachers of pop-feminism who worked hard to destroy the ordered world and return it to a less humanly filled (working toward a chaotic/humanless) state.

And that is really the key here. Christianity has always stood against the religion of self that pervades our culture, that gnosticism that seeks to shun the image of God in order to represent itself as superior. It was the much celebrated, gnostic Gospel of Thomas in our culture that argued that women would only be worthy of salvation if they were turned into men. Christianity, of course, would say the exact opposite (1 Tim 2:15; 5:9-10; Titus 2:3-5). The more of a woman she becomes, the more worthy she becomes, because her true humanity (i.e., that which is created to function as a submissive representative of God that works toward a human-filled world) can only be expressed through her femininity (i.e., her female biology). It is the gnostics who wanted to divorce body and soul, the expression of humanity through gender from humanity, which was seen as essentially male, itself). Hence, our gnostic culture hates women because it hates children. It hates children because it hates women. The two are inseparable. In gnosticism, women either comply and refuse their biology in order to become like men, or they are seen as objects, void of souls, to use and abuse for the pleasure of men. Sound familiar? It's not a mere coincidence that you have such an acceptance of pornography in a culture that pushes so forcefully for pop-feminism (even as pop-feminists protest it), since pop-feminism itself feeds into the mentality that creates it. But we who have seen the truth of Scripture are not gnostics, and I refuse to call what is utterly misogynistic "feminism" ever again. I hope you'll join me.

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