There’s this little blogging round robin going on, feminism versus faith, misogyny, atheism, and wolves and sheep, oh my. I’m going to decline to link to any of it, because frankly I am just weary of the whole sordid tale. Of course, not so weary that I am unable to get in the last word. 🙂
First off, a great deal of modern feminism is misogynistic, harmful and damaging to women. Then there are the even darker aspects, which I’ve written about before, agendas which have nothing to do with the betterment of women’s lives. That is the truth.
Whenever you get into these discussions, non believers, especially the feminist kind of non believer, is sure to put forth the standard list of quotes that clearly prove Christianity is misogynistic. Enter Tertullian, a useful tool for this exercise. See, Tertullian used some words that seem contemptuous of women, therefore all of Christianity since has been hateful towards women. I can take the words apart, the poor translations, write a dissertation about some of the misunderstandings going on, but I’ve done that a thousand times before.
Here’s the real deal, however. It’s simply not rational to search the entire world until you come to the year 200 AD and manage to locate yourself the recently converted son of a centurion who once wrote something that can be interpreted as misogynistic. It is even more irrational to now take that info and allow it to separate you from the love of your Father, deny yourself salvation, and become an evangelizing atheist. That’s just sad.
In fact, when I really think about it, how amazing it is that you had to search the entire world all the way back to the year 200 AD before you could find a good quote to confirm your bias that Christianity is really inherently misogynistic!
Well shoot, if only you had thought to call me! I have a huge collection of odd quotes from assorted modern cult leaders, red pills, and outright misogynistic Christians. I also have hundreds of thousands of kind and gentle healing words, and a culture build on Christian values that has handed women more rights and freedoms then we’ve ever enjoyed anywhere in the world, throughout all of human history.
Christianity is the best thing to have ever happened to women. The quality of women’s lives in nations that embrace Christian values is clear evidence of that.
I am far more interested in biology, in studying relationships between men and women, in observing what is innate to us along gender lines, versus what is learned behavior. Nurture, nature, culture, biology. Observing men and women in their natural habitat. I’m not interested in feminism at all, feminism is all politics and a bit cultian, too.
So here is one problem that pops up a lot, the personhood of women. Women as actual full human beings, complex creatures having worth and value all of our own, and many men’s frequent inability to recognize this to our satisfaction. Yes, that’s a real thing in the world, part biology and part learned behavior. Women desire to be seen in men’s eyes as actual people, girl-people, but made in the image of God just as men are. Men often perceive us in a more utilitarian manner, how we are useful to them.
I tend to cut men a great deal of slack here, to apply some grace and make accommodations, because with some exceptions, it is seldom a hostile act. It is usually a communication failure, a gender quirk, a misunderstanding. Men are often more action oriented, more linear in their thought, utilitarian. There have been times in my marriage I have been mom, wife, bookkeeper, housekeeper, shopper, chore-doer, and not an actual person at all. A utility. An accessory. A useful item to have around.
Personhood can be an odd concept to try to communicate to men about because they are usually born into it. They know of nothing else. There are broken, wounded men in the world, just beat down by life, but seldom will you ever find them pondering whether or not they actually exist as a person. You will find that in many, many women. Women feeling erased, devalued, not seen. Women who are dearly loved and yet…feeling invisible.
Two men displayed this problem so perfectly this week, Pastor Wilson and Vox Day, an odd juxtaposition, I admit, but bear with me. Pastor Wilson has been running a series of posts about the evils of the world that all have a decidedly feminine flair. Suddenly he must have remembered that he actually likes women, because he mentioned the value of our biscuit making.
Yes, all of womanhood now reduced down to our ability to make biscuits. Very utilitarian. So utilitarian, I think I now hate biscuits.
Vox Day does a similar thing, he too, after endlessly writing about the horrors of women, seems to have suddenly realized we’re somewhat necessary for the future of Western civilization. So he blogs, “building the perfect women,” as if women were some kind of Weird Science experiment in a lab or something. Not an actual person, something all the nerds can gather around and create to their specifications. For the sake of Western civilization, of course.
Good grief. She’s a Person, Tertullian.
I can see how this conflict comes into being, the guy is simply trying to remember he likes your biscuits, but in the process he has now shrunk her down into something so small, so non human, so utilitarian. The entire nature of womanhood reduced down to a few biscuits. Why do men do this? I think most of them have no idea what they do, don’t even see the nature of themselves.
Than you have a woman feeling unseen, unloved, unrecognized and all the guy can see is that he just tried to praise her biscuits.
Those two are Christian men, but there are many atheist men saying the same darn things and much worse, men whose words clearly express they have no idea that women actually exist outside the context of biscuits, or in their case, as a useful tool to validate their own non belief system.
It’s maddening to me, because if you truly wish to be seen, to be known, to be made aware of your own worth and value, you need to see yourself as your heavenly Father does. Look at yourself reflected in His eyes. That is pure, unadulterated love. Unfortunately, both atheism and feminism tend to cut women off from that relationship, forcing us to look towards men for our validation. The problem being, flawed creatures that they are, all they can ever see is biscuits.
You can teach men how to be more sensitive, but you can never teach them how to perceive you quite like your heavenly Father does, and that relationship is the one that gives women our strength and also our gentleness.
So feminism is misogynistic because it seeks to tear women away from the Source of our own power, it separates us from our Father, and it robs us of healthy relationships with men.
But just the same, for crying out loud Tertullian, buy a clue. She’s a person.