Friday, November 19, 2010

Views on feminism, motherhood and marriage.

I read this interesting article online today today and it really made me think about the negatives aspects of feminism. I have been a self proclaimed feminist for many years, but as I have grown in wisdom and maturity, many of my perspectives on certain issues have changed. I initially became a feminist because of my anger towards my father and men in general. Later, in University I minored in women studies and truly became aware of the plight of women worldwide. My eyes were opened to the many inequalities that still exists on our society and the prevailing view of women as objects. My faith was challenged, tested and assailed over the course of those two years but it also became deeper, more personal and precious to me. During that time I really struggled with my identity as a Christian woman, particularly how God viewed me. I needed to know that I was just as precious and valuable to him as any man and that my gender didn't change that.

Some people may find it strange that I claim to be a Christan as well as a feminist. I am passionate advocating for women's rights and improving their situation, but I do not
embrace all aspects and philosophies of feminism. After having worked in a battered women's shelter for many years, I am all too aware of the gender inequalities that exist even in our own backyard. I am also aware of the fact that feminism have done a great injustice to men by demeaning them and portraying them and useless fools. The movement has many faults, but I also think that it has done a lot of good.

Feminist literature still fascinates me and I am really looking forward to reading a book called "Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message that Feminism's Work Is Done" by Susan J. Douglas. I think the title speaks for itself, but I included a link if you want to check it out.

Concerning motherhood, I have spent a great deal of my life viewing it as drudgery and unfulfilling. I grew up with an amazing mother but I often felt she was taken advantage of and not heard. As a young adult I avoided pregnant women and felt sorry for mother's with snotty nosed, wining children in tow. I even considered never having children so that I would be free to do whatever I wanted.

Then, somehow, the Lord began to gently change my heart towards motherhood and started to heal the parts of me that railed against it. I started to work with women and children in various capacities.... as a nanny, a community worker, a social worker and a mother goose facilitator. I began to view it as a precious gift rather than an infirmity and I began to watch mother's more closely. I couldn't help but realize how valuable motherhood is and how it shapes our communities and our nation.

Where marriage and gender are concerned I think this young mother of six had something very poignant to say.

"On the one hand, sometimes I think emotional intimacy and authentic relationship are sacrificed on the altar of complementarianism. Women concede to whatever their husbands decide, all in the name of being obedient to God, instead of committing to the difficult but ultimately worthwhile task of working through conflict, striving for unity, and agreeing not to give up until a mutually beneficial solution is found. How can iron sharpen iron when it's nothing but a one-way street?

On the other hand, I do think God gave women and men somewhat distinct roles within marriage--this seems to be evident from a biological/natural law standpoint alone. So I get that. I'm an at-home mom and we wouldn't have it any other way. It's not oppressive, it's amazing. I'm participating in God's calling for my life and it's nothing short of a miracle. In short, motherhood rocks. :) Does this make me un-egalitarian? I don't know."

I really like what she had to say on that topic. Enough said.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I enjoyed reading your views on motherhood, marriage and feminism. I sure have my fair amount of experience myself. I would say that I have read books on what feminists think and sadly they do like to bash men.
I agree with Dr Emerson from focus on the family with his book cracking the communication code and Dr laura schlessinger with her proper care and feeding of husbands. They do have many good things to say. I do not agree with selfish ambition for either the male side or the female side. We are to work together as a Godly team and make a strong family. The lord is ultimatly in charge over us and he is the one who started the family unit, im sure he knows how to make it run smoothly.