This essay — Feminism and Biblical Roles — is really something. These kids aren’t idiots, that’s for sure, but they do have a nasty little habit of shifting and re-defining reality in order to make it fit into their world view. Example: This paragraph, written under the heading “Feminism: A Predictable Movement”:
From a Christian perspective, the development of such a movement is entirely predictable. In the book of Genesis, chapter 3, verse 16, after sin enters the world for the first time, God says to the guilty Eve: “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
SAT Question: In the context of that sentence, what does the word “desire” mean? Sexual desire? Desire to be his companion? Desire to be ruled by him? Desire to be his wife? Love?
No, silly rabbit, none of that would “prove” that the Bible predicted feminism. So let’s make something up:
This word “desire” is properly translated as, “a desire to conquer”, and implies that Eve would have a wrongful desire to usurp authority over her husband. Furthermore, the word “rule” as used in the phrase, “he shall rule over you,” is a strong term usually used to refer to monarchical governments and containing nuances of dictatorial or absolute, uncaring use of authority.
Yes, that crazy sinnin’ Eve had a desire to conquer her husband, and God preempted that by saying that he should rule over her. Really. That’s what happened, even if a simple reading of the passage says differently.
On the other side of the fence you have biblical teaching regarding man and woman. When God created mankind, He create both “male and female” in His image (Genesis 1:27).
As Dr. Wayne Grudem says, in his book Systematic Theology: “We are equally in God’s image, [therefore] men and women are equally important to God and equally valuable to him. [This] excludes all feelings of pride or inferiority and any idea that one sex is ‘better’ than the other.” This equality is both amazing and wonderful in that it sets Christianity apart from almost all religions, societies, and cultures.
However, the Bible clearly teaches fundamental differences in roles and authority. This is based on the parallels the Bible draws between the Divine Trinity and husband and wife. The Bible teaches that the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) share equal importance, personhood, and deity—and that they have distinct roles and functions which make them necessary, valuable, and complementary.
Similarly, the Bible teaches that man and woman are equal in importance, but have different responsibilities. Coming from a biblical perspective, equality finds its base in male and female, created in the image of God, who both fulfill necessary and complementary roles.
I love the “complementary roles” argument. Would this “separate but equal” ideal be an acceptable stance for any other group of people? If Brown v. Board of Education is any indication, no, it’s not.
The author of this piece is wise enough to not actually list what those roles are — because he knows that if he does, his argument goes straight to Hell. After all, the primary difference between Biblical manhood and womanhood is that the man has all the authority and leadership power, while the woman is supposed to listen to him, have children, and keep house. Religious fundamentalists love to pat the little ladies on the head by saying, “It’s the woman, who raises the children, who has the realpower in the family,” but that’s about as accurate as telling a servant that it’s really him, not the King, who has the authority because, if he really wanted to, he could poison the King’s food.
So which is better: feminism or the Bible? They are both concerned with equality between men and women, as well as with preventing harsh male dominance, yet both have chosen different means to reach those goals, which have led to very different results.
Especially today, feminism attempts to reach equality by abolishing all distinctions between man and woman, based on the assumption that to be equal is to be identical. The Bible, on the other hand, assumes equality from the very beginning and uses that equality as a guard against abuse either in the form of male dominance or female usurpation.
According to the Bible equality is inherent in our very nature as distinct male and female and each gender’s value is highlighted by the way their different, necessary, and complementary roles interact and overlap. However, the ultimate consequence of core feminist theory is a complete lack of distinction between genders, which, according to the economic rule of supply-and-demand does not increase the value of woman but rather decreases the value of both male and female.
Whoever taught this boy economics needs to be shot. Ditto with whoever taught him about feminism.
For the one millionth time, feminism never says that men and women are totally exactly the same and there are no differences. There are differences. But the vast majority of those differences are socialized, not natural, and are not significant enough to justify unequal legal and social treatment of women.
I also love the idea of “female usurpation.” What are we usurping? Why, male authority, of course! Feminism asks why men are handed authority as their birthright. We aren’t trying to take “their” authority — we’re pointing out that power isn’t inherently theirs.
The Bible predicts that if the feminist movement reaches equality, it will not stop there. Instead, woman will replace men as the dominators—and perhaps that is their true goal. But the feminist who is truly concerned about equality would do well to consider the biblical argument, which, when fully embraced, sidesteps both male dominance and female usurpation by emphasizing distinct roles—recognizing that both men and women are irreplaceable due to the parts they play.
I’d love to see where the Bible predicts this.
And no, it is not the goal of the feminist movement to dominate men the way that they’ve dominated women for the past few thousand years (although that would be a fair goal, given history). We just want all individual human beings to have a full array of human rights, and be able to be who and what they want to be, regardless of their gender.
It is much like a high school football team, in which both offense and defense are important and irreplaceable components for success. There is nothing more beautiful to watch than a team that has both functioning and flourishing in their roles. Roles, I might add, that are consistent yet flexible (i.e. the defense can score off an intercepted pass).
Sort of… except a more accurate comparison might be between the team captain and the water boy.
The key difference between feminism and the Bible is that feminism sees any such distinctions as negative whereas the Bible holds that true equality and joy in being male or female require these distinctions.
The Bible teaches that female usurpation and male dominance are the result of mankind’s fall into sin, but biblical manhood and womanhood are God’s cure for both evils. On the road of history mankind has fallen into both ditches, as predicted by Genesis 3:16, but true equality will only be found in the Bible’s teaching that man and woman are necessary because they’re complementary and equal because they’re different.
I ain’t buyin it. The Bible has been around for a pretty long time now. People have made attempts to live pretty closely to its ideals. And there hasn’t ever been a time when men and women were equal. The Biblical view has made a whole lot of people (especially women) completely miserable. I realize that women’s feelings aren’t of utmost importance to many Biblical dudes, but they do matter to people who care about human rights. And from that perspective, Biblical gender separatism has been a remarkable failure, and an abusive and discriminatory standard.
Similar Posts (automatically generated):
- Making a career out of telling women not to have careers by Jill November 15, 2010
- What’s a Single Christian Girl to Do? by Jill October 14, 2005
- The Coot Awards by Jill January 23, 2006
- Because Feminists Invented Sex, Celebrity, Bratty Kids and Dirty Dancing by zuzu February 13, 2007
- Shorter Dawn Eden: Chill out, ladies, you’ve got all the silly rights you need! by Jill October 4, 2006