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On being a feminist

On being a feminist

Rachel Held Evans writes about being a feminist in her blog item, “Confessions of an accidental feminist”:

I always laugh a little to myself when I receive a Google Alert informing me that someone on the internet has criticized me as a “bitter, angry woman” intent on destroying the Church with my “radical feminist agenda.” I laugh because if these bloggers actually knew me, they would know that I’m more goofy than angry, more hopeful than bitter, and far too disorganized to lead a movement. If they knew me, they would know that I don’t fit into their distorted stereotype of what a feminist looks like, that I don’t hate men or burn bras or crave power, that I—like most feminist—simply believe that women are human and should be treated as such.

Most of all, if these critics knew me, they would know that it isn’t feminism that inspires me to advocate gender equality in the Church and in the world; it is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

And so it is ironic that many Christian complementarians/patriarchalists—(who advocate hierarchal gender relationships in the home and church)—seem to assume that egalitarians like me—(who support mutuality in the home and church)—must have gone off to a secular universities, majored in women’s studies, and come back to impose these “cultural values” onto Scripture and the Church. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this story, it is not my own. I didn’t learn to be a feminist from Margaret Atwood or Simone de Beavoir. I learned to be a feminist from Jesus.

It wasn’t a formal feminist education that taught me that ontological equality cannot be separated from functional equality. It was the boy in my youth group who, after I delivered a testimony in front of my classmates, complimented me on my speaking skills and said, “You would be a great preacher, Rachel; too bad you’re a girl.”

Perhaps Evans has learned what we all learn eventually,

“I don’t know what a feminist is;

all I know is that’s what they call me

when I express an opinion that

distinguishes me from a doormat.”

— Rebecca West, Born: December 21, 1892- Died: March 15, 1983


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Rod Gillis

It is of interest that feminists in the church must constantly respond to their being a feminist as if it were an accusation.

Rachel Held Evans finds Jesus to be a

proto-feminist. It is a radical statement, a statement directing us to root issues. Such is important given that the Church that proclaims Jesus, like organized religion in general, including Anglicanism , continues to be a perpetrator of sexism and a society based on patriarchy.

Bill Dilworth

1913? I truly had no idea that the word “feminist” had been around that long (it’s a great quote, too).

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