The Other Side of Feminism…
I honestly do recognize the positives from the women’s movement.
And yes, as a former professional, I appreciate the strides the movement made.
Having entered a predominantly male industry, injection molding, I quickly learned that respect is a language worthy of speaking if one wants to lead in an organization. Thankfully, working for my dad since the age of 13 taught me that language. More on that here.
Today, I’m simply mentioning that there is another side. I’ve been criticized for my views on respect – especially those about submission. I’ve been told I’m “the worst thing to happen to women in a long time,” and I’d be lying if I said those words didn’t sting. But if we are going to recognize the positives about feminism, we need to also acknowledge the negatives – a full view of truth is not seen from a microscope, but better from a wide-angle lens. Many writers today are re-defining the term “feminism” to mean “non-discrimination” of any kind.
This is fine, but for those of us who grew up in an different time than now, whose mothers and mothers’ friends were those new to the work world, some even setting fire to undergarments in marches and demonstrations, for those who grew up under those dynamics, there is a little different perspective that needs to be heard and recognized. The word simply holds a different meaning, especially if one was exposed to and surrounded by “fanatical feminists.” What I don’t know, and wish I did, was what the predominant understanding of that word is in today’s day and age. It seems those under 30 are trying to redefine it, while those of us over 40 have a different view, but my experience is anecdotal. My guess is that it depends on the context in which you were raised. This article explains in better words than I can, the damage and destruction that can be considered a result of “fanatical feminism.”
Some take the perspective of Matt Walsh – read more here. It’s interesting.
In the days where corporate executives like Sarah Sandburg are telling women to “have it all,” we need to take an honest look at some of those who did – and the daughters they left behind. We respectfully suggest that motherhood is a wonderful occupation, and mean no disrespect to those who have not chosen this path.
Regardless of whether you work full-time or part-time or not outside the home at all, the issue is not the number of hours, but rather the attitude in which motherhood is carried out.
Dare you to view it as the great privilege it truly is, the way this woman does, even after growing up as the daughter of Alice Walker, a prominent leader in the “fanatical” side of things. She, by the way, is the one who calls her mother, “fanatical.” Others view her simply as a leader. She is also the one who argues that her mother’s servitude attitudes toward motherhood and her fanatical stance on feminism tore her family apart. Her name is Rebecca Walker, and she counts herself blessed to be the sort of woman her mother despises – a mother. I think that is a point worth chewing on. Dare you to learn to speak the language of respect with your kids so that you avoid the teen rebellion stage, and launch them differently than the culture suggests as the only way. Perhaps you will find the joy Rebecca Walker has in motherhood.
I also venture to guess – and mind you, I might be wrong, but I’m guessing that throughout history, there have always been women who knew how to NOT be second-class citizens, regardless of where they worked, who they served, or what they did for a living. More on that another day. I’ll bet they knew how to speak the language of respect. 🙂
Double dog dare you to pick up the dialogue – but respectfully. Thoughts?
My comment is not necessarily on feminism and motherhood but on women trying to gain acceptance in some aspects of the work place.
I am seeing more and more women that are pursuing “mens” careers and I think that’s fantastic. But…. we also need to respect that God made us different than men. My husband is a firefighter and as a man he is built to carry heavy loads, withstand pain and heat, and handle the trauma that he sees on a daily basis without too much emotion. That’s not to say that women cannot do all those things. The part that doesn’t sit right with me is that in a push for “equality” the fire department, military, and police have set different standards for women. They are required to do less push-ups and pull-ups and are given more time to complete a run. Forgive me but that doesn’t seem very equal to me. We are now putting men at risk by making exceptions for the people they trust to have their back. If a woman truly wants to be equal she should be held to the same standard.
My husband tells me stories of women that won’t go into a fire because they’re scared, or women that fuss because they have to carry a stretcher and proclaim that chivalry is dead. That’s not fair.
Either embrace TOTAL equality or admit that God made us wonderfully and beautifully different.
Sorry… I’ve had that mini rant eating at my nerves for awhile now. 🙂
Me and my ladies at church are just finishing up a marvelous study on what it means to be a woman. It addresses in detail the whole feminist movement and how we’ve been raised in it even if our mothers and grandmothers didn’t realize that’s what was happening. In fact, our fathers even raised us in it too. It’s just what culture has been all about for the past 40+ years. This study is called Divine Design and is part of the TrueWoman101 study. I won’t put the link here (don’t want to compete with my dear Nina) but it is truly worth checking out. I can honestly say that my life has been changed over the last six weeks and I can’t wait to learn more in the next few before the study ends. There are teaching videos that last about 45 mins each week and can be found in the Featured Videos section. This teaching is phenomenal and makes me wish I hadn’t already raised my kids. I would definitely teach both my daughter and my son a lot of things about true womanhood and true manhood that is counter to our culture. I have learned that being a stay-at-home mother is something to be both thankful for and proud of. There is no greater task for a woman than to raise a Godly family, love her husband, and instruct and motivate other women in her realm in the ways of the Lord. Although I am a published Inspirational author and I hope to bless and encourage and inspire readers with my stories, being a wife and a mother is most important to me. Respecting my husband, being his helpmeet, and guiding my family beats all the world has to offer. So while I think it’s great that we have the right to vote and all that jazz, those things don’t identify me. And surveys have proven that while the woman’s influence and power has risen in the last 40 years, her level of happiness and contentment has declined. Why is this? God has created us to be “home-minded” whether we have to work outside of the home or not. When we allow the world to deceive us into thinking that happiness is found outside of the home, we open ourselves up to a whole slew of troubles. I am grateful for you, Nina!
Sherri – I LOVE True Woman 101. These are excellent materials. 🙂 Thanks for sharing them! 🙂 We’re all on the same team!
I am in my mid-twenties…so hopefully that helps with context. I always thought of feminism as the fight for women to become equal to men specifically in the work place. What I’ve always had a hard time with is that because there were women before us who charged this path, we are obligated to be like them – we must work outside the home, earning as much as our husbands. The ability to say out loud that when you grow up, you want to be a mom is unheard of (I know I felt shame admitting it, like it was some sin).
What I have learned about feminism now that I’ve worked and been a stay at home mom is that women were right on to start the ball rolling with the right to vote; to be seen as equally capable as men. Women were right on to seek the right to work in the same fields and for the same wages as men. What women overlooked in their demands is the question of who would raise their children and what message are they sending about their bodies when they turn sex into an equal right instead of a divine right.
As a twenty-something lady, I have no problem with women seeking higher education and pursuing a career. I encourage my younger sisters to look at what they feel God has called them to do. Perhaps they feel called to a vocation and that’s great. I love the job I used to work. I just always knew that being a mom was where God had me. Many other women I know are feeling this pull too. Unfortunately, to pay for their education or to not waste it, they feel they must continue to work some.
I will encourage my daughter(s) to seek after the Lord for their fulfillment and to meet the desires of their heart. If they pursue a degree I hope it is for the joy of knowledge, not because they feel like they “have to” because they owe someone or something.
Feminism, while their goals were to augment women, took the approach of playground bully, and achieved this by putting down men. And now we see this everywhere from TV to books to things our kids learn at school. Something that was brought up on the premise of equality should not have to belittle one in the process. This is perhaps just as big of a disservice to our marriages today – not only do women have to work to be seen as equals, they have to belittle their men in the process.
I know this is why I get strange looks, why I hear that my college professors refer to me as “just a housewife now”. What we do based on the knowledge we find in the Bible and His words on respect looks different, goes against the cultural flow.
This got to be lengthy. I have struggled with being “a strong, independent woman who didn’t need any man” like I was “supposed” to be and realizing that I can be all of those things, while serving the Lord and being married and respectful to my husband. I don’t NEED to be submissive or a doormat to my husband. I WANT to be because God tells me to and I want to honor God in my marriage.
Sorry, miss-typed there at the end.
I WANT to be respectful because tells me to and I want to honor God in my marriage.
I’m in my early 40’s and honestly my life could have gone either way but I’ve known for as long as I can remember that God called me to be a Mother – it was my one and only goal. I have very little college education and until 6 years ago, while going through a divorce, I had never held a full-time job.
My oldest daughter just turned 20, she didn’t want to go to college, she tried a semester, dropped out and is still repaying her government grants. She moved out on her own and after a few months her boyfriend called me. His exact words were “I can’t get her to want to BE anything, all she wants is to get married and have babies – didn’t you tell her she needs to be more in her life?” I had to stop and pray for wisdom on that one and I’ve had to talk down the enemy attack many times on how I failed my daughter. The truth is that I taught her to stand up for what she believed to be right and truth, I taught her that the Word of God is the only truth and to hold everything up to His standards. What a wonderful testimony she is of the Mother I was to her, she fully believes that God has called her to be a wife and a mom and that is where she is looking for her future. Thankfully she has moved back home and is no longer with that boyfriend. While she waits on God to move her into that life we have daily conversations about letting Him meet her desires. I have to affirm her every day that her desires are wholesome and true. In the meantime, she has 6 years of retail experience. After 5 weeks on the job she was recognized today with 3 different awards from her boss. The world wants to tell her that she needs to BE ALL SHE CAN BE and I’m proud to say that she is striving to BE ALL HE CALLS HER TO BE.
I have reread this and doubted my wording. I don’t want to come across as a “perfect” Mom, for I am far from it. I don’t want to mislead anyone into thinking that my daughter is wise beyond her years, for the mistakes she made in the last 18 months cost her greatly. I don’t want anyone to think that just because I feel this was the calling on my life and my daughter feels it is the calling on her life that it MUST be the “right” calling for all women, for then we would only have all helpmeets and wombs and no hands and feet of the body of Christ. My 2nd daughter, now 18, is a full-time student at an all girls liberal college pursuing a teaching degree, she doesn’t necessarily judge me or her sister for our desires but she feels led to a degree before a husband and a child – I am just as proud of her!!!!
That whole article was just hard for me to read. I hurt for women who don’t know there is another way. I pray that this article gets out there and whispers into the ear of a feminist who doesn’t understand that growling yearning inside. I pray that just one woman will read it and KNOW truth.
Thanks for sharing!
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