I believe it is possible to be both a Christian and a feminist. To me, feminism is the radical notion that women are disciples too. Galatians 3:28 says, “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” In Christ women are worth the same and are loved the same as men, by Him and therefore should be respected the same by His people. When I label myself as a feminist, I don’t want to be confused with a “Femi-Nazi” or someone who puts down men. I am a woman who has decided that gender equality is vital in Christian society and always will be.
A good friend once gave me the analogy that she believes in “equal value but different roles between men and women.” God didn’t design men and women to be the same. He didn’t design us to do all the same things. In the beginning, He created one male and one female with differing roles and jobs. My struggle occurs when Christian society backlashes at the notion that these roles can be interchangeable. Don’t get me wrong, I think that it’s totally acceptable for a man to be the head of the household and for a woman to raise the children in the Gospel and to cook and clean. Unfortunately life is too grey for there to be a black and white answer to everything.
He created two different genders on purpose and for a purpose. I grew up being told that I could do anything and I deserved to be anyone I wanted to be. When I went through a phase of wanting to be an astronaut my dad took me to the Evergreen Air and Space Museum and told me stories about the women who had made it and convinced me that I too could be on that wall.
When I grew up and came to realize I didn’t want kids, I struggled with what that meant as a Christian woman. Many people believe that a woman’s role in a Christian home is to bare children and to teach them the Gospel. Never once did I have the inkling to raise my own children or to want to be labeled as someone’s mom. Not only am I scared of royally screwing up, I am terrified of losing sight of my own dreams. I want to work in the field of psychology until the day I physically can’t any longer. It’s impossible for me to picture doing that and having enough time and emotion to successfully raise a family at the same time. It took me years to feel comfortable with the idea that maybe God didn’t create me to be a mom. When I admit that I don’t want children, 90% of people tell me I will change my mind, that I’m young and don’t know what I want yet. What they don’t know, is that I have polycystic ovarian syndrome and the process of becoming pregnant for me will be very difficult and maybe even expensive. When I learned this, I saw it as a sign. Maybe God put me on this earth to be a mother to every orphan and to spread the gospel that way, and maybe, just maybe, that’s okay.
Many churches teach that women should be submissive and silent. But as a Christian that’s not what I read in the Bible. I see women being portrayed as strong, vocal, and important parts of scripture. I yearn for a world in which women who don’t fit the common Christian mold, will feel empowered and okay with their way of life. Someday I hope to see equal male and female leaders in the church, that behind the pulpit will stand mothers, aunts, sisters, and daughters, and not just the typical male pastor. I wish for men and women to be respected equally and that roles me more socially acceptable. Above all, I think that Christian women should feel able to label themselves feminists.
Jesus was a feminist, and it’s time the Christian church was too.