Don’t Be Afraid Of The F Word

fem·i·nism
the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality

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I’m a stay at home mom, and I’m a feminist.

I didn’t give much thought to feminism until becoming a mother. After I got pregnant, and especially once we found out we were having a girl, suddenly Tyler and I were hyper aware of the many issues that women face. During our pregnancy, we would discuss the pitfalls, struggles, and stereotypes that women face, and how we could raise our daughter to be strong, empowered, and equipped to conquer the world. It was during this time, talking and dreaming about our little girl, that we both became feminists.

When we would dream about JJ and who she would be, what she would accomplish, Tyler and I were both agreed that our daughter would not have any limitations put on her. She would have equal opportunity – academically, recreationally, socially, and personally. If she wanted to hunt with her dad, great. If she wanted to dance in a tutu, fantastic. If she wanted to hunt with dad in a tutu – even better! Tyler, being the poster boy for all things manly, didn’t think twice about his daughter being both fierce and feminine, beautiful and bold, great and gracious.

It may seem odd or contradictory that right as I left the work force (for good) to stay at home full time, bake bread, raise a child, keep a home tidy – that that is when I realized I was a feminist.But to me, the opportunity to stay at home and raise my child is the exact picture of what feminism represents in 2016. Feminism is about options.

“Feminism is not here to dictate to you. It’s not prescriptive, it’s not dogmatic. All we are here to do is give you a choice. If you want to run for Prime Minister, you can. If you don’t, that’s wonderful, too. Shave your armpits, don’t shave them, wear flats one day, heels the next.” -Emma Watson

Still, as soon as you use the F word, even in 2016, so many resist. And even more shocking then this, in my experience, is that the resisters are mostly women. Do these women really believe that men should have the upper hand politically, socially, and economically? I don’t think they do. I think, at the root of their resistance, is a fear of the F word, and the what it means to be considered a Feminist.

Emma Watson puts this struggle with the word so well:

“I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Why is the word such an uncomfortable one? . . .I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop. . . We are struggling for a uniting word but the good news is we have a uniting movement.” -Emma Watson

Do we really want to be divided as women over semantics??  Do we want to waste our energy and our power on that fight??

And let me ask you a few more questions, if you feel that the F word is too much for you:

Do you believe women should have the right to vote? Do you believe women should have the right to education?  Do you believe women should have the right to work and be paid as much as their male  counterparts in the same field?

If yes, then you are a feminist. Because that’s what feminism is. **(And guess what – according to the true definition of feminism, so was Jesus.)**

Feminism is about you and your ability / privilege / responsibility / right to DO WHAT YOU WANT, whatever that looks like for you.

Feminism IS NOT about hating men, wanting to be a man, or even doing EVERYTHING as well as man. It’s about the opportunity to be treated with as much respect and worth as men. And if you think that’s fight that’s already won, you are wrong.

(We may have the luxury of being educated and voting as women in North America, but that fight is far from over. Fighting over the semantics and definition of feminism is a complete first world problem, and a sad one at that. There are so many issues that we can and should be united over as feminists: child slavery, human trafficking, rape culture, to name a few.)

For my sake and for my daughter’s sake, I am a feminist.

And you should be too, whether you’re a man or a woman. Because feminism is a woman’s rights issue, and a woman’s rights issue is a human rights issue.

Be a capital F feminist. For your own sake, your children’s sake, for the 1 in 3 women globally who are raped each year; for the 14 million children who are married each year; for the women of the world who can’t vote, be educated, drive, speak in public, or leave the house without their husbands. Be a feminist for those women. And FIGHT for those women, while you live out your feminism here however you choose, in the land of privilege.

I am privileged and blessed to be able to live out #myfeminism as a stay at home mom and a wife who cooks, cleans, and puts away her husbands’ laundry (roll your eyes, it’s ok).

But don’t think that means I’m not a feminist. I am. And I am not afraid of the F word.

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** “When I’ve questioned the Christians who tell me that feminism is not compatible with the Bible, the reasons they’ve given me are that it represents: (a) women who hate men (b) women who are rebelling against God’s created order of gender hierarchy (c) women who don’t embody the loving and gentle character the Bible encourages and (d) women who reject the idea of marriage. None of these things are inherently true of feminism. They are simply stereotypes and caricatures. Feminism at heart is a desire for ALL to be equal.” -Vicky Beeching

  • Jesus chose a women to appear to first after His death and resurrection. John 20:11-18
  • Jesus let women sit at His feet and learn. Luke 10:39 
  • Jesus was ministered to by women, at times in very unconventional and socially inappropriate ways. Luke 8:2-3, Matthew 26:6-10
  • Jesus went against the social norms and law of His culture. John 8:1-11, Luke 8:43-48  

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Here are some other blogs and articles that I really enjoyed reading while writing this post.

 

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