I am a feminist because God has changed me to be so.
As a rule of thumb I am not particularly charismatic in my spirituality and I am generally sceptical of people who appeal to personal experience as a justification, therefore it is with some disbelief that I submit this reason for my feminist convictions, and I suppose, I offer it actually as one interpretation of an event.
Conveniently it ties with with Momentum, in that it occurred at the teenage version; Soul Survivor. After a talk on loving what God loves and serving him, we were invited to pray that “God would break our hearts for what breaks his”. I think my young self expected me to develop a passion for evangelism and biblical teaching in some previously un-reached tribe. He didn’t. At that point I would not be able to describe myself as a feminist. I barely supported a feminist agenda, and my attitude to women’s liberation did not change. But gradually over time my attitude shifted, I found myself agreeing more and more with elements of feminist agendas, then I changed a bit more and here I am. I am a feminist, I cannot hide from that title, and instead I actually use it unashamedly. The goals that we pursue and the injustices we challenge set my heart ablaze in a way that I was expecting it to respond to tribal evangelism. It burns with passion for the cause, and anger at the injustices.
And I am left with a question, a niggling, inescapable question. It isn’t one that I totally have an answer to, but that I am enjoying sitting with. What if, perhaps, this is an answer to prayer? What if, somehow, what I feel when I get all feminist, is my heart breaking in the way that God’s does?
Perhaps, I am a feminist, because God has made me so.
I am a feminist because God values women but the world doesn’t.
Throughout the Christian Scriptures there is a bias for protecting and empowering the marginalised. I cannot escape that there are a number of misogynistic passages in the bible too, but I believe the whole testimony of scripture is one that seeks to challenge marginalisation and liberate from oppression. Women are looked down on, judged, they are blamed for the way that men act around them, they are not given the equality or dignity that they deserve. Men children of God continue to hold onto the reigns of power, to demonise women, to hinder them, to be treated better than the treat women children of God. This isn’t right, this is not fair. I genuinely believe that women in the UK and across the world are being oppressed by patriarchy. I believe that this flies in the face of the Gospel and should anger all who wish to follow God. I also believe feminism is the best tool we have for smashing patriarchy and inequality. Feminism is the best way of fighting for a better, fairer world that gives people equal value, irrespective of their gender, and I believe to long for those things is to be in tune with God’s redemptive scheme for the world.
I am a feminist because God wishes to end women’s oppression.
Next week: Why I am a feminist 2/3
I know it has been a long time coming; a lack of internet and settling into my new job have kind of got in the way of my blogging, but I am back, and as promised I have a series of reflections, from a feminist perspective, from my time at Momemtum.
Naturally they are not a full picture of my time there, but they include a few of the things I was mulling over. So, each friday until I have run out of things to say, I’ll be post a reflection. It will start with a three part look at why I support a feminist agenda (something I was thinking about at Momentum) and then continue into other reflections and some reactions to events there.
At the end of each post I shall tell you the title of the next one, so you can be waiting for it all week/decide not to read it. Or, more accurately because sometimes they come in two parts of with two sides and I don’t want you ripping me th shreds before you’ve read both!
Next post (actually coming later today): Why I am a feminist I/III