Christianity and Feminism

Okay okay I know this is a hot topic. But before you read it I will like to plead with you to read it till the end before leaving a comment because I don’t want thunder and brimstone falling on me in the comment session haha!

Feminism is a word that almost everyone has heard of and people have strong opinions for or against. Discussions on this topic can get heated quickly if not carefully handled. But I believe passion can be destructive if not controlled. So before you go any further with this post, i would like to repeat again, please calm down (whether you are for or against it), take a deep breath and try to read the blog till the end before leaving a comment. Thank you😊

What is Feminism?

According to google, it is the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

To explain this post a little more, I will be sharing real life examples just so readers can have a better understanding.

I have been involved in conversations about feminism. I have heard and seen how the roles of women are often talked about in the world and in the church. Being born and raised in Nigeria, I witnessed what the power of gender is like. I have heard where a woman who just had a baby girl is congratulated with the phrase “ah you need a boy”. As if to say nothing is worth celebrating if it’s not a boy.

I have seen where women are being spoken to in a very degrading way and still expected to answer “yes sir” to the person insulting them. A woman who is beaten mercilessly by her husband is expected to kneel and apologise to her husband because her husband is superior to her. I have seen where a man and his wife walks into an audience and the man is well respected and recognised but the woman’s presence isn’t even acknowledged. I have seen where a couple is walked up to and the person walking up to them focuses his attention on the man without realising there is a woman standing by him. And I would like to quickly point out that this won’t be the same if they were both men.

In my primary and secondary school days, school prefects were selected on academic performance basis. From primary 1-4, I came out first position all through but was denied this role because I am a girl. I was told I could only be an assistant as the head had to always be a boy. Interestingly girls occupied first to fifth positions and the boy who emerged 6th was elected as the class prefects. This never made any sense to me and it still doesn’t till today.

It’s almost like from the moment you are born a girl, a lot isn’t really expected from you. This comes with a psychological feeling that you are less than men.

A girl child is expected to know and do ALL domestic work as she watches her male siblings watching TV all day and if she ask for help from them, she’ll be told off and reminded that the boys have to place in the kitchen followed by a lecture on how she needed to learn all of this for when she gets married. Even though this rule didn’t apply in my house, I saw it happening around us a lot.

A woman who has big dreams and career aspiration is quickly stereotyped even more painfully by her fellow women because of the stigma placed on women like this. They are often called rude, over ambitious and bossy. Sadly years down the line, I still see this trait although not as pronounced as it was back then.

Engaging in conversations with people, I hear the undertone in their voice “a woman should sit at home and look after her children”. I’m by no means saying this is wrong. If this is what you want to do, it’s absolutely fine. I am a mum of 3 and I know how hard it is to raise kids and to stay with them all day as I have done before. However it isn’t good to stereotype another woman for wanting something different.

What do Feminist really want?

I think the definition of feminism by Chimamanda Adichie explains this. She defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.”

Looking at the above as it is doesn’t sound bad. Does it?

Just like almost everything else, there are those who have taken this feminism thing to a whole new level that I don’t agree with; painting men to be our rivals.

In Genesis 2, God created woman to join the man in his team. We are helpmeets. Eve was created to help Adam to look after the garden and also to be his companion.

The power of women is shown in the bible. We see someone like Deborah who rose to the position of a judge. I don’t think God want women to be doormat to men. He doesn’t want us to be rivals to men either.

I feel when we understand our place as women, and when we know the power and the privileges we have, we won’t want to compete with men. There is a glory that is attached to being a woman and that glory is only shown when we stay within the confinement of our calling. The moment we start trying to be men, we rob ourselves of that glow and honour.

As a married woman, I know my husband is the head of my home and I am to accord him the respect that is due him. I am to submit to him and to his authority. Does this mean I loose my voice and myself in this process? No.

The cultural stigma regarding women has been going on for ages. The woman in the bible who was caught in the act of adulterer was brought alone to Jesus Christ. If she was caught in the act then she must have been with a man. Why was the man not brought to Jesus Christ as well?

Thanks to women of old who fought for our rights. If they had brushed everything aside, and not had the courage to press for what they wanted, we wouldn’t have even been able to vote today amongst many other things.

Is there gender inequality? Yes

Is there gender discrimination? Yes. You might not agree because you live in a world where women are empowered. But you will certainly see things differently if you are exposed to life the other way.

There is a new trend where when people gather courage to speak up against something, most times it’s interpreted as an attack and it’s a shame. Whether you agree with how they go about it or not, the truth is that there are fundamental issues that needs attention. There are legitimate issues raised by the feminist movement that truly needs to be acknowledged and looked into and taking them as noise makers or demon possessed individuals isn’t going to help in resolving these issues. You might not feel the impact of what they are fighting for but that doesn’t mean most of their points aren’t valid. And like they say “he that wears a shoe, knows where it hurts”.

With these been said, I for one cringe at some of the things I hear people say about these rights people are fighting for. As a Christian, it should be our desire to see everyone irrespective of gender, treated with respect.

I also cringe at the way I see some activist talking about feminism as though it’s a phrase to let men know that we are fighting them with everything we have and we are here to push them away from their God given positions. A woman is a woman and not a man.

My husband is my head, my friend, my team mate and partner. We don’t fight each other. We help to build each other.

If we all raise our kids to respect everyone, if we teach our sons that their sisters aren’t their slaves, if we teach our sons how to do domestic works, if we teach them to be gentle, nice and loving to their sisters, maybe in few years time, the word feminism will be a thing of the past. Because by then, it will become natural for us all to respect each other irrespective of our gender.

The best way to do the above is to model this before our children. Let’s be intentional about what we do.

“For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.

For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.[a] He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body.”

Ephesians 5:22-30

And just in case you’re not married, the bible says “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.”

So whether you like the term feminism or not, I pray that you believe in loving and treating everyone as you would like to be treated.

Blessings to you❤️

76 thoughts on “Christianity and Feminism

  1. You know I was just about to put up something about this today because I uploaded a video on YouTube about “boys being feminists too” and the attack I got from a viewer was really shocking. I was judged, insulted and literally told it’s against the teachings of Jesus… You took this right out of my heart so there would be no need to even put a post but my draft would go up later today… but am still sharing this, I don’t even care… you put it out in a more broken form and oh I love your posts too… am always inspired

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Gosh I’m really sorry to hear about the attack you had. I know that feeling because it’s happened to me several times. It’s really sad how we sometimes use spirituality as a tool to mask issues that should be dealt with. With prayers and awareness hopefully one day people will understand the truth and stand for it. Thanks for sharing and I’m looking forward to reading yours too. I pray as people read these posts, they understand that we aren’t fighting men and we don’t want to be treated as nobodies just because we are females. Blessings to you my sis❤️

      Liked by 2 people

      1. This made me chuckle but however it’s so true. People will rather ignore the fundamental issues behind things like this instead of dealing with it. Sad indeed

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Really interesting post and comments. As far as religion and female dominance is concerned I believe there are some men who have just used it as a tool to manipulate and dominate women in the same way that they used religion for wars etc. Religion has never been the problem just the men who use it to seek power. Keep the faith 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for visiting my blog. I really like this you said “Religion has never been the problem just the men who use it to seek power.” I totally agree. I pray we all learn to love and respect one another irrespective of our gender. God bless you🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. bamabreze

    I too am sorry that some people male or female can’t understand that respect & love go hand in hand! Thank you for this post!! Living in a country that seems to condone turmoil amongst the sexes in a bit different way but yet still placing us at odds with each other does cause us to see things in different lights. In an age where people are offended by anything & everything women today seem to be driving some of the “looks” we get & give. As a child of the God of love it is our job to build others up period! I pray both of you ladies are treated with the respect that you both deserve, not just by men but women as well!! I couldn’t agree more with the points made here!!! It doesn’t take wearing body parts as hats & using obscene language to make a point or gain respect! Beautifully written!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your comment pretty much sums up everything. Thank you so much for your words drafted with wisdom. A big amen to your prayer and thanks for reading my post. God bless you😊

      Like

  4. Nehita

    Thank you so much for this write up. I’m optimistic that it would get better and we will all learn that all sexes are equal and should be treated as such.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Christianity and Feminism — Grace Over Pain – THE BIG BUCK HUNTER 2018

  6. There has been something God has directed me to over the years, I’ve thought about writing about, but I’m not sure because I don’t want people to be stumbled up. So, I’ll share the main insight here for your thoughts.

    I’ve noticed that it is NOT until Eve eats from the fruit, as well as Adam, that Eve is told man would be above her. It’s as clear as day in scripture. I think women stepped up (Eve taking the fruit) and man stepped down (Adam who was with his wife, not stopping her, and partaking, later blaming her, being cowardly). I think part of the punishment of sin was that God made women step down, and women would struggle under the rule of man (as it makes sense sin is all about humans being the rulers and not listening to God). Man’s punishment therefore would be for them to be accountable and responisble as the head of household, something Adam failed to do in the beginning. He wasn’t honest. He didn’t stop Eve. And he was cowardly.

    We see men still have this issue. They are not accountable for their families nor protective. Men make selfish moves. We see women constantly stepping up in ways that only cause issues, not solutions. Women make selfish moves. What we see in the New Testament especially is meant to show there is equality in a godly household. There is a balance between man and woman, but both need to follow through. And from what I see in scripture, both men and women have a balance in giving and taking. Women are suppose to be risen above their husbands, which is why women can be comfortable having their husbands as head of the household.

    That’s my personal take on it. 🙂 I hope it’s okay. I really enjoyed this post. Keep speaking the truth!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is a deep insight. Never heard or thought of it this way.

      I love how you talked about balance. And this balance can only be obtained when we do things the way God ordained it to be.

      Thank you for sharing your insight on here. I’m really praying and hoping this post is taken the way it is and it isn’t taken the wrong way🙏🏾

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think your post is 🙂 and thank you so much for your kind words. I really do want to read a post sharing all that I talked about because the day God revealed it to me when I looked at the punishment He gave Eve…I was like. “Wow! I get it. I get the struggle now. The imbalance comes from sin.”

        Liked by 1 person

  7. You explained this topic very well! 🙂 I think the main problem with feminism today is the thing with women building up each other by tearing men down. Men and women are different but neither one is better! We’re all human. Each just has strengths in different ways.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thank you sister, you did a good job of balancing your position from both sides. I think more of us should heed the Bible when it says we should each have a true estimation of our worth in view of Christ Jesus being in us and us being in Him. I don’t need to compete with others; I need to be who I was made to be; fill the spot God made me to fill. If I don’t who will???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah I’m glad you understood my point. Amen to not having to compete with others. Our worth is certainly in view of Jesus Christ being in us and us being in Him. I love this quote you gave Sis. Praise God!

      Like

  9. Here’s the thing: God made men and women to be companions, not competitors, not for women to be subservient to men. Jesus began the dissolution of women being treated as lesser people, He appeared to the women first, Mary Magdalene did indeed continue to spread the Way in Europe, and there were many many women who worked with Paul to help spread Christianity. Unfortunately, the reasoning for Paul’s letter to Timothy is buried with lack of exploring the history of the society….there were women who were uneducated that continually interrupted the sermons to the point of distraction, so hence the letter that women didn’t “belong” in church. When God calls someone to ministry, it doesn’t matter the gender, the point is that the individual is called to serve and the choice is obedience. There’s hope coming for women and the confusion of our gender. Ronnie.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amen! Thank you for adding your comment which has added value to this post. I agree with you absolutely. I pray a time comes when we see each other as companions and not competitors.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Hi, Efua. I can appreciate that in your relationship you have chosen to support your husband. I do have a couple questions, though. First, what if a woman wishes to be head of the house, and the husband is content being the support partner? Second, have you actually read the bible? I don’t mean to sound mean, but your vision of spousal support is not what the bible says about women at all. It’s much worse. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for your comment. In response to your first question, I would like to know exactly what you mean by the woman wishing to be the head. If you are referring to her for example going to work to bring in money to the house, then it’s ok if that is what is working for them as a family.
      In this post I am referring to the structure God wants the family to have. A woman is a helpmeet. This doesn’t necessarily mean she is to earn less.
      Domestic roles also applies in this context. Please let me know if this isn’t what you are referring to.

      And for your second question, I have read my bible🙂 and everything I write is from a biblical perspective🙂.

      Please let me know if there is any area you would like me to expand on regarding this topic. Thanks🙂

      Like

      1. Thanks, Efua. I did mean a woman as a true head of the house, including the primary voice in matters such as finances, jobs, children, and sex. The man would take care of household chores and shuttling kids if applicable. A true role reversal. If a couple enjoys this arrangement, do you feel they are… wrong? To be condemned? Something else?
        As for the second question, I still doubt a page-turning read, because the bible is really, really horrible toward women. Many Christians seem to have a way of squaring the horribly monstrous old testament with the new, so I’ll just skip the parts where women are treated like property.
        In the new testament, women aren’t just supporting partners, they are treated as inferior, including their opinion on the entire subject of religion. So the question is, how is marginalizing all women’s opinion on a subject feminism?
        Thanks!

        Like

  11. I’ve been thinking a lot about this. I have had pastors counsel my husband and I and they would tell me to submit, obey, etc. Then tell him to love. But what does that mean? In real life… What does that look like? These pastors wanted men to be in charge and women to stay home, homeschool, and be domestic. One pastor told me his daughter had natural leadership abilities but he advised her she wasn’t to lead men. How sad to hear that as a young lady! We left that church and since then have gone to real counseling and our marriage is so much better. I believe in mutual respect not one being in charge. Our marriage has really changed since we freed ourselves from awful theology. I love the “love your neighbor as yourself”. I said to my husband once, “maybe we complicate things too much. Really to love God and love others is the most important . If we are doing that, marriage problems will dissolve.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very true Sis. Unfortunately I have seen a marriage destroyed as a result of wrong counsel from the church. I agree with you that it seems we have complicated things too much by not following the simple rule Jesus gave – love your neighbor as yourself. I am glad you and your husband had the discernment to ignore wrong counsel and seek for right ones. Also good to know that you both are in a better place. Thanks for stopping by🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This is a well-done, thought-provoking post. I am blessed that I’ve not encountered great amounts of inequality throughout my life. I feel lucky to have been surrounded in my adult life with people who respect others simply because they are kind. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for visiting my blog. I am happy to hear that your story is different. I wish more women could say same. I am hopeful that one day, many more women will be able to say same. It shouldn’t be a matter of luck, it should be a way of life. Blessings to you and thanks again for your comment. It truly does remind us all that there are still good men out there.🙏🏾

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Chimamanda Adiche is a favorite of mine, and I really appreciate your rejection of complete subordination of women, especially with your use of biblical quotes and personal experience. You definitely have a very moderate approach, which is interesting in these polarized times. Do you think the submissiveness of women is a fundamental part of Christianity? Why do you think that is? What do you have to say about Christian feminists who tend to take more dominant roles in their communities?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting my blog and for leaving a comment. In order to deal with issues well, I believe we have to be able to reduce the amount of noise we allow these things to create in our minds, remove religious sentiments, bypass our selfishness so we can get to the root of these issues. In doing this also, we will find our views on most issues to be moderate because to be honest, our decisions to stay oblivious to them will only make things worse.

      I believe that submissiveness of women in the home is a fundamental part of Christianity. I see it from the context of the relationship between Jesus Christ (groom) and the church (bride). I did a post on this and you might want to check it out https://graceoverpain.com/2018/05/10/and-the-two-shall-become-one-marriage/

      I have no problem with Christian feminist who take more dominant roles in the society. Deborah in the bible for example was a strong woman who was a judge (a role dominated by men in her time). I believe people like her were shown in the bible to create a balance. God is very intentional and I am sure He saw this ‘confusion’ happening in the church today ahead of time hence He gave us people to look up to in the bible. Women are human beings. If a woman is qualified to take up a role anywhere in the community, she should be given that chance. However like I said in this post, the intention shouldn’t be to pull down the men. It should be to get the job done and to contribute our quota to the benefit of our community.

      I hope this answers your questions🙂

      Like

  14. This is a fantastic post and you managed to explain this dilemma perfectly.

    “I don’t think God want women to be doormat to men. He doesn’t want us to be rivals to men either” – that is such an important piece to remember! It is not a competition but rather a role where we can grow and lead in our own way, if we just look at it differently. I struggle with the idea that feminism is man-hating, because it shouldn’t be. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is a great correlation and something that I have never thought of. I have always considered myself a feminist, but I never thought about how Christianity could change or enhance the meaning depending on who are you. Keep making eye opening blogs like this and challenging people’s thoughts. The world needs more of that! By the way I recently started a blog if you have any tips for me I would gladly take them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tynia for your lovely words. I’m glad you stopped by.

      As per your question, my answers are:
      Be consistent
      Be engaging
      Follow and comment on other blogs
      Be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit
      Don’t leave God when you start seeing progress. Always remember why you started blogging.

      I hope these tips helps.

      Blessings xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey Lola. Sorry I had to attend to my husband and kids when I got home and yay I am now free haha! So yeah find below my responses to the scriptures you highlighted.

        I Corinthians 11:3
        Absolutely. I wrote a post on marriage which describes this relationship. You can read it here.
        https://graceoverpain.com/2018/05/10/and-the-two-shall-become-one-marriage/
        I agree and this was not countered in this post.

        I Cor. 14:34-36
        It’s very important for us to understand the context in which a scripture is written. This letter was written to a congregation. Paul was not saying women should not speak in church services today. It is clear from 1 Cor 11:5 that women were prophesying in church. In the Corinthian culture then, women were not allowed to confront men in public. Some of the women who had just become Christians thought there new found faith gave them the freedom to challenge men any how they liked. This was causing confusion in the church. Also the women the did not receive formal religious education like the men. So they really didn’t know much and lack of knowledge can make people behave badly. In this bible text, Paul is basically saying here, don’t flaunt your religious freedom in worship.

        I Timothy 2:8-15
        What Paul is saying here is that women should be modest. I talked about this a little bit in my post titled The Power of Nudity | The Spirit of Lust.
        https://graceoverpain.com/2018/06/15/the-power-of-nudity-the-spirit-of-lust/
        Here Paul was not forbidding women to teach. The culture here was the 1st century Jewish culture were women were not allowed to study. So their knowledge was very limited. When Paul said they should learn, he was actually giving them a huge and rare opportunity to learn God’s word. I will liken the behaviour of the women here to that of someone who has just come to Christ. Very eager and passionate for God but still have a long way to go in terms of spiritual maturity. Someone like that won’t and shouldn’t be given position of authority in church.
        Paul actually did make mention of women who helped out in his ministry. Priscilla Acts 18:24-26, Phoebe (Romans 16:1), Mary, Persis, Tryphena, Tryphosa (Romans 16:1), Euodia and Syntyche (Philippians 4:2).
        The Ephesus church had a challenge with false teachers as at the time and just as it is today, women are more prune to fall as prey to these false teachings, hence Paul’s caution.

        I Peter 3:1-7
        I am all for women submitting to their husbands and men loving their wives as Christ loved the church. Submission doesn’t equate being used. That is not what the bible says. Again I refer to my post on marriage.

        Ephesians 5:22-24
        Same as above

        Col. 3:18-19
        Same as my last point.

        Does this clear things up?

        Like

    1. Sis I’m just about to get off the bus. I will comment on this when I get home. I know this bible verses refer to women keeping quiet in church right?😊
      I will explain this in a bit😊

      Liked by 1 person

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