Feminism and Christianity

This is something I’ve been wanting to write about for sometime, but actually a topic I struggle to find words for with out just repeating others.

Growing up I wouldn’t have considered myself a feminist. I’m not even sure I knew what the word meant! The closest I ever got was thinking “there is no way on this earth I am burning my bra!” Of course (fortunately for me) being a feminist does not mean bra burning.

I think what actually made me think about feminism in a new light was having two boys.
This probably sounds odd to some, but I found they were limited.
An example of this was when my eldest who has just started his first year at primary school told me that boys can’t cry at school. It breaks my heart that already he is limited by the stereotype of what it means to be male.
Emma Watson really did get it right in her speech to the UN about he HeforShe campaign. Feminism affects us all, both males and females.

I’ve also came to realise other things. If I go out in the evening and dress up, I somehow become dehumanised. It’s acceptable in our culture for men to shout out at me as if the reason I am walking is for their pleasure. I am not human. I am not equal.
It’s ok in a club for men to grab me and try to kiss me. That’s why I’m there. I am not human. I am not equal.

Objectification is what we see all around us. Female celebrities plastered over pages of magazines. There to be drooled over or criticised. They are too fat, too skinny, wear the wrong clothing, look too tired, the list goes on. Is it any wonder then that this continues into our lives?
It’s men that dominate in government and in business. It’s hard to feel respected.

If you think I’m over exaggerating, do an experiment. On a Saturday night, go for a walk along where the clubs and pubs are local to you, and watch how the younger women are treated. It’s as if we are walking on their territory.
Look at the people who have made it to the top and see how dominated it is by males.

Now when reconciling this with Christianity I look right back at Jesus.
He was living in a culture far less informed than we are today. He was living in a culture where women were well and truly second class citizens. In that time period women were considered weak minded and not given any respect with in society.
Jesus may not have been an out right feminist, but how he treated them was with respect. He allowed women to sit with him and be counted them as friends.
When he saved the women about to be stoned for adultery, he didn’t see her as less human.
When he rose from the grave, it was the women he allowed to see him first. Women would not have been as trusted as men in their testimony, but still he choose them.
He was born into a time where he was heavily restricted but yet he still pushed the boundaries.

You see feminism isn’t about trying to be better than men, it isn’t about hating men, and it isn’t about trying to take over.
It’s about respecting that women are capable. It’s about bringing what it means to be male to something that doesn’t mean you can’t display emotion. It’s about everybody being human.

When I’ve written in previous blogs about LGBT, or about changing the attitudes to cultures, races, and disabilities it’s for one reason. We are all human. God made us all unique, with different challenges and emotions.

Feminism is important because it’s very simply recognising the individual and allowing us all to grow as people, with out being hindered by stereo-types.

Culture is always changing, when it comes to human rights it should be us, the church, at the fore front fighting. We can’t afford to be the ones lagging behind.

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