An excerpt from a paper I wrote called The Irony of Feminism, which critiqued second and third wave feminism. In this excerpt, I specifically address one of the biggest ironies of feminism: the denial to take responsibility of the single most important trait of womanhood.
May your mind be engaged, and may you think critically on these important matter, especially with a Christian perspective.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) was founded in a time where a large part of the American population didn’t care for gender politics. Others would be incredibly offended by the equality and rights for which women campaigned for, and they would claim that women didn’t need independence, education, or the same rights as men. NOW decided to take action and to raise awareness to the issue of women’s liberation, as well as to rally more women for the feminist cause.
They wrote down what the organization strived for in the National Organization of Women’s Statement of Purpose. In the document it says:
“We organize to initiate or support action… to break through… prejudice and discrimination against women in government, industry, the professions, the churches, the political parties, the judiciary, the labor unions, in education, science, medicine, law, religion and every other field of importance in American society.”
Up until this point, every sane, and even religious, man would agree that women should pursue whatever she feels called to do. This was the philosophy of many men for centuries, even in the days of Ancient Rome.
However, where the disagreement lies is in another statement made in the document which says:
“…it is no longer either necessary or possible for women to devote the greater part of their lives to child-rearing; yet childbearing and rearing — which continues to be a most important part of most women’s lives — still is used to justify barring women from equal professional and economic participation and advance.”
The third-wave feminism is when women began believing that children were not a primary concern for women, and that it was time to modernize. However, with all due respect, it is ironic that women during this time would be crying out for “feminine pride” (wooh), yet the distinct characteristic that makes them feminine was not embraced.
The simple fact is this: men cannot bare children, only women can. Women have a unique ability, ordained to them by God, to be mothers. This is a high calling and responsibility. The female personality, even without children, tends to be nurturing, motherly, and submissive. This was not accounted for, but rejected by NOW. This is truly the irony of feminism. By rejecting motherhood, they reject femininity.
Another thing to point out is that there was one statement that caught Christians off guard:
“WE REJECT the current assumptions that a man must carry the sole burden of supporting himself, his wife, and family… or that marriage, home and family are primarily woman’s world and responsibility — hers, to dominate — his to support.”
Since the dawn of humanity, man was the protector of women and children. It is man’s moral, physical, and spiritual obligation to lay down his life for his family. Even single men must put the women and children above their own lives in a survival situation, as was believed for years. So indeed, man does have a responsibility to provide, to sustain, and to serve the family.
Likewise, the role of a wife and mother was always to have her focus be on the family and home-keeping, even when working. That is exactly what Christians believe according to Titus 2, as well as 1 Peter 3. From a non-religious standpoint, the words of Christopher Hitchens would suffice for the sake of a proper understanding of societal structure, “Women can work. But women don’t have to work.”
In essence, the document went against historically biblical beliefs, traditional morals, and societal norms. Societal norms and traditional morals don’t matter as much as what the Bible says, but it is still interesting, isn’t it? The fact that it was general knowledge that men and women are different was pretty common up until the second half of the twentieth century.
While it must be agreed that women are to be allowed to work and pursue their own calling, and while it must be agreed that they are to be treated with dignity and respect, we should not lay aside what makes women distinctly feminine. The irony of feminism will always remain: they cry for recognition of their status, but fail to see what honor God created them to have in motherhood and submission to godly men.
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
MATTHEW 10:16 ESV
Soli Deo Gloria.