The Fall of Feminisim

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The Fall of Feminisim

I do not identify as a feminist based on the current definition of feminism.

I do not identify as a feminist based on the current definition of feminism.

Natalie Ford and Lea Despotis

I do not identify as a feminist based on the current definition of feminism.

Natalie Ford and Lea Despotis

Natalie Ford and Lea Despotis

I do not identify as a feminist based on the current definition of feminism.

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To say that the word “feminism” is a controversial word, in 21st century America, would be an understatement. In fact, the debate over what feminism is or is not has become a topic of debate among people of all ages, especially within high school students. Students often take a stand for one side or the other simply because of what their friends think, or something they saw on social media and so it is incredibly important to first understand what feminism is.

First, let us refer back to Biblical times, where in Genesis 5:3 God, referring to Adam and Eve, says that He created them “Male and female […], and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.”

Then, in Galatians 3:28, Paul says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

If this is what feminism was today, then I would most definitely describe myself as a feminist. I believe that God created men and women equally and it is because of the sin in the world that women were historically mistreated. But, many people who call themselves feminists twist the words of the Bible and make it seem like the Bible declares that women should be less than men.

For example, in an article entitled “The Bible teaches our children to hate women before they can think” feminist and founder of Misogyny Book club Jo Fidgen explains that, “We started with the Bible, and the figure of Eve. Whether or not you believe she was the first woman, there’s no getting away from her. Her name has become shorthand for duplicitous, malleable, irresponsible Woman. In Genesis, chapter 3, Eve is beguiled by the serpent into taking fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Many have said that Eve’s real sin was to be curious. Curious to know things she shouldn’t.”

This is a misconception that many people have: that because Eve sinned, the Bible is declaring that women are worse sinners than men. However, this is simply not true as both were equally punished by God for their sin. Understanding sin is an important aspect of understanding how Christians should view feminism because if people who call themselves feminists believe that men and women should be equal then they should be viewed equally as sinners.

Today, social media and ad campaigns often focus on blaming men as a whole for the mistreatment of women and act as if men are completely to blame for all the issues today. A recent Gillette razor commercial (as quoted in The New York Times) asks “Is this the best a man can get?” challenging viewers to confront issues like toxic masculinity and #MeToo and to abandon “the same old excuses.”

This ad is an example of how men are often blamed in the media, but it also can be used as an example of how feminism today is used simply to create controversy rather than real change. By mentioning phrases such as “toxic masculinity” and the #MeToo movement, Gillette knew that they were going to create controversy which is a great marketing tactic. However, I do not want to associate myself with a movement that is simply used to get clicks on a Youtube video.

Before the 19th amendment was passed, giving women the right to vote in the United States, women had real issues to fight for. They were not allowed to have a say in the government and had virtually no place in the workforce. However, today feminism has become less about fighting for women’s rights and more about controversy and clicks in our digital age because there is not much else to fight for.

Now issues such as abortion that were not an issue in the past, have become “women’s issues” instead of just moral issues.”

— Isabella Francois

The National Organization for Women “has made the preservation of legal abortion its number one priority. Its literature repeatedly states that access to abortion is ‘the most fundamental right of women, without which all other rights are meaningless’” (according to a 1999 article originally printed in The Commonwealth written by Serrin M. Foster, current president of Feminists for Life). However, according to the same article, “The now revered feminists of the 19th century were also strongly opposed to abortion because of their belief in the worth of all humans. . . The early American feminists condemned abortion in the strongest possible terms. In Susan B. Anthony’s newsletter, The Revolution, abortion was described as ‘child murder,’ ‘infanticide’ and ‘foeticide.’ Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who in 1848 organized the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York, classified abortion as a form of infanticide and said, ‘When you consider that women have been treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.’”

Not only has feminism been used to promote abortion, but it also has been used to promote political agendas of individuals who are again using the controversy surrounding it for their own personal gain.

With regard to the #MeToo movement, politicians have used something that was originally created to expose abuse, to accuse and attack politicians in the opposite party. This is not what the movement was intended to be about and if feminism is now about using real issues to leverage political situations, then I do not subscribe.

The so-called feminists of the 19th and 20th centuries would not fit in with the feminists of today as our sisters in the past were able to reconcile their faith with their more progressive ideas.

“Antoinette Brown (d. 1921), for instance, was the first woman to be ordained a minister by a recognized congregation in the United States. Brown was an avid believer in God and in the Scriptures and fought for women’s equality, abolition, and temperance. Sarah Grimke (d. 1873) was a Quaker and woman’s rights advocate whose understanding of Scripture set the stage for the abolition of slavery in the United States and brought attention to the idea of women’s equality with men,” explains Diana Newman, graduate of the Southern Evangelical Seminary and presenter at National Conference on Christian Apologetics on “Feminist Criticism of the Bible and What We Need to Know.”

As a Christian, I believe that men and women were created equal by God, and so if I lived during a time when women were fighting for basic rights such as the right to vote I would be a feminist. If the argument was simply that men and women are equal then I would be a feminist. But today, the question is not whether men and women are equal, but instead how feminism can be twisted to fit one’s own agenda. If this is how feminism is defined, then I am not a feminist.

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