I just wanted to bring this article to your attention. I’m not a self professed feminist because I’m not into labels. However, I believe it’s very possible to be a feminist and a Christian. I know and communicate with a lot of intelligent and loving Christian feminists. Anyway, just wanted to make you aware of this article and discussion. It would be good to hear from the other side of the discussion.
Hi, good question!
I disagree with the article you link to. What the article does is called creating a straw man: Formulating a weak/ silly version of your opposition’s argument so you can easily knock it down.
Katie McCoy gives multiple sources to show there are believers who call themselves feminists, but not the slightest bit of evidence for “The feminist reader filters the biblical text through her personal awareness of women’s collective experiences (most often experiences of oppression). These experiences determine what in the Bible is valid.”
That is firstly a redefinition of feminism, and secondly a baseless statement of which, between feminism and the Bible, is most important to the Christian feminist.
1) Redefining feminism:
Feminism, according to the dictionary, is believing in equal social, economic, etc. opportunities for men and women, and working to achieve such equality for women.
Others would rather define feminism as freeing women from oppression. One of the reasons is that, if a woman socialized to always be the least and give in works with a man who have been taught to expect compliance from women, and both have theoretically equal say, the man will use his say more – freedom from oppression is not achieved yet. Another is that “freedom from oppression” makes it easier to see why feminists concern themselves with things like rape laws.
Feminism does not mean reading everything in the light of female experiences. When feminism talks from a female experience, it is as opposed to always talking from only the male experience. It is not about women replacing God, but about women adding the other part of the truth in a world that speaks mostly from the earthly male perspective. Of course, in a world where God calls believers not to lord it over others, to love others as ourselves, where Jesus can be seen in the least; in such a world God calls us to see the perspective of those who are undervalued as much as the perspective of the top dogs. Ultimately, a Christian follows God, neither male nor female perspectives. But a Christian should still value both male and female experiences for what they are worth.
2) Telling us which will be the highest priority of the Christian feminist:
If a Christian is into helping the poor/ freeing people from oppression/ encouraging people to love one another/ making peace, does that mean the highest priority of such a believer is helping the poor/ freeing people from oppression/ encouraging people to love one another/ making peace, as opposed to following God?
Whenever people who call themselves Christians are against something, the easy accusation, false or true, is: “The goal of [those who do this something] is more important to them than God is!” However, the article writer provides no evidence that Christian feminists will put the female perspective before the Bible, or, by the theories they adhere to, should do so.
As for calling myself a feminist, I do not. People like, for example, Katie McCoy in this article, spread so much misinformation on feminism that I fear people will misunderstand if I say I am. But if people who know the meaning of “feminist” call me one, they are correct: I am. I am not quite sure I like the name, though.