"I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar" Part 2
-Ellen Willis, November 14, 1981 issue of The Nation
"Feminism...is the cutting edge of a revolution in cultural and moral values... The objective of every feminist reform, from legal abortion ... to child-care programs, is to undermine traditional family values."
"Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is clear that the women's movement must concentrate on attacking this institution. Freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage."
"I am woman, hear me roar/In numbers too big to ignore/And I know too much to go back an' pretend 'cause I've heard it all before... /If I have to, I can do anything/I am strong (strong)/I am invincible (invincible)/I am woman.... /With a long long way to go/Until I make my brother understand."
-"I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar" by Helen Reddy
“The utopia envisioned by ideological feminists would be a world free from any concern for gender--a world where masculinity and femininity are erased as antiquated notions, and an age in which the categories of male and female are malleable and negotiable.”We live in a culture that is saturated with feminism. In the name of equality, feminists demand gender neutrality, insisting that there is absolutely no difference between the sexes. Feminism's indignant cries in the name of justice are only shabbily-disguised attempts to forever do away with the “archaic notions” of manhood and womanhood. Chivalry is shunned, mistaken for chauvinism, and all submission to male authority is considered degrading and demeaning.
- Albert Mohler
Sameness is the goal.
Equal, But Unique
The Bible offers a very different message. Although feminists are right when they say that men and women are created equal, they naturally assume that equal means the same. That’s where their error lies.
Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them.”
God created both men and women in His own image, making us spiritually equal individuals. But He also created us with distinctly different roles. In Genesis 2:20-24, we see that God created woman to be man’s helper. In marriage especially, man was created to be the leader, and woman to be his helper.
Submit? Who, me?
"So, who do you think should be the leader in the family?" I asked.
She smiled before responding to the question. "Well, I believe in a democracy. Both the man and the woman should lead. But, you know, in many cases it depends on the man. Some men just shouldn't lead a family. Sometimes the wife is far more competent!"
My face expressed my disbelief. "But... but that's totally unbiblical!"
This view on roles within the family are very common. Many believe that submission to husbands and fathers shows weakness, but in fact, the opposite is true. Submissiveness is a beautiful virtue. Far from appearing as weakness, it shows inner strength and a spirit that trusts in God.
Colossians 3:18: “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”
Ephesians 5:22-24: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”
Ephes. 6:1, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right."
The gender roles described by God in the Bible are balanced. But since we are sinful people, these roles can be twisted. Unhealthy, controlling leadership in a husband or father is devastating to the dynamics of a Christian family. A girl or woman can mistakenly allow herself to be taken advantage of physically and emotionally by her father or husband, while thinking that she is submitting. Women in these abusive situations must seek immediate, godly counsel.
The Root of the Problem
Feminism isn't really about equality, you see. It goes down to the heart: worshipping ourselves rather than the Creator. Our hearts are naturally rebellious; we have no desire to submit to any authority. Without Christ, it is utterly impossible for us to submit to our fathers, and, one day, to our future husbands. Only when our hearts are before God, broken and humble, can we accomplish this. If we cannot first joyfully submit to the Lordship of Christ in our lives, how can we expect to joyfully submit ourselves to our earthly fathers and future spouses?
You and I may not be feminists, but we still struggle with feminist attitudes. We all have the same constant challenge: to die to ourselves daily, and live for God; to kill pride by putting others above ourselves.
Questions For Discussion
- How does submission relate to the ungodly father/husband, and the non-Christian father/husband?
- How can we help our fathers to become better leaders?
- What does Genesis 3:16b mean, and how does it relate to this topic?
Photo courtesy of Peter Gustafsen