#myfeminism

I have not done an in-depth study of the history of American feminism, but one of the problems I have with what I know of second wave feminism, is that rather than call men up to a higher standard, it said, “Anything you can do I can do better,” not just in the workplace, but in the sexual arena.

It demanded the right for women to be promiscuous without the double standard that says it’s okay for men, but not for women. And I agree. There shouldn’t be a double standard.

How about this: it’s not okay for either one? How about we all behave decently, respectably and respectfully?

But no, the movement chose to become self-exploitative.

“I’ll exploit myself before you have a chance to. It’s my idea to be an object…now I feel powerful. I can wear what I want, do what I want, sleep with whomever I choose, when I choose, without shame or consequence.”

But yet, you’re still exploited. What sense does that make? And look where we are. Women are more objectified than ever, and we are participating, while complaining at the same time. Objectification of women is a billions-of-dollars-a-year industry.

You don’t get to put your body on display and use your sexuality as a weapon while at the same time asking men not to see you as a sexual object. It just doesn’t work.

And then there’s this hypocrisy, seen at the march: “I am more than just my body! I have a brain, I demand respect!” says the woman with a vagina hat on her head.

Just, no.

In addition, the exclusion of pro-life, pro-woman, women is hypocritical. That’s not very pro-choice is it? Perhaps there needs to come a separation between the pro-choice movement and the pro-woman movement?

It’s one thing to say you support the right of a woman in crisis to make the hard decision to end a pregnancy but to show up to an event wearing this, is despicable.

According to news outlets, this is Kierra Johnson, who heads the pro-choice organization, URGE

They’re showing all their cards.

I do not stand in solidarity with that brand of feminism. #notmyfeminism

HOWEVER…

Not every woman who marched in Washington or in cities around the globe was there because she wants the right to sexual freedom or to abortion on demand. That’s a caricature. Those were the most eye-popping, jaw dropping, parts of the story, no doubt, but it isn’t the whole story.

Come on, y’all. You’ve been saying for years that you can’t trust the media. So, why now do you decide they’re telling you the whole story?

Below the circus of it all, is a real cry. A real and legitimate need. Perhaps you should pay attention to what people are saying and feeling, even if you might end up disagreeing, in the final analysis? It will require you to drop your defenses, but it’s worth doing.

My Facebook news feed was covered with mocking memes and rude comments, that would seem to be right up President Trump’s alley (at least the old Donald – perhaps not the “new” Donald). Here’s an example:

screenshot_20170123-123716534

Real nice. An Indiana senator even shared it. #klassy

I don’t pretend to know why each and every woman chose to march, but many marched simply to say to the incoming president, we will not tolerate the kind of speech, and behavior, we’ve heard from you in the past.

We are not objects. We are not here for your pleasure. We come in all shapes and sizes and colors, and no matter how much money and power you have, we are not to be exploited. No, you cannot grab us wherever and whenever you please.

And a man like that ought not be the leader of the free world. So, now that you are the leader of the free world, we expect you to repent. We expect you to do a 180 degree turn.

We need to hear that you are sorry. Truly sorry, so much so, that you will never do it again. You will never speak that way again. You will never grab, or claim to grab, a woman again. You will not chalk it up to locker room talk, as if that makes it okay. You have the responsibility to make women feel safe, not condone threatening behavior.

And for men who cannot comprehend this: more of us than you might imagine have been abused in one way or another. Many have been physically or sexually abused. We have been exploited. We have lost jobs because we wouldn’t comply with our employer’s sexual desires or demands. We have been humiliated because of our weight.

We’ve been held to ridiculous standards which no woman can reach without major surgery. The porn industry and Victoria’s Secret has told us how we should look and that’s what many women are competing with for their husband’s attention.

Advertising constantly tells us that we aren’t enough – we need to be more, do more, get more, look better, lose weight, gain weight, or whatever.

I’ve experienced it. I’ve felt pressured by the standards. I’ve worked for the man who humiliated me and made sexual advances toward me at a time when he knew money was tight for us. I’ve heard the disgusting comments and been touched without permission.

We are tired of it. We do not expect the President of the United States of America to feed the beast. We expect him to join us in slaying the beast, or at least shut up and stay off Twitter, and speak respectably, if he can’t do that.

The feminism (and I really don’t even like to use that word because of what I said in the beginning) I support is born out of my relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s born out of an understanding that we live in a fallen world, but in the beginning God planned for men and women to stand shoulder to shoulder and steward a good creation.

We are both equally made in the image of God, and as such, we have gifts of equal value to bring to creation. In the Kingdom of God there is no race and there is no gender – there is just all of us working together and serving one another in love. We are free to prefer one another without fear of being exploited, or that our own needs will go unmet.

I see a Jesus who elevated women far beyond what we can even grasp because, honestly, we have come a long way in America. We have equal rights today, so it’s hard to picture what things are like in places where true oppression still exists.

Women around the globe came out in support of their sisters, who are still oppressed.

There are parts of the world where women are still held as property.

Their beauty is feared, it’s a source of shame, so they’re covered from head to toe.

Women are victims of genital mutilation in order keep them under control.

They’re left to die as babies because they aren’t able to produce heirs to carry on the family name.

They’re sold in marriage when they are still children. They’re sold into sexual slavery. Western men spend thousands of dollars to travel across the globe just to take advantage of them, like they’re paper plates to be used and thrown away.

It’s disgusting. It’s wicked. It’s evil.

In some parts of the church women are still treated as property, as things to be seen and not heard. Parts of the Gospel, the Good News of the Kingdom of God, are used to silence them. Lack of understanding and a twisting of Scripture keeps many women in bondage.

No, my Jesus came to set us free to love and serve one another – to submit to one another, all of us. The whole church. Male and female. I lead with my strength and you lead with yours, in the home, and outside the home, where appropriate. I use my strength to serve you and you use yours to serve me and others. That’s the way it is supposed to work.

No person is silenced or squelched, regardless of gender.

The feminism I stand with doesn’t want to rule or dominate men. It respects men and it respects other women. It realizes that we all need each other and we need to work together to bring freedom where it does not currently exist. We need to use our freedom to be a voice for those who are silenced.

And, finally, I’d like to say that man-bashing has no place in my feminism. I know countless good, honorable men. The good ones far outweigh the bad, in my experience.

My husband is one of them. He loves and serves our family tirelessly and has loved me when I’ve been quite un-lovable. He makes me feel honored, valued and respected as a person, made in the image of God. We’ve had to fight through a lot to get here, but we’re here.

A feminism that brings division between men and women is not my feminism. We need each other. We need to be allies to one another, because that’s the Kingdom of God.

As I said in the beginning, I’m not a scholar. I didn’t take a class in women’s history in college. I can’t debate you or get into deep philosophical discussions. I might not have chosen the best, or right, wording here, as I just sat down and let loose on the keyboard.

BUT I know what I know and I’m tired of all the vitriolic stuff on Facebook. There are two sides to every issue and we can’t paint everything with a broad brush. Yes, America has come a long way. We are blessed just because we live here. That doesn’t guarantee everyone will have smooth sailing and it doesn’t mean there isn’t more work to do.

I pray that Donald Trump really is successful. I hope he is. I hope he turns out to be the best, wisest, president we’ve seen since Abraham Lincoln. I’m open-minded and willing to give him a chance.

But, I support the right of women to call him to account. That’s the job of the people.

And, finally, women, please – stop exploiting yourselves in the name of freedom. You’re hurting yourself and your own cause for future generations. I have two girls to send out into the world, and the last thing I want is for them to have total sexual freedom, lack of restraint and a backup plan to take care of the consequences.

That’s not freedom at all. It’s bondage.

And take off that stupid hat. Gah.

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