3 Reasons Why I’m Not A Feminist
Feminist. That word is emotionally charged, isn’t it? Some women embrace it proudly and boldly. Others may identify with some feminist ideals but distance themselves from the word. Still other women resent any tie to feminism and see it as an affront to womanhood. And I think most men just run far, far away from this conversation.
January’s Book of the Month is The Feminist Mystique Mistake: The Radical Impact of Feminism on Church and Culture by Mary Kassian. As you can tell from the title, it counters ideas presented in Betty Friedan’s 1963 book, The Feminist Mystique, which sparked the modern feminist movement. Kassian provides an excellent and thought-provoking look into the history of modern feminism and the implications on society today. It’s a bit academic, so don’t start it expecting a beach-read. Yet, it is immensely informative, challenging to mainstream culture, and well worth the time.
So, preliminarily, what is feminism? If it were defined simply as promoting the dignity and worth of women, sign me up. That is not, however, what it has come to mean. Rather, feminists promote “equality” between the sexes in all areas of society, but by that, they typically mean an elimination of gender – they’re not really advocating “equality” so much as “sameness.” Feminism has also become synonymous with liberal ideology and politics.
In short, here are 3 reasons why I’m not a feminist:
- The Beauty in Gender Differences. I think we can all agree that, at a minimum, men and women are different biologically. Regardless of how hard feminists advocate gender neutrality, there are undeniable distinctions. Along with pure biology, there are feminine and masculine traits. I believe that God intentionally made us male and female. Ignoring or dismissing this is troublesome and contrary to nature. Femininity is something to embrace and celebrate. Of course, men and women are equal – but that does not mean that they are interchangeable. Feminists supposedly stand for women, but at the same time they are working to essentially eliminate womanhood. As Kassian points out, feminists saw the traditional role of women as a burden and prison, so they “desired to overcome their differences and name and define themselves to be just like men.” This contradiction fascinates me.
- The Invaluable Role of Homemaker. With their efforts to be “just like men,” feminists encouraged women to become completely independent of men, which of course meant complete economic independence as well. Today, as Kassian points out, “[p]aid employment is regarded as the only type of work with significant social worth. Work in the home and caring for children has been devalued – relegated to the domain of the menial.” (Please note that valuing homemaking is not the same thing as saying that women should never work, should not pursue higher education, or that the stereotypical 1950s housewife is the prototype.) The fact that feminism has demeaned the role of wife, mother, and/or homemaking generally is beyond sad. I cannot think of a more honorable and necessary profession than caring for your loved ones well.
- The Falsity of Self-Empowerment. As Kassian explains, Mary Daly, a prominent feminist, “encapsulated the basic premise of feminism as the self-appointed right to name the self, the world, and God.” This is what has always stood out to me about feminism. The philosophy appears to place women above all else. And it encourages them to shed any moral obligation in favor of pursuing their own desires. This is false liberation, because it essentially and ultimately leads to self-worship. As I see it, real freedom comes from embracing the feminine role as God intended.
That being said, the modern feminist movement shed light on matters that did (and do) deserve attention. Men have not always handled their role well or treated women with sufficient respect. Of course, that is not okay. I just don’t think the remedy is to eliminate womanhood; instead, we should increase our focus on true masculinity and femininity.
Whether or not you consider yourself a feminist, have you taken time to understand the roots of the modern feminist movement? If you have and hold to your beliefs, I respect that completely. We’ll agree to disagree. What concerns me is that feminist thought has been so forced and ingrained into our culture that few stop to consider what it really means and how it’s affecting them.
I highly recommend this month’s book. You can get a copy of The Feminist Mystique Mistake here.
I would love to hear your perspective – Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why or why not?