Feminist or Not? | Enduring All Things

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Feminist or Not?

I've never really identified as a feminist. However, if someone were to ask me directly, I would say that yes I am a feminist. I would say this simply because I am a woman and I believe women should be treated equal to men in society.

However, the other day somebody posted an article on Facebook about Mark Ruffalo standing against an anti-feminist movement. I was intrigued at first because hello? Mark Ruffalo. But I was later intrigued because "Women Against Feminism?" That's a thing?

As I read through the Women Against Feminism Facebook and Tumblr accounts, I started to realize that I agree with some of the stuff they are saying. So now I'm really not sure if I'm a feminist or not. I don't feel very comfortable stating whether I am or not because I am not sure what exactly "feminism" is these days. I sort of know what it's supposed to be. And I have an idea of what society makes it out to be. But I'm not so sure true feminism really is those things.
So I decided I would just tell you all what I believe. Some of these may seem "feminist" and some may not. But that's me. So let's get started.

I believe in gender equality.

I do not believe in putting men down in the name of feminism.

I do not believe that I am a victim.

I do not believe that all men are pigs and I am not scared of them. I may be scared to go out by myself at night in a dark, sketchy part of town because of the reputation of the area, not because of the reputation of men in general.

I do not believe that I am entitled because I am a woman. I don't believe I should demand respect because I am a woman. I believe I should earn respect and I take responsibility for my actions.

I do not believe that most men still identify as the stronger gender in all areas.

I do not believe in placing all men under the same chauvinistic umbrella.

I believe in equal rights for men and women. I believe I should have the right to vote, own property and receive wages equal to men. I believe marital rape, domestic violence, and workplace harassment should be considered crimes. I am very grateful for the feminists of the past who helped make these things possible in the United States.

I believe women in other parts of the world (and some still in The States) do not have the above rights and I am completely supportive of the changes that need to happen.

I do not believe men and women were created the same. We are different. That's a fact. There are things (such as bearing a child) that one gender can do and the other can't. And I don't believe God makes mistakes. I think He made men and women different for a reason. Perhaps to fill different roles. If he thought our genders should be the same in every way, he would have only created one gender.

I believe men and women should be equal in society even if they aren't the same in every other way.

I do not believe that women must act feminine and that men must act masculine, but I believe they can if they want to and are comfortable with it. I believe that the social norms surrounding these stereotypes have no place. However, I also believe that we should not go so far in the other direction that we begin to oppress women who want to be feminine and men who want to be masculine.

I believe that women superheros can be just as awesome as men superheros. I believe more of the women from the comics should start showing up in our mainstream superhero movies and TV shows these days. And I especially believe if a woman does a really awesome stunt in a superhero movie, toys should be made of her doing that stunt! She should not be replaced by her male counterpart in the action figures! (Here's a cute little video about the issue).

Update: Pearson and I went to target after Captain America: Civil War came out and I was pleasantly surprised at the presence of a variety of Black Widow paraphernalia. But guess who was missing... Scarlet Witch. I guess we're going to have to fight this one character at a time...

I believe being a working woman in the business world, and being a homemaker are both valid choices (among many other choices out there). I believe each woman should be able to choose what she wants to do and should not feel pressured, shamed, or oppressed by men or feminists to do one or the other.

I believe most women can pull off a gorgeous gown on the red carpet, but I also believe most women are intelligent, hard working, and determined (just like most men). I believe that these things are more important than their looks and should be discussed as well.

I believe that if women want to respect themselves and their husbands, they should dress modestly. However, I also believe that modesty looks different for different women. I do not believe that it is women's responsibility to keep men from stumbling, but I do believe that if most women knew how hard it was for men, they wouldn't want to dress immodestly anyway.

I believe that the modesty issue is and should be more about not wanting to bring attention of any kind to yourself (1 Peter 3:3-4). We (men and women) should care more about our inside beauty than how we look on the outside. Though that's much easier said than done. Why do we care so much about the way we look (myself included)?

I believe women should be able to keep their own last name in marriage but I also believe they should be able to take their husband's if they want. It's their choice and nobody else's.

I believe that abortion, at any stage of the pregnancy, and under any circumstance, is murder and is wrong.

I believe in my biblical role as a wife. I believe unconditional love and respect should be given by both partners in a marriage.

I believe that a marriage relationship should reflect the relationship of Jesus to the church. Jesus is the head of the church. He loves her so much that he sacrificed everything. He gave his life. And because of that love, the church submits to His authority because we know He has our best interest at heart. It's the same in marriage. I personally believe that while submitting to my husband can be hard, he actually has the more difficult job of loving me and sacrificing himself for me like Jesus does and did for the church. (Ephesians 5: 22-33)

I believe that I have a say in all our decisions as a couple and I am equal to him in every way. However, if there is a major thing that we really don't agree on, I submit to his authority because I trust him and I love and respect him. And I know he only has my best interest at heart. (Here's a pretty cool illustration of this). Submitting to him is tough sometimes but I believe having two heads in our marriage would be even more difficult. We each have our own equally important role in the marriage.

Having said this, I believe that women do not need to be in submission to all men, all the time. I believe when the bible talks about women submitting to men, it usually means only wives submitting to their own husbands (the greek word used for women in these passages could also mean wives). I believe other passages (like 1 Corinthians 11) are simply speaking on the tradition of the time. I believe the only passage that speaks of women submitting to men in general is in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 where it talks specifically about the worship assembly. And I believe the reason for this is to help keep order in corporate worship.

So what do you think? Am I a feminist? 

If you have any questions about why I believe any of the above (especially things I backed up with scripture toward the end), please ask in the comments or email me at charlenemarie11@gmail.com and I will be glad to explain further. I just ask that you are respectful, please.

Thanks for reading!
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