Jerusha Pimentel – Columnist
Here’s a wild idea to chew on: “feminism” is not the antonym to “Christianity.” I know, because I embrace both of these.
Let me begin by stating that I was born and raised neither as a Christian nor a feminist. Though I’d always known about God, I didn’t meet His son and Holy Spirit until I was about 11 or 12. Since then, I’ve been stumbling down the unfamiliar, difficult path of living as a Christian in our very broken world—all the while falling more in love with His love for me.
When I first discovered two years ago that I could also maybe be a feminist, I’m not going to lie, I was a little embarrassed. Many view feminists the way I used to: an unnecessary group of obnoxious, whining, angry women who refused to shave their legs, hated men, and loved killing the unborn. I didn’t want to be seen as one of those! But, the more extensive my exploring of feminism became, the more I realized how ignorant I was—and that like any other “ism,” it wasn’t quite as black-and-white as I’d thought.
The true definition of feminism is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” Even men can be feminists–and many are! Feminism isn’t about women hating or claiming superiority. I absolutely don’t do either of those—in fact, I think that men play a vital role in voicing the injustices and suffering of women. The true spirit of feminism is really to insist that women have equal value to that of men, and to point out the many, many ways our culture and our world have failed—and continue to fail—to treat us as having such. I’m primarily a feminist because I love and care about women—not because I hate men. This is the case for most of us.
There is also the faulty assumption made towards feminists that our beliefs always coincide with the popular feminist agenda, but they don’t. My strongest example is that I will never support abortion—a major focal point of the feminist movement. I simply refuse to budge from my belief that unborn children are humans—future women and men—with sacred human life that God has breathed into their lungs.
But rejecting feminism solely because of this issue is a little obtuse. Feminists have already achieved so much else for women in history. The fact that the automobile was invented decades before women were allowed to vote is a little sickening–and the only reason we can enjoy this privilege today is because of the crowds of stubborn, passionate women who held up signs and went on strikes and were loud, and annoying, and persistent until irritated men in power made changes. I shall be forever grateful to them.
As a Christian feminist, the only man I see my identity through is Christ and the distinct woman he’s made me to be. The first visitation of the Holy Spirit during the Pentecost came to both men and women at the same time–and is the very same one residing within me. This demonstrates that God sees me, a female created in his image, as being equally worthy as a man to carry his precious Spirit. What more evidence do I need?