Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing unto Thee, o God, my Rock and my Redeemer. Amen.
I’m a feminist.
No, I’ve never burned a bra. (Are you kidding me? Bras are expensive!) No, I don’t hate men, and I don’t think we should store them in tunnels underground and use them only for breeding purposes. No, I don’t think women are inherently superior to men. That’s not what a feminist is.
I’m a feminist because I believe that men and women were created equally, and blessed by our Creator with the gifts God intends for us to use as we live in community with one another.
I believe that it is nothing short of a sin, and a grievous one, when any person or institution—including, and perhaps especially, the Church—refuses to acknowledge someone’s gifts simply because those gifts seem to be outside of what we perceive to be “proper” for a person of his or her gender.
I believe that men and women should be given the same opportunities in education and employment, and in society as a whole, starting at birth. I oppose sexism and sex-based discrimination with all of my heart. I believe that God calls all of us to be disciples, and that call looks a bit different for each of us. Much like our gifts, the life we are called to lead may or may not match up with the norms society has created with regard to gender. Some women are nurses and some are mechanics. Some men are professional athletes and some are hairdressers. The extent to which a person’s profession and vocation conforms to manmade gender stereotypes is neither here nor there.
It makes me sad and angry when society as a whole neglects to remember this fact, but particularly so when the Church does. The Church should be the place where everyone’s gifts are recognized and celebrated, because we know that in Christ, there is neither male nor female, for all are one in Christ Jesus. God doesn’t use the same sorting and labeling system that we do!
It breaks my heart to see so many those who would call themselves followers of Jesus clinging to the vestiges of patriarchy that keep them from affirming the gifts of all God’s people, and in so doing, prevent some of their sisters in Christ from answering God’s call to lay or ordained leadership.
I believe that a call to serve God in any particular capacity, lay or ordained, publicly or privately, in an overtly religious way or a way we might label as secular, is just that: a call to serve God.
And how dare we, as individuals and as the Body of Christ, presume to tell someone that our own twisted, human ideas about gender should override God’s divine plan for his or her life?
That’s why I’m a feminist.