The Liberation of Women: Our Thirst for God’s Original Plan

Since mankind’s fall into sin, all of humanity has suffered under sin’s curse.  Women, in particular, have been under the curse of male dominion. (Gen 3:16c) For this cause, women have sought more equitable treatment.  The liberation movement, during its origin, can and should be viewed as an expression of a woman’s desire to see God’s original plan for men and women reinstated.

“It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union…. Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less” – Susan B. Anthony

The strength and success of the women’s movement is incontrovertibly attested to in the historical record.  It reportedly began in 1820 and became a full-fledged national movement by 1848.  The movement has had many names, but was known as the Women’s Suffrage Movement during its infancy.  It the early days, the focus was upon giving women the right to vote as well as their own political identity.  By 1920, the state by state battles had all been won and the 72 year-long war had finally reached fruition.   Finally, all American women had the right to vote.  This was a good thing and led to other good things to follow for women.

The Liberation Movement originally focused on uniting women in order for them to learn how to gain control over their own lives.  The movement, as most women understood it, was to emancipate women from their male oppressors.  They sought to have a voice against brutality and social injustice and thereby achieve equality under the law.  So, I agree that women have historically been oppressed.  We were unable to vote our own way, to work in fields not considered appropriate for women, or have our own voice in politics.  So, the women’s movement did in fact help women achieve freedom throughout the years. However, things later went wrong.

The next phase of women’s liberation revealed itself during the political upheaval of the 1960’s. At this point, we see the movement being hijacked by radicals as it now bore the taint of socialism.  The movement soon became splintered into small groups of women from various social demographics and organized groups became hard to find.  Radical feminists initially failed to build much of a movement and what they did have was poorly organized.  They underestimated the opposition they would encounter from groups who held different values.  However, there was some common ground between the groups.  They all sought to free women from the oppression of male dominance in the home and inequity in the workplace.   Yet there was more to the movement.  In its most sensible form, it was also intended to focus on the emancipation of women and bring their degradation to light.  The exploitative sexism in commercials and the behavior of leering men was now being progressively and effectively challenged.  So, the movement in and of itself was not bad.  There was a benefit to bringing equality to the home and to the workforce.

Nonetheless, there were problems.  One of the problems was twofold.  While many women failed to admit that they were oppressed, others misunderstood the purpose of the movement.  It was either viewed as radical or as ridiculous, and failed to bring women together.  Some women were happy with their home life and the idea of change was not what they wanted.   A major misstep for radicals was to disenfranchise middle class traditionalist women.  Failing to focus upon the common ground and choosing to lambaste willing homemakers, hurt their cause.  Moreover, they began to embrace extremist policies as though they’d fail to make progress unless they did.  Soon support for the women liberation movement began to collapse under the weight of the errors made by extremists. They took the movement from a valid pursuit of equal treatment to a liberal agenda driven pursuit of things like abortion on demand and the validation of the homosexual lifestyle.  Women were now being told that, being equal to men wasn’t sufficient.  Now they had to hate men and seek punitive measures to make modern men accountable for the oppression of their ancestors.

 A book is born

Betty Friedan’s 1966 book “The Feminine Mystique” brought to light the dullness and emptiness some middle class housewives experienced.  Her views brought balance to the landscape and many women agreed that she was spot on. That is, their feelings mirrored hers, but Friedan’s book focused on all female roles, not just the housewife.  Her book emphasized the importance of being valued and equal as a human being.

It is important to note that Feidan was not responsible for the Women’s Movement.  She did establish N.O.W. (National Organization Of Women) which she was the leader but the women’s movement began a few years before her book hit the shelves.  Friedan’s book was mostly a personal account or her own life and how choices she made frustrated her and her views about women and women’s rights.  Once her book hit the shelves, it rallied women all over to the Liberation Movement.  Friedan never took the femininity of women away with the issues she raised, unlike the radical feminists.

So, what have we gained so far?

Now, let’s examine the accomplishments and effects of the movement as manifested in the aforementioned period.  Firstly, many women were no longer happy being required only to tend home and hearth.  Additionally, the movement was almost solely responsible for eliminating wage disparity. Sadly, many women felt that the message of the movement meant they shouldn’t be happy at home under any conditions, as if being a homemaker lacked intelligence or skill.  As a result, they felt they should seek satisfaction elsewhere at all costs. And, by the 1970’s, divorce was on the rise.

In more rural settings, what women did was of great value.  The tenets of home economics governed how the money of the bread winner was utilized.  Not to mention, many rural families did a certain amount to farming to bridge the gaps.  With children in school and a husband at work, women had their day taken up with chores.  Without the hard work and thrifty, ingenious efforts of housewives, rural families would not have been nearly so well cared for. In the urban setting however, family needs changed thereby affecting the role of the housewife. The advent of modern conveniences, the modern housewife now had more time on her hands. This fact, coupled with the clamor of radical voices telling housewives how they should feel, brought discord.

The radicals even became so ridiculous as to suggest that women had the potential to match men in physical strength.  While this notion is laughable and not to be taken seriously, it speaks to very real threats we face when we lend our ears to liars and extremists. The physiological differences between men and women are to be revered, not revised, celebrated, not erased.  Equality, in the mind of radicals, became synonymous with conquest.  They failed to understand the point of the movement. The movement’s founders sought to have women shown the respect that comes with conceding that they are of equal value and nothing more. Additionally, the movement was never intended to question women’s choices.  It was intended to give them freedom.

Chivalry is dead and radical feminism killed it.

Personally, I like it when a man opens a door for me and exhibits courteous behavior.  I see nothing wrong with that.  I agree it is a two-way street, but I have no desire to be a man.  I was gifted by God to be a woman.   But, we do need to appreciate the benefits of the movement.  I cannot deny that throughout our history women have been oppressed and men having superiority over a woman.  But let’s also not lose sight of the fact that women have always stood up for women’s rights and had success without losing their femininity which is what the movement of the 1960’s seemed to accomplish.

Lest we overlook it, all of humanity needs liberating.

Feminists seem to believe that men were already liberated, already have it made which is a big misconception.   Do we really believe that men are happy being tied down to a job with a one of two week vacation to look forward to?  Men are pressured to financially providing for their families and the success or failure of the family rests squarely on their shoulders.  So ‘no’, there is no true liberation for men either.  And the feminists have tried to use this misconception to gain leverage.    But men did gain some benefits from the movement.  Now men had the ability to leave their jobs to deal with family emergencies which was once only acceptable for females. Additionally, men can now enter into fields traditionally held by women, for example teachers and nursing.  For the woman entering the workforce, the radical minds within the movement sought to step inside a man’s shoes and walk the path he walked.  Many women dressed as men, in slacks and tailored shirts.  Another error of feminist mentality was in assuming you had to emulate the male instead of finding your own place.

“I think the girl who is able to earn her own living and pay her own way should be as happy as anybody on earth. The sense of independence and security is very sweet.” – Susan B. Anthony

I personally worked in an industry that was heavily staffed by women, but with men in positions of great power.  I had to prove myself and felt I had to know more about my job then my male counterpart.  Was that reality or just pressure I put on myself to prove my ability?  I found success when I realized I had a unique perspective in the workplace.  I was a female with qualities that my male counterparts did not possess.

Once I accepted that my feminine abilities were valuable to my success I began to have the success I worked to achieve and is what I believe the movement failed  to teach women.  The movement  failed to teach women how to learn  to make their own way in life and use their qualities to succeed and to achieve happiness and fulfillment, even if they decided to remain in the home as care takers.  What the movement did not account for was the mass groups of women and social classes.  There are women in lower, middle, and upper classes that see their needs differently from each other.  But I do believe all  women agree they want to be viewed as human beings not as sexual objects.  True liberation means that women will not have to lose their femininity and will not be seen as weak but as equal human beings to their male partners.

“The book of Genesis contains a parable about creation. It says that when God first created people He made them male and female, so that both together were God’s image and likeness. At that time He provided that the two should be “one flesh.” There is no hint that God intended in the beginning for either male or female to have superiority.’  Genesis 1:27. — So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

As a Christian, I hold fast to the belief that God created man and woman and that is how we should be. We need each other to be complete and whole.  Women do have an uphill battle, there is no denying that however, I cannot say I am in agreement with a radical movement to achieve equality.  A movement which includes a woman’s right to an abortion or living a lesbian lifestyle.  The radical movement for abortion rights for women was later argued in a letter to Bill Clinton that Abortions help control the poor, and unhealthy from having babies.  This was a way for the government to control population. That is not achieving equality but also a subject for another article.  We look to have equality as human beings and I do believe that can be achieved. We see husbands and wives now working side by side inside and outside of the home both recognizing strengths in each other and that for me is true liberation.  But will there be true success as equals in the workplace and in politics, I think that is still a work in progress.  It is still a man’s world but I do believe that we as women standing up for our rights can achieve some level of success and without the radical extremist movement.

While the historical events of the Suffrage Movement are very interesting, there is a much more interesting point that we may all miss.  God’s original plan for Men and Women was one of gender equality.  Prior to Genesis 3:16c, we see no indication that the man dominated the woman.  Both of their lives were to be lived out in type a of paradise until the Original Sin took it from them and their descendants.  Since this time, women and men have both had an innate hunger for a return of God’s original plan.

In Christ’s name –

Books – The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, Successful Women Think Differently: 9 Habits to Make You Happier, Healthier, and More Resilient by Valorie Burton, The Women’s Liberation Movement, 1960-1990 by Terry Catasús Jennings

Advertisements

The Need For Uncompromised Christianity in a Weeping World

Now, more than ever, the world needs Christianity to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16).  Now, more than ever, the world needs Christianity to be that shining city on a hill (Matthew 5:14).  Simply put, the world is literally going to Hell and so many Christians are missing their opportunity to make a positive difference, to set a Christ-like example.
So, what happened to Christianity? Where did following the word of God go? Christianity today, is judged by it’s abusers. But do those who judge understand the Bible, know scripture? Should we expect them to? Are they able to make judgments based on any sound understanding? No, they only see the abusers who take scripture and twist it into what would fit their purpose. Some falsely claim to be Christians yet make shameful choices that affect Christianity negatively. Can we blame the critics? Not entirely.  Are those who have judged Christianity to be false or made up, have they closed themselves off to any other reasoning? Have they decided that only their bird’s-eye view of Christianity is the only view that, for them, makes sense?  Can we forgive those who claim to follow Christ yet allow perversion to take hold?
Unlike so many other religions, Christianity is divided into many different denominations. Each of the Christian denominations practice various doctrines specific to them. I can certainly understand why so many people would question God. But let us be reminded, God did not create the various religious institutions. He gave us His word to follow.  In 1 Timothy 4:16 we read, “Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”  Anyone really interested in understanding God’s word needs to put all previous influences away and open their minds to understanding what God’s message to us is.  Consider Ephesians 4:14where it says “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;”
I don’t want anyone to be insulted or offended by my beliefs, but what I want is really irrelevant. What God wants is relevant. Honoring His word and living according to His teachings is what is relevant and required by us. We lose sight of His teachings when we wrap ourselves up into compromise. If I only give in this time, we can have peace. Well, I see many dangerous issues there. I see compromise becoming the rule and way of life. Secular tolerance for only those who share the same secular beliefs. Societal tolerance of Christianity is rapidly declining.  2 Corinthians 6:14-15 says, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?”
We see, all too often, Church Leaders compromising in order to be politically correct. Is that the purpose of today’s Church? Some Pastors have even said they will remove crosses from their Churches in order to make Muslims feel more comfortable. What are they thinking? Is the Muslim going to attend a Christian church? I don’t think so, any more than a Christian would attend a Mosque. The only Muslims that may attend a Christian Church are those who have seen Jesus, and His cross would not offend them.  2 Timothy 4:3-4 says, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”
Can we look at our nation’s history and determine a turning point?  When did things start to spiral down for America?  I keep going back to the 1960’s. That was the era of Free Love and the Woman’s Liberation movement.  We also wept as we witnessed prayer being removed from our schools, as if talking to God before lunch or a ball game was a bad thing!  All of these things had a significant impact on our society. No matter how you slice it, we as a society allowed these things to take place with very little fight. The whole free love movement opened the door to radically promiscuous behavior in our own children.  The Punk Rock’s cultural’s wanton extremes led to  use of recreational drugs like LSD and Angel Dust.  The indulgences of hallucinogenic drugs and battling against the establishment took the place of family gatherings and Church attendance.  Many of the youths, who were caught up in this debauchery, later turned their lives around.  They did so when it became necessary to find a good job and support a family.  But during that time, radical movements were all the rage.  Unwilling to step in, so many of us thought, “Oh, this will pass, it’s just a phase.”  How wrong we all were!
Take for example the Woman’s Liberation movement. The movement of the 60’s was vile, and women extreme in their preaching.  They persuaded women to believe they had no value unless they were willing to give up home, and ultimately family, and join the fight for equality. When two parents worked, the thinking initially was so they can improve their life, the actual results were higher divorce rates. Older children were left alone to fend for themselves until the parent(s) came home from work (latch-key kids). In the case of the younger child, they were left with baby sitters who were chosen by their price rather than their values. So what happened to our children can be traced directly back to when this all began, smack back to the whole free love and woman’s movement era. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for women’s rights, however, the movement of the 60’s was at the detriment of the whole family. Look at what is going on today. We have some of the harshest women’s movement in history.   It’s run by angry, venomous feminists not traditional, family-oriented women. I enjoy being a woman, I love the attributes I bring to both the home and work place so why would I want to change those attributes,  to mimic a man?  Well, at the time, women didn’t see it in that light.  Although, some women, after much consideration and in retrospect, have come to those conclusions after all was said and done.  Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Let’s take a look at the Church. Church pews empty, Church times reduced, and Church doors locked. I remember, if I needed, being able to go sit in Church no matter what time. Not anymore. Those doors are now locked. Why? Because of vandalism. When we lived in a age of mutual respect, properties and persons were important.  Therefore, the Church’s could leave their doors open.  Not anymore. We have continued to become an angry society. Now, those in power and with a strong voice dictate the perversions we are witnessing today. Once the whole gay marriage issue was legitimized, it opened the doors to all other perversions, including pedophilia. Now, psychiatrist are claiming that Pedophilia is a treatable disease and those suffering should be treated not incarcerated. Well what happened to enforcing the law and what of victims rights? What about how the victims are now emotionally affected for the rest of their lives? Yes my friends, we are living today in a perverted world and it’s only going to get worst. Christians are being pushed further and further into a box, and treated badly unless they conform to what society today says is acceptable.
So how do we get back to what we had before all this began?  I don’t think we can.  What I think we can do is stop accepting the things we know to be wrong.  We are to live separated but not isolated in the world, so lets get back to hearing God’s voice in His written word.  Let’s return to learning and studying the Bible and making life choices that keep us in line with what we know God wants for us.
There are far fewer true Christians per capita in today’s society.  And we need to remember that it’s our responsibility to make God’s word relevant by demonstrating its value.  We do this by preaching it, teaching and, most of all, living it!
My favorite  verse is  Matthew 7:14. In it we read, “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”  I don’t need to be surrounded by a multitude of secular people.  What I need is to be surrounded by those who share God’s word and live in accordance with it.   I think, if Christians would focus more on how we live and work and live the life we are intended to live for God, I do believe we can, to some degree, affect a change in our society.  We must use our energies to vote for those who can return Christian values to our country, and who values the family unit.  Not look at all the shiny objects that only serve to distract us and take advantage of us.  (Psalm 1:1) “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful;”
There are no easy answers, but I do know there are many wrong choices.   May God be with us, and help us all to return to a more Godly world.

In peace and love….