Feminism's Secret Side

It's not what you think

Watching the movie Irreplaceable (Focus on the Family) reminded us once again of the effect that feminism has had on the family. We didn't need a movie, though, to make that clear to us. We lived it in our own home.

Years ago I became involved in feminism as a result of being underpaid for so many years. I was a nurse and I worked long, hard hours yet I earned far less than men who worked less hours and with easier job requirements. I thought that fighting for equal pay for equal work was a just cause. I suspect that is how many women take up the cause of feminism. It seems so right in the beginning.

 A culture dominated by men in which the worth of women is diminished becomes barbaric. A culture dominated by women in which the worth of men is diminished becomes vulnerable.

At first it was wonderful. I was among like-minded women and we were all focused on the same cause. Little by little, though, something began to take hold of my heart. A spirit of retaliation and retribution began ruling my thoughts and my attitudes. Men with their privileges and rights became the focus of my ire. It was no longer just achieving what we desired as women. It became getting even with those who had deprived us.

It began to affect my relationship with my husband. I started resenting him and became angry anytime he didn't grasp the depth of my argument for women's rights. My disgruntlement with him began to extend to all men "of privilege." They had it so easy and we had to struggle so hard to achieve every step we gained. Gradually, over time, my desire for equal pay got lost in my desire to overcome and right the wrongs as I saw them.

I resolved not to allow sexual stereotypes to rule our home and so I bought dolls for our son and trucks for our daughter. I just knew that if I broke those stereotypes early, they would grow up to be much more rounded individuals. Instead, our son removed the dolls' heads to see what made the eyes close when the doll was laid down. Our daughter used the trucks to give stuffed animals a ride. She never vroom-vroomed the way boys do when they play with trucks and cars. Eventually she took over the care of the headless dolls and got them all back into shape and our son took the trucks out into the dirt and played to his heart's content. I felt the experiment was a total failure. I must have done something wrong.

It took the Lord many years to change my heart and my vision after I received Him into my life. He was patient with me and over time I began to see the obvious. God created us male and female and He created us differently from each other. Domination was never His plan. He created male and female to flow together and the two working in harmony reflect the fullness of the image of God to the world.

To be sure women suffer under deplorable circumstances the world over. The answer, though, is not found in what the world believes. Hearts are changed when they are surrendered to Jesus. In our nation well over one million innocent lives are snuffed out yearly in the name of women's rights. Indeed, anyone speaking out against abortion is immediately accused of trying to deny women their rights. Yet nowhere in God's plan is the taking of innocent life or the abuse of another anyone's right.

Years ago I read a book written in Saudi Arabia about the plight of women. It was heartbreaking to see what they endured. Yet, because I was so familiar with that spirit, I recognized feminism on every page. The desire to fight back, to rise up, and to get even ruled the writing. No doubt that is the desire of the oppressed, but it is not the plan of God. In Him all people have dignity and worth because of the blood of Jesus. Human rights and demands are never satisfied. It is only when we submit our lives to the Lord, that He brings worth and freedom to our hearts.

Marriage is God's brilliant design for man and woman. Within our covenant relationship we learn how God designed each of us and how He created us to be one. Covenant commitment gives us the opportunity to learn how to work through things together, honoring the differences of God's creation--neither one dominating the other nor seeking his or her own rights. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. [Genesis 2:27] When the world begins to truly see marriage as God created it, life for both men and women will be changed in every culture.


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