August 18, 2008

So maybe I'll grant you Wollstonecraft

Lately I've had a few people ask me about my position on feminism. The response I've sort of come up with is "Fine. Call me a feminist if you want to, but about all I can grant you is Wollstonecraft and maybe not even all of her." For those of you who don't know Mary Wollstonecraft published a work in 1792 called Vindication of the Rights of Woman. I say I may not be able to grant all of her because I don't remember all her arguments, and I don't want to get stuck having agreed to something I didn't recall. As far as I remember she's pretty solid though. My point in bringing her up is that I readily acknowledge that there were times in history where women didn't get very good educations (even compared to their brothers) and where they really weren't treated very well. The all-wise Greeks actually classified women somewhere between men and beasts. That was nice of them. Even theologians often didn't have very good opinions of women or our capacity for virtue. That's why I appreciate people like Wollstonecraft who advocated a rational treatment of women. As she pointed out -women were educated to be stupid and then their men complained that their wives were unfit as rational companions. Well duh. Stupid in, stupid out. I don't believe in women being degraded, held back, abused, ignored, etc. BUT! You can't call me a feminist. One simple reason. I believe in male (read husband/father) headship. I don't believe that women should in general be subservient to men. I think that a woman is under the authority of one man. Any other man tries lording over her and she can tell him to f*$# off. Ok, so she should probably listen to her pastor and elders. You get the point. I don't mean authority to the point where she lets him abuse her or put her in dangerous/illegal positions. I mean that when the buck stops it stops with him. He's the ship commander, and she's first mate. For those of you who have seen women in bad relationships because they were being submissive Christian wives there's an article I need to find and link to on the difference between the free wife and the slave wife in OT Israel. Some women are effectively slave wives, and that's wrong. But that doesn't mean that submission and headship have flown out the window either.

So here's me in a nutshell. I got no problem with women going to college, getting jobs, living on their own (although that might not be ideal), etc. However I do think women should learn to think about home first and then career. Growing up they need to realize that God put men and women in different roles for different reasons and that it's a good thing He did so. The should also get a backbone and stop pretending that courage is a strictly male virtue. Being a woman takes guts. The fruits of the spirit are all in one big list. There's not separate lists for guys and girls even though guys and girls may tend to display these virtues differently. Being feminine doesn't mean you have to dress in florals. I would however suggest the cultivation of skirts just 'cause they're so darn fun to wear.


Kat said...

Good and balanced view, I believe.

Allen Short said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allen Short said...

Are you perhaps thinking of James Jordan's comments quoted here?

Natalie_S said...

Thanks Allen :D

I was just about to put that up.