Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Stop Giving Men What They Want

Dear Feminist,

Please stop fighting for my rights now. I'm very happy that we have laws against violence towards women, and it's nice to have the right to vote, but honestly, my husband and I are one and wouldn't care if our vote counted as one anyway. I know you started out wanting men to see women as worthwhile and strong...but why now do you want them to see us as men?

I'm sorry to say, but in your fight for women's rights, you're stripping away the rights of those who actually still want to be women.

As a woman, do I not have the right to stay home, raise a family and take care of my husband? Do I not have the right to be cared for and provided for by my husband? Is there something wrong with two married people caring for each other and supporting each other so no one person has to "do it all?"

Dear feminist, you would have us all believe that choosing this way of life is beneath women, unworthy and despicable. That if we choose a domestic life it must be an add on to our career, an afterthought, but most certainly not our only ambition.
As I woman I have rights, do I not? Is your purpose not to fight for the rights of women? Yet you are tarnishing our most sacred right.

Not only are your choices affecting the married women, they're affecting the ones who hope to marry.

It used to be the norm for a man to want to marry a woman to be able to care for and provide for her, and, well let's be truthful here, to be able to make love to her. He had to invest to get a return.

Feminists, you would have women believe that they should be sexually liberated, and there is no need to wait until marriage. Sleep with whom you'd like on Saturday and get back to work on Monday. "If men can do it so can we"and men are more than happy to oblige.

Dear feminist, in an effort to build a world for women, where we have rights and freedoms and are seen by men as equals, you are building the ideal world for men.

A world where a man can fill his desires with no need to invest relationally or emotionally, no need to invest financially by having a wife to provide for. If a child should come about as a result of this union it's often they aren't provided for either and many are forced to live without a father, and only a negative influence of what a father should be, and so the cycle repeats.

Complete freedom for men, and we're still not seen as equals, we are now just seen as sex objects who should oblige the men's desires and get back to taking care of ourselves. You are giving men what they want, and there's nothing in it for you.

It could be argued that men don't really want that either, I don't think deep down they do. But in this world of greed and selfishness there are many who are willing to take it. When they do realize this isn't fulfilling and not the life they want, the woman who is waiting patiently for a real man gets the leftovers from the woman who was trying to exert her independence.

Thank you to you men who have and are waiting patiently for women, and thank you to the men who have accepted the ones who once thought they could "have it all".

I don't speak to you dear feminist as the pure christian woman who saved herself for marriage and raises her nose at the feminist ideals. I speak to you as the once independent, strong, liberated "I can do it all" young woman who was foolish in her ways and has learned her lessons through experience.

What have I learned? I can't do it all. I don't want to do it all. There's a better way, and I'm not less of a woman for doing it, in fact, it's what makes me a woman.

So please dear feminist, stop giving men what they want. Because it's not what they need, and it's not what you need either.

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  1. Jessica, I am a home schooling mother of 10 and a grandmother of four. I have been a stay-at-home mom for nearly three decades. I now appreciate that feminism is not one single viewpoint, but a wide spectrum of belief and practice. I don't think most feminists favor limiting the options of women who want to live more traditionally in their marriage and mothering. They want to give all women options. I am grateful for the right to vote, and can't imagine why it took so long for women to gain suffrage. I am deeply thankful for domestic violence laws and protective programs, but realize that they only go so far in the crying need for gender justice and equality. Women around the globe and in the United States still to need empowerment, which includes higher education, job skills, employment opportunities, and more legal protection. After years of observing very troubling gender dynamics in Christian circles, I now consider myself to be more of an evangelical feminist than I ever did. This is quite a paradigm shift for me. I wrote a manifesto here: http://thismomgrowsup.blogspot.com/2011/07/manifesto-of-liberty-and-responsibility.html. Blessings to you! ~~ Virginia (P.S. I am visiting from Raising Homemakers.)

  2. I appreciate your perspective on the issue and look forward to reading your post. I can't say I fully agree that we need gender justice and equality. I think what this world needs is to accept and celebrate the differences between men and women, and not keep trying to make everyone the same, we're not. I do hear what you're saying about gender dynamics in Christian circles, and understand the need for change in Countries where women are being badly mistreated, but I believe the problem isn't something that can be changed with women trying to take control. The issue lies within the heart of the men and women. Either the husband is not loving his wife as the Bible calls him to (and a feminist approach and law will not change this) or the woman is not loving her husband as the Bible calls her to. I am far far far from a submissive wife. I struggle daily to love my husband as God says I should, but I have done it His way, and when husband and wife are respecting and loving and submitting to EACH OTHER, life seems to work out better for all parties involved. It will not however work if one party is demanding or denying submission based on Biblical or feminist principles.

  3. Wonderful post! But why would you want to be seen as equal? Men should have to pay a price for paternal rights and sex and that price should be marriage and the obligation to provide for a wife within marriage. Feminists have stripped our rights away to be provided for for a lifetime by b*stardizing family laws and no-fault divorce. Many women were against the vote and for good reason. Men should protect women. I will add this to my links in my main site the next time I log in.


    The Radical One TWRA

    1. Thanks for your comment. :)

    2. If you don't want to divorce, you don't have to choose divorce if things get so bad you can't stand it. If you and your husband decide you'll be an at-home wife and mother, you can still choose it. Feminism isn't forcing you to go out and work, yet you favor forcing all families and couples to conform to your idea of how it should be.

      Since you are concerned about the poor men, what if a man WANTS to marry a woman who as a career? By saying feminism should go and women should be required to stay home, you've just removed the right of a man to find a partner he wants by removing that kind of partner. You are placing YOUR ideas, as a woman, above the right of men.

  4. "I'm sorry to say, but in your fight for women's rights, you're stripping away the rights of those who actually still want to be women."

    I don't think you understand feminism. It's not about stripping away your rights. If you want to be a stay-at-home mom, YOU CAN!! Feminism is about women have the freedom to CHOOSE. Legally we're supposed to be equal to me, but this doesn't mean individual families can't choose. If another woman wants to remain single and focus on a career, or to marry someone else who wants to be a stay-at-home parent, feminism means she has the right. Feminism isn't about taking away your right to choose your own life, yet you're advocating taking away the choices from other women, while claiming feminism is stripping you.

    I once was the career woman making more in a day that most people make in a week. I was doing it all. I was paying thousands a month in rent (thousands...of dollars...a month) because I could and wanted to live in a certain place. I could go on vacations when I wanted. I didn't bother checking my bank account often since I knew the money was there. I went from that, to being a stay-at-home mom who is going to be homeschooling with a like-minded co-op, and my husband is the head of this household. This is a CHOICE we made together. I'm happy with my choices. What right do I have, or anyone have, to say other women shouldn't get to choose, that they should be FORCED to be at-home moms who don't have active careers?

    Can you see how what you're supporting is the side that is actually about stripping rights? Any woman who has ever been a truly strong, independent woman should have no problem seeing this, and understanding how other women may be happy with different lives.

    1. Dear Dani,

      I’m sorry you seem to have taken such offence to this post. I’m not certain you understood my intent. I wouldn't consider this post to be choosing any side, if that's what you think it's doing. Only a hopes of opening eyes to the fact that not all women want or need to have their rights fought for, as they see their rights and opportunities being a gift given to them by God and not by man (or woman).

      Quite obviously it is not illegal in western culture for a woman to stay home, or for a woman to work, and I don’t think I implied that. In fact even the proverbs 31 woman assisted in supporting her family financially (yes, even without feminists there to fight for her rights to do so).

      I’m sure you don’t actually feel this way, but from the way your post is worded it seems to say you think feminism is what gives us a right to make choices in our life. What gives us the right to make choices is the fact GOD gave us free will, not feminism.

      I don’t think I said anywhere that women should be FORCED to stay home? Or that I‘m advocating taking away anyones rights. What I’m hoping changes is women being shamed for making the choice to stay home in the first place. Our feminist minded society has put us in a place where being a stay at home wife and mother is not deemed a worthy choice and that it is only acceptable AFTER you’ve had the good paying job, and vacations, and most of us want that because we were raised to believe THAT was what is important.

      Because of feminist views, young women are EXPECTED to go to college, get a job and support themselves. It’s no longer much of a choice. How many parents do you know these days who would be willing to support a stay at home daughter until marriage, or for life if that daughter didn’t get married. It’s very rare a daughter is able to choose to devote herself to preparing for marriage without first running the gauntlet of higher education and career.

      Ask yourself a question: What do you think (or what would the majority of society think), say or respond to the scenario of a woman choosing not to work, and to be provided for by her father until (if God so chooses) a man takes her as his wife. It’s only fairly recently that this has come to be seen as abnormal.

      Feminists fight for equality between men and women. They stand for all women and fight on their behalf. The point of my post was that I don’t need them to do my fighting for me, God’s got my back.

      There will always be angry abusive men, there will always be sexist male bosses or teachers (whether they are open with it or not). There will always be women who want to be doing something more than be a wife or mother, and women who want nothing more than to be a wife and mother and aren’t able to.

      This is not an fight for feminists to fight. We don’t need to be rescued by them, we all, men AND women need to be rescued by Jesus.

      Every issue women have with men or men have with women or any of us have with each other is a heart issue. Something God needs to work with each of us on, and it’s not going to fixed by a feminist, it can only be fixed with Jesus Christ.

  5. Jessica, unfortunately in many cases of family abuse, church leaders pressure the wife to go back to or continue in a very dangerous situation with her children, telling her that she has no other Biblical options. God does not always change the hearts of abusive men. So many are stubbornly violent, intimidating, manipulative, and controlling. The wife should not subordinate herself to this kind of behavior. I am thankful that feminists have taken a stand against domestic violence, and that as a result, there are so many more resources available to vulnerable women.

    My most recent post on domestic violence touches on some of these issue. You can find it here: http://watchtheshepherd.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-bad-boy-and-angel.html

    1. I agree with you about the pressuring from many church leaders. A woman should not be abused, and it is wonderful that we have resources for women who are.

      That being said, feminists are not stopping men from abusing women. In my opinion feminists pushing into what men see as their domain is making the abusive sexist types more likely to be abusive, as they feel more of a need to exert their power and control over women because of it.

      The abusive man who goes to work and is reprimanded by his female boss is going to go home and take that out on his wife. That doesn't make it the boss' fault or take the blame off the man, but we need to examine what feminism is actually achieving, as well as how it might be hurting. Nothing but God is all good. So to think there is no downside to feminism is faulty thinking.

      I don't think the women need to be fighting this battle, it's not really helping anyone, it's making those men angrier. It's the good men who need to step up stand against these men and protect women. It would have so much more of an impact coming from other men. What would you listen to more? A man demanding angrily that you be submissive to your husband, or a woman discussing it with you? Men don't want to listen to angry women either.

      I'm not saying feminists need to stop caring about women being protected. My opinion is that they are going about achieving their goals in many wrong ways and actually creating a worse situation for women than we started with. They need to examine what their actions may actually be bringing about.

  6. It doesn't need to be an either/or of men versus women speaking out about domestic violence. Both! And regardless of what the men do, the women need to get out. The abusive man may or may not change. Most don't. That is not the first priority, which is safety for the women and children. And since as you said, a woman is more likely to listen to a woman, then WOMEN, along with men, need to be on the frontlines educating the public about domestic violence, and pointing women toward the resources they need to emerge from abuse. That is why I write about domestic violence on one of my blogs. Frankly, I can tell you that some good men just don't "get" when a woman shares about what she has experienced. I can also tell you that many Christian women have become evangelical feminists BECAUSE of domestic violence and other kinds of abuse. There is no need to silence the feminists. If you don't want their help, fine. Others do.

    I also object to blaming feminism for domestic violence. If anything, I would blame patriarchy for teaching men that they should have control over women. It is because women are not seen as EQUAL that men feel entitled to push them around, both physically and emotionally. Men lacking respect for women - ugh!

    1. I've never said or implied women should stay in abusive relationships. I was abused, I got out. I know about domestic violence first hand, so trying to educate me on it is a mute point.

      Also, I do not blame feminism for domestic violence, but do believe that in their arrogance of assuming they can fix all women's problems they are creating more. I am not calling out to feminists to STOP caring, but to start START examining other possible courses of action, and the consequences of the actions they are currently taking.

      "There is no need to silence the feminists. If you don't want their help, fine. Others do."

      This here was the whole point of my original post. It doesn't matter if I don't want their help. Their actions affect all women and the ones who don't want their help don't have a choice in that.

      Clearly there is no point in going back and forth on this topic. I honestly don't think any of us are hearing what the other is actually trying to say. I feel as though I've just been lumped into the category of anti-feminist because I choose to see things differently and live in a way that feminism is against and trying to do away with...again affirming some of my points in my original post.

      My prayer is that we ALL (me included) stop holding so tightly to what WE think is right long enough to let God speak to us on this through His leading and through His word. HIS word, not ours. I want to do what HE calls me to, not what feminists, men, pastors, or other christian women and their blogs say what GOD says, period. I think and hope that’s what we’re all aiming for, so at least we should be able to agree on that.

      I did not want to write this post in the first place. I was convicted to write it for days before I finally gave in and did as I was being led to do. What God’s purpose for it is I don’t know. Does it mean this is what He feels on the topic, I don’t know. But there is a reason for it, even if only to get us all thinking about WHY we believe what we believe. Do we believe in our views because God revealed them to us? Do we believe in them because another person told us we should? Because we read it on a blog? Because the majority believes that way, or because of our own past hurts and fears? I think we need to examine these questions and keep searching our hearts for the truth by seeking God and His ways in all we do.

      I do not need men to see me as equal to feel a sense of worth. I am an equal heir because God created me as one. Man can not take that from me regardless of how hard they may try.

      In God, whose word I praise-- in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
      Psalm 56:4

      I don’t feel there’s any more I should say on this post so I’ll leave it at that.

    2. Jessica, I am so sorry that you experienced abuse. I am a survivor as well, though I do not publicly identify as one on my own blogs, and I know how horrible it is.

      I love your passion for families and homes. God bless you for that!

      May God pour out his abundant peace and joy in our lives, and help us to love and serve well.

      ~~ Virginia

  7. Dear Jessica,
    I am a feminist. I'm sorry that you feel shamed by a (very small) subgroup of feminism that tells you that family life isn't worth your time. Please keep in mind that this is a subgroup - just like there are abusive subgroups in Christianity, they don't have much to do with the vast majority. I am very happy for you, that you found a love worth more than words can express, that you have a healthy family and that you get to live a life that you enjoy so much and that fulfills you. I really am. I respect your choice to stay at home and be a mom. I think that is a very honorable job (let's be honest, sometimes, it's more of a job than any other job!).
    That being said, I must disagree with you on some things you said. I do not believe that sexual liberation necessarily had a negative impact on the quality of human relationships. There has always been abuse, unhappy relationships, affairs and whatnot. What it certainly did is display the brokenness of the relationship system we always lived in (even 200 years ago). As for my part, I am happily together with my boyfriend of 13 years. We have been together since we were 15 and still going strong and happy. We've had our rough patches, sure, but the happiness far outweights the difficulties that come with two people living with each other. We live in a very "feminist" relationship, yet we strongly believe in faithfulness to each other. My guy admires me for my hard word in my career, and I admire his hard work, gentleness, generousity (he did provide for me during my studies!), his beautiful smile, his calmness when I'm a tornado, his love for me that shows in all the tiny things he does each and every day... I could go on, but you get the point. I know many people like us, who are not about "a one night stand on saturday".
    As for abuse - I just don't believe that a female boss putting a man down will trigger abuse at home, even if the man already has abusive tendencies. Abusers will always find an excuse to abuse. If it's not the female boss, it's the annoying customer, or the tie tied too tight, or or or...
    What I'm trying to get at is this: I don't want to take away your right to stay at home. I want you to keep that, and I would fight for it in a heartbeat. If you feel shamed, I'm sorry, but is it really so important what others think of you? Do you need societies validation to believe you've made the right choice?

    1. I've promised not to discuss further on this but I did just want to say thank you for your handling of this topic and the kindness of your words in discussing it. I know this is a hot topic and can get heated very easily and gentle discussion is always a beautiful thing to me.
      I do just want to clarify that I myself don't feel shamed, but thank you for your concern in that. My concern is for the women I know who do feel that way, and the ones who feel they aren't able to make the decision to stay home in the first place because of societies views on it. No shame here, but again thank you for your kindness, :)