Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Feminist Mistake

At the Gospel Coalition conference, I attended a workshop taught by Mary Kassian, entitled, "The Feminist Misake." This workshop was both helpful and hard to swallow for me. She gave us a brief outline  of the feminist movement within the US. I would like to give you all a summary:

I. Exultation of the home and the homemaker -- around the early 1950's
This is when new technology came out such as the mixer and washer. Technological advances for the home made the home a more enjoyable place to be. Women took pride in their work.

II. Discontentment -- late 1950's
"The restless housewife" began to discover that she was not as happy as she thought.
The book, "The Feminist Mystique," written by Betty Frieden, was released. Frieden stated that women were the "second sex." She encouraged women to rebel against men and this ideology. She suggested that men had created these social structures and that they were in need of being overthrown.

III. Redefinition
Women began to pursue a redefinition on manhood, womanhood, and family.

IV. The Golden Age of Feminism -- 1970's & 1980's
Personal pain and experiences became political.
Conciouseness-Raising Groups (CR groups) began meeting in women's homes. In these groups, women basically came together to talk about their problems as housewives. Together, they became more zealous and active in the movement.
Women gained government funding-- such as Planned Parenthood.
Women could now get a BA, MA and beyond in women's studies.
Sex became known as a powerful expression of a woman's self.
Equality means interchangeability.

V. Today
"It's funny how things change slowly, until the day we realize they've changed completely."
Women exult independence. Men are expected to conform.
But again, we are discontent. Where to go from here?
Some statistics from an article in Time, "The State of the American Woman":
-about 40% of women are the primary bread winners in the home.
-there are now more women in the workforce than men.
-College campuses used to be 60-40 (men-women), now the ratio has reversed.
-Women are now more anxious than men about their family's financial security.
-About half of women surveyed in households earning less than $75,000 want to delay pregnancy or limit the number of children they have.
Mary Kassain said, "When everything else has risen [rights, etc.], happiness has fallen."

I found Mary Kassain's lecture very interesting and encouraging.
This was hard for me to swallow:
We can't stereotype. We can't create checklists. We can't go back to the 1950's. 
Ouch. I am more guilty than anyone.
We live in a different culture! I have noticed-- and practiced-- we as Christian women tend to think that if we are just good little housewives, then all will be right in the world. BUT I, personally, have developed the ability to cook, clean, do all of the laundry, and be disrespectful to my husband all at the same time! Do you see the irony? Do you see the feminist ideology creeping into my home? I can be the perfect housewife, but I am still thinking along the disgusting lines of, "I am a woman and therefore superior to this man who is my husband." It is so evil!
My housekeeping skills have proved to be anything but my righteousness. Praise Jesus. My identity is not found in my wifey-ness.

Men are not the problem, sin is the problem!
Our problem as women is spiritual. It can not be solved by our own advances.
We can not lose focus! Our primary goal as women is putting the Gospel on display. Jesus died to set us free. Are we living as free women?

1 comment:

  1. Meg, I am pretty sure I heard Mary Kassian speak when I was in college at Christmas Conference with Campus Crusade. She did a whole workshop for the girls and it was amazing. Wish I could have heard this one because it sounds like something I need to hear and remember often for myself. Thanks for sharing girlie!