Just say the word "femininity" and instantly I am torn. Plainly, I am a woman. More complexly, I am a Christian woman. And as complex as I would like to take it for today, I am a Christian Woman who embraces the things that make me distinctly woman, specifically motherhood.
I read two articles on the ideal of feminism. One by a male author Paul Theroux, contemporary-ish author who has fallen head over heals in love with the idea that what defines men or masculinity is just absolutely unbearable! being a "man" means being "Stupid, unfeeling, obedient, soldierly and unable to figure out the riddle and nuisance of woman."
Excuse me, but I don't define men that way at all! A manly man is Strong, feeling (even if expression of feeling is different than a woman's), honorable and sacrificial! He claims "manliness" comes from "feeling inadequate because it denies men the natural friendship of women." He is implying that it is Manly to shoot pool with the guys, to go shoot elk in the woods with the guys, drink beer with the guys, throw a football around with the guys, and if you do anything with the girls, (other than sex of course) you are simply not manly.
As opposed to women who are more womanly by needing and seducing a man. The more seductive the more womanly. I think this guy is far more sexist than first appearances may imply.
He claims that this idea of "manliness" is (and I must quote this, because it is so extremely offensive) "Right wing, puritanical, cowardly, neurotic and fueled largely by a fear of women." (Women and Men, Paul Theroux) This idea of a man needing male companionship goes back far beyond a political party mentality. I suppose Socrates and Plato were republicans then? I hardly think so! Manliness is not the end of the life of the mind, but rather the mind being processed through sentiment, that there are roles - like it or not- that are manly, and to believe that doesn't make you sexist. It makes you able to understand that men and women are indeed different. Not superior or inferior, not right or wrong, just different. (quote, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, Love and Respect).
He goes round and around about how horrible it is to be tied so mercilessly to the stereotypical male, even to the point that it is shameful for him to be a writer, a woman's work. I suppose that I lost respect for this piece when he said that manhood is not a privilege, rather "an unmerciful and punishing burden." To be honest about my feeling on this piece...Oh for goodness sake! Cry me a river!
Mary Wollstonecraft wrote a not-so-opposing article called "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman." She agrees, though she wrote this in 1792, that women are not as weak as society says they are. Strength and usefulness as she calls it are put second fiddle to beauty, considered seductresses rather than respectable human beings. As a self fulfilling prophesy, women are taught to be ladylike being refined, and then become sub-human species. And women are satisfied with this objectification because they enjoy the attention. Being physically weaker (in most cases) than men is not enough to society; they seek to belittle women even further by attributing such goodness to the appealing woman.
She equivalates nobility to masculinity, and as a person gets closer to a noble character, they are actually getting closer and closer to what is defined as masculinity. The attributes to woman-soft spoken, a sentimental and vulnerable heart, good taste all are descriptions of weakness. Even worse, a woman gets farther in life by flashing a womanly charm, using her sweet words and wiles that are aimed straight to the heart, not the head.
Women therefore, if they intend to keep their womanhood, can only progress in life by getting married. We call it, Getting your M.R.S. Degree. and fall into the prophesy that they are only animals made to care for the babies they bare. She ends with a sharp jab at the male intellect, and with that she ends her argument- That society keeps women from filling their potential.
The Bible says feminism is simply foolishness. See women have the good deal here. A common misconception is that "Wives submit to your husbands" means "Do what he says mindlessly, never question him. If he asks you to jump- you say how high." That's the "Uninformed Idiot translation", UIT for short. So what does it mean?
This command is really more aimed toward the man. Understand that this is actually an order in which we die. In a battle, the officers go into it first. They go on their horses, galloping ahead to take out the enemy. The "lesser" or "submissive" troops, run fervently right behind them. God is saying to the woman- "You let your husband defend you, quite possibly to the death."
Now imagine for a second that someone you know actually and not figuratively took a bullet for you. Imagine they lived. Would you not spend the rest of your life wanting to do what ever they needed or wanted, after all, you do owe them your life? This is the idea behind God's submissive command to wives. It is that it is expected of the husband to lay down his life for his wife, just as Christ laid down His life for The Church. Husbands would do it, almost without thinking of it! It is natural for them, they sleep closest to the door, they guide you away from danger because if you are in danger, he is in danger.
Its not a hierarchy of importance or value. Its a command to the family- "Husbands you go first. Die for your wife and kids. And wives, because you know that he WILL do this for you, treat him accordingly."
According to UIT, we as women should abandon this and go into battle with the husbands, on our own horses. This seems silly doesn't it. No military on earth goes about battle this way, at least not for long- send everyone in at once! The battle will be over quickly. If being a feminist means that I put myself on this plain, I set myself up for failure, and there is no reason to say feminism is to believe that men and women are equal, because God already says they are. In fact you may even translate it as women are FAVORED because the men should die for us.
I will not be a feminist. I will believe God. He hasn't gotten anything wrong so far, why would I (who get most things terribly wrong on my own) try to change it!