Initially this blog was to be a personal diary for a woman (myself) to journey about the struggles of infertility, life, marriage, work, and ministry. On a personal note I never kept journals and was looking for a way to express myself. I have always struggled with the patriarchal world of the faith I was raised in and never understood the reasoning behind women not being pastors or leaders in the church (on the record I still don't know why this exists). I was asked to attend and speak at a women's conference where I was initially asked to share on marriage and ministry, but that topic did not fit who I was or what I felt God had challenged me to speak and share about at this conference with the other women. I looked deep inside at my past and listened to those around me and felt (as I have shared in previous posts) God say look at this next generation of young women what is your legacy to them? What are you leaving behind for them to use and make better? What is the next chapter for women, especially in the broader Christian world?
So I began to write about my thoughts, feelings, and theories on being a Christian Feminist. Before I go on let me make it very clear neither of these words are bad and we all have to be okay with that :) I realized though I never established who I was when referring to myself as a Christian Feminist. The differing opinions shared on this blog have really challenged me to make it clear where I sit as of right now. I am open to change and open to learning and discovering new ideas. I have always tried to be a sponge soak up as much as I can and squeeze out what I don't agree with, but be willing to learn from everything that I encounter. This is not a forever statement it is just my statement for this moment at 30 years old. I am straight, white, and married, I do not have any children (yet), and desire to be a mother, I am a professional, am highly educated, and yes have benefited greatly from the women who have come before me, my social class, and the color of my skin. I love males and adore my husband, my equal and partner in life. I love the male, gay and straight men in my life. I love the women, straight and lesbian in my life. I love those who believe in my same faith and those that do not. My world is colorful and filled with many people. My Christian Feminist voice is encompassed with every person I have a relationship with today and in the future.
Christian to me is a belief system. It is my personal walk with Jesus Christ and the center of my life and who I am. I do believe the bible is the inherent word of God. I believe the Holy Spirit is with us always. I believe in the trinity God-Jesus-Holy Spirit. I believe Jesus died on the cross and rose again and that by accepting Him into my life I am a child of His. I may not fit exactly into any religion although I was raised Assembly of God and you could say I bend towards Evangelicals, but the most important aspect in my life is my relationship with my Savior, Jesus.
Feminist to me is the fight for equality with the sexes. It is the desire to move women forward to be recognized for their talents, their achievements, their leadership skills, and the choices they should have the freedom to make with regards to their given profession, love life, marriage, partnerships, etc. It is the fight to see qualified women hold positions in all aspects of industry, for profit and not-for-profit. To be leaders in church, community, organizations, government, and corporations. To lead nations, to be a part of the legal systems, to be mothers, and raise children, to actively pursue and be a part of cultural shifts. To be a voice for women in areas that do not have voices to empower women and young girls in developing nations which seek empowerment but to be respectful of culture, tradition, and sovereignty. To show that women are all unique and bring something very special to any table we find ourselves. To encourage education, success, diversity in career choices, love, and stay at home moms. To mentor other women and have women groups which meet and encourage each other. To fight the porn industry which creates such an unfair expectation on women and young girls. To fight against sexual harassment, and in appropriate male hierarchies. To find balance and equality in the work force...
Feminist to me is also understanding the delicate balance between men and women. It is understanding that not only do I have an obligation to empower, mentor, and challenge young women to dream big, fight for their equality, and know they can be who ever they want to be, but to also be a voice to young men to challenge them to do the same, but to see women as their equal. To voice an example that we each both men and women bring very unique skills to any environment that we find ourselves in. To challenge each other in this world to appreciate and accept that each of us are significant in our own rights and each of us can shift culture in moments at a time.
We are not there yet, I see it all around me the inadequacies between men and women, especially in the church, but I can not only be a voice to women when it will take changing men as well. If I have son I will want for him to grow up and be just as successful, confident, and powerful as if I had a daughter. But for young men literature, mentors, and heroes are being taken away. Look at the men these young men today are supposedly seeing as examples especially in religious sectors. We as women wonder why they are so confused when they grow up. Their mentors and leaders have not changed their views on women. We have to be equally as vocal to men as to women.
I do not live in a world where I can only surround myself with women and go only to teachings given by women. I do not want to read only literature written by women. I am an equal to men, I will fight for that to happen hopefully one day, but I will also look for balance and celebrate that God made men as well with a purpose to also be strong leaders in their own right.
So I guess I am unconventional in all aspects of being a Christian Feminist...