Stephanie, at Yarn Harlot, had some really good things to say about feminism, yesterday, in honor of 100th International Women’s Day. She pointed out that, even though there are some feminists who are radical or pushy or objectionable, that’s no reason the disavow feminism. As she said,
Is there anyone that you know who is walking around saying that they absolutely believe in the ideas of Christianity and believe those principles to be important and true, but don’t want to use the word Christian to describe themselves? People who instead of using the actual word that describes them, are instead saying ‘Well, yes. I believe in Christ and all everything that Christianity is defined as, but I’d rather be called something else because of those Westboro Baptists.’
Feminism, and really any -ism, is a belief in the political, social, and economic equality of that group. Ageism, sexism, whateverism says that group should be equal to – not better than – not instead of – the rest of society. We get caught up in worrying about better than when we should be worrying about equality.
And feminists should be worried about discrimination against the elderly, the disabled, or any other marginalized group, as well as trying for their own equality. Most feminists are, I think. Thanks be to God.
From the Lenten Devotional Words Matter
Read Isaiah 58:1-12
I have started a Lenten spiritual discipline of Praying in Color. In our group yesterday we were asked to think of all of our words to describe God, or how we addressed God when we prayed. I realized that many of the words we use consistently are masculine – Father, Powerful, Strong, King – and I also began to realize that I have some difficulties relating to a largely male God.
That may be one of the reasons I am much more comfortable with the third person of the Trinity. I don’t have a problem with Creator God. That person of the Godhead has never been either male or female to me – and I have no problem addressing either Our Father, or Our Mother. I do have a problem with being expected to have a “personal relationship” with the Son of God. It’s not that I don’t like men, or that I disapprove of anything that Jesus taught or did. But I think of the Holy Spirit as female – someone who understands a feminine view of the world.
I’ve written a little short story that may help you understand where I’m coming from. Maybe I’m anthropomorphizing God in a way that I shouldn’t, but there it is. The maleness of the traditional God gets in my way of relationship with her. That’s why I prefer thinking of the Holy Trinity as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, rather than Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I truly don’t think God wants to distance God’s self from half of the human race by insisting on a sexual identity different from my own.
So, yes, Words Matter to me – a lot. I will try to spend this Lenten season paying attention to the words I use to describe my God, and I will try to be careful as I talk to other people so that my words do not bring hurt or problems to them.