Season: 4 Episode: 049
The history of the feminist movement has radically changed American culture. Along with that, the way society views masculinity has caught the attention of universities, commercials, and the way psychologists treat men. Is feminism killing masculinity? How has the movement changed over the years and does it convince women of their value? Shanda shares how the movement has changed over the years, and how the first three chapters in Genesis prove we never needed feminism anyway.
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Hey guys! Welcome back to another episode of Her Faith Inspires. Before we get into today’s episode, I want to remind you about the online store that helps support this podcast. You can find inspirational tees, bags, boy mom bundles, and study guides available.
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Ok, so today we are talking about a topic that may be a bit controversial. I feel like I’ve said that a lot this year. It seems as though everything is getting controversial and people are easily offended.
We are going to address the question, “Is feminism killing masculinity?”
The reason for this episode is because there is a difference between historical feminism and modern feminism and we need to understand the difference.
Now, I know there are men in this world who are abusers, sexists, womanizers, chauvinists. And I do not want to downplay the experiences of women who are in abusive relationships or have had terrible experiences at the hands of men. Let me say that those men will answer to God one day because God is not pleased when men do not uphold the role and duty He has given them in regards to how to treat, protect and take care of a woman.
I have talked often about how I feel we should champion the men in our lives because I have a wonderful husband and 3 sons. I’ve written a bible study called #Boymom, in which I talk about how mother’s should raise up their boys. Let’s face it, we are living in a culture that grows more hostile towards men every day. This conversation is important because it’s not the men who are yelling that men aren’t important. It’s the women.
Today, we are going to discuss the following:
1) The history of feminism in our country in regards to the first, second and third wave of feminism.
2) Can you be a Christian and be a feminist?
3) The dangers in emasculating men.
So, let’s start with the history of feminism in our country.
All of the history I am going to share with you can be found online with Christina Hoff Sommers, or in the wonderful book, Mama Bear Apologetics, which I highly recommend even if you are not a mother. Seriously, one of the best books I’ve read.
The first wave feminism, according to Christina Hoff Sommers who is known as the Factual Feminist, said the first wave feminists were divided into two groups: the egalitarian feminists and the maternal feminists. This took place in the early 19th century to about the 1960’s.
Two groups, one Cause
The difference between the two groups is that the egalitarian feminists fought for women to operate in the same roles as men. Maternal feminists fought for equal rights within their roles as mothers.
Both groups wanted the same things: voting rights, education, etc). But they didn’t argue for them in the same way.
The egalitarian group said that women could do anything a man could do and did not celebrate the inherent differences between male and female.
The maternal feminists recognized that men and women are different and they wanted to be recognized for their unique role in society as caregivers. They wanted the same outcome as the egalitarian feminists.
The two groups came together and the 19th amendment gave them the right to vote, and although they had a much different approach to how they saw men and women, they accomplished much for women in the early 20th century.
And then we have the second wave of feminism
This is the wave where women started to talk about reproductive rights and it began in the 1960’s to about the 1980’s. This is known as the sexual revolution. Women began to scream “my body, my choice”.
Some women were a bit confused because women won the right to vote, get an education, work the same jobs as men … yet, many of them still desired to be housewives and caregivers.
Many women thought this was terrible and proved how much power men had over women in their homes.
Why would women choose to stay home and raise their families, or in some cases, choose jobs that paid less than men (like teaching and nursing … which BTW, are female dominated occupations by choice because it falls in line with the innate talents and gifts of the woman).
So, what did the egalitarian feminists do? They demanded birth control, abortion, and decided that men were oppressing women by keeping them home. This painted a picture that staying at home and raising children was abhorrent, grotesque and since the men couldn’t do it, they couldn’t tell women they had to do it either.
The goal of the second wave feminist was to do away with gender roles and propel the woman into independence and autonomy. This is completely, 100% antibfiblical.
Third wave feminism is what I call modern day feminism
Although there are some that argue we are entering a 4th wave, but for the sake of this episode, we are going to keep it to the third wave.
Women did not want to live in a post-feminist era. They wanted to send the message loud and clear that the fight isn’t over … especially when men are getting away with sexism and power.
This wave began around the 1980’s and is going strong today.
This wave of feminism has nothing to do with women being equal with men
They want the world to know that men are the oppressor. They are the patriarchy of society and they are the oppressor even if they don’t know it. And if they show any sort of chivalry, such as holding a door open … God help the man who thinks a woman isn’t strong enough to get the door for herself!
I actually saw a post on social media a few weeks ago that had to do with this very thing. Women were telling men they don’t want the door held open for them because it assumes they are children and can’t do it for themselves.
If any men are listening to this podcast, I will thank you kindly for holding the door open for me
It’s called manners!
In reality, modern day feminists have nothing left to fight for. All of the laws for equality have been passed. You want equal pay? You get equal pay. Now feminists will tell you women do not get the same pay as men according to statistics. But they are not interpreting stats correctly. What I mean by that is, women are predominately going into fields that pay less. I’m a teacher. I know this.
There aren’t as many female engineers but an engineer will make more than a teacher. So, if women are in female dominated careers that pay less, it would seem as though the pay rate is different based on gender. Nope. They are different based on career choice.
You want to get an education? Get one. More women are graduating from universities today than men.
Women have busted through practically every male only field and they succeed doing it. So, what’s left? To yell, “I’m a nasty woman” like Ashley Judd, and show your female body parts so you can kill your unborn baby. Oh, wait. That’s legal too.
So, the question is … can you be a Christian and be a feminist?
That depends. Let me explain why.
The feminist movement is a tricky one. You won’t find me marching in Washington for women’s rights because the “rights” women are fighting for today are not in line with biblical standards. And if you want to get technical, many of the rights women fought for in the first wave feminism wasn’t in line with biblical standards either.
This is where we have another scenario of what sounds good may not always be good when we dig deeper.
Today, women are fighting for the right to abort their babies with the slogan, “my body, my choice.” That is anti-life which is anti bible. And when women find themselves marching in Washington, this is what they’re fighting for.
I will never bash men to make myself feel better. I appreciate what Hillary Morgan Ferrer said in Mama Bear Apologetics:
“Women are no longer trying to prove they are as good as men, but rather that they are better.”
The maternal feminist is a group I can stand behind. They are the ladies in the first wave who partnered with the egalitarian feminists. They wanted to vote and be treated equally, but they valued their roles as wife and mother.
My husband and my boys are the most important people in my life. I love making them dinner, teaching them, taking care of them. I didn’t want to miss a thing so I started a preschool inside my home when they were toddlers, and my SIL and I tutored older kids after school. My credential came in very handy for these things and since we still needed two incomes at the time it worked for us.
It was exhausting but I didn’t want my MIL or mom calling me to say my boys said their first word or took their first steps while I chased a career when they were young. Now there are some moms who have to do this and I commend them. It’s not easy to work full time and come home and take care of the kids. But, I value my role as a wife and mother because soon enough, my boys won’t need me the same way anymore.
What we need to understand is that God values women
We see this all throughout the Bible. It is true, there are some men who treat women as second class citizens. I personally don’t know any, thank God. Who does well with jerks? Not me.
I also know some denominations who won’t allow female preachers. I don’t attend a church that believes this way, and I don’t believe that God refuses to use women in those roles. There is a verse in Timothy where Paul said, “I do not allow women to teach” and that is often brought up here.
One of the people I consider a distant mentor, Voddie Baucham, translates this verse to mean that women cannot preach. I don’t think he’s sexist at all. He respects the Lord and upholds the word of God. I have read commentaries on this and believe this was specific to the Ephesian church,part of the culture of that time, and also has to do with the position in which men took in order to teach in that day (pastor, deacon, etc). We also need to balance these verses with other verses in the Bible where Paul and others esteemed the value of women in ministry.
Why is it OK for a woman to teach Sunday school and the youth, but not adult men?
Come on! There are many more females in leadership positions today because they are stepping up.
Again, if that’s something you have questions about or want more clarification on, send me an email and I’ll explain further. There’s a lot more to that verse.
Jesus shattered cultural norms about women in the gospels when He met with the woman at the well. He valued his relationship with Mary and Martha, and their brother Lazaurs. He respected His mother and made sure she was taken care of when He said, as He hung on the cross, “Woman, behold your son” in reference to the apostle John who would now take care of her.
God chose women
God chose women all through history, beginning with Eve, who would birth the Messiah through her lineage. He used women to thwart the plans of Pharoah to save a nation and the future deliver of Israel, Moses.
God chose Deborah, a prophet, who showed more courage than any man when she fought in battles for Israel.
He chose prophetesses to speak His word, women to guide kings, mothers to raise sons who would not deny Him in the most trying of times.
God showed Himself to Sampson’s mother and not his father. He answered Hannah’s prayers for a son, Rachel’s inquiry about her twins, and dedicated two books of the Bible to Ruth and Esther … two women who left their mark on history.
Don’t tell me that God does not care about women. And don’t tell me that the Bible doesn’t support women.
So, can you be a Christian and call yourself a feminist? The definition for feminist means advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.
That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
But because of all that feminists stand for today, I would not call myself a feminist. I will not identify with a group that tries to emasculate men, kill babies in (or out) of the womb with weak and selfish justification, and looks to build up females while putting down men.
Do I value women? I am a woman.
I know what women feel, they’re struggles as mothers, frustrations as wives. Believe me … I know what it’s like to compare myself to other women, struggle with friendships and relationships, and wonder if I’m doing enough.
But I also know the worth a woman has. Not because I say so, or because other feminists have convinced me because in all honesty, I don’t believe feminism truly convinces any woman of her worth. If it did, we wouldn’t be in what’s arguably the 4th wave at this moment.
What does God think about the woman?
I believe women are a unique part of God’s creation. I share this in my study Reflections of Eve, and I’ve shared it on other podcasts but God created the woman last. God valued the female so much, He made Adam realize his need for her.
If you look in Genesis 2, Adam is living in a perfect world …. Literally. God places him in the garden to tend and keep it. He is going about his day, and God realizes something isn’t good.
Now, this is where it gets odd. It’s odd because the fall hasn’t happened and Adam is living in a perfect garden. But God says, “It is not good that man is alone. I will make a helper comparable to him.”
And the next odd things is what God decides to do.
He brings all of the animals to Adam so he can name them. But the odd thing is that the Bible says, “Still, there is no helper comparable to Adam.”
Don’t you think God knew the animals wouldn’t satisfy Adam? So, why would He bring the animals to him in hopes he would find a companion? He didn’t do it for that reason. He brought the animals to Adam so He could create in Adam an awareness for a companion.
God wanted Adam to feel the need because God already saw the need. And once Adam was lonely, longing, and yearning for something, God brought Eve so that Adam’s response would be, “At last!”
If God would have created Eve earlier, there would be no exclamation from Adam. God wanted to make sure she had the welcome of, “At last” or “Finally! This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.”
God valued the woman so much, He made sure Adam valued her too.
Now, here’s where we go wrong … we think we need to yell, scream, devalue men, and change the roles in order to find our worth. Not at all. Women who do not know their value will do those things. Women who are confident in who God created them to be will allow a man to open her door. She understands her family needs her and she is the pillar of that home. It will not function well without her.
She knows she can manage a large company, but she also knows men can do amazing things too. She doesn’t have to put down men in order to walk confidently in who God made her.
Women are made in the image of God. But, so are men. Women and men are told to rule and have dominion over the earth. God never said we were better off alone.
The dangers in emasculating men
You may feel this last segment of the podcast is overreaching. Feminism emasculating men? Isn’t this a bit much?
Psychology Today has an article called “Masculinity is Not Our Enemy” and the writer states that although there are a lot of men who are at the top, there is no American demographic where men are doing better than women.
Women outdo men on health, test scores, and college graduation rates.
Psychology Today actually pointed out a problem with what the American Psychological Association is now doing and something that is in many ways brought on by feminism, and that is the treatment of male masculinity.
The APA says, “masculinity is the cause of men’s problems” and “removing masculinity is the solution.”
Men are struggling with addiction, suicide, violence, anxiety and depression … and though the APA acknowledges this, they attribute it to something innate to all men .. masculinity?
Micheal Gurian, the author of this article from Psychology Today says masculinity is a good thing. He goes on to say, “Masculinity is characterized, according to the APA, by strength, stoicism, aggression, and power. Like our academic institutions in general today, the APA presents these aspects of masculinity as our nation’s largest male problem.”
Gurian says that boys need these traits in order to live and thrive in a complex world.
He defends masculinity, saying that compassion is shown in strength and kindness is shown because we have the power to do so.
He also says that culture has abandoned the millions of males who are not at the top and in positions of power.
Let’s face it … boys need masculinity. Gurian thinks so too. He says we need more fathering, not less. And if you want to know how fatherlessness is killing society, go back and listen to the episode Dean and I did about it. It’s heart breaking and a true problem in our culture today. You’ll find it in episode 30.
Boys need healthy manhood, according to Gurian, and good fathers teach that, and strong women support it.
We are seeing masculinity being scrutinized and devalued in our culture today through commercials like Gillette (look it up on YouTube. It’s ridiculous! Generalizing all men as bullies, aggressive and sexists …. As a mother of 3 boys, it’s offensive), in the universities, and through messages such as “girl power” and Disney characters.
Why can women’s commercials celebrate femininity and who they are, but men are told to suppress who they are?
Why do we see “girl power” for our little girls but not “boy power” for our boys?
Gurian says, “Masculinity is fragile, as millions of failing males prove. It is too fragile to be accused by our nation’s smartest people of crimes it has not committed. And our sons are too fragile to survive and thrive if those who ostensibly care for them — from academics to businesses to schools to communities — suggest our sons’ biggest crime is their very existence.
A few weeks ago, I saw and reposted a quote from UN Women and it said, “Let’s interrupt the gender bias instead of the women who are speaking. We can all help stop the cycle of manterruption by recognizing it, calling it out, and stopping it in his (OR HER) tracks.
It went on to give the definitions of manterruption:
1. The unnecessary interruption of a woman by a man.
2. A patriarchal act that is linked to a man’s sense of epistemic entitlement that makes it very natural to speak over others, and to hold the floor for longer than is proper.
Here we go again with making generalizations about men. I find it odd that they call it manterruption as if women don’t interrupt men. And although they give a slight nod to women who interrupt, they still say it’s a patriarchal act that is linked to a man (which, by the way, patriarchy is a hijacked term in society because it is used to mean “rule of man” when the proper definition is “rule of fathers”. The biblical view of the patriarchy is that men stood in their role assigned by God and became a protector, not an oppressor.
Generalization is dangerous because it is a branch of critical theory that identifies a group of people as the oppressor and another group as the marginalized.
It’s dangerous because boys are automatically branded as the oppressor because they are male and men are branded as rude and inconsiderate because they’re natural response will be to interrupt women … according to this woman made term and definition.
We ought to celebrate the differences between men and women. Because we are different, and that is a good thing.
Gen 1:27 tells us, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
God makes a clear distinction between the male and female, but He also makes it clear that both of them are created in the image of God. Both of them are to work together to rule and have dominion over the earth. In a nutshell … they are to live together to accomplish what God has purposed.
I want to close this up today by giving a warning. We have many, many “Christian” feminists these days. They approve, applaud and celebrate abortion, homosexuality, critical theory, and so many ideologies that are in complete contrast to the word of God.
To identify as a feminist today falls more in line with progressive Christianity and you may not even know you’re following or listening to a progressive Christian if you don’t identify the doctrine as being anti-gospel.
There is a plethora of information I could have went through on the topic of feminism killing masculinity. But what I want to stress is regardless of what you call yourself, what do you believe? And do those beliefs align to the word of God? Are the beliefs of whomever or whatever you join yourself to found in the Bible?
There are many women influencers such as Rachel Hollis, Jen Hatmaker, Glennon Doyle and MANY others … who not only identify with feminist issues, but also align themselves to Christianity … and in some cases homosexuality. They are teaching and supporting a false gospel.
And in the end, if you and I do not know the word of God, we will latch onto what they sell, buy in and walk away deceived.
For the men in our lives, the boys we raise to become men, and the one we choose to unite with in holy matrimony, it is our duty and responsibility to champion them and encourage them to walk in the call of being the man God has made them to be.
If you have any questions about anything on this episode today, because I know it was heavy, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to answer them.
Until next time, I’ll catch you on the next one!