Sunday, August 05, 2007

Am I A Feminist?

It appears that some confusion exists in the minds of some of my readers about where I am now compared to where I used to be philosophically. Recently someone asked if I was now a feminist who now hates marriage and children based on some of the things that have appeared on my blog in the last few months. I guess it depends on what you mean by feminism. If you are thinking the Betty Freidan style of feminism, the answer is no. If you mean the sort of liberal feministic egalitarianism that allows for women pastors/elders, etc., in the Church, the answer is no. If you mean the baby-hating, zero population growth, pro-abortion feminist, the answer is still no.

I'm anti-tyranny.

I'll try to explain. Remember the story of the Pharisees going after the disciples for rubbing grain through their hands on the Sabbath? Remember Jesus' response to them? He reminded them of the story of David and the shewbread and then stated that God desires mercy, and not sacrifice.

In certain circles people can get their heads all twisted up with propositions and principles and then start sacrificing people on the altar of those principles, forgetting mercy in the process. Case in point: being against child spacing or limiting a family's size and then requiring homeschooling of all the children even in situations where you know that the mother in the home is stretched to the limit and not receiving much, if any, help from her spouse, and then condemning her in the process for not living up to the ideal. This is a situation similar to that where Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for tying burdens on people's backs and then not lifting a finger to help them.

Love of propositions as opposed to love of God and people can have a very dehumanizing effect on the human soul. It will make you unyielding and unmerciful and all with the highest motivation.

I'm dealing with the fall out of a broken marriage and seven minor children that need to be looked after. I am having to work after 26 years as a full time housewife with all the qualifications for working in a donut shop, and the adjustment for everyone is huge. I am not only going to have to continue to provide for minor children into my 60's, I also have to plan for my own financial future. I could be a lot more specific about what is happening in my life, but one thing I have learned is that anything that I say can and will be used against me. One person in particular, who reads this blog, does not do so with my best interests at heart.

Am I against marriage? Not at all. The World's Shortest Fairytale tickled my funnybone, especially the part about not being farted on. There are worse things in this world than being single. If the chance to marry a Christian man who is kind, loving, and a partner comes along, not a "patriarch" who wants the prestige and honor of the position, but doesn't want to do the work, then I'm willing to consider it. I'm not having more children. At the age of 46 and after 12 children and 20 pregnancies, I think I have done my part in populating the world. I'm still doing babies and toddlers at the same time I am a grandmother and now have to work full time at something. Can you blame me for not wanting to add to what I am already carrying? Any man who wants me, had better want and accept me for who I am, and not for my ability to procreate. This doesn't make me anti child. It just means that I am finally giving myself a break from the unrealistic ideals I used to carry.

My own circumstances have forced me to look past principles into what happens to people when they are applied in a wooden and narrow way. It has forced me to look at others with more mercy and less of a desire to sacrifice them on the altar of my absolutes. The Bible was written, not just for people who do it all right and have the picture perfect marriage and a large brood of godly, obedient children. It was also written for the rest of us who don't match the picture on the cover of The Teaching Home magazine.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Cheryl, I think I understand a little better now. Personally, I frequently have a hard time reconciling right principle and loving practice. It is so easy to sacrifice one in favor of the other when we shouldn't sacrifice either. How to avoid the ditch on either side requires a level of wisdom that I don't currently have. I find that very frustrating at times.

Anonymous said...

Very well put Cheryl. I do wish you the best in your circumstances I know its not easy. I have so often wanted to write you an email to know how your doing but so much has been going on here I have so little time to get onto the computer. I hope to in the near future.
Kathy H.

chrysalis said...

Well said.

Nate said...

I thought that the fairy tale was funny as well.

I pray that the Lord keeps you comforted in being single- or provides a real man... one that is loving and washes with the Word.

Dana said...

I don't know exactly what circumstances you are referring to, but the proclivity of some within Christianity to throw the insult of "liberal feminist" at anyone who challenges certain ideas drives me crazy. I have had it happen to me and others I know who definitely are not.

It serves only to shut off all dialog which, unfortunately, I think is its purpose.

TulipGirl said...

I haven't checked in recently. . . and didn't realize that along with the deprogramming / healing from the church crud that you were having family issues as well. My thoughts and prayers are with you. You have shared and been vulnerable and honest online in the past in ways that have really ministered to me.