I’m not very clever and rarely anything other than straightforward, so let me begin by saying I don’t identify as a feminist and I never have. That said, some of you are good friends of mine. And I have purposed (and continue to do so) to better understand feminism both today and historically, and related issues that feminists care about. This is because feminism is a significant movement and because many of these issues are issues about which I also passionately care (e.g. sexual violence and objectification).
I’m writing today because I hope to shed some light on a question I’ve heard several times: why aren’t there more feminists in America? According to a recent poll, only 20% of of Americans identify as feminists, but over 80% affirm the statement that men and women should be social, political, and economic equals. Put another way, I’ve heard some define feminism as broadly as the idea that “women are people too.” I don’t have a number on this one, but I’d put money on well over 95% of Americans affirming that statement.
So what’s the catch? Why do most Americans support feminism as defined but reject the label itself?
Feminism has a complicated history of multiple iterations (waves) and continues to exist in a variety of forms and sub-movements. (In short, I realize you’re not an entirely homogeneous group.) This history includes some proud moments and important victories, and, while no group of people is ever perfect, I’m thankful for the opportunities women have today in the United States. And I support efforts to improve the condition of all people and especially women around the globe. But this century plus history isn’t all beautiful, I’d posit that feminism has had its share of conspicuous and negative moments. But I don’t need to go back in history for an example, I just saw a video that was posted yesterday that may help us understand the public’s distance from the term.
http://www.FCKH8.com (F#*k hate, in case the name initially confused you.)
This is a group that supports goals commonly purported by self-identified feminists (ending racism and sexism and LGBT inequality). Their approach is a bit crude, and they’re making a point by it, I realize…still, it doesn’t sit super well for me, but whatever…until they released a video about 24 hours ago: little girls dropping f-bombs (and not feminism but f#*k).
It’s disturbing and saddening. And very, very unattractive. One of the numbers they cite has to do with sexual assault, an issue that is very significant to me. I have close friends who’ve been abused, and I have friends who’ve been assaulted. I have friends who’ve been perpetrators. This issue is truly tragic and we need to come together to solve these problems. Justice needs to be served, compassion and help extended. But this video??? This is not a solution. Feeding little girls vulgar lines only causes a myriad of further problems!
Again, I know that there are sub-movements within feminism, so I’m not holding all feminists responsible for this video (some of you are my friends, and I know you wouldn’t approve). By why would I support or take on a label that when defined is embraced by 80-95% of Americans (and me) while the label itself is only embraced by a few, and has supporters that create media like this?
Here’s the video if you’d like to see it. The content itself isn’t anything you might not see in an R-rated movie, but the context of little girls and the manner in which they speak is somewhat disturbing.
p.s. While not nearly as offensive, the use of that classic 23% wage gap figure is continually and excessively troubling. It’s so obviously false if you just think about it for a moment, and it’s been demonstrated many times. Hopefully all seekers of truth (feminist or not) will clear up the usage of this terribly misleading statistic which is regularly cited by many including our current president, Obama. Here’s one piece that explains it, but just use Google if you want more!
And I don’t express it well or often enough. Thus, this post.
I’m from a small town in Northern NY (seven hours from NYC and five and a half from Buffalo). In some ways, this area lacks so much, but in the most important ways, it is amazingly special! (It’s the people here!)
This is fairly simple and quite focused, but I believe these ideas will prove to be of great significance in later discussions concerning sex. I pray it will equip and encourage believers in the midst of a culture lacking a firm foundation.
We Are Sexual Beings
It’s just a fact. And I think this is obvious enough that I will add little to substantiate this claim.
Suffice to say, there are seven billion people on this planet, and we’re all here because our parents had sex. And, with few exceptions, we can all personally identify as beings with libido and the physical design to engage in genital intercourse.
Enough said, we’re sexual beings.
Sex Is a Gift
Yes, sex is a gift from God.
Did you know that sex was God’s idea? Yep, He designed it. He’s the reason sex exists. He’s the reason sex is so pleasureful, intimate, and special.
On the Nature of Ongoing Creation
(Or, A Common Misconception within the God/Homosexuality Discussion)
A Complicated Conversation
Addressing this issue is complicated for a variety of reasons, so I want to begin with a blunt acknowledgement of that fact and a declaration of hope in Jesus for all persons (regardless of sexual orientation). [Read the full post.]
An Unfortunate Reality
“I don’t remember ever being happy as a child.” I was listening to Fresh Air a while back, and I heard this statement. (Or something like it, this is paraphrased from memory.)
“I look at photos of myself when I was a child, and I see genuine smiles. So I did have fun. I did enjoy life at times, but I must have chosen not to remember those times of happiness.”
Truly sad. [Read the full post.]