Yesterday I started writing about being a true feminist. I decided to do it so because of a part of what was defended by original feminists are things that we can see in the Bible. The topic of the last post began with the abolitionist movement and the fight of Susan B. Anthony against slavery and slave owners. Today, I will engage on another topic. But before doing that, let me state somethings first. Like all movements, feminism is subjected to the changes in culture, time and society. So Susan B. Anthony’s feminist (what I call true feminism) stance does not match entirely what we see today as feminism. This so-called third or fourth-wave feminism have conflicting points with Scripture. And when those conflicting points arise, I’m compromised with God and His written word. In Scripture, we find words of life, teachings that enrich our spirit and we are honoring God. In social justice movements that exceed what God determines as a limit, we can only find disobedience and lack of comprehension of who God is, what He does and how He loves us.
Today I’m approaching the women’s suffrage movements and rights. They’re at the core of the feminist movement since women we’rent recognized as having the right to vote. Women like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Jane Hunt and Lucretia Mott had ties with the Quaker movement in the US, claiming that a man and a woman are equal under God. So there is a Christian foundation behind this movement. Women who saw unfair treatments and non-righteous actions stood up to those who committed them. They fought for the future of those who would come to be and that has a record in History. The Universal Declaration of the Human Rights states in its First Article:
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
So, why is the right to vote so important? Suffrage is granted to qualifying citizens once they have reached the voting age. At face, we can say that having the right to vote denotes that we are citizens, recognized as equals among our peers, not having a statute of limitation that will limit our exercise of citizenship. Failing to recognize this is a failure to recognize that both man and woman are equal at the eyes of the State. Thus, making that difference viable, it creates a vacuum in which we can slide into other rights like education, non-discriminatory practices like equality of wages, etc. And that will link to God’s moral law. Like Calvin wrote:
“The law of God functions to keep evildoers from being as bad as they otherwise might be. Thus, to some degree, it serves to protect God’s people from the sinful machinations of the ungodly”
The Lord protects both men and women, so His moral law is applicable to both. As followers of Christ, we are a people of grace and not law. But it is God’s law that demonstrates his spotless character and shows our need for grace. The grace that we receive and that is to be shown in our daily lives and acts.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10, KJV)
I hold the belief that both men and women have complementary roles in the eyes of God. Which is not a full rebuttal of feminist equality, but yet a variation of it. Complementary roles are related to functions, not “rights”. But they are equal in terms of salvation, love, receiving grace and others (Galatians 3:28). Men have a set of duties to carry, as women have another. Together they combine in one unique being, which his only possible by God’s grace. Because in our perspective, in what concerns to God, we have no rights, nor demands (Isaiah 64:6). But He is the one who can demand from us since He is the Creator and the one who rules everything with His hands.
Returning to equality, God used numerous courageous women in History like Zipporah (Exodus 4:24-26), Deborah (Judges 4:6-7), Ruth (Ruth 3:9), Hannah (1st Samuel 1:12-18), Abagail (1 Samuel 25:30-33), Esther (Esther 4:15-16) or Mary (Luke 1:38), that served His purpose for His glory and our benefit. These women acted while females, obeying God and putting themselves into action to stop harm, unfairness, and tragedies. I would dare to say, they are the true Bible feminists. Those who did it guided by God and to the benefit of those to come after them, while maintaining their female sense and personhood.