Those who’ve read Alara’s Call know it is fundamentally about equality. And when I discuss the subject, I do try to keep the focus on equality, because for too many people feminism is a red flag. They think it means anti-male. But honest feminism is not about pulling men down. That’s misandry. Feminism is about lifting women up. It’s about pointing out inequality and injustice and asking good men to please convince the others to not treat us like dirt.
Despite advances, we still live in a culture that devalues women. American women are far better off than our sisters in other parts of the world, but true equality is still a goal, not an accomplished fact.
If you don’t believe that our culture devalues women, you haven’t seen the stories I have. Just this week, three crossed my Facebook feed:
Can we pause over that last one for a moment? Because I for one find it appalling that a family—including the rape victim’s mother—made the case that what those boys needed was to spend more time with the man who raped their twelve-year-old sister. And the judge agreed.
So please don’t try to tell me that our culture doesn’t devalue women. If everyone in our culture behaved as if women as well as men were made in the image of God, we wouldn’t hear stories like these.
I realize I’m preaching to the choir here. I don’t suspect that the men who read NAF are secretly misogynist. But I do suspect that many Christian men have been sold on the lie that feminism and misandry are the same thing, and therefore that feminists are practicing their own form of inequality, one that puts women ahead of men.
That’s not what honest feminism is. Feminists are people who see that our culture systematically devalues women and say “no more.” No more expecting teen girls to look and act like porn stars. No more blaming the victim for having been raped. No more putting the freedom of the perpetrator ahead of justice for the victim.
The goal of feminism is not to elevate women above men. The goal of feminism is to lift women to the same level as men. We’re meant to be partners. Helpers to one another. Any subjugation of women is part of the curse we bear for living in a broken world. It’s not part of the eternal plan. And if working for God’s kingdom means establishing that kingdom in the world until the new heaven and new earth come, then it means working for equality. Because both men and women are made in God’s image. And, as the apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” If all are one, then how can one be of less value than the other?
She can’t. She is of value. She is made in the image of God, and to treat her as any less is an injustice.