So today is International Women's Day
and I'm participating in the Blog Against Sexism
campaign. This is similar to last year's Gridblog to Dismantle Patriarchy
, except that I think I've become even more of a feminist. A year ago, I supported feminist ideas, but also was very open to tolerating opposing ideas as just being part of reality (in a - he beats his kids or he hates black people, but what can I do about it, sort of way). But over the course of this past year, the hatred, fear, and desire to control women I see all around me has become more incomprehensible to me. I really just don't get how anyone can still claim that women are inferior to men.
The more I support equality, the more disparity I see. Just yesterday, I was searching groups on Facebook. I typed in "feminist" and found more groups that opposed (or downright hated) feminists that I did groups that support equality. I've also been following Scot McKnight's series on women in ministry over at Jesus Creed
and am often floored by the hatred displayed by commenters there. These men have no issue telling women that they are wrong for serving God, that they should remain in positions subjugated to men, and that we are evil and unbiblical for desiring anything else. They don't seem to realize that they are addressing real women with real lives, callings, and feelings. Do they think it doesn't affect women to hear over and over again that - "you are not as good as me, God values me more, your opinion is not as important as mine"? This goes beyond them banging one or two misinterpreted scriptures over our heads, it displays a deep seated prejudice and fear of women. And these are the people who supposedly follow Christ's command to love others. They are not even the ones (necessarily) who just see women as physical objects. The ones with bumper stickers on their cars that say "My Other Toy has Tits" or who don't know how to introduce/describe a woman without referring to her physical appearance.
I am a feminist - but contrary to popular dismissive labeling techniques I don't hate men and I don't support a "woman's right to choose". I support equality and human rights - for everyone. But one thing I have learned over this past year is to use my voice. I can't sit around and wait for things to get better or to be invited to the conversation. I've realize that I need to call out sexism where I see it. Call it by its true name, bring attention to it, strip it of its power. I need to just join the conversation if I want to be a part of it. I don't need permission or an invitation, I just do it. People may not listen, but I can't complain that nothing is being done. And this annoys people. It upsets the status quo, it forces people out of complacency, it forces people to examine their conceptions and it gets me labeled and dismissed. Julie cares about women, that's her thing, - lets just make fun of her or tell her that's it's not really a big deal or just ignore her. It's easier to laugh than to fight sexism. But this isn't something I can go back on. It's not like I can all of a sudden decide that women are inferior or something like that. There is always the danger or apathy or laziness, but as long as I keep seeing blatant examples of sexism around me, those seem far off.
So I blog today to fight sexism and I will continue to blog to fight sexism. Its about love, its about equality, its about supporting a full vision for the Kingdom of God. And no matter what I get labeled, I will not cower in fear, I will not shut up.
Labels: Gender Issues, Social Justice