The Submissive Feminist

Hi friends!

In recent weeks, I have been reading a blog called True Femininity (which will henceforth be referred to as TF), which I first stumbled upon as I was looking around for some Goodwill shopping ideas. It's a well-written blog by a young, unmarried college graduate in her early twenties. She discusses everything from frugal living, modesty, and homebirth to courtship, college, and cooking- all of it from an extremely conservative perspective that she supports with specific Bible verses.

Having given you a little background information, I would encourage you to go take a peek at TF for yourself. The last thing I want to do is to wrap this young lady's blog up into a package and make sweeping generalizations about what she's doing there, but after having read almost all of her posts, I cannot keep quiet any longer.

First, I admire her dedication to the Word of God, and her struggle to live a life that goes against the commercial, individualistic, selfish consumerism that has become our American culture. TF appears to be a strong, intelligent woman with a heart for Christ and for leading a simpler kind of life that represents what she calls the "anti-feminist". She strives to wear skirts and dresses and to embrace womanhood in a way that is reflective of her own femininity. She has stated that she will forgo birth control in favor of God's will for the number of children she should bear, and that women don't necessarily need college educations in order to excel in life.

And I understand and empathize with much of what she says, I really do. TF does a fairly decent job of expressing her opinions in a way that reveals her acknowledgment of other beliefs (notice I said "fairly decent"), and I can see how she would struggle to lead a life that is "in the world, but not of it", particularly because she resides in southern California.

But the one thing I cannot understand is how she expresses such a deeply antagonistic view of feminists, even as she admits their role in allowing her to voice such opinions! It is true that while women have come so far, staunchly liberal feminists have pushed us to the brink of actually losing our natural, God-given femininity. But I have trouble respecting someone who does not seem to value the thousands of women who took risks for equality so that we (and by "we" I mean the contemporary woman) could speak up and have our say. The only reason TF can have a blog and promote her beliefs is because someone came before her and stepped outside the traditional role of a housewife in a corset and demanded that she have the right. It seems like TF has glamorized the notion of a woman without choices.

I want to clarify here that TF has stated she believes women are equal to men; she simply believes they have different responsiblities and varying roles to fill. I agree wholeheartedly. We were created in the image of God, and we need to embrace our natural inclinations for serving, nurturing, loving, and caring for others. This is a reflection of Christ within us. I respect women who make the choice to stay at home and care for their husband and children, and build a life for them together in a way that honors God and brings glory to Him. We need more women like that, if I'm being completely honest. Our society has pursued an "everything is relative" mentality- so much so that we've lost respect for the importance of  honoring our husbands as leaders, viewing children as a blessing, and acknowledging the significance of our biological differences with men.

My point here is that women should be (and, in America, are) free to choose what kind of wife or mother (as well as both or neither of these things) they want to be. And the very fact that we have a choice in the matter is not something to be spit upon, but appreciated. TF seems to be doing much of the former and little of the latter.

Personally, I want to be an author, but I also adore being at home. Fortunately for me, these things complement each other. But there are many women who want to work outside the home (as well as some who have no choice), and that is also a wonderful thing. The greatest obstacle to doing this, however, is ensuring that you have enough rest in order to be both healthy and present in the lives of your husbands, children, friends, and family. It's not a matter of which is right or wrong but, rather, how to honor God with our choices.

I love to learn how to cook new dishes, clean my house so that it is a welcoming place for both me and my hubby, decorate so that our home is a reflection of our unique styles, and enjoy my quiet time away from the busyness of the world. I grew up in a small town, but I live in downtown Atlanta- I have the best of both worlds! But one day I want to have a front yard again, with a porch swing and a magnolia tree. Whether it's in Little Five Points or Savannah, I don't care. I simply want to enjoy the beauty of God's creation even as I participate in the liveliness of the city.

Overall, what I want is to pursue God's will for my life, and TF makes many great points about how hard it is to discern what He wants for us. If you've been following me here you know how I feel about wanting what the Lord wants. It's a difficult journey, to be sure, but it's important to recognize that Christ is not just a part of our lives- He is in every tiny detail and we should welcome Him as top priority.

I don't know know how many children we will have (or even if we will have them at all), or what our careers will be, or where we will live and serve...I have so many passions and the Lord has struck a chord in my heart for missions and discipleship, so I have to allow myself to be submissive in my search for His will.

Submission has, unfortunately, become a byword for behavior that is weak or, even worse, passive. The Bible paints a beautiful portrait of submission; however, the majority of the population tends to stop reading once they realize that the Word calls for women to obey their husbands. I wish they would dig a bit further because they would see that men are required to love their wives as Christ loves the church...

If you know anything about Christ, how could you possibly turn away from a man who loves you like Him? Jesus humbled himself and became human so that He would experience all that we do. He sacrificed his very life, bleeding and broken, so that we could know His grace, joy, and all the fruits of the Spirit in return. I don't understand how every woman in the world is not rejoicing over this truth!

Me and Hubby, dancing on our wedding day!

I am a feminist because I believe that women are equal, as God handcrafted each of us as individuals; but I also believe we we created to do different things. And I call myself a submissive feminist because God blessed me with a husband I can respect as a spiritual leader. This does not mean he makes all of our choices (in fact, as a testament to our equality we are both extremely stubborn!), but it does mean that if we struggle with a tough decision, I have enough respect for and faith in Hubby as a man of God who wants nothing less than the best for me to have the final say. And then there are moments when I make the choice, or when neither of us can agree, so we play "Rock, Paper, Scissors". Don't laugh. It works!

Ultimately, what I'm trying to say is that we shouldn't look down upon the roles that God created for us, and neither should we fight against the women who worked to give us an equal advantage. It wasn't God who diminished the female gender and imposed restrictions on women; it was was a society that interpreted the Bible as it saw fit, rather than seeing the Word as it was written.

Until next time,


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