The Roots of Feminism

Laura Wood over at The Thinking Housewife has an excellent two-part series up right now to answer some fundamental questions about feminism:

Reading your blog makes me wonder. If older generations were happy with the traditional role of women in society, why was feminism embraced by the later generation? Maybe you think it was propaganda, but why did the propaganda take hold? Were women discontent with their role to begin with? Was feminism offering something women thought they were lacking? And most important, if feminism is making women so unhappy why are women not embracing traditional role more?… Just curious. I think is a fascinating topic.

Read Laura’s answer at THIS LINK, then pop over HERE for part two.

7 thoughts on “The Roots of Feminism

  1. “The idea that patriarchy is evil must be countered with the question: Compared to what?”

    Compared to treating women more like people (historical patriarchy did a very bad job of that). I believe that both feminism and patriarchy are too severe and all-assuming on the sexes. What we need is to remember that men and women, as well as every human being, are different and called to different roles. There will always be things men and women are each more suited for, but do not presume to map out a person’s entire life upon their birth because of their sex.


    1. Jenn, we’ll agree that some forms of “patriarchy” have been too severe, but the term itself refers only to what God describes in the Bible: households under the authority of the father. Wives and mothers also have authority (see Proverbs 31 and the life of Sarah for just two examples), but it is authority under submission. This is simple hierarchy that exists everywhere we look. Husbands and fathers must submit to the authority of God and lead/direct their households according to Scripture’s clear pattern of servant leadership (not household dictatorship). Biblical patriarchy is completed by biblical womanhood–it doesn’t squash it. Gender roles were created by God at the beginning and are therefore “very good.” That men have twisted those roles is evidence of man’s sin nature–not evidence that we need to toss out the patriarchy baby with the bathwater. 😉


  2. I don’t agree about seeing this hierarchy everywhere, but you explain your position very well 🙂 A couple of men said once that they tried to make everything equal with their wives by not asking, but pressuring their wives to give an opinion on everything; they later found out their wives preferred to leave many decisions to them. Now they no longer worry about making things equal. I told them being truly equal doesn’t mean they must make exactly the same amount of decisions! It just means they regard and respect each others’ voices. On a similar note, Kelly Crawford described her marriage as, “two equals, one with my hands supporting him” or something very similar. I like that 🙂


    1. Hi again! I was just talking about the practical, everyday hierarchy that exists wherever we go. The world would be chaotic without it. Traffic laws: we stop at red lights, we yield at intersections, we do what the traffic cop says when he blows his whistle. We, in essence, “submit” to these rules and regulations because they make the world safer and better for everyone. Try living here in Kenya, where traffic laws are considered weak suggestions at best. It is so hair-raising it’s a wonder I didn’t go grey my first week here. 😉 They call it “Matatu Culture” here, named after the buses that tyrannically rule the roads by pushing in front of other cars, cutting across intersections, and even driving on sidewalks to get around blockages on major roads. It’s all about “me first.” That doesn’t make for a safe society. Submission is something we take completely for granted in the Christian West: standing patiently in line, waiting our turn to order, opening doors for the elderly or the pregnant lady, etc. All of this requires submitting to laws, regulations, or just plain old mannerly behavior. It’s beautiful. Without it, life is pretty nasty. When a man exercises servant leadership as Christ did, he is saying, “My life for yours.” He is willing to put his neck on the line and make the hard decisions and take the consequences. A wife submitted to such a husband isn’t a vestigial organ or an afterthought — she is enabled to fulfill her role without fear or hindrance and throw herself wholeheartedly into making the home a place of hospitality, education, equipping, industry, and more. If I had to do everything my husband did, the home would simply fall apart. Kelly’s description is spot-on. God made mankind male and female–equally in the image of God and equally important and valued. Having differing roles doesn’t change that. It’s not about superior/inferior. It’s about complementing each other’s roles to make a stronger whole. it’s wonderful!


  3. Hi to you 🙂 Great points. You made the main point well: submission is about putting someone else first. And it doesn’t always involve hierarchy; sometimes it just means sacrificing one’s preferences to someone else even if they’re not in a position of authority. If I let someone go before me in line, for example, it doesn’t mean they’re the boss of me, but that I put my needs or wants second to theirs. This is, indeed, the true beauty at the heart of Christian submission.

    Jennie, you’re living in Kenya??


    1. Yes, putting others first doesn’t necessarily mean there is a working hierarchy there, but hierarchy naturally involves having someone take the lead while others follow. We see this in the military, in corporations, in the church, and in all kinds of organizations in society. You can’t have all generals in the army or all CEOs in a business, and the church wouldn’t function with 20 pastors and no elders or deacons. 😉

      Yes, we live in Kenya. My husband has worked in Kenya and Sudan for many years with Persecution Project Foundation, but it involved taking trips three or four times a year from the States to Africa. It finally made more sense for our entire family to move over here, which gives us the added benefit of being more directly involved in helping my husband. We love it!


  4. Yup, we definitely need hierarchy in government and similar places.

    Wow, from Alabama to Kenya! What a huge change. My grandmother loves Africa; she says she’s sure that’s where God began the world. I long to see it one day. Just be careful!


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