Thursday, September 18, 2014

Feminism and the line it draws {part 2}

What started out 2 days ago as a post about feminism and real world examples, became much too long for one post.  

So in the interest of length, this will become a series and this post, part 2. If you missed Part 1, read it here. Please come back 

and read the remaining parts {i'm not sure right now how many there will be}.  

I welcome your input and real world examples too.

Recently, as I sat around a table talking with some new friends, the subject at the table turned to men's and women's roles in the household. A statement was made similar to this:

Last year the yearbook (at a local Christian school) was a huge problem for me.  When I read the Dreams and Wishes for the senior girls and they all said something like - "marry a Godly man and raise a family," I took action.  I told the principal if he wanted to keep me and my family at his school, that wasn't the way to do it.  I don't want my daughter to learn about Biblical submissiveness and think she can't be something other than a wife and mother.


I have paraphrased and considerably cut down what was said on this subject but those were the highlights.
I have to tell you I was alarmed.

At first, because I was afraid words would come spewing out of my mouth without prior consent.
Second, because I felt I must say something, but wanted to choose my words wisely.

Does this bother anyone else?
On one hand, I can understand why this mother was alarmed.  I didn't see the yearbook in question but if so many of the female senior comments were the same that she thought it was a brain-washing, I do agree that it's problematic.

Probably not for the same reasons she does.

On the other hand, I want my daughter to learn at an early age that God created Man and Woman.  He created us differently with a purpose and we can never be "equal".  "Equal" means "the same" and God did not create us "the same." I'd even go as far as to say we shouldn't want to be equal to men.

Do I think it's wrong that a man doing the exact same job as a woman likely gets paid more, simply because he's male? 

Does it bother me that positions that were typically male when I was growing up {i.e. school principal}, are now predominantly female {at least in these parts}? 
The answer would be "yes!" again.

Does that make me anti-woman? 
Not at all.

Our society teaches us that we need to fight for our rights.
The Bible teaches us that we all have equal access to the Spirit through Christ regardless of gender, race, or socio-economic status {Gal 3:28}.

There is so much I could say about feminism and what the Bible says about it.  It is certainly intertwined with the Biblical term "submission;" a term so often taken out of context and a source of argument.

I tend to agree with this view on the matter:
Submission is a natural response to loving leadership. When a husband loves his wife as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25-33), then submission is a natural response from a wife to her husband. The Greek word translated “submit,” hupotasso, is the continuing form of the verb. This means that submitting to God, the government, or a husband is not a one-time act. It is a continual attitude, which becomes a pattern of behavior. The submission talked about inEphesians 5is not a one-sided subjection of a believer to a selfish, domineering person. Biblical submission is designed to be between two Spirit-filled believers who are mutually yielded to each other and to God. Submission is a two-way street. Submission is a position of honor and completeness. When a wife is loved as the church is loved by Christ, submission is not difficult.Ephesians 5:24says, “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” This verse is saying that the wife is to submit to her husband in everything that is right and lawful. Therefore, the wife is under no obligation to disobey the law or God in the name of submission.

I think were our society more apt to do everything out of love {as Christ loved the church}, there would be less conflict, in general, but especially between men and women. 

Ladies: the world has lied to us.

The world would have us believe that because men have higher paying jobs, for example, we as women are substandard citizens.

The world would have us believe that as women we can do everything we want in life for ourselves; who needs men?

The world would have us believe that being female equals being weak.

The world would have us say, "we can do everything they can do better," and "why shouldn't men try harder to be like us? That would sure make life easier!"

Do you see how the feminist argument is ambiguous? 
Creating a double standard is never the pathway to a resolution.

What do you think?
Stay tuned for Part 3...

Further reading and source list for this series (other than previously noted):
Jesus was a feminist...
Matt Walsh on feminism...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Feminism and the line it draws {part 1}

What started out as a post about feminism with several real world examples, became way too lengthy for one post.  So in the interest of length, this will become a series and this post, part 1.
Please come back and read the subsequent followups, the number of which is currently uncertain.  I welcome your input and real world examples too.

I've been feeling all sort of out-of-sorts lately.

There's been a lot going on, but what else is new, right?

It's in those times when I really "don't have time" to think deeply about anything that I notice a pattern.

The repetition of a subject in my life.  

A subject that's almost impossible to think about because it's so convoluted, indefinite, and, in some cases, downright ugly.

And I get anxious because the recurrence of a subject like this means it's probably the next thing I'll write about, or worse, be forced to defend my opinion on.  I don't really know how to write about this one for all the reasons I stated above.

But here it is: FEMINISM.
My stance on it is certainly not going to make me popular {as if I, or my opinion, ever was}.

It all started with my daughter and an issue at school over a week ago. 
At the end of last year, Sweetpea auditioned for a coveted spot on the school news team and she got it.
There are two teams, but she earned the first spot on the Monday, Wednesday, Friday team putting her on camera 3 days a week.
This is right up her alley, because she loves to perform - sing, dance, act - you name it, she loves it! Especially if it involves a stage or a microphone!

Then one day she tearfully tells me that she "might have to switch to the Tuesday-Thursday team." When I asked who told her this and why, she told me the name of another child. 
A child who, unfortunately, we have had several problems with starting in Kindergarten.

This other girl wanted to join another school activity that met at the same time as her own commitment to the Tuesday-Thursday news team.  

And, I'm sorry, but how did that become my child's issue? 

As a matter of fact, my daughter wanted to join two other clubs at the school.  Because of her commitment to her travel dance team and the news team, she had to decline.  It was too much and I am trying to teach her about commitments and priorities. 

For the sake of time, I won't give more details, but I handled it.
She didn't ask me to, although this other little girl has since called her a "baby" for getting her Mom involved.
I took it upon myself to go into the school and nip the whole thing in the bud before it got out of hand.
The end result is that she did not forfeit her spot that she rightfully earned and the administrator in charge was in complete agreement that she shouldn't have to.

As a Mother, I think one of the most challenging things is to teach my kids balance.  I want them to be kind and compassionate and treat others as they want to be treated instead of as they so often get {mis}treated.

But I have to tell you, we have been dealing with "girl-drama" since she was in kindergarten.  While my child creates plenty of drama at home, I can say with absolute confidence that she is not the one initiating this drama at school.  And, now, beginning the 6th year of school for her, I'm just DONE with it.  There comes a point when you say to yourself that "mean girls" learn to be mean from someone and it needs to be stopped.  

They learn it either because the mean, catty behavior is modeled to them, or because a parent/guardian sees it but doesn't correct it or punish it, allowing it to continue.  I can tell you that without a doubt, if I found out my daughter was saying and doing to other girls the same things that have been said and done to her, she wouldn't forget her punishment for a long, long, time.

Now I can't go and wage war against other 10 year old girls {or even their Moms}, but I can certainly become and advocate against female competition and comparison.

Here's something I came across in my research of what the Bible says about feminism and I happen to agree:
Modern feminism is a counterfeit solution to the real issue of the inequality of women in a sinful society. Feminism arrogates to itself the right to demand respect and equality in every aspect of life. Feminism is based in arrogance, and it is the opposite of the call to the born-again believer to be a servant. The modern, militant feminists call women to rise up and rebel against the order that God has given to mankind. That brand of feminism seeks to impose humanistic values in direct opposition to the Word of God. Feminism was originally a positive movement, focused on giving women the basic rights God intends for every human being to have. Tragically, feminism now focuses on destroying all distinctions in the roles of men and women.

Read more:

So what does feminism have to do with Sweetpea and girl drama? Isn't the big feminism war between women and men?

Here's my take on it...

Our society has started teaching girls from a young age that they are inferior to boys.
This comes in a variety of ways ranging from sports that girls aren't allowed to play to careers that boys are encouraged to pursue while girls are discouraged from pursuing them.

I realize that's a very simplistic view, but stick with me.

The insecurity that results from feeling inferior trickles into all of a girl's relationships.

She feels that everything is now a competition she has to win; that every situation is a need to prove herself. Even at a young age, girls feel the need to assert themselves to gain the better position.  The concept of being happy for your friends' accomplishment is quickly taking a backseat to avenging one's own disappointment.

Girls begin acting out against any other girl who has something she wants but has yet to achieve.

Unfortunately, I think little girls have witnessed too much female competition and comparison between "big girls."
That's where the problem starts, but I think it's also where the problem can end.

In my opinion, Feminism draws a line in the sand; which side are you on?

Come back for part 2 of this series tomorrow and be sure to add your thoughts or experiences in the comments.

Further reading and source list for this series (other than noted above):

Thursday, August 28, 2014

In the wake of writing...

I'm an introvert by nature.
I think I've said that in this space many times before.

As a matter of fact, that's why I started this blog.
One trait of introverts is that we shy away from public speaking but can actually be quite articulate.  We tend to feel our thoughts are best organized through writing, so when it comes to presentations, written is preferred to off-the-cuff speaking.

I often choose my written words as a way to stand up for what I believe in.  
Some people might call it justice.  
While I do sometimes consider myself fighting for justice I don't consider myself responsible for doling out justice.  
Maybe that doesn't make sense to you, but it totally does to me.  I think God calls us to stand up for morality, for His word, for those who can't stand up for themselves even.  Passing judgement or enacting our own justice, however, is not ok.

Just as I was trying to explain to one of my children yesterday, standing up for someone else, or even defending yourself, is not the same as retaliation.
Retaliation is a second wrong in response to a previous wrong.  Mama used to say, "two wrongs don't make a right." 

And, at 38 years old, there are still days I have to remind myself of this.

There is a fine line between standing up for what you believe in or standing up for yourself and crossing over into the "retaliation zone."  This is especially true in today's world of political correctness and not wanting to offend anyone.

Which is why I tend to freak out when I see one of these in my inbox:

The morning after posting my views on something controversial, this notification puts me on edge.  Sometimes views and "shares" are a good thing; sometimes they're not.

It doesn't mean I want to take back my words.
It does mean my introvert self hates conflict and wishes to avoid it.

Unfortunately, at this point in my life and in the world we live in, avoiding conflict is getting much more challenging.  

Thank God for grace! 

And to my introvert friends out there, practice being bold.  You can when you have to.
Trust me when I say it's not fun and very much out of your comfort zone, but sometimes those are the moments that stretch us and mold us into whom He fully intended us to be.  

And when it's over, we're still introverts, just a little sore from the emotional workout!

Grace over coffee?

Let's talk about Starbuck's, shall we?

In the last two days I've witnessed a local Food Blogger get slammed for her report on the toxic ingredients found in a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Now, let me say, I love ALL things pumpkin.
And I don't hate Starbucks, though I can't say I LOVE Starbucks either.
I don't go there daily, weekly, or sometimes even for months on end.

I have a favorite drink there and even when a lot of Christians were boycotting the company, I chose not to.  {if you're interested, here's why: this post perfectly explains how I feel about boycotts, even though I didn't write it.}

Apparently, people get really upset and defensive when you start picking on their Pumpkin Spice Latte or #psl as they've been calling it of late.

I tried a PSL once.  Remember when I said I loved ALL things pumpkin? 
Well, except a Starbucks PSL. 
Maybe the barista was having an off day or maybe I was, but at any rate, it was so bad {in my opinion}, that I chose to never try another one.

But that's not what this post is about.

In the last day or two, I have seen the following hashtags in response to Food Babe's blog/Twitter posts:
#foodhunksoldiers {parody of "food babe army", as she calls her fans}
and probably several others I forgot during the course of the day.

I also saw lots of name calling - fear-monger, "forcing your habits on everyone else," "the food babe just ruined fall," #youareajoke, #googleacademygraduate, and #yourresearchisbs just to name a few.

If you go to her Facebook page,you'll see there's even a Snopes article trying to disprove her research. {A Snopes article that conveniently leaves out points Food Babe already addressed in her original post.}

Do you feel for her right now?
I do!

This whole issue supports my ever-growing concern that as a society we are becoming more anti-social, less compassionate, and only tolerant of those who agree with us.

Ok, so you disagree with her research.
Anyone with minimal intelligence knows that High Fructose Corn Syrup isn't good for you! But because Food Babe associated it with your precious Starbucks PSL, that's grounds for bashing her?

By sharing this research, she wasn't bashing Starbucks.  She wasn't starting a boycott.
She was simply asking for transparency; full disclosure of the ingredients a customer is choosing to ingest when they order a #psl.

So because of this, she gets reamed online and through social media??
Tell me how this is ok?

And you might be thinking, "it's just coffee!"
It's so much more than coffee, because this is becoming a trend!

Disagreeing with someone is not grounds for a hashtag war.
It's not ok to bash another person and go out of your way to make them look bad and non-credible on social media.

Whatever happened to "to each his own?"

When someone shares a differing opinion than you, are they FORCING you to agree with them? No.  It's not even possible in most cases! 

Give some grace!

Would you want to be in her shoes over something you were passionate about sharing with others?
So why even comment? Ignore it.

Because, think about it:which do you think got Food Babe more attention - people who disagree, comment and freak out all over social media, or those who disagree but keep it to themselves and go on living?

Give grace. 
Give it with High Fructose Corn Syrup if you choose, but remember to give it.

Grace is "unmerited favor," meaning none of us deserve it.
He calls us to love others as He first loved us.

I believe that includes giving grace.

Titus 2:11-14 ESV 

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.