Photo By Tiffany Rogers, USA
Written By Tiffany Rogers, USA
Hi, my name is Tiffany and I’m a recovering feminist.
My interest in feminism started in college, where I saw many girls studying there only for the coveted “MRS degree”. For the uninitiated, this refers to a girl who attends college just to find and marry a well-educated husband with a bright future. There are even self-help articles and a list of schools to find such husbands made available for girls online. To me, it seemed as if these girls were attempting to find their worth in whom they might marry, instead of whom they might become.
In my pride and arrogance, I pitied those girls. I didn’t want to be like them; I didn’t want my identity as a woman to be found in my identity as a wife. I wanted to be distinct and recognized for what I could do—regardless of what my last name might be someday.
As a Christian, however, I felt like I was in the minority for having this opinion. The Christians around me seemed to believe that women served best as “helpers,” and I refused to accept that idea. I couldn’t bear the thought of marrying someone who would be the ultimate decision-maker for our lives—and of my life. Why should I be the submissive counterpart just because I was a woman? Why should I be seen as less just because of my gender? I felt compelled to stand up against this notion.
Most of the fighting happened in my own heart and mind, however. I wasn’t a feminist by practice, just by belief. With my ideals, I was determined in my heart to fight for equality and for my rights, but I never attended any rallies, marches or forums to discuss the issues. I simply made a decision to never end up in a situation where I was being stripped of my equality because of my gender, within marriage or otherwise.
One day, as I was mulling over these thoughts and trying to figure out the desired outcome of my feminism, I started to think: What was I really fighting and rooting for? Well, it was simple: I wanted equality. I wanted men and women to be viewed and treated the same. I wanted to stop hearing Christians say that women are to “submit”.
But then a question that I had never considered before flashed across the screen of my mind: “Do you care about your identity as a woman more than you care about your identity in Christ?”
Suddenly, I felt like I was being presented with two platters. On one was my feminism: my fight for equality, my standing up on behalf of my gender, my pride, and how emotionally and mentally invested I was in the cause. On the other was my knowledge of who I am in Christ, and my cross.
In an instant, I was overcome. Jesus told us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). If God was asking me to humble myself and lay down the fights and desires I craved to carry in my feminism, could I do it for Him? Would I?
In that moment, I decided I cared more about God than I did my feminism. And even if He didn’t see men and women as equals, I would still care more about loving Him, serving Him and honoring Him with my life than I would about crying out for equal treatment. My love for Him trumps my desire to be seen as equal to a man.
The truth is, God does see men and women as equals. Galatians 3:28 says: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” All believers, whether men or women, Jew or Gentile, have the same relationship with God. He does not discriminate against any of us.
That said, I still believe it’s important to validate women and fight for rights not yet extended to us. There are women all over the world who are still being sold into slavery, abused, and disenfranchised. God calls us to stand up and fight for all people who are marginalized and oppressed.
So now I am a recovering feminist, because I have a much healthier understanding of the word “submission” and what that actually looks like in a Christian marriage. I’m a recovering feminist because before I dare cry out to be given rights I feel I deserve and treatment I believe is merited, I desire first to cry out to God Almighty. I’m a recovering feminist because this is where I spend my time as a Christian woman—not on my feet in demand for my rights, but on my knees in humility before God.
This article was originally published on the writer’s blog here. This version has been edited by YMI.