Thoughts on Radical Feminism
As a woman who has been part of the TU community for nearly a quarter of a century, I am dismayed to see the continuing rise of feminist thought at Taylor. I certainly affirm the equal value of women and men, both being made in the image of God. But I would caution those who believe that feminism is simply a call to equality to think again.
Here are a few of my objections to the radical feminist movement. First, there is the undeniable link to the pro-choice movement. No one can deny the deep historical and current connection between feminism and abortion. A major tenet of radical feminism is the right to kill one’s child in the womb. Not only does abortion take an innocent unborn life—half of which are females who will never have the chance to worry about equality—but abortion also destroys the lives of the women who exercise their legal right to choose as well as those women who are employed in the abortion industry. Abortion has been associated with a variety of mental and physical health issues that plague those who make that choice. This life-destroying choice is guarded viciously by feminists in countless ways, including the national Women’s March’s refusal to include pro-life groups in their demonstrations.
Second, radical feminists devalue traditional female roles in the home. Certainly, women who need or desire to work should be free to do so. But the feminist movement places such a heavy emphasis on closing the so-called “wage-gap” and women advancing in their careers as a way of proving their equality, that many women are left to believe that by not pursuing a career they are less valued by their peers. By choosing to stay at home or pursuing roles requiring fewer hours and more flexibility for their families, women are led to believe they are contributing less to society. Since when did caring for your family become less important than making more money? What if I find more value in the investment of raising and educating my children than in a paycheck? Does that make me a less valuable contributor to society or less intellectually worthy of praise? Defining one’s success by the size of one’s wallet has often been a temptation faced by men. Neglect of family and distorted priorities have often been the result of giving into that temptation. In order to be considered of equal value by feminists, do we women have to define our success in terms of dollars and cents?
Thirdly, radical feminists’ promotion of high risk sexual practices and attitudes place women in great danger. To me, this is one of the strangest paradoxes of our time. We are told ad nauseum that women are to be valued for their brains and not their boobs. Yet organizations like Planned Parenthood encourage women, even girls, to “explore” sexual practices which put them at great risk of abuse, disease and psychological damage. The normalization of pornography endangers women both through its objectification of their bodies and the sex trafficking trade that feeds it. And don’t get me started on the media speaking out of both sides of their mouth, as they claim to celebrate inner beauty all the while they set literally physically impossible standards of beauty.
Throughout history women have not always been treated with the respect they deserve or valued as they ought to be. However, I emphatically reject radical feminism as the answer. The only thing that will bring equality for all, including women, is the Gospel—the good news of Christ which affirms the value of everyone, as we play out different but vital roles while attempting to redeem God’s creation for His glory and the benefit of all.