In 1969, a group of women in New York City rallied together to see how they could change the world as leaders of the feminist movement. Here is a their litany from this meeting:
“Why are we here today? the chairwoman asked.
“To make revolution,” they answered.
“What kind of revolution?” she replied.
“The Cultural Revolution!” they chanted.
“And how do we make Cultural Revolution?” she demanded.
“By destroying the American family!” they answered.
“How do we destroy the family? she came back.
“By destroying the American Patriarch,” they cried exuberantly.
“And how do we destroy the American Patriarch?” she probed.
“By taking away his power!”
“How do we do that?”
“By destroying monogamy!” they shouted.
“How can we destroy monogamy?”
“By promoting promiscuity, eroticism, prostitution, abortion, and homosexuality!” they resounded.
I don’t know about you, but this does not sit well with me. Not at all. This seems to be much less focused on pro-woman issues, and much more focused on how to destroy EVERYONE but themselves.
Why has feminism come to mean “anti-man”?
First, allow me to take it back to the good ol’ original definition of what feminism is according to the Merriam Webster dictionary: “The advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of equality of the sexes.” I have no problem with this original definition. Yes, men and women are equal. However, EQUALITY is not synonymous with SAMENESS, and certainly does not mean destroying someone else to try and reach this idea of “sameness.”
Shulamith Firestone, a second wave feminist, said that “the end goal of the feminist revolution must be, unlike that of the first feminist movement, not just the elimination of male privilege but of the sex distinction itself: genital differences between human beings would no longer matter culturally.”
The problem with trying to be the same is that we end up not embracing the unique, most beautiful differences that make us particularly amazing as male or female!
Difference is good, healthy, and necessary for a flourishing society! Men and women NEED each other. And that’s not a bad thing. By trying to become more like men and achieving the definition of success and power that has largely been associated with men in the past, women are leaving behind the empowering unique gifts and strengths of being a woman.
By “hating on” men, we are not making any strides towards becoming more influential, competent women. I’d say we are doing just the opposite. Instead, we end up emasculating men, becoming weaker women for it because this hurts society at large. We need the powerful gift of men’s masculine leadership, ideas, and strength to work in collaboration with our feminine strengths! We keep each other in check, and can support and MAGNIFY each other’s strengths and contributions to the world.
What really bothers me is that men and women—whom we have established are equally incredible, yet fascinatingly different— are leaving behind their very unique strengths by striving for sameness. The result is a society that is not reaching it’s full potential. And not only a society that is missing out on it’s full potential, but a society that is quickly deteriorating.
Excuse my silly analogy, but honestly it’s kind of like a football player trying to do ballet. Actually, some football players DO learn ballet skills to improve balance and flexibility. But does this mean that the football player should perform as a lead in the Nutcracker? Probably not! The skills and talents of a ballerina and a football player are both important and should be respected. However, we can agree that they are also very different, and a ballerina might want to rethink joining the NFL! This certainly doesn’t make the ballerina any less.
If Feminism is striving to make women more like men, and erase our differences, then this is proclaiming the message that there is something wrong with women. That being woman isn’t good enough. This makes me question if the modern day idea of feminism is actually pro-woman at all? I’m inclined to think that it is not.
Being pro-woman does not mean being anti-man.
What if women focused on how we could bring our unique feminine strengths to collaborate alongside men in creating a better society? What if women focused on how we could contribute and serve others, instead of becoming obsessed and consumed with self? What if women focused on respecting and honoring men, realizing the powerful influence we have to call men on to higher standards and inspire them in ways they never thought possible?
What if women focused on learning to embrace the unique abilities and gifts that come with being a woman? Our intuition, ability to be fruitful, compassionate, and nurturing. The beauty we bring to the world through our feminine strength have the ability to TRANSFORM the world in a way that is particular only to women! Fulton Sheen says that “when a man loves a woman, it follows that the nobler the woman, the nobler the love; the higher the demands made by the woman, the more worthy a man must be. That is why woman is the measure of the level of our civilization.” This is high praise. But also is a huge responsibility entrusted to women.
How will we respond?
Let’s be passionate about the incredible honor and privilege of being a woman and the influence we have to call men on! I challenge you to ponder the beautiful truth about the complimentary nature of man and woman. I challenge you to ask yourself how man and woman can work together as a team—a strong team at that! Let’s work on cultivating mutual respect, encouragement, and appreciation for the gift of each other.
Let’s learn to put our unique gifts and differences at the service of each other to create a better society! You are needed.