Feminism can be a noble thing

I discovered Monday night that I am a feminist.

Emily Sidnam, Writer

I am a feminist. I discovered this Monday night at the lecture, “Feminism: A Dirty Word?” The speaker, professor Tim Muehlhoff, explained that feminism is not necessarily the taboo thing Christians often believe it to be; in fact, feminism is biblical.

Muehlhoff pointed out that we all have “snap judgments,” immediate reactions to a specific word or concept. Upon hearing the word “feminism,” my reaction had always been to think “pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pushy, protester and presumptuous.” I believed feminism conflicted with biblical teaching.

During the lecture, Muehlhoff assented that as Christians, we can’t accept all feminist beliefs, but his goal was “to make feminism complex.” We need to recognize that feminism comes in three waves.

The first wave of feminism is about giving women a voice. It is the broadest definition of feminism — “the opposition to oppression.”

The second wave deals with basic rights and job opportunities. This is where issues such as abortion and gay marriage enter the mix.

“Those are points where we have to jump off, where we have to stand up for what is evangelical, what is Christian,” said Muehlhoff.

Third-wave feminism is highly postmodern and relativistic, and Muehlhoff admitted there is very little, if any, common ground with Christian thought.

Monday night, Muehlhoff focused on first-wave feminism. He advocates that “the project of the early church is about the first wave of feminism.” Jesus began the first wave of feminism by giving women a voice and showing that men and women have equal value in God’s sight. The New Testament church continued this cause, respecting women and protecting them from oppression.

First-wave feminism is needed in the world today — as made evident at this year’s Missions Conference. Oppressed women, such as those living in the brothels of New Delhi, India, need a voice. As followers of Christ, our hearts should go out to such women. I believe it is noble to give a voice to the voiceless, to rescue the oppressed. I now believe it can be noble to be a feminist.

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