Why do we shy away from hard discussions as Christians? Why are we afraid for someone to have an opinion that differs from our own? Are we afraid that our own values may be flawed, and the realization of the flaw will create a hole in our pride? We not only have a problem talking about our differences in the public community, but even within our comfortable Christian circles.
I want to open one of these uncomfortable discussions.
I am a Christian and a feminist. Despite common belief, these two things are not in conflict with one another. To be a feminist simply means you believe in the equality of men and women. This equality is not limited to the United States, but seeks equality throughout the world.
A feminist is an advocate for the mistreated women globally, not just someone who challenges the prevalence of men in positions of power. The feminist does not seek to devalue men, but asks all people to question the social norms we have become familiar with. Feminism is not an angry word, it is a word that calls people to compassion and understanding.
As Christians, this is a conversation that we should not shy away from. Ignorance is a key cause of brokenness. This is not easy, it is uncomfortable, it is a conversation that I avoid even within my own family. The fact is as Christians we are called not to look to our own interests, but to the interests of others (Philippians 2).
When we take the time to understand someone's perspective, we are loving them. We are called to humble ourselves, and what is more humbling than taking a moment to question your own position?
Next time you go to the gym maybe listen to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Tedtalk and consider her experience as a woman and a feminist. Then, the next time you sit down in class you can ask the person next to you if they have heard her talk and have a discussion. Maybe next spring sign up for Dr. Weichbrodt’s class Women, Art, and Culture and learn what it means to be generous.
And to everyone who is a feminist, we need to start reading Fox News with an open mind.