The Feminine Anti-Feminist


I’ve long been an advocate for women being women.  Femininity.  I’ve never liked the attitude that says, “Anything a man can do, I can do and probably better.”  To me, that’s always been beside the point.  The reverse is true too but you don’t see men planting their identity on it.

 

I know, I know… women were oppressed for centuries so we must raise awareness of our worth to the world or we’ll be kept in our “place” without any kind of recogition of us as people.  Hogwash.

 

I read a book years ago, called Letters of a Woman Homesteader.  As most of those books about people in the last couple of centuries, it had a lot of wisdom to impart but one sentence has stuck so fixedly in my mind that I think I still quote it verbatim though I only read the book once.

 

“There were two things my mama said you never had to brag about: your blue blood and your religion, because if you had even a little of either of them, it was bound to show.”

 

I think the same could be said about women and their abilities.  Rather than crying our declarations of ability, why not just do it and let our actions speak for us?  I’ve heard they’re louder than words anyway.  These are thoughts I’ve mulled in my mind for years.  Oh, I’ve tried to embrace the current trend that defines femininity by hobbies, clothing styles, or housekeeping abilities but I could never truly grasp why it is more feminine to embroider than to build beautiful furniture.  No one calls a man who is no mechanically inclined “unmasculine”.  No one assumes immediate effemininity if a man likes to cook.  Why try to embrace the thoughts that say the reverse?  Do we really have to swing that pendulum from one ridiculous assertion (women should act like men to show their worth) to another one (women should stick to Victorian pasttimes to show their worth)?

 

So, imagine my delight and surprise when I found a book that says all I’ve thought and wondered and much better than I ever could.  I think I’m going to do a series of blogs on this book but for now, the book is,

 

Are Women Human? by Dorothy L. Sayers

 

 

Now, before anyone gets up in arms, this is not a “Christian Feminist” book.  She made one or two statements that were, in my opinion, contrary to scripture but I intend to reread them closer in order to see if in context, they mean differently than they appeared to.  And, contrary to one assertion I found on the web, Dorothy L. Sayers is NOT a “Christian Humanist.”  Even while ignoring that such an assertion is an oxymoron (there is no such thing as a “Christian Humanist”) she does not advocate any kind of humanistic philosophy  in the least.  She advocates looking at people as God made them, not as society wants to classify them and the way she does it, I hope, will amuse you in the coming days.

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2 thoughts on “The Feminine Anti-Feminist

  1. Whenever I think/debate “issues” I am profoundly grateful that my husband picked up the logic book he did and plopped it on the growing pile of curriculum and books that I was buying. It was the first of what has been less than a handful of times that he insisted on any curriculum and I’m SO glad he did. There is such a temptation, when discussing issues to build strawmen to knock down on the side that you debating against. I’m hoping that due to the logic my children will be studying that they will be able to resist this temptation sooner than I was; it is still a struggle for me.

    The issue you put forth of swinging the pendulum “from one ridiculous assertion to another one” is unfortunately nothing new. I saw it back in the “how to care for your babies” debates where you had the caricature “hard, unfeeling ruled-by-the-clock-mom” presented by one side and the caricature of the “over emotional, shaken-to-tears-by-every-murmur-of-the-baby-mom” on the other side. Of course both types probably existed, but they certainly weren’t the ebodiment of most mothers.

    In the role of women debate we have the same thing going on. We have the “doormat” caricature and we have the “striving-for-my-rights, it’s my way or the highway” caricature on either side. Again, both exist, but they are both false strawmen to defeat rather than common truths to argue against.

    The thing that makes all “role of women” arguments so sticky and often silly in Christian circles is that the finer points of what submission should look like or what rights should women have SHOULD be just acedemic, in light of scripture. When we debate these issues we often have the problem wrong: if there is a “submission issue” it can usually boil down to the fact that when we prefer ourselves over others, we are not obeying God’s standard in treating people. If someone is striving for their own rights first, it doesn’t matter how they define submission because they’ve missed the point of behaving in a Christ-like manner. And if someone is waiting for someone else to live up to “their end of the deal” before they start following God’s standards in dealing with people, then they’ve really missed the point of behaving in a Christ-like manner. (Matthew 22:37-40, 1 Peter 4:8, James 5:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15, Colossians 3:12-14). If someone is arguing striving for rights then they are not arguing scripturally. Period. No matter what side of the spectrum you are on.

    And dwelling on which favourite activities or abilities are masculine/feminine SHOULD seem just plain silly. The fact that my almost 9 year old GIRL is my most logical child so far is something that she should neither hide OR gloat about to men. It just is.

  2. I am reading The Mind of the Maker, by Dorothy Sayers. I agree – she is NOT a humanist as we currently define that term.

    I think the Bible gives many examples of competent, sensible women! Even “oppressed” women like Rahab stood strong and brave when necessary. She saved her father’s life by bargaining with the the Israelite spies (thus saving THEIR lives, too.) There are emotional women, too, but I am not sure that they aren’t in a minority. In our modern culture, it takes great courage to be a wife and mother, because it’s a big responsibility.

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