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Can a Woman be A Christian and a Feminist?

Updated on June 19, 2013

Let's use our imaginations for a moment as we explore a serious topic with a lighthearted approach.

...It's Tuesday evening at Anytown, USA. We are all gathered together for a down-home Christian Society meeting at the local Grange Hall . Men & Women from various parts of the country have come today to listen and decide. We have all agreed that the decisions will be made by majority vote. YOU Dear Sister (or Brother), are one of the blessed few who will make this historic decree. It will be signed in irrevocable, non-erasable, forever permanent ink. The one and only item on the agenda - a two part question. The decision to be made?

Well, before we begin, grab a cup of tea and a warm toasty scone, they're right over there by the officiants gavel (we're very informal here at the Grange Hall), then have a seat on one of the taupe colored folding chairs. Feel free to crochet or needle point if you've brought your bag. That's better, now that you're more comfortable, the speaker begins...

"Women of God, (and Brothers here in support) thank you all for coming out tonight. The decision to be made is both a moral and social one. It is lofty indeed but we have complete faith that you will vote prayerfully with your faith and your heart. This will benefit the Women of God today and for future generations to come. YOUR decision will help reconcile our faith with our social consciousness regarding this issue"

                                      ◊ CAST YOUR VOTE!!! ◊

                                             (Just click the ballot bubbles below)


Is it acceptable for a Woman of God to be a Feminist, or is Feminism opposed to Christianity?

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Has Feminism benefited Women of Faith at all?

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That was fun, However...

There is a less comical issue here. Some Christian women are closet Feminists, and I believe the closet is getting pretty tight with all of the ladies hiding in there. These Christian women actually agree with and wholehearted support major feminist talking points, however they may fear backlash if they are vocal about their beliefs or obvious in their support.

In fact, some women, (including Christian women), are what I like to call ...


No, you will not find that term in google or Wikipedia. It's a combination of the two words 'Feminism' and 'ventriloquist'. A loose definition of feminism may include belief, study or activism for the equal treatment of the sexes. This may involve social, legal, employment, voting and the like. A ventriloquist is someone who can seemingly make their own voice come from the mouth of another individual or object such as a puppet or 'dummy'. The Ventriloquist can sit & smile while the doll on his lap says funny, racy, or controversial things. "I didn't say that, it was the dummy on my lap!"

This is what many of us knowingly or unknowingly do on occasion. While we sit with our hands folded nicely in our laps, shake our heads & frown at the notion of feminism. We tell our daughters to 'submit' in order to be loved. However, many of us go off to work and decry foul if we are passed over for well deserved promotions that seem to be reserved for men. We require fair treatment and access to the legal system. If that line is crossed, we will NOT 'submit', but instead assert our rights to fair housing, treatment, and access to government & private businesses. Consider this: The US Department of Labor purports that many women earn 15-20% less than men at median wage(1) . This may not seem earth shattering unless you are one of those earning less who still must pay the same amount for utilities, food, and medical bills as those earning more; only with a lot less to make ends meet.


Oh really? I beg to differ; before I can meet the spiritual needs of those I serve, I may need to consider their earthly needs. It's difficult for a hungry person to sit and listen to our professions of love and faith as their stomachs are gripped with hunger. Or watch our telethons and tent meetings with eyes sunken from tears and lack. If we have it in our power to help them but are afraid or unwilling how loving is that? (James 2:16)

Learn to do right, seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless and plead the case of the *widow (Isaiah 1:17 NIV)

The word here for widow is *'almanah in Hebrew. This is important to note because not all Widow's were truly Widow's in every sense of the word. In fact, widows could be treated differently based upon their status. Just as the New Testament tells young widows to go get re-married, but older widows were encouraged to consider a celibate lifestyle (1 Timothy 5:11).

To further explain the differences, the word "almanah" means "Desolate" and forsaken, such as in bereavement.The root word 'alam' refers to having ones mouth shut, and almanah indicates for an extended period of time. What a sad state when a woman with children in her care is so utterly forsaken and grieved, for such a long period of time that she no longer has words to speak.

Another word for widow that describes a woman left to fend for herself, with no husband or older sons to protect, care, or provide for her is"Almanuwth" which can be described as being exiled, a foreigner, where there was once more than enough, she wanders with no help.

WHY DISCUSS THE WIDOW? Whether she be Almanah who lost a husband and is bereaved or Almanuwth a woman exiled, put out without help or assistance, or young, old, widowed by death or just temporarily added to the widow's roll due to her circumstances, someone must champion the needs she and her children have. This is an obligation given by God.

Learn to do right, seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless and plead the case of the *widow (Isaiah 1:17 NIV)

I truly believe God would honor our concern for women who are left to care for their families with no assistance from husband or older son. Maybe this care and concern could be championing the fair treatment of women. It would allow her to provide for her family right? It is important because a woman with children earns less money than her male counterparts with children. However both families will still require roughly the same amount of food, clothing, and other necessities. However the "widow" will need to provide just as much with a lot less. Another interesting fact... God did not spend a lot of time belittling or judging the fatherless child or the widow. Instead more attention is placed on the need for good people to get busy defending them.

The BIBLE is one of the greatest examples of fair and unbiased treatment for women. Long before the notion of the Equal Rights Amendment (which was never passed by the way!). God declared He was not a respecter of male or female personage, He made provision for women, especially widows, and required that they be cared for by their families or the church. The consequences of neglecting them or their children was quite severe. Then why should we be ashamed to admit we agree with SOME of the talking points (some not all) of the feminist movement which has pressed forward the cause of equality for women? Why would we choose to be Femtriloquists?

I believe the answer is fear and misinformation in regards to one simple word:


"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord ( Eph 5:22)

Without engaging in the age old debate about the fact that many Godly men have taken the word out of context to mean blind obedience and servitude (Yes, we all know some men have done this to varying degrees), or that many women want to rob the Bible of it's meaning, pretending it doesn't really mean "submit" (it does, so get over it lady, it's in there) I'd really like to bypass this tired debate and focus on two other words generally ignored - Notice the two little words in the center of the scripture YOUR OWN? Here's some freedom for someone hiding in that packed closet. This SUBMIT Button is not for EVERY MAN on the face of the earth to press, just YOUR OWN! This does not mean we should be disrespectful to other men or deny the fact that there are real differences between men and women, just that this scripture is in regards to a husband-wife relationship - NOT every man that a woman comes in contact with. This frees women to assert themselves in the workplace, care for their children's needs, buy homes and cars requiring fair and equal treatment and other aspects of life. She does not need to take a backseat to every man on the planet.

Though we benefit from many of the contributions feminists have made to the entire world, at times we find it difficult to align ourselves with their agenda. In fact, many women (Christian women included) are very critical of their agenda. We tend to throw the baby out with the bath water. Maybe it bares another look - fetch that baby and bath water back! Lets face it, feminist's have done good things that will allow your daughter to attend college, demand that she not be physically abused, own homes, and other essentials of life. Your daughters will continue to be blessed by their efforts. It's time to say thank you.

Christian Feminist Theory.

This theory is an interesting one. It devotes much of its energy to exploring the affects of morality, spirituality, and other issues that women face. When discussing Christian Feminism, the focus tends to dissolve into a debate about whether or not women should serve in key roles in the church. While this is interesting & important to explore too, the issue at hand is equality, and access to resources such as bank loans, high profile professions, or even equal access to the court systems and law. These are also moral issues and many Christian Feminist's do a great job in balancing both schools of thought.

Well, the town hall meeting is about to come to a conclusion, it's getting late and there's a square dance-aerobics class schedule next so we better be going, Hey, there are still scones left if you'd like to take one home. Thank you for stopping by.


(1) Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment and Earnings, 2008 Annual Averages and the Monthly Labor Review, November 2007.

Has your opinion of feminism changed, even a little after reading this article?

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    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 7 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      steffsings, I had to research my own hub after reading this one. I remain in shock! I had no idea that 15 states refused to ratify the ERA. I find it archaic! Thanks again for inspiring me.

    • steffsings profile image

      steffsings 7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      @Storttellersus Thank you for your comments. (You are right...the poll is slightly contradictory :-)

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 7 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      I am stunned that the ERA was not ratified by these 15 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia. I find no Biblical support of sexism. In fact, Jesus said of Mary and Martha, "Mary has chosen the better part" when Mary chose to sit at his feet and listen with the men.

      BTW, your first polling question cannot be answered because the two parts contradict themselves, lol!

      Great hub!

    • steffsings profile image

      steffsings 8 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Wordsword - my pleasure, I plan to read more of your writing.

      Hi, DonnyBoy, thanks for stopping by AND very very well put.

    • DonnyBoy profile image

      DonnyBoy 8 years ago from Western New York

      Great point!

      Submit isn't "do all the work" but living the right way.

      I like it.

    • wordsword profile image

      wordsword 8 years ago

      thank you very much for taking time to visit my hubs and sharing your experience.

    • steffsings profile image

      steffsings 8 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Thank you for your comments. I love the dialog James A. W.

      Wordsword-thank you for your comments and for taking time to stop by. Your hub topics are very interesting to read.

      Travel Man thank you! I agree, we should recognize the great work of many across the globe such as Suffragists, as the Bible says honor where its due (Rom 13:17)- some risked all for others to have the right to do things considered outside of feminine ability, like speaking my mind as in this very post...

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      That's why Women's Suffrage is such a strong indication of giving equal rights to women around the world. Before the 18th century, women cannot exercise their rights to vote. We should thank all the suffragists (in France) who initiated what the feminists are still fighting in this masculinistic society. You're not a puppet, steffsings.

    • wordsword profile image

      wordsword 8 years ago

      The pic is absolutely amazing and depicts the hub in its right spirit.Nice

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      I very much enjoyed your response. I am with you.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Well written story about you. great hub.

    • steffsings profile image

      steffsings 8 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Thank you Harris dy for your comment & stopping by... I visited your hub as well - great stuff over there!

      James AW Thank you for your comment. Believe or not I agree with you wholeheartedly, womens rights at the expense of men being just who they are created to be is absolutely wrong (6 brother's here, 1 sister). Belittling/berating men in order to get even(equality)will always FAIL miserably & SOME of the feminist platform (especially the militant extremes) is without a doubt in opposition to a Christian world view. with that said, What is the alternative? My prayer is that we do just THIS converse & maybe come up with ways to champion rights/needs of the modern day 'widows' who are at the doorsteps of our churches & community at large.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      This is a finely written article. Having 2 daughters and 5 sisters, I naturally agree wholeheartedly with equal rights and opportunities for women. I think there is a vast difference between different types of Feminism. Some Feminists claim marriage is slavery, and children don't need fathers. Their views have led to the feminization of boys through ritalin and sensitivity training in school and college. And the statistics they use about the 15% difference in earnings doesn't take into account the differences in production between men and women from the inescapable reality that women bear children and hopefully, carry the awesome responsibility of rearing the next generation of the human race.

      The desire for equal outcomes for everybody is a utopian dream based on Marxism. Identity politics rips the fabric of our nation. The constant comparisons of statistics and making assumptions about them are harmful in the long run to the health of our society.

    • harrisdy profile image

      hdy 8 years ago from Texas

      great topic!


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