I consider myself a feminist. This means I believe in political, social, economic, academic, equality for those who identify as women (because gender is a social construct, but that is an entirely different story). I believe not just in equality, but equity.
Some would consider me an extreme feminist because I believe in the power of language. What I mean by that is simple things, like mailman, policeman, and the much hated b-word all have profound effects on the status of women and I do believe to create societal change, we need to change this. I got to the point that I though this was terrible and was the worst possible thing, most necessary for us to change…
I still find it incredibly disturbing and something we should seek to adjust, but the more time I spend out there, the more disturbed I am. I am a believer in human rights. I think every person has certain inalienable rights and it is not up to those in power to determine who gets and does not get those rights. I believe marginality and bigotry still express ideas of racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, and a severe lack of religious freedom. I believe these things because of personal stories, research, and my own personal beliefs.
So why this big rant? Perhaps you have heard of Steven Anderson. This man is quickly placing himself on the level of Mr. Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, but on a grander scale. His most recent sermon describes the roll of women, most specifically that they should be entirely and completely silent during a sermon or lesson by a man in church. The sermon, which you can find more about here, and here, and here is an example of what I see as the downfall of Christianity. One person in the comment on this story said that while they disagreed with this gentleman, at least he was following the entire Bible. This is a false statement of itself.
Let’s discuss Christianity. I do appreciate Christians who understand that the message of Jesus Christ (whom Christianity is named for) was peace and love. That is why I cannot understand why people instantly abandon those teachings as soon as something they are uncomfortable with arises. This gentleman places more importance on the words of Paul (both verses he uses come from the writings of Paul) than the love of Jesus, or so it seems.
(to be honest, after reading up on some of his other sermons, I really wonder if Mr. Anderson has even bothered actually reading that Bible he is thumping)
While our use of language is sad and brings me down, the fact that a man like this is so strongly supported and followed leaves me thoroughly distraught for the future. For anyone who feels things like sexism or any of the other -isms don’t exist anymore, take some time and look around you.
To my Christian friends who do believe in and follow that love that Jesus taught, I want to express my appreciation of your willingness to dig deeper and actually understand your religion.