I’ve been thinking for a while that I’d like to write a paper or do a talk on ‘Jesus: The Feminist’. I’m not sure who would read or listen to what I have to say, but practising my arguments helps pass the time when I should be doing other things like work! In the interests of research the other day I drew on the best of academic resources available to me….Google. Firstly, I read a very articulate article on Jesus as a feminist which made me think I still need to polish my own rants. Secondly I found a disgusting, offensive and totally abhorant website basically conveying the author’s opinion that women are second-class citizens in God’s Kingdom. Nick, my husband, immediately told me to leave the site in concern that I may engage in one of my tirades – website tourettes – against the ‘author’. It was just so inticing to read though! The arguments put across were irrational, unbiblical and stank of misogyny. My favourite line had to be “Not one man has ever had an abortion!” as seeming justification that men are righteous before God and women evil. I think he failed to perceive the anatomical limitations of his argument somehow.
Sadly this kind of attitude, although in this case very extreme, seems to underline so much of the Christian thinking I have encoutered. From the raised eyebrows of ‘Oh so you used to be your husband’s line manager’ to the ‘feminism is from satan’ I have struggled to equate the Jesus I read of in the gospels with the one that thinks I am a little less (or in some cases a lot less) valuable than a man. In the words of George Orwell “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”
So what to do? Give it all up? succumb to the call of home-baking, home-making, baby-making, baby-rearing, always endearing, hospitable, unflappable, unintelligible, unquestioning wife and mother? (Not that I think being a ‘stay at home’ mummy is in any way wrong – just not very me!) I am afraid I can’t – much to my husband’s and daughter’s relief (I really can’t cook well). Onwards with the challenge in the belief that equality, fairness and justice are at the very heart of God.