After the denial of women Bishops in the Church of England last year, and the new Editor of The Sun emphasising the monetary and commercial value of topless photos of women on Page Three, feminism is never going to escape the headlines.
But how should we respond to it?
Was Jesus a feminist?
You might say that depends on how you define feminism. But does it?
Feminism in its name promotes one gender and the advancement of that sex. Jesus was radical, but he treated women equally to men, he treated Gentiles equally to Jews. He was a fan of the minority, but also loved the majority. Jesus wasn’t a feminist – he backed every corner.
Now, I’m all for banning Page Three, and also loathe being shouted at on the street for the mere fact that I’m wearing a dress. But in the fame and the fuss of feminism, I can’t quite escape the fact that we sometimes forget the men.
Feminists cry out that women are objectified in society. But don’t you think men are too? With adverts displaying guys with perfected bodies as the men who get girls, with the well-known deodorant brand presenting men as almost animalistic as they chase after sex, not to mention the porn industry being just as objectifying for a man’s body as it is for a woman’s. Why isn’t there more of a campaign against these shallow images?
Recently, The Times published an article arguing society does not expect a lot of men – they are presented as being thick, or just plain lazy in TV shows like My Family. Dads are seen to contribute little unless they are single parents – in which case, they are heroes. Oh the pressure and the mixed messages!
David’s last words to his son Solomon were ‘So be strong. Show yourself to be a man. Do what the Lord your God tells you. Walk in His ways. Keep all His Laws and His Word, by what is written in the Law of Moses. Then you will do well in all that you do and in every place you go’ (1 Kings 2:2-3). This is the real message that men should hold on to – instead of the false expectations pumped out by TV and advertisement campaigns.
Jesus spent time with men and women. His message was not one of division, but one of grace, one of building the church of God. Galatians 3:28 says ‘there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’.
So, if we are going to live radical lives for God, maybe that involves stepping away from the worldly feminist label – no matter how enticing it is.