Chapter three in Voices of the True Woman Movement is a history of the feminist and women’s liberation movement, by Mary Kassian. I have heard Mary deliver this message before, but I still learned some new things. Mary details the beginning, purpose, and influence of the feminist movement. This movement in our country has affected every man, woman, and child today.
Mary starts the chapter by noting the female progression in popular TV series. In the 1950s it was Leave it to Beaver and June Cleaver, who was the loving housewife. In the 1970s it was The Mary Tyler Moore Show featuring a female career woman without male attachments. Then the 1980s brought on Murphy Brown and the loud-mouthed, brash woman as the main character. This led to the degradation of the Ellen in the 90s who was lesbian and in charge.
An interesting statistic that “shocked” me: “Today, one American child is born outside of marriage every twenty-five seconds. More than 40 percent of children will go to sleep tonight in homes in which their fathers do not live.” I didn’t realize it was that high!
About the Feminist Revolution
“It’s important to understand that feminism encompasses much more than the cultural phenomenon of the women’s rights movement. Feminism is a distinct worldview with its own ideologies, values, and ways of thinking.”
Mary’s foundation for this chapter is that we need to study where we came from, and how we got to where we are today. Only when we understand the progression can we know where to go in the future, from this point.
The Progression of Feminism
1. Renaming self – the first phase. This is where women claimed the right to name themselves and redefine their own existence. This phase also used consciousness raising – a tactic used by the revolutionary army of Mao Tse-tung!
2. Renaming the world – phase two. “Whereas the first phase of the movement viewed women’s difference as weaknesses, the second phased viewed women’s differences as a source of pride and confidence.”
3. Renaming God – feminists took for themselves the right to define God, which actually placed themselves in the position of God.
Mary turns things around at the end of the chapter and points us to the Biblical definitions of male and female roles. Gender roles and identity “teaches us about about the relationship between ourselves as God’s people (the church) and God.”
The feminist movement started on the basis that women had unfulfilled desires in the homemaking role. Mary tells us that we cannot find true fulfillment by returning to the 1950s role of women. But nor has the modern feminist movement delivered on their promise of happiness and fulfillment for women. Only when we turn back to our Creator, who gave us longings and desires, can we find fulfillment. We must submit and say “yes” to God.
“The heart of true womanhood is to understand and agree with the purposes of our Creator. A woman is a true woman when her heart says yes to God. The time is ripe for a new movement – a seismic, holy quake of countercultural Christian women who dare to take God at His Word, who have the courage to stand against the popular tide, choosing to believe and delight in God’s plan for male and female.”