About five years ago, I was road tripping alone and I decided to put on a podcast. On this particular day, I came across a Kris Valloton sermon on the subject of women. I had skipped it during my usual podcast rotation. I was not someone who considered themselves limited by my sex for any reason. I was mostly raised by a single mom who worked as an executive, surrounded by sisters, been told all my life that I could do whatever I dreamed, and then my mother had become the Pastor of a church. (You read that right. Not the pastor’s wife, the pastor) I had been ingrained with solid girl power from birth.
Kris Valloton began talking about things I completely agreed with and shed light on things that I hadn’t really thought about. I don’t remember hearing anything that particularly shook my core. But when it was over, I realized something in me felt different. I didn’t become an angry feminist needing to right the wrongs of my fellow sisters or anything, but I remember calling my husband and telling him, “I feel like a ceiling I wasn’t aware was over me just got destroyed. I feel so much freedom!”
I think it was more spiritual than anything.
I guess after that I began to look for my place rather than wait for someone to ask me to fill one.
Not that that is the definition of a feminist. I think I'm on a journey to discover its meaning. I don't want to argue doctrine or semantics with you, dear reader, but to explain to you a piece of my process.
I like to think it has something to do with freedom to be completely yourself and pursue your dreams to their fullest. I want equality for women. But I don't want to need something that is meant to be another's strength. I'm not talking about physical strength, but the fact that we weren't made to compete as much as we were made to be compatible. Women need men. And men need women. We need each other's strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes a woman is better at cooking, and sometimes she's better at math, and sometimes she's more handy with a drill. I think the point is, who cares? Let's be great at what we are great at, and let others come alongside us at what we lack at regardless of gender. (or race or doctrine for that matter)
Last year there was a gathering of women in Washington D.C. and in major cities around the U.S. I didn’t see women that represented my voice. (To be fair: I also don’t trust the media to talk about anything other than the nastiest of occurrences on that day and therefore don’t know all of the story.)
What was plastered all over my tv and computer screens made me feel like an outsider. They looked like women united by fear or anger.
For example, I saw women yelling that a woman without a choice for abortion is anti-feminist. But they forget about the silenced voices of so many women to be in the womb, and ignore the thousands of documented testimonies of women who have said, “My abortion hurt me.”
This week, thousands of women gathered in Washington, DC for The Call: Awaken the Dawn event. Women of all different backgrounds, from different denominations. They have taken time away from their jobs and families. They have crammed into hotel rooms, fasted, prayed, and suffered Spirit Airlines flights all for the sake of the gospel. Because they want their voice to be heard. Not just by America, but by heaven. This is my tribe.
When I became a Christian, I felt like the word feminist was a dirty word. As a woman, I don't know how any of us can NOT be a feminist. Honestly, you would have to be insanely self destructive to not care about the well being of women. I think we are all more similar than we think and come in all different colors and religious/political affiliations. But I'm especially grateful for the women who have been praying and weeping over our nation the last two days. Thank you for being part of a history my daughters will inherit.
I realize that my thoughts aren't fully formed. Because I am still learning and absorbing. I'd like to know, what is feminism to you?