*The idea in this article represent the views of the author, and not sincerely the views of Wingd.
Since I was a child I noticed countless displays of disregard for women, and a lack of respect for them as I grew up in an extremely conservative, Christian home. As a young teen I drifted even further away from that mindset and did not want anything to do with male chauvinism, and as I grew older and matured I began to gravitate more towards feminism and expressing my opinions. As a young teen there had been many women whom I thought to be huge role models, for not only other women but for all people. Gloria Steinem for me was and is the most iconic woman in the feminist movement and has shaped the status of women’s rights immensely.
As a young child growing up in a conservative- Christian home I was constantly surrounded by misogyny and male chauvinism. While it didn’t affect me as a male, it did affect my twin sister, my mother, and my female friends.
When I was quite young I went to a youth retreat where Christian families sent their kids to learn about the Bible and meet other kids from Christian families.. When I got there the main subject that pastor preached on was what it was like to be the perfect example of a man and a woman. Now for men, the perfect biblical example of a good man was one which was heterosexual and completely dominating of his female spouse. Women were supposed to submit to their husbands and listen to everything that they said. The perfect woman was also supposed to take care of the home, Raise children, and stay at home and not pursue any job or position of power because I was taught “that that was the man’s role” . Positions of power were the man’s role and not the woman’s.. I witnessed almost every parent around me enforcing these rules and regulations on their daughters, convincing them not to go to college, telling them how to act, and how to dress, and opening up a world of hurt, hurt that would be caused by men who had no regard for women.
I never understood why women could not be the same as a man, or why they could not pursue positions of power, or why they couldn’t go after careers. I always thought women were more than just housewives who cook clean and raise three or four children. I came to the understanding that most conservative Christian environment had male chauvinism routed into their philosophy. In my first book I mentioned my own cousins (who were female) and trying to pursue ambitious careers (like being in the medical field) only to be shut down by their conservative Christian parents who thought tradition should be followed.
The more Christian kids I met the more I learned of how strong male chauvinism was in Christian homes. In a group discussion at one of these youth retreats I was told that my own mother was wrong in pursuing a job taking care of the elderly. My mother, a divorcee and parent of 4 children, was doing all she could to make ends meet, and to be told that what she was doing was “wrong” all on the account of what gender she was was twisted and wrong. We no longer live in the stone ages. 51% of heterosexual couples in the USA get divorced, an educated woman who will get into a divorce will have no fear of finding a job or making it in the work place because of a college degree. Whereas for a woman with no degree who relies solely on her husband for income and stability will need to be very worried. These Christian conservatives who call for women to not pursue education have motives. Their motives are control. They want women to believe that they are nothing without them, and that they can not make it on their own. There motives are fueled by their weak masculinities and fragile egos. A woman does not need a man. If I had said a woman did not need a man 10 years ago I would be subject to criticism and judgment; but in the wise words of Feminist activist Gloria Steinem “the truth will set you free, but first it might piss you off”. There are many women in the workforce who are doing exceptionally well, many women do better than their male counterparts. It is the new time in history where women strive to be educated and to hold positions of power, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a male in my childhood church criticizing my twin sister on modesty and telling her that she should change clothes so that boys won’t try “anything”. This statement is not only ridiculous, but it is also extremely dangerous. This statement basically says that if anything were to happen to a woman, it would be her fault due to her clothing and sexuality. If a man decides to commit a sexual crime, it is a crime no matter what. The victim is never to blame, and instead of teaching women to cover up maybe parents should teach their sons to have respect for women, they should teach that in church and not about women covering up…
The sad truth is, people try to put men before women, even though it is 2017 our culture is poisoned by sexism. In our politics, in the workforce (a gender pay gap, men make more than women for the same quality of work on account of their sex) and in the home. It is even more prevalent in the conservative Christian home.
Women have the same intelligence, the same abilities and capabilities as men do. If one is not okay with equality then their maybe an underlying reason. “Strong women scare weak men”.