in Christian organisations
UN Global Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson, gave a speech at the UN launch of the "HeForShe" campaign a few days ago. Please take 12 minutes to listen:
There were some immediate reactions to the speech in different media, some of which I include below. Maybe you also have seen something that you would like to share?
I think the speech was great, and I support the #HeForShe campaign, but I am also really curious how it can be understood from different perspectives - culturally, politically, religiously and socially. If you have the energy to engage, I would love to discuss!
Thanks for sharing the links to Emma's speech and responses. I am also sharing a link to a blog on this site on my position as a feminist leader.
I too had an aversion to feminism based on my partially informed experience of radical feminism which doesn't see men as part of the solution of gender equality but only the problem. My recent understanding and experience of feminism - also informed by women's rights activist in my organisation align with Emma's perspective that both men and women have a part to play in dealing with gender discrimination and also a recognition that a greater burden falls on men as perpetrators of patriarchal practices globally.
From a Christian perspective, there is a great organisation advocating for biblical equality http://www.cbeinternational.org/
Keep the conversation going...its important !!
I really appreciated your blog and the way it describes your journey. I learnt a lot from reading about how you wrestled with the issue. It is really about daring to challenge ones own perceptions, which at times can be very painful and confusing. To be open about that process , like you, is important.
The link you shared was interesting and it is encouraging to see what is happening in that network. A really good resource.
for me it is never about what are the inequalities, it is all about our response to address it. Emma made a 'safe pitch' especially in the appeal against 'men hating' for the feminist movement. We all choose our platforms that we feel will serve best our course. That's how I'm not on that movement because i have chosen the course of Christ and will be in conflict with the feminist one whenever there is a clash with biblical values. I will hail others such as Emma when we are agreed and will oppose them where we are not. Cathy Young one of those who sent her reactions to Emma's speech reflects well what I have to say specifically on Emma's presentation. Why am I on Christ's course even on this? Because all these fundamental issues we are agreed upon be they inequalities impacting negatively on men or on women have a source: sin, the fallen nature of humanity. This is not going away. Jesus came to show us how to deal with it and put as simply as He did: "Love one another and be ready to die even for your enemy". If truth be tole, this is a tall order and nigh impossible many a time.
Love? It is tough but it works and it is the most powerful. It is God's recommended solution. And for those who believe, it need not be so difficult, He offers His help. We can do it by the power of the Holy Spirit. So wherever we are: in our homes, workplace, society, lets do it and see God multiply the fruit of our labour to impact our contexts
Thank you for this comment and the way you focus the attention on root causes of inequality, our actions to address it, and love and selfless sacrifice as the antidote. Sin is indeed what separates us from the original intent of God and God's creation, and whatever we do to try to heal the brokenness of humanity, we will not succeed if we do not include this perspective - that it is ultimately the work of God.
Still, what is attractive with Feminism to me, is that it is a solid political approach that points the finger at skewed power dynamics in society. It also resonates with my belief that we should always try to side with the vulnarable and the marginalized around us. It points the finger at myself and encouraged me to reflect on what my role could be in changing the destructive structures I am part of just by virtue of my gender. In a way I would say that Feminism has helped me to identify areas for change in my life – areas where I as a man am part of reproducing ‘sinful’ structures in society, structures that exploit, exclude and disempower men and women in our world.
Emma's speech was not perfect, and I agree that the campaign could have done better in making a more balanced contribution to the subject of inequality. But on the other hand - campaigns are rarely balanced, but often set out to make a point. And I strongly agree with the point that men need to become more engaged in working for gender equality, in solidarity but also because they stand to gain from it. In the longer run, and in an eternal perspective, the work HeforShe should really be about love and oneness in Christ, as you suggest. But for now, I think we need a bit of Feminism to help us see the inequalities we are part of in our everyday life.
Some 'thinking in progress' from me. /Lorentz
I agree with you that the root cause of all our troubles in the world is sin and that our salvation is in Christ and through his love. Inequality is a particular manifestation of sin that has to be addressed differently from unforgivenss as an example - both of which are sin. In my work in a human rights organisation, deeply committed to women's rights and feminist leadership, I have learned to name the specific sin we are dealing with. Patriarchy is one such sin, which Christ challenged by his unconditional love of women. He didn't only show love for the marginalized and rejected gender, He also challenged power and privilege of male dominated society. So the course of Christ is the only one for me also but its not the same in all situations and for all sins. We have to get specific in naming the issue. I come from South Africa which experienced the evil of apartheid. This sin had to be named and condemned. Tough love is also needed to deal with principalities and powers (structural injustice). We fight against these!!
Love to hear your thoughts further