I recently came across the following anecdote:
An English professor asked his students to punctuate the following sentence:
“A woman without her man is nothing.”
All of the males in the class wrote:
“A woman, without her man, is nothing.”
All of the females in the class wrote:
“A woman: without her, man is nothing.”
The punchline: Punctuation is powerful.
Beyond the punchline, it’s a rather thought-provoking sentence. It summons up deep feelings from the age-old battle of the sexes, causing you to champion your own gender. Men want to say, “Men are better!” And women want to say, “Women are better!” It made me wonder, what do I say?
I think I would say that the two ways of punctuating the statement must exist together.
I am a self-proclaimed Christian feminist. The word feminist always strikes a discordant key. Images of bra-burning, angry women rise to the surface. But I am a Christian feminist, not a bitter feminist with an axe to grind. The difference is that I believe in equality. It’s not that I believe women are better than men or that men are better than women. I believe that both have equal value as image-bearers of the Creator God. And we need each other. Men need women. Women need men.
When I hear about women being unjustly treated, I admit, I do get angry. It is a very deep, visceral anger. But when men are unjustly treated, I feel the same way. To me, it’s not a mundane issue like the annoyance of getting a soggy newspaper every morning because it was rained on by my sprinklers. Injustice makes me angry. I think it’s because when someone gets cheated, it means that someone else has stomped on the intrinsic value God has given to his image-bearers. It’s wrong. And we are supposed to be angry about it.
What about you? Two things I’d like to put forth for discussion:
1. Does injustice make you angry? Do you feel more anger when it is for those who are in more inferior positions or equally and for all?
2. Do you have a different definition of Christian feminist than mine? Please share if you differentiate between Christian feminist vs. egalitarian vs. ___ ?