Tag Archives: feminism

84. Misogynist (Empathy, Lent 25)

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As a feminist, I believe that men and women are equal, and should have equal rights and equal opportunities. As a Christian, I believe that there is no male or female in Christ. I believe in these egalitarian values so strongly that I wrote a handbook on Christian feminism called Positive Sisterhood. But how do those I feel are dinosaurs come to think the way they do?

Boys and girls are separated all the time, even more so when I was growing up, and for good reasons. Myself and my sisters were taught different things about what to expect from life. For girls, it was all about domesticity and compliance. For me the sky was the limit. I was talked to about becoming a lawyer, a doctor, an MP, even an astronaut. There were no boundaries set around my potential or the life I might have. My younger sister was once denied a Meccano set, on the grounds that it was pointless for a girl, who could never become an engineer. In fact, we laughed quite a lot about that and never let her forget it. She is an aeronautics designer now but thankfully has given all that up to bring up her family. Father and mother were treated very differently by “the system” as well. Mother had to give up work when she got married. It was proper for her to bring up her children. Proper too, for my father to bring home the bacon. It is just how it is. If you change all that, you run the risk of the building blocks of society crumbling. Women are made for having babies. Men do the work. That’s how it’s always been.

Photo from Pixabay, text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017

65. Glamour Model (Empathy, Lent 6)

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This really is a hard one for me to get my feminist head around. But here goes.

It’s my body, and what I do with it is my choice. No-one has control over my sexuality and how I choose to express it. The system is always going to be against women so I might as well squeeze what I can out of a world that is going to judge me by my body anyway. I like the attention I get and it boosts my self-esteem. I like the feeling of power it gives me. I like the money too. I know some women think it’s wrong, but I find it liberating. I think the world can be prudish and I’ve got it so I’m flaunting it. When I’m older, my bank account and I will be glad I did.

All valid points, seen in a certain light, and leaving out the effects it all has on the patriarchal system and on other women. This view is one I see a lot, and if you want to know what I think about it, you can read my book Positive Sisterhood! But though the sexual exploitation of women makes me sad and angry, my anger is rarely directed towards the girls (they often are girls) and women involved. As with most oppressive things, it is inherent in the system, as Monty Python cheerfully tells us (whilst being flagrantly sexist itself within the accepted parameters of the time). But yes, looked at individualistically like this, I can totally understand and empathise, and this will help me to find better ways of explaining my own stance, as well as stop me sitting back in judgement.

Photo and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017