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