Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I Am a Feminist.

I am a Christian.

And I am a Feminist.

For those who don’t know, I have labeled myself as a feminist for quite some time now (especially in my Twitter community), but because of certain events, I believe it’s time for me to declare publicly* that I am a Christian Feminist.

Why now?

In my life, I’ve had different situations happen where I have felt discriminated against because I’m a woman, but never more so as what happened to me very recently. Without divulging too much information, a man refused to speak to me about my beliefs, but would only talk to my husband. He told Eric that as my husband, Eric is my “God-appointed authority,” and that he needs to discuss my beliefs with me so that we could come to a decision about what I should and shouldn’t believe.

That’s definitely not word-for-word, but you get the idea.

First of all, I wasn’t allowed to defend myself as a person and wasn’t worth being talked to directly about my beliefs, and secondly, I am somehow not supposed to have my own thoughts and beliefs.

I am angry.

I am offended.

I am horrified.


Because I am a fellow human being. Because as such I deserve basic courteous treatment such as being listened to. I told him specifically that I was not okay with him talking to Eric about my beliefs, but he refused to respect that. I deserve basic human respect, such as acknowledgement of my words. This shouldn’t be that hard, but apparently it is.

This man hardly knows me – he only knows about me from a distance, and has no right to speak into my life. And yet, here he was, disrespecting me in almost more than I’ve ever been disrespected before.

I am a firm believer that Christianity and Feminism aren’t and shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.  I know that the word “Feminist” is a buzz word for many, and I understand.  Many people in the past have gone to the other extreme in their beliefs and desired female supremacy. I am not one of those people. I define Feminism as true equality between men and women, not only in function, but in treatment and value as well. I believe women were created as equal beings to men, and I also believe that Jesus championed equality for women in his ministry. I believe strongly in the equality of all people which means I disagree with discrimination between both minorities AND majorities.

A few articles have been floating around online that speak against Christian Feminism, but as an egalitarian, I think it’s so important. I believe in fighting for equal rights and treatment for women not only in society, but in the church as well.

And for those who believe that equality has been reached, the way I was treated recently is evidence that that’s not the case.  Some may say, “Well, that guy is just the exception.” That’s not the case, either. I have heard story after story from other women I know who have received similar (and often times) worse treatment than what I experienced.

Sexism is very much alive today, and while we’ve certainly come far from where things were, we still have a long way to go. But I’m willing to fight. I’m willing to take a stand and say that women deserve to be just as respected and valued as men.

I will be honest in admitting I’m not certain where I stand as far as leadership of women in the church, but that would be more because I haven’t studied both sides enough to fully know what I think and believe. Do I believe women should have leadership positions and be active members of the church? Absolutely. Do I believe women should be lead pastors or elders? I’m not sure. This is something I’m learning and growing in, so we’ll see where I end up in the future.

Stand with me, friends. Stand with me to fight for equality – and not just between genders. Stand and fight for equality for all people, because that’s what we deserve as human beings.

*I was made aware that my previous wording of "coming out as a Feminist" was a poor choice. I apologize for that misstep.


  1. I applaud you in this Bethany!

    But I wonder why you aren't sure about whether a woman should be the lead pastor or elder of a church. Why would you have the slightest reservation?

    What is it about a woman and a senior pastorate or eldership that God would look at and say, "This won't do."?

    1. That's definitely a valid question! The only question I have is that in my (light) research, Scripture seems to suggest that it should be men in those roles. Again, I'm not certain, so I don't want to say one way or the other right now. Does that make sense?

    2. I agree with you there. Scripture does SEEM to suggest that- in exactly 1 verse: 1 Tim 2:12- using a mysterious verb, and followed by some obscure statements about creation order and women being saved through childbirth. It's vague at best. Interpreting that verse based on what it seems to say violates so much of our understanding of the rest of Scripture about women in positions of teaching and leadership- the examples of Priscilla, Junia, Phoebe and many others.

      And if one were to assume that 1 Tim 2:12 should be taken at face value, the big question that comes with that is, "Why?" Knowing we are to pray to the Lord of the harvest, that he would send out workers into his harvest, why would God want to limit the potential of half the workers?

    3. I totally get what you're saying - and I appreciate that! It's absolutely something I want to do more research on. I definitely grew up in the complementarian community where women were absolutely not allowed to be in positions of leadership over men, so it's taking me a while to figure out what I actually believe.

      If you have any books or resources to point me towards, I'd love to check them out! Thanks!

  2. I am so sorry you had to experience that treatment. Unfortunately we do see a lot of people treated different and horribly cause they are different and I stand with you in fighting for equality.

  3. Also, Bethany, there are many groups on Facebook that discuss it. I hope you're a follower of the open group Christians for Biblical Equality at . That group is open to anyone, but there are some other groups that are closed/ secret where you can have better discussions. You can find me at I'll be glad to help you connect.

    1. Thanks, Greg! I follow them on twitter, but I'll check them out on Facebook as well.

  4. You know, Bethany, I am currently reading The Black Swan Effect by Felicity Dale. This powerful new book might be a great starting place.


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