A Feminist Goal Rooted in Genesis

I’m going to say something highly controversial. God made male and female humans to couple up, have babies and govern the world together.

If you believe modern gender rhetoric, you might disagree with me. Is the point of the design of male and female bodies to join with the opposite sex and procreate? In a simplistic and obvious way, yes. Both men and women are needed to create a child, and both men and women should share the responsibility of all aspects of raising and caring for their children.

If you believe modern church complementarian rhetoric, you might disagree with my initial statement, as well. Are male and female bodies both supposed to govern? As both body and mind is made in image of God, both sexes are able to represent God’s rule of creation. And they should! It is not good for man to be alone, but neither is it good for woman.

My feminism is based on this togetherness.

Two Duties

In Genesis 1:27-28, God created humanity in his image as male and female. Together, they are given two responsibilities.

  1. Be fertile and make lots of children to fill and subdue the earth.
  2. Reign over the fish, birds and animals.

These two verses are the foundational principles of my feminist philosophy.

These are the two realms that both men and women are given responsibilities: the family and the world. They are not given separate duties. A woman’s influence is not limited to caring for her family. A man’s influence is not limited to ruling over creation. They are given joint commissions as equal partners.

The Duties Separate

Feminists since the 18th century have recognized that societal problems are created when we fail to keep the two sexes in both realms of influence: the private home and the public world.

As the world modernized into the 19th and 20th centuries, those two realms, the family and business, began to separate and widen in a way never seen in history before. Business shifted out of households into factories, mines and offices. Men left their households for 10+ hours each day. Earning wages became the standard compensation for employment, shifting societal values away from families to income. Instead of sharing familial and work responsibilities, the world divided into male and female spheres.

Women and men both suffered, but women faced the brunt of legal injustices and monetary disparity. She was excluded from political access. The education gap widened, creating more inequality between the two spheres. Community expectations only enhanced and widened the gap between caring for the family and working outside the home.

A Feminism Based on Genesis Duties

Early feminist writer, Mary Wollstonecraft, wrote her vision for women and men in A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792). Even though she does not explicitly word it as such, Wollstonecraft’s arguments are based on the two duties given to both sexes in Genesis. She believed that both men and women had the same capacity for intellect and morality because they were both made in God’s image. Because of these shared capabilities, her feminist goal was to see women and men working together to fulfil familial, political, economic, and social duties.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian writer, defines a feminist as “a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.” I like this definition. It includes men who share beliefs about equality, and it does not separate feminism into a battle of the sexes.

My feminism is based in the first words written about male and female responsibilities. They are shared. They are equal. Do you agree?

My feminism is based in the first words written about male and female responsibilities. They are shared. They are equal.

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