You don’t have to be a “perfect” feminist to embrace its goals

April 23, 2013

Toward a more liveable world: Claiming the name “feminist”
“I’m not a perfect feminist, but then, it’s not a perfect world.” says Miriam Meinders, a nurse living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She goes on to say, “In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need feminism. In a perfect world, power structures wouldn’t operate for the benefit of certain groups of men exhibiting certain kinds of maleness at the expense of everyone else, other men included.” She talks about other kinds of oppression that are built into society and how they interconnect with what feminism is all about.   She asks those who benefit from feminism’s accomplishments (and who doesn’t?), why not claim the name?  Meinders’ words are from her essay in the award-winning Canadian magazine Geez for its special issue on feminism. (They’re calling that issue “PerSisters.”) Geez is a print magazine which only publishes a few select articles online, but you might want to read their “about” page and see the philosophy behind this publication. The editors say, “Geez is Christian (or post-Christian, depends how narrow your categories are) but not in a way that offends those who are overdosed on Sunday School simplifications.” The descriptive tagline they’ve attached to their name is “Holy mischief in an age of fast faith.” Another online article in this special “PerSisters” issue is “Feminism 201,” which offers a glossary of some of basic terms related to feminism.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni is an independent scholar, writer, and editor. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992).

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