November 10, 2013
“Who Needs Feminism: A Man’s Perspective”
Aaron Swor is a senior at George Fox University in Newberg,Orgon. He writes that he has often felt “out of place” in speaking about inequality in its many forms, aware that he would be speaking from the vantage point of white male privilege. But he realizes he cannot keep silent in the face of the injustice he sees. In this article, published on the blog of the Junia Project, he writes specifically about gender inequality, expressing his dismay over the way women are regarded and treated. He says he realizes that he, as a man, also needs feminism. Everybody does. “The goal is a shift in culture,” Swor points out. “A shift in the way the general population thinks, speaks about, and treats women. It has been scary to attach that word to myself, to my identity, especially coming from a conservative background. But the more I learn and see and grow and process, I am more anxious and excited to claim that title.” Related: You might also enjoy reading “My Path to Feminism” by Gary L. Tandy on our Christian Feminism Today website.
On the other side of the issue. Some preachers who are considered celebrities in certain conservative Christian circles are totally opposed to the idea of a Christian man’s embracing the ideals of feminism. They promote a tough macho view of what it means to be “manly.” They see masculinity as being designed for dominance. Listen to this audio of a sermon by megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll who stresses a warrior image of God, out to punish and kill enemies. Driscoll claims the church has been feminized and has a soft image today that drives real men away. Driscoll tells how, as a newly converted Christian, he had searched for a church to join but that churches he visited conveyed a “soft image” that reminded him of Victoria’s Secret in décor, music, and tone. He says he couldn’t find a church that he had any desire to join until one Sunday when he visited a church where the pastor’s sermon included a story about having been out bow-hunting. Driscoll’s ears perked up. He reports that he became a member of that church as a result. “I didn’t have any theological convictions,” he says of the experience, “but if this guy killed things, he could be my pastor.” Similarly, another well-known conservative Christian pastor, John Piper, says that God gave the church “a masculine feel.” It was because of men like these—and the vision of God and Christianity that they project—that David Hayward drew this cartoon. Be sure to read Hayward’s explanation of why he drew it, too, and what he wants all of us to learn from it.