Feminist but Not Egalitarian: Submitting to Your Mother
“Religious people who can think only in terms of rivalry, superiority, equality, and inferiority thus bring against Jesus the charge that he is making himself [G-d’s] equal. They are incapable of imagining that a man, Jesus, can be [G-d] with his Father, and that the vocation of all of us is to be [G-d] with the Father.”
— Jacques Ellul
I am a feminist but I am not an egalitarian…because I believe Jesus identified with the struggle of women but would never identify with the idolatry of power that put them in a position of struggle.
Thus, (as I am believing it) to be an egalitarian and to be feminist is to ignore the prophetic fire brought against the idolatry of power the feminist voice has brought to the table
of fellowship to cast out the demon of power and privilege
Thus, I am a feminist, and not an egalitarian, because I believe Christians are commanded to embody relational holiness rather than entertain any notion of privilege or equality. Therefore, to be feminist is never to understand gender relations in terms of “equality” but in terms of the freedom to be gendered in its fullness as we seek to fully express the full image of G-d in holiness as a form of reconciliatory worship.
Thus, I am a feminist because I, as a man, believe Christ was right when he said:
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it (Matt. 16:25).
Thus, I am a feminist, and not an egalitarian, because I believe feminism disciplines me, as a man, to consider what it might mean to die to myself and be lead to embody a gender relation of holiness that serves those of whom experience G-d differently than me– and this is certainly because G-d created them differently than me.
Thus, it it clear to me that Christ commands his male followers to die to themselves and learn a way of submission and grace expressed toward their Mother. In such submission, men will learn to repent of the power that has hated their Mother and learn to be a means of grace to Her. Thus, In such submission, they will learn what it means to fully be a man of G-d made in the image of their Creator; because it seems all religious people can seem to imagine is religious notions of superiority and/or equality and the divine “rites” and/or “rights” they are granted therein.
Thus, the question at hand for a Christian is not “how do we share power equally?” but “how do we serve each other and repent of power entirely?”
And so, I am a feminist, and not an egalitarian, because I do not believe in the notion of “human rights” necessarily. I believe, rather, in the authority of the Church and its communal commitment to mutual submission and powerlessness in worship of their Christ who modeled such a way of living. I believe this practice is our earthly example for relational holiness before the Creator who made us different from each other and has left us with the task of reconciliation in those divinely inspired differences. Thus, we must learn to fully express our genderedness in the Body through mutual submission and servanthood rather than grant any notion of superiority or equality to anyone.
Thus, I am a feminist, and not an egalitarian, because I believe men and women are not equal. Notions of equality force gender relations into a way where they must equate each other rather than be free in submission and servanthood to discover the one true G-d (the One beyond all such classifications) in those differences— differences that do not “equate” each other but hold each other accountable to worship in holiness.
Thus, in the Body of Christ, men are called to serve the priesthood of women because we too must witness to G-d as a mother figure of whom we can only know through the experiences of those women who have known Her; for I am merely a man and, thus, can only hope to listen and serve this G-d made known to me in their faithfulness to Her. Thus, I am commanded to know the fullness of that image so that I may know what it means to be relationally holy in a world where difference can only infer a “rite” to privilege or a “right” to equality.
I am a feminist, and not an egalitarian, because I have come to believe that my maleness should never coerce the prophetic voice that speaks from within the inspired spirit of femininity. It should serve it, honor it, nurture it, and bring it out in its fullness through submission and servanthood so that we may bring out the fullness of our genderedness through creating an environment where we no longer observe Powers that suppress it.