When I first read Sarah Bessey’s definition of feminism, it seemed so simple:
“…if you believe that women are people too, then technically, well, I hate to break it to you, but you are a feminist. After all, at the core, feminism simply means that we champion the dignity, rights, responsibilities, and glories of women as equal in importance to those of men, and we refuse discrimination against women.”
It’s easy for me to agree with those things. I hate the idea of women being told they cannot do things simply because they are a woman. But I can’t ignore that the word “feminist” still carries a bit of baggage for me. In the Christian circles I grew up in, it wasn’t a word that was used often (if it all)—and if it was, I doubt it was in a positive light. And while I’ve done a lot of thinking and reading and writing about what being a Christian means for me individually instead of simply following the way my parents raised me, I don’t have it figured out.
I’ve barely begun to discover what it means to love and follow Jesus, much less to do it well. While I don’t think we ever truly “arrive” as followers of Jesus while we’re on this earth, we do make movements on the path—hopefully forward, but sometimes back as well. And in my right now, where I sit at this very moment, I don’t feel far enough along that path to be striving to be anything other than like Jesus.
I’d rather cling to who Jesus is as a person than anything else.
I want him to be my genuine aim.
Maybe by the time I get done reading Jesus Feminist, I’ll be ready to don that label. Or maybe in a year or three or ten.
Or maybe I’ll always just cling to Jesus, and leave the rest of the labels on the table.
Because I don’t really think it’s about the labels we choose to don or not—it’s about how we follow Jesus, and how we love because of that.
I’m learning what it means to be a woman who loves, to champion the dignity, rights, responsibilities, and glories of all people.
Til next time…