True Womanhood – Oppressing Women since Creation

In Women by Caris Adel14 Comments

Photo Credit: ngmmemuda


3 years ago, I saw Andy Crouch, Skye Jethani, and Bethany Hoang, among others, talk in Chicago It was part of the Lausanne Movement, an important part of evangelicalism, and justice was on the docket.  I listened to a very pregnant Hoang talk about justice and the church and her work with IJM.

Lately, I’ve been listening to different voices.  Voices saying that women should only be at home.  That women shouldn’t be fighting for justice.  Shouldn’t be working to right the wrongs.

Because men are the sinners when people aren’t treated right, and women are the sinners when they get involved.  So it’s up to men to fix it all.

If you go back and look, especially in the history of what’s happened to women in the Western world, there were some real injustices, some real crimes against women, some real sin…..and now we can start to see this repeating itself in the developing nations, and you see the pattered where, oh, ok, there’s inequality and there’s really bad treatment of women, will we offer these same solution?  Or will we come in with a gospel-based solution that brings real reconciliation and repentance?

…My concern is there’s this big push now for what they call ‘The Girl Effect’, to invest in women and girls around the world.  Which, on the surface, is a good idea.  But what’s lurking underneath it is this idea in certain cultures, like, well, as aid groups, we’ve given money to the men and we can document that this aid money goes to prostitutes and candy and alcohol and this money doesn’t go to the family.  But if we give money to women, then they use it to feed their families and build up their communities.

And so they’re all rushing to fix this problem by throwing money at women.  Now, I’m not saying that women shouldn’t be educated and women shouldn’t have an opportunity to use their skills in the marketplace, but what I’m saying is, I look at that and say yeah, that’s a big problem, but now we’re going to recreate the same issues here and we’re not going to actually bring these men to repentance and reconciliation apart from the gospel.  So my heart is that Christians are on the frontlines of this, especially those of us who embrace biblical womanhood.”

So you are telling me that because it’s informed by feminism, we can’t help women.  That investing in women couldn’t possibly be linked to Jesus, no, it has to be sheer anti-God feminism, and therefore it’s sin. Even if it means children are sold, if the solution is tinged with feminism, it’s no good.

How is that ‘only men repenting’ thing working out, anyway?  And what about the people that aren’t Christians?  Is there no safe and healthy way for them to live, at least earthly lives?  If the only solution is conversion to Jesus and a specific way of following him, then we’re leaving millions of people stranded in oppression.  Not to mention, framing the discussion solely in terms of gender also ignores the fact that men are sinned against and trafficked and oppressed.

Danielle said it best yesterday – “Why can’t we prioritize funding toward education, economic empowerment through job training or microfinance, health and sanitation efforts, safe shelter and housing, and family planning while also preaching the gospel? How is the provision of these basic human needs any less emblematic of the gospel than a come to Jesus sermon or the sinner’s prayer?”

If, in a culture of ‘thank God I wasn’t born a girl’, you oppose giving women money to raise their families right, to help keep them out of prostitution, from starving, from dying of preventable illnesses, then you had better be damn sure your theology is right.

There is no ideology that is solid enough to defend letting potential victims remain helpless.  There is no ideology that is sane enough to defend defying success, and giving only men and not women money.

And what really gets me, is that this is all predicated on a technicality.

The New Testament teaches that Adam’s position of firstborn has ongoing implications for the responsibility of all human males.  The responsibility that God put on Adam’s shoulder extends in one way or another to all of them.  To all men.  Paul tells Timothy that the reason that male’s bear the responsibility for spiritual oversight of God’s family, the church, is that Adam was formed first.”

Adam was formed first.  And therefore, men must be in charge of everything.  Even when their failure means that women are killed, only men are still the answer.  That must have been such a bummer for Jesus when he woke up and popped outside the tomb.  ‘Augh, it’s a woman standing here.  How in the world do I get around this?  A woman can’t talk to men about me!  What to do, what to do.’

And then you know he was all, FTS.  Because, hello, it’s Jesus.

So yes, I agree with them that Christians should be at the frontlines of addressing injustices around the world.  But we should be following in the footsteps of a person, not an ideology.

Because it should continue to be normal to see women, pregnant or not, working for change.


If you are interested in learning more about empowering women and girls, check out these organizations:

Half the Sky Movement
The Girl Effect
G(irls)20 Summit
Women Deliver

This post is part of a series reviewing and discussing the True Woman 101 Divine Design study, by Mary Kassian and Nancy Leigh Demoss:

Part 1 – True Womanhood – Why Airplanes Aren’t in the Bible

Part 2 – True Womanhood – Death to Certainty

Part 3 – True Womanhood – Affirming Female Ordination?

Part 4 – True Womanhood – June Cleaver as Jesus

Part 5 – True Womanhood – An Offensive Gospel

Part 6 – True Womanhood – Compassionless Christianity

Part 7 – True Womanhood – Oppressing Women since Creation

Part 8 – True Womanhood – Get Abused, Win A Crown!

Part 9 – True Womanhood – Cookies and Chains

Part 10 – True Womanhood – Tension, Cracks, and a Concrete Faith

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2 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ perfectnumber628

    Well said. I (very unfortunately) recently listened to that talk you linked to, about how “oh people are trying to focus on helping women, which SEEMS like a good idea… but actually it’s evil because…” actually I don’t remember why…

    And then to say this ideology is “biblical” or is “God’s way”, that’s just disgusting.

    • http://www.carisadel.com/ Caris Adel

      Their reasoning doesn’t even make sense. We shouldn’t empower women b/c the Bible says no. SO DUMB!!!! And, I’d be really curious to see their results…..how successful is focusing only on men working out? And are there even any programs that do that? I would guess probably not. Because it doesn’t work! Gah!!!

  • MorganGuyton


    • http://www.carisadel.com/ Caris Adel

      perfectly sums up all of this, haha.

  • http://www.stephindialogue.com Stephanie S. Smith

    It is so tone-deaf to apply “concern” in the same sentence with empowerment of girls and women around the world. And having gone to the college supported by this publisher, I have often grieved over the fact that women are often their own worst enemies when it comes to empowerment.

    • http://www.carisadel.com/ Caris Adel

      That had to have been an interesting college experience…

  • Jennifer Stahl

    AMEN! With you 100% on this.

  • Rachel

    In grad school, I’d get so confused and hurt when Christian women would give me these vacant stares after asking me what I wanted to do with my degree and hearing my reply, “Work with sex trafficking victims”. Predictably, I’d get the worried, “That’s awfully dangerous and you’re a young, single woman…will you wait a few years until you’re married?” or “Well, how does your father feel about that?”

    Thank you, thank you for the time you spent on this series of posts. Much needed and greatly appreciated.

    • http://www.carisadel.com/ Caris Adel

      That response just drives me nuts.

      • Helen

        I always tell them my father approves of anything i set my mind to/. That usually leaves them speechless

    • KyukiYoshida

      You know what, I get that sooo much by not only christian women, but also sexist men. “So what are you planning to do with your life?” “Oh, i’m hoping to get the money to go to college soon enough.” “College? What could you possibly obtain from going there, what are your dreams?” “Well, I’m hoping to get my degree in zoology, mainly entomology and herpetology, I’m already very knowledgeable in both subjects as well as biology, it’s really one of my hobbies, so naturally it’s my dream career.” -total shock- “Don’t you think that’s a little too smart for you?! What makes you think you can advance in a scientific career? Why does a sweet girl like you want to go messing with icky reptiles and insects? You’re such a pretty thing and you’re already 20, shouldn’t you be looking for a husband instead of feeding such a silly dream?” i kid you fucking not, I have had this same conversation with multiple people.

  • KyukiYoshida

    Funny how Christians want to use their ideology to “help women” when it’s their religious ideology that oppressed them in the first place. Notice how they want to help the men in this case, and not so much help the women directly. No, no, we’ll just leave the beaten dogs where they lie, and preach our sexist gospel to the men, in hope the women will be treated fairly. And by treated fairly they mean allowed to cook dinner without being beaten if it isn’t good enough, and treated like a lesser human rather than a cow.

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