DISCLAIMER: This might ruffle some feathers. That’s okay.
It started as a joke between my husband and I. It made for a good funny but then I got to thinking about it and was inspired to write this blog. So, I will tell you 2 of the stories behind this.
Bedtime conversations: Hubby was getting into bed and I told him where I had stopped reading for the night (finished Ruth).
Hubby: “What do you think would have been your job back in those days?”
Me: probably nothing. Women had no rights or privileges. That really started to change with Rahab the prostitute. Then with the man who died with no sons so his daughters were allowed to inherit whereas women weren’t before. Then there was Deborah, who was the only listed female to be a Judge, she even went to battle! Ooh and we can’t forget RUTH, she was a Moabite which was considered heathen then, but because she was loyal to Naomi, God blessed her and she married Boaz who was son of RAHAB….and she became the GREAT GRANDMOTHER OF KING DAVID!!!
Hubby: I just asked about what your job might be.
Me: I guess you didn’t ask for a lesson in Biblical feminism. But I just had to tell someone, I don’t have anyone else to tell this stuff to.
Hubby: Jesus said to go tell it on the mountain.
Me: I hate you.
First, let’s think about feminism in today’s climate. Anyone who knows me in the slightest, knows that I am about as anti-feminist as a woman can get. But…. I’m not a meek and quiet woman who says nothing about how she feels. No. The whole “woke” movement of today just sickens me to my core, and I am a firm believer that today’s feminism is pure garbage. I’m sure I’ll get hate mail for this blog. Fire away.
This is why I am anti-modern-feminism: the ones who came before us were the ones who dealt with being treated as second class citizens, not us. They already dealt with this. The women’s suffrage movement was wonderful, and very justified IMO. I am very happy to be able to benefit from the work of those brave and intelligent women. I’m not talking about the women who burn their bras. Not the woman who ran a race without wearing any pads/tampons during her period, while claiming to be fighting against systemic “period shaming” and also making a statement about women who don’t have access to feminine hygiene supplies (Nope, sorry. There is no reason to be ashamed of periods but there’s also no reason to bleed freely and risk someone coming into contact with your personal bodily fluids. That’s just disgusting on so many levels). I’m not talking about the millions of women descending on Washington DC wearing vagina hats and holding signs claiming “my p*$$* grabs back!!!!” (Ewww, girlfriends, just eww. See a doctor!). These women are not heroic to me, and do not represent what I want to be thought of as a woman. There are millions of women who agree with those women, and there are millions who agree with me. You may not agree with me, and that’s okay. You don’t have to. Nobody’s perfect! (Okay, just a joke, and a reference to this scene from Independence Day 👇👇)
When I think of role models in feminism, I think of people who fought for equal rights. The right to vote. The right to be counted as a citizen. The right to be heard. The right to choose your own husband. These are examples of what feminism means to ME….and those women mentioned in the paragraph above do not represent these examples…..those women already HAVE the right to do what they want, BECAUSE of those women above who paved the way for them to do so. Women like: Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul, Mary McLeod Bethune, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Phillis Wheatley, Sojourner Truth, Mary Fields, Harriet Tubman…gosh, the list could just go on forever. These women are the real ones who fought for equal rights for both women, and women of color. These women made history because of their desire to have to the right to stand up and be counted as a person….a woman!
In my 41 years of life, I have NEVER felt like a second class citizen because I was a woman. I have been sexually assaulted, raped, and treated like less than a human being. But, the difference is, those things were not about me. They were about the abuser/attacker. The things that happened to me happen all the time, to women of all shapes/sizes/races/religions. Rape is not even about sex. Rape is about CONTROL. We should not demonize all men because of it, and we should not classify all women as a victim because of it. That leads to victim mentality, which can then open up a whooooole lot more cans of worms.
No, I will not use the term “awomen” just to appease someone. I am all for equal rights for everyone, but that also includes my right to freedom of speech and my desire to exercise that by refusal to comply with politically correct lunacy. I believe in equal rights for the LGBTQ community simply because they are human too, and ALL humans have the right to be treated equally with kindness and without discrimination. I have a friend who is a trans-man. While I can’t say I understand it, simply because I have never experienced the desire to be something other than a woman, I respect his right to feel that way. I respect his right to be called Christopher instead of Christina, wear the clothes he chooses, use the bathroom he chooses. You cannot tell someone how to think or feel. That goes for everyone, even the ones who oppose you. We all have the right to our opinion. Nobody said we all had to agree. Everything here is just my opinion. If you don’t agree, that is perfectly fine. It doesn’t mean I am right or wrong, or that I am better than anyone. It is simply how I feel. Our country seems to have forgotten that we were founded on the principle of FREEDOM.
So, now that I have gotten that little rant about “Modern” feminism out of the way, if you are still reading, I can now move on to my original topic: Biblical Feminism. As I previously told you, I am a seminary student, working towards a Master Degree in Biblical Counseling. My goal is to finish those studies and become a hospice chaplain. This program will allow me to counsel within a church, under their umbrella. While I’m practicing in that field, I plan to seek a Master Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, to get licensure as a Mental Health Counselor. My ultimate goal is to open up a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading the love of Christ through free counseling to those in need. This country has such a lack of mental health services, it’s sad. I hope to help with that. This is all a long way away, but this is my ultimate goal. As of right now, I have just begun my Old Testament studies. I’ve studied in-depth up through the book of Ruth. So, my writing will focus only on 2 women up to that point (although I cannot WAIT to get to Esther – I will have to come back and add more for her!).
We know women in OT times had no real equality. They were essentially property of their husbands or fathers, and were treated as such. Of course we don’t agree with this now, but we have to think about the times back then in order to appreciate the women who became the first examples of feminism (by my definition). These were the women God chose to be a part of His plan.
My first pick is Rahab, the prostitute who lived in Jericho. When the Israelite spies snuck into Jericho to scout it out before invasion, Rahab hid them in her home. She knew they were Israelite men who were coming to destroy the city, and she helped them anyway. She gave them a place to hide and even helped them get away, lying to her own city leaders who were hunting them. Rahab didn’t ask for payment in a material sense. She only asked for them to spare her life in exchange, and the lives of her family. They obliged and told her to gather all her family in her home, place a scarlet cord in the window to mark the house, and when they came to invade, they would not invade her home (Hmmm…sounds a little like a Passover parallel to me). They followed through on their promise: Rahab and her family were saved from the destruction. God blessed Rahab for her help with His people. She possibly became the mother of Boaz (Boaz’s mother was named Rahab, but the timing is disputed by some. I like to think it was her, personally), who married Ruth, and they became the great-grandparents of King David, of whose line Jesus descended (legally). Let’s think of Rahab for a second before I move on to Ruth (my favorite in OT). Rahab was so brave! She stood up, went “against the grain” to help foreign invaders, then had the nerve to ask for protection for herself and her family. Some might see this as unimportant or insignificant, but not me! The fact that she had the nerve to ask these men to spare her tells me that she was a strong woman, willing to fight for herself and those she loved. She was an excellent example of early feminism in the form of speaking up when she had no reason to believe they cared at all about her, a woman of absolutely no standing.
Now we move on to Ruth, who was possibly Rahab’s daughter-in-law. Ruth was a Moabite woman (from the country of Moab) who had married a son of the Israelite Naomi. Naomi, her husband, and their 2 sons had settled in Moab due to a famine in Bethlehem. Contrary to the Mosaic Law, Naomi’s sons married Moabite women. They were considered heathen, Godless folks who worshipped other regional gods and not Yahweh, the Israelite God. Naomi’s husband and sons died, leaving her a widow with her 2 daughters-in-law to care for. So, Naomi decided to send the girls back to their own families so they would have hopes of getting married again one day, have children, and lead a happy life. Naomi planned to journey back to her homeland of Bethlehem and settle in her husband’s tribal community. One of the girls (Orpah) went back to her family, while the other (Ruth) refused. She clearly loved Naomi and felt sorry for her because her family had died. Ruth uttered those very famous words that are used in many wedding ceremonies today.
Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; follow her back home.” But Ruth replied: “Do not urge me to leave you or to turn from following you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live; your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD punish me, and ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”…Ruth 1: 15-17 NIV
In order to fully appreciate Ruth’s pledge, we have to think about the “your gods will be my gods” portion first. Eastern civilization at that time was mostly polytheistic – they believed in many different gods. Each territory had a “deity,” and everyone in that area worshipped the regional deity, in addition to other lesser deities. The Israelites were supposed to be the exception, worshipping only Yahweh, the true God (they failed miserably most of the time). So, for Ruth to be willing to leave her home land, her deity, and go with someone of a completely different faith and NOT her husband or father, was a very big deal!! Women did usually take on the deity of their husband’s region, if the women had to move to that new region too – but remember, Ruth’s husband had been in Moab – a strange land for him – he was an Israelite so he likely worshipped Yahweh even while being in the Moabite region. So, Ruth settled with Naomi in Bethlehem, and began foraging in fields for their food (Israelites had a law about not picking crops all the way to the edges of their fields – this was to be left for the poor to pick for themselves as needed). Ruth began picking in the fields of Boaz, a wealthy, older Israelite man who was a relative of Naomi’s husband. Boaz noticed her; he called to her and told her he’d heard about her kindness and devotion to Naomi, and then granted her full picking rights from his fields (not just the edges). Ruth returned home and told Naomi about Boaz’s kindness. That’s when Naomi hatched her plan. She instructed Ruth to present herself to Boaz for marriage. Boaz had to seek permission from the family’s Guardian Redeemer in order to marry Ruth. The Guardian Redeemer was the nearest living male relative, who had the responsibility of buying land/property of the family members who were poor. Ruth came with the land because she was property of Naomi’s dead husband- remember women couldn’t inherit at that point so Naomi’s husband’s property automatically passed to his sons who were also dead and couldn’t inherit, so the property had to pass to the nearest living male relative – the Guardian Redeemer. Boaz married Ruth and they became the parents of Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse, who was the father of King David. See how that all lined up perfectly? What’s interesting to me is Boaz and Ruth being the ancestral beginning of the line of Jesus. Boaz, possibly the son of a prostitute, and Ruth, a foreigner of low status, were brought together to create the royal line of David and Jesus.
So, to me, Rahab the prostitute was the ultimate example of feminism. She was considered wicked because of her profession, worthless in the eyes of many. Yet, God used her to bring about the royal line that produced Jesus. Rahab may have just been interested in saving her own skin, but what she did gained favor with the Lord and He blessed her for generations to come. She lied. She cheated. She evaded. She was promiscuous. Yet, she was the mother of the entire line leading to our savior, because she stood up for what was right. Is that not just the ultimate example of feminism???
Many of the modern women I listed earlier were subject to some of the same things as Rahab. They were treated as the lowest of the low, less than human, given no voice, so they stood up and MADE the voice. They did what was right and many were arrested/assaulted/ridiculed. But each and everyone on of those women made an unforgettable mark on history in some way. Without them, the pioneers of women’s rights, I would not be here today speaking freely without worry. It is these women to whom we owe our gratitude. Not the pink-hat-wearing ones, not the ones who refuse to shave because it is too “womanly,” or the ones who make a big deal about female names being the only ones listed on a bottle of milk. (See below).
These are not the women who are making a difference. They are making a scene, and not doing anything helpful for women. And THAT, is my opinion.
Seriously. Look. 🙄👇👇👇 Do they honestly not know that only female cows produce milk?!?
Seriously, this immediately makes me think of Meet the Parents….. “I have nipples too Greg, can you milk me?” 🤣