Change My Mind: Feminism Hurts Women
"Feminism Hurts Women": an eye-catching and controversial title with hopes to present a thought-provoking sign for debate during International Women's Month. This past spring semester's initial idea for the Change My Mind tabling event came from our own Liberty Bell News executive board. Emily Huseman, LBN Editor-In-Chief, and Gabriel Spencer, LBN Chief Creative Officer, led the charge by enlisting Liberty University's Turning Point USA chapter and the Life, Liberty & Pursuit of Truth biblical worldview club for an opportunity to promote civil discourse on campus. Through this dual club partnership, Emily Huseman, Vittoria D'Addesi, and I were ready to challenge Liberty students to change our minds about the threat of feminism.
One of the most common statements from Liberty students who took time out of their day to approach the table stemmed from the idea that "Feminism does not actually hurt women." Vittoria, the Life Liberty & Pursuit of Truth club president, challenged several students' anti-biblical ideology and secular-based worldview that claimed feminism is the historical result of the betterment and advances of women in society. She cited the dangers of the feminist agenda identified in the Feminist Manifesto of 1914, while Emily contributed statistical data linking the promotion of feminism to millions of abortions, mental health decline, and suicide rates. Upon hearing this side of the debate, many students concluded that they could agree with the statement on the Change My Mind poster but only to a certain extent. Consequently, this led several students to argue that "It's modern feminism that hurts women, but the feminism movement as a whole helps women." However, I countered that modern feminism is one of the most dangerous waves of feminism. A movement with the foundational basis of fighting for women's equality at the expense of devaluing biblical-based marital partnership and murdering children in the womb is a crusade that Champions for Christ should have zero desire to participate in.
Our panel of Christian conservative women received an interesting comment from Liberty students: "You're only here [at Liberty University] because of feminism." A downfall of the lack of participation in civil discourse amongst Americans is the significant increase in assumption-based conclusions. In the words of Margaret Thatcher, "I owe nothing to the Women's Lib." I can assure you that Emily, Vittoria, and I couldn't agree more with Margaret Thatcher's sentiment. All glory and honor for each of our enrollment and academic success in college go to the Lord, not the Women's Liberation Movement. Additionally, the modern feminist agenda did not instill our foundation of faith, nor did it hand us the values of hard work and integrity of good character. Instead, it was each of our faith-rooted upbringings led by our hardworking fathers, stay-at-home mothers, and the legacy of our grandparents that shaped who we are as young women today.
Another statement from the debate worth noting is, "These are some next level 'pick me girls' who are wearing too much pink and makeup." Assumption-based assessments, whether in-person or on the internet, are particularly degrading towards young men and women. While I know some women base their beliefs and appearances on the approval of others, knowing the values we hold (and our mutual love for pink), the three of us were being completely ourselves. The danger in sizing up the character of a woman's values and worth based on something such as pink clothing or a powdered face perpetuates the anti-biblical narrative that feminine distinction between the two genders makes females appear weaker than men or desperate. The way a woman presents herself can often provide insight into the kind of values and the standard she upholds; therefore, we should encourage other young women to hold themselves to a higher standard in speech, dress, and conduct than what the world empowers.
In a 1982 television interview, Margaret Thatcher stated, "You don't need to cease to be feminine in order to do the job well." If more women truly understood the positive influence of their feminine qualities, perhaps there would be less of a desire to take on masculine personas. Then examples for young women to idolize would not be females who refuse to define the term "woman" while simultaneously fighting for equality amongst biological men. Nor would it be represented by individuals who justify abortion with their own truth and route to success in opposition to the Truth and God's will as the Creator of life. Furthermore, leading representatives for women would not enable people to identify as anything other than who God created them to be. Instead, the women who exemplify their unique gifts and abilities, walk in obedience according to God's word, and place their identity in Christ would be the ultimate role models for the next generation. In scripture, God-fearing women such as Deborah, Rahab, Esther, and Sarah are feminine heroes whose faith, obedience, and leadership have transcended generations. Today, Kayleigh McEnany, Shannon Bream (a Liberty University Alum), and Candace Owens are present-day examples of women embracing who God made them to be. They are making a mark of significance on the world while building strong marriages and raising young children.
Perhaps like some of our new friends from this past spring day in the Montview Student Union, you clicked this article link because the controversial title sparked curiosity, or maybe you simply wanted to scroll to the bottom to see the opinions of the comment section, whose minds may not have been changed. Whatever the reason, I hope the most significant takeaway from our conservative club leadership and student body's participation in this civil debate is that as a Champion for Christ, you are encouraged to engage with the people around you who think differently than you. These interactions will challenge your faith, character, and convictions as I know this debate did for me.
Stay tuned for more Change My Mind tabling events in the fall semester of 2022!