What a Feminist Looks Like

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I’m not a feminist, how can I be, after all I’m a man. In the same way that being a straight, white, male with no disability  debars me from speaking “on behalf” of black people about racism, LGBT people about homophobia, people with disabilities about the discrimination experience by them – I cannot speak of womens oppression, or therefore of feminism, from any experience that qualifies me. I have to accept (and do accept) that I am part of the world that oppresses, I even have to accept that there have been times (still are times) when my attitude, my behaviour has been, inadvertently or otherwise, part of that oppression, and even where that is not the case, that I am a direct and indirect beneficiary of that oppression. So I cannot say “this is what a feminist looks like”, I cannot speak “on behalf” of women, but that doesn’t mean I cannot take sides.

In a similar way I’m not an Anglican, I’m a Methodist and as such I’ve been reluctant to get drawn into the current “debate” in Sheffield (and beyond) about the whole issue of the appointment of Rev Philip North as the Anglican Bishop for Sheffield Diocese. But seeing and hearing the sadness and upset this issue has caused for many of my females colleagues in ministry in Sheffield, I felt I needed to say something.

I do not understand the “theological objections” to the ordination of women, I do not understand how “mutual flourishing” operates, but this I know – I have served with, and been ministered to, by many women since becoming a follower of Jesus, some have been ordained, others have not; their gender has made no difference to their faithfulness to Christ, no difference to their abilities, no difference to their grace and love as found in Jesus, no difference to the calling they each have been given. For any powers or system to deny such callings, has (in my opinion) little to do with the Kingdom of God and much more to do with the Empire of Patriarchy.

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “What a Feminist Looks Like

  1. Interesting because I have a couple of make friends and a son who would identify as feminists, partly because they own their white male privilege and see through that lens the oppression of others. Good post, made me think.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I beg to differ! Of course you can’t speak on behalf of women, any more than I, even though I am a woman, can speak on behalf of women, only myself. But you can be a feminist. In fact, you must be a feminist. Men and women need to stand side by side in the struggle to ensure there is equality for both genders. And as the imbalance is currently mostly on one side, we are, therefore, feminists together.

    Liked by 1 person

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