Written by Nnenna Udoye
So much has been said about feminism and I thought to give my own perspective and pardon me should it not align with yours. Diversity also typifies difference in opinion. However, I will align my perspective stricto sensu with what the Holy Book says.
Before I delve into it, I would like to explain the concept of SUBMISSION which is the lens with which this topic will be spoken about.
Merriam Webster Dictionary defines SUBMISSION (in the context to wit it is to be used here) as “the state of being obedient: the act of accepting the authority or control of someone else”. This definition is apt but I quite disagree with the word “CONTROL” and would rather replace it with “LEADERSHIP” so I would define it again as: “THE STATE OF BEING OBEDIENT: THE ACT OF ACCEPTING THE LEADERSHIP OF SOMEONE ELSE”.
The female gender was made the same as the male gender: Strong, resilient, successful, prosperous etc. The same promises given to the male is also available to the female. However, each gender has their peculiarities, and this is what makes them unique. They also have principles/roles that the creator has specifically carved out for each to lead their lives by because he knows he has provided the enablement for same.
The concept of Feminism has been greatly misinterpreted because we tend to focus more on our weaknesses than our strengths and this has caused us to engage in unhealthy competition with the male gender for equality. But first, we must settle that both were made equal and the same in the sight of God: neither is better loved or better enabled to do exploits both for the kingdom and in the marketplace.
Some of the strength of a woman by nature when compared to most men includes:
- Ability to multitask effectively
- Attentive to very minute details
- Great emotional strength and capacity
- Organised, Timely on how they carry out day to day activities
These are to mention but a few. But, we forget these God given abilities that help us complement the male gender effectively and focus on what they are achieving and how we can compete with them for these things especially in the corporate world.
Overtime, I have heard statements like: ‘women are more at a disadvantage than men especially as it relates to attaining leadership positions because they are women; women are the weaker vessels so they have to show a high level of strength to the men in order to let them know they don’t scare easy…..etc”. The only response I have to such statements is the importance of understanding who you are IN CHRIST because in him, we are NEVER disadvantaged. The bible is also sometimes used to defend this misnomer by quoting the passage that mentions weaker vessel, however, let us take a look at that passage:
1st Peter 3:7 KJV:
‘Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being HEIRS TOGETHER of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”
We can see from this scripture that it is not an issue of physical strength or enablement but of honour, protection, nevertheless, the male must practice this knowing that both are heirs together in Christ.
I will categorically say here that if you know who you are as a female and understand what you have IN CHRIST, even the men whom you are at par with professionally or otherwise, will not only know by default that you don’t scare easy but you will be a light because all they will ever receive from you is love and kindness.
As regards submission, Ephesians 5: 21 is clear: “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God:” (this came before the instruction to wives) and I must say first that to submit to anyone or any system that has been put in place over you, you must have learnt how to obey and accept the leadership of a supreme being because the spiritual influences the physical. So as wives, we are not signing up to be CONTROLLED by a man but to be obedient to him (especially if he is a Godly man who obeys God) and be under his leadership and covering which is the assignment God has given to him as the head of the home. The twist comes when we forget our roles and focus on his. Do yours and it will eventually generate a natural response from him.
For me, Feminism is first understanding who you are IN CHRIST, knowing both male and female have been made and loved equally, understanding the strengths that God has given to you as a female and focusing on harnessing them more while working on the weaknesses and finally, allowing the men in your lives to be who God has called them to be even to you and submitting yourselves to their leadership in any sphere of life. Such female wields true power and is unstoppable because she is filled with grace and poise. And the truth is, when you are filled with so much love and honour for the men, they will not see it coming when you are finally picked for the position, given the offer etc… because they did not sense you so much as a threat.
Only petty people have conversations about why a man should pay the bills when they go out for lunch together, or open the car door for them, or assist when they have a flat tire or get benefits even when they obviously put in the work…. Etc. Allowing a man do these things for you is not a show of weakness or inferiority but a great show of strength being that you can step back despite clear indications that you can resolve them on your own and allow someone else take the lead.