Feminism: Yay or Nay?

I had a pretty awesome day.

One of my favorite people is in town and I put on him on kitchen duty. Earlier that day, I expressed to a friend how impossible it was for me to get up in the morning and pound yam for any man just because he craved it. Let’s say, I’m married with kids. Now it’s my job to prepare breakfast and the kids for school at the same time (I mean, I’m the woman) while the hubby is in bed spending some quality time with God or watching yesterday’s football match reruns. He suddenly gets cravings for a particular food and because I’m the woman and wife and it is my job to cook and clean, I include that in my to-do list regardless of the fact that we both have to get to our places of work at the same time.

Back to my story; while this favorite person of mine was efficiently handling the turning stick, he made a statement that his wife would not do house-work. He said he would rather do it or get someone else to. His reason is as simple as this: if Kenneth E. Hagin (he mentioned doing the dishes more than once in passing in his books) could do dishes, who was he not to?

His statement took my mind a few weeks back when I was pulling an all-nighter with another friend. This friend’s personal opinion was that his wife must work. Of course I asked why and he said he was going to marry a smart woman, so why would he stifle her potentials, deny her fulfillment, and disallow her from taking her rightful place in the world? I then asked what was going to happen if her job had to take her places and she didn’t have time for mundane affairs like cooking and cleaning. Who was going to run the home, take care of the kids, and cook meals and stuff? He looked at me like I was stupid. His answer went in the lines of it was their work; not just hers. They shared equal rights in running the home and both of them would make compromises when needed. What made his work, his life, more important than hers? Any kids they had were their kids and not hers or his; both of them are involved in their upbringing and day-to-day welfare. My heart is glad that there are men like this out there. There just might be light at the end of this marriage tunnel for me.

I’m not a feminist. Honestly, I don’t care as long as nobody rubs it in my face. I’m not trying to rub shoulders with any man. I don’t need to. Influence is one skill I’ve rightly mastered. I have nothing to prove by trying to change car tires and move heavy furniture. I love the very essence of me; my small enough shaped body and it’s amazing off scale hormones, my kind mind, my soft emotions and tenacious will, my gentle and quiet spirit. I love the multi-tasking ability that God has bestowed on every woman, the nurturing spirit He has graced her with.

Woman is not subject to man. A wife however is to submit to her husband and only her husband. There is nothing wrong with usurping a man’s authority, or taking the lead. My very existence, purpose and fulfillment are not bound to the decisions, actions/inactions, whims and caprices of any man; not even my husband. Yes, I said that. I read somewhere last week that woman was made for man. I beg to differ. What if I decide not to get married? Does that make my life a joke? The “your desire shall be for your husband” line in Genesis 3:16 was a curse and not God’s original intention. Plus, I think we should stop confusing the words woman, wife, and mother up.

They are three different roles, three different people.

Dear man looking forward to marriage and raising a family (two different things also), please note the lines clearly. Do not ruin the life of a beautiful, kind, hardworking woman who can change the world because of what testosterone thinks should be, what tradition and religion have lain down as precedents.

Most of the women in the Bible who did great stuff did them either defying a man or without a man in the picture. Rahab committed treason. Tamar shamed her father-in-law and was nearly killed for it. It was a two-woman show with Ruth and Naomi. Esther disobeyed. Deborah led a war in the place of a scared man. Abigail covered up for the foolishness of her husband. The Proverbs 31 woman had help (yes, house boys and house girls, plenty of them), she had businesses, skills, and talents. I dare say if God didn’t intercede, Mary would have given up everything and anything Joseph gladly for God’s will to come to pass through her.

I’m not advocating carrying a full-fledged war on men and sending them back to Mars (that’s an idea), I’m saying that every woman is as strong and skilled and talented and capable as any man and her back-seat roles may come up in a marriage context (This even is debatable). Even at that, she doesn’t compromise the essence of her to snag a man and bear him children.

Marriage is not the highest calling. Purpose is.
Dear woman, strut your stuff. Go out there and blow our minds. Show us how beautiful and strong and skilled you are. Take your place and make God proud. Now this is super-important:  when you meet the man you want to spend the rest of your life with, make sure he fully recognizes that you’re more than a bedmate, a chef, a cleaner and a baby factory. There is so much more to you.  Your marriage to him is not your ultimate fulfillment in life; it doesn’t define who you really are. Don’t give up your dreams for a man. Don’t lower those standards for a life of ‘training’ his children and cooking and cleaning. You’re your own woman. You don’t need any man to complete you. Irony is; you complete him, not vice versa. Check your Bible.

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About the Author :

A lover of everything words and fine paper, Ayotola is pursuing Jesus in education, youth ministry, women empowerment, and public speaking. Her life's message is centered around breathtaking lifelong intimacy with God, refinement of individual character and finding and fulfilling God's plan for one's life. You can find her at her personal blog: ayotola.wordpress.com