My journey into feminism began one night in 1972 as I watched Helen Reddy sing, “I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman, I can do anything, I can do anything.” To my childish ears the words were almost magical. Freedom at last, I could do whatever I wanted! I had become a feminist at the ripe old age of 14, but would not realize that fact until over 40 years later. I would then learn that those words were indeed magical. Reddy herself says they were channeled to her one night by “the universe”. (1)
No one challenged my thinking to examine this philosophy a bit closer. I had chosen a nontraditional career path and was surrounded by many educators who readily promoted a feminist worldview. I graduated Suma Cum Laude in Civil Engineering at Tennessee State University (TSU), studied Nuclear Engineering at UC Berkeley and completed medical training at Loma Linda in Internal Medicine. No challenges there. While a freshman at TSU I became a Seventh Day Adventist, but unfortunately my feminist propensities were not challenged by my beloved church either.
It was obvious as the years rolled on that something had changed, deeply changed in our homes. Families were under siege, but I was especially affected by the heart cry from women in my generation who were asking themselves difficult questions but unable to find real solutions even from the church. They were trying to balance career, family, marriage, church, and working feverishly at jobs to secure financial freedom but being overwhelmed. They were trying to have it all, but it wasn’t working. Had Helen Reddy lied to us? Weren’t we supposed to be able to ‘do anything’?
With much prayer and soul searching it began to dawn on me that feminism was at the root of much of the suffering I was observing. But it came as an even bigger surprise to realize that I was myself one of those flaming feminists. So deeply had feminism permeated my thinking that I had not even realized it was there. I had much to repent of and the Lord in His mercy continues to reveal to me what feminism has really done to us all.
I was moved to create a blog called, “A Simple Femininity” (2) and launched the site September 7, 2014. Since then I have presented two sermons relating to the topic of feminism at the Ava Seventh Day Adventist Church - which is my home church located in the Iowa-Missouri conference; and a three part series of sermons at the Pioneer Seventh Day Adventist Church in Siloam Springs, Oklahoma of the Oklahoma conference. Women seem to be as startled as I about the inroads of feminism in our lives.
The 2015 General Conference session (GC) was dominated by the topic of the ordination of women (WO). As I studied the topic for myself I have come to realize that WO is but an outgrowth of feminism. My blog had been created to warn women away from feminism and what greater way to reach many women than at a GC session. I applied for a booth at the GC and was approved. My application was initially accepted, my money taken and a booth assignment made. However several weeks later the approval was rescinded. I was told that the committees did not want any booths at GC which would promote either side of the WO issue. This has been shown to not be the case.
I must close by saying that I have listened to many lovely young ladies speak of their deep convictions regarding ministry, their love for souls and their assurance of the Spirit’s call for them to pastoral ministry. I believe they are very sincere, but I also believe they are deeply deceived - as was Eve, and as I myself had been deeply deceived. I sympathize with the dilemmas they will face, but recognize that Scripture is the supreme revelation of the will of God for our lives. We have no safety in any other course. May the Lord find and keep us faithful.
(1) “Reddy credits the song as having supernatural inspiration. She said: "I remember lying in bed one night and the words, 'I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman', kept going over and over in my head. That part I consider to be divinely inspired. I had been chosen to get a message across." Pressed on who had chosen her, she replied: "The universe." The next day she wrote the lyric and handed it to Australian guitarist Ray Burton to put it to music.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_Woman
(2) A Simple Femininity - http://asimplefemininity.com/