I am woman. And sometimes I roar. Just ask my husband. He actually likes it when I roar as long as I am not roaring at him. I do not often roar. I find that if you roar too often, people tune all the roaring out like they have a case of roar-fatigue. I selectively roar.
Women, young women in particular, are roaring a lot these days. The Me Too movement has given voice to a generation of women who are fed up with being objectified and used by men who fail to comprehend the true value of a woman. The disparity we find in the value assigned to people groups is getting under the skin of this generation. It’s about time, right?
One issue of concern at play here is momentum. When a movement builds momentum, quite often it grows a life of its own and the pendulum swings oh so far in the opposite direction. What starts off as good and necessary when left unchecked becomes distorted, and the end result serves no one at all. I see young women, even Christian women, swinging with that pendulum to a dangerous place with radical feminism these days. The goal should not be to surpass men, making them irrelevant and without value to us. In devaluing men, we are guilty of the same disgraceful actions that motivated women to speak out to begin with.
When I teach about gender disparity, I always ask my Sociology students if they think Jesus was a feminist. They are afraid to answer me, initially. They shift in their seats, look around at each other and then back up to me, unsure of the safe answer. Then I read them the definition of feminist. “Someone who advocates for the social, political, legal, and economic rights of women equal to those of men”. I read this to my class and again ask the question. Was Jesus a feminist? Yes. They always say yes. Jesus did more for women than any other person before or since Him. He drew equality lines in the sand (John 8). He stripped away value determinations between men and women, free and enslaved (Galatians 3). Yes, by our definition, Jesus could have been thought of as a feminist. And Jesus was clearly radical. But He was not a radical feminist. Neither should we be.
I walk in confidence today. Have I ever been devalued or brushed aside because I am a woman? Sure. Plenty. Is my worth wrapped up in what that person said or did? If I let it, yes. But I do not let it. I learned a while ago where to find my worth. My power is not in the fact that I am a woman, although being a woman is powerful. My power lies in the fact that I am a woman called by God to His good works. Works that He ordained for me before the foundation of the earth. Most of the time I walk in quiet confidence knowing the power that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside of me. I picture crowds of dark demons parting, giving me deference, making a way for me to pass as I walk this life. You should try it. It’s a powerful visual.
Sometimes I’m quiet, sometimes I roar. But quiet or roaring, I always carry a sword at my side, and I never forget where that sword came from. I know that sword was not made by my hand. It was forged by the fire of the Holy Spirit and placed in my hand, along with the rest of my armor, at the moment I recognized Jesus as the Messiah. I am completely His. I walk in confidence in who I am because of what He says I am. Not by some hyped up, fueled up, emotional position I take because of a reactionary feminist view of the world. I slay dragons by the power of the Holy Spirit who uses me because I am a woman, not in spite of it.