I came across some discussion by evangelical Christians about “egalitarian marriage”. This is in response to the concept of “complementarian marriage”, which is all the rage in evangelical Christian circles. It’s basically the latest gloss on patriarchy.
I step back and think that I’m glad that these more reasonable folks are having the argument, but to me it’s astonishing there’s a need for the argument at all. But this is the continuing strength of patriarchy today.
This light of feminism among evangelical Christians, while of course moderated by “I’m not a feminist” caveats, is quite encouraging. Two recent events show the core, solid character of feminist gains over the last few decades: the brouhaha over the Susan G. Komen foundation’s withdrawal of funding from Planned Parenthood, and the shitstorm over the right wing’s attempt to treat contraception as a truly controversial subject like abortion. Part of the outrage is over the simple fact that Congress had a discussion about contraception and “religious liberty” with several invited speakers – not one of whom was a woman. It wasn’t too long ago that it would have been normal to exclude women’s voices from a discussion of women’s reproductive health.
One comment on the blog of an evangelical says:
I think a change is coming, and right now, the swell is far off in the ocean, and so it is barely noticed. But as it approaches land, it will rise to tidal wave uprising of people who see God, church, and Scriptures in a new, liberating light.
I agree with the imagery, except I see this as the swell of the next wave of feminism, of which the conversation among evangelicals is only one part.
There is another, deeper swell. In some ways Christians make the best communists, and life is going to get really interesting when that conversation starts among evangelicals.
Six and a half years later, we have a large patriarchal (even fascist) counter-movement, but there’s no question that the wave of feminism in the intervening time, with #YesAllWomen and #MeToo, has been and continues to be massive.