Thanks to Robert Stacy McCain, we're having big fun with "National Offend a Feminist Week!" I am thoroughly enjoying myself.
Make sure to check out the trackbacks in the comment section. Other bloggers are also having a blast with NOFW.
My previous entries:
So I mentioned before that I was a relationship coach for single women over 40 who were looking for love. I did this for a little over three years.
I made the distinction of saying "looking for love" as opposed to "wanting a husband" because after a few workshops, I found that some women didn't want to get married but did want companionship.
However, the majority of the women who attended my workshops (and those I coached), wanted to get married.
I started this type of coaching back in 2004 because I knew how challenging it was to be an older woman in the dating arena. I didn't marry until I was 39 and realized years earlier that the dating landscape had changed drastically.
When I was in my twenties, there were plenty of single people and lots of activities to keep me busy. However, toward my late twenties and early thirties, I realized that the pool of eligible single men had dwindled significantly, many of them finding wives during those years. I was heavily involved with ministry work and assumed I'd meet a nice, respectable man at church. Huge assumption and completely wrong. I'm not sure what the experience is with other Christian women, but I will say I never got a date through my church.
When I turned 35, I knew I had to do something different.
I began to check the weekly newspapers for interesting events or groups to join. I made an effort to be "out and about" after my workday instead of heading home and becoming a couch potato. I joined the YMCA and started to exercise more. Although most of my attempts to meet eligible men fell through, I was starting to feel pretty good about myself. I was eating more nutritional foods, exercising regularly, and socializing more than I had since my college days.
At that time, the singles events I found seemed to attract more of an "over 50" crowd than over 35. I remember walking into one singles dance and immediately saw a crowd of men and women in their fifties and sixties. I turned around and walked out.
The point is, I kept trying. Once you're past 35, you have to start getting creative to meet men. That means employing the assistance of friends and family. You may be surprised how many of them thought I was happy being single. I explained that although I was content, I still wanted to find a husband. I asked them to keep me in mind if they met any single men who were around my age. They agreed.
It wasn't until I moved back to my hometown that things started to happen. I joined an online writing community and met an interesting man. However, he lived in the state of Washington and I was in Ohio. I joined a cycling club and met more men.
Then I visited an online Christian chat room, although I viewed it as a harmless diversion just before I headed to bed. Lo and behold, that is how I met my husband.
We met through the chat room, exchanged email addresses, and then began a correspondence that lasted a little over one month before we finally decided to meet. I was already half-way in love with him but after we met, I knew for sure. We were married four months later. (And just celebrated our tenth anniversary last December, so we've endured!)
But back to "Offend a Feminist Week."
I wanted to give a little backstory to my own history regarding dating and being very clear with my friends and family that I wanted to get married.
It seems that many women are almost embarrassed to admit this — that they want to get married.
And as usual, I blame feminism for it.
When I was giving my workshop, "5 Ways to Find a Husband After 40," I was contacted by a local library. Would I be interested in joining their fall program by offering the workshop for them? I said I'd be delighted.
A few weeks later, I received a phone call. The program director nervously told me that she had to "disinvite me."
"Oh?" I said. "May I ask why?"
"Well," she slowly said. "The board rejected the workshop."
I was surprised. They only had the title to reject since I didn't share the details of the presentation with anyone. It wasn't so much that it was a secret, it just was that no one asked for the content. I believe the title was pretty self-explanatory.
As it turned out, the director went on to say that in all the 10+ years she had organized the speakers, she had never had an issue with the board regarding any of them. I suspected something and decided to have a little fun.
"So, was it only one person who objected?" I asked. It was. A woman.
"Is this woman by chance, single?" The director answered yes. I asked if she happened to lean toward feminism.
The director at this point was chuckling. "Not only is she a feminist, but she's a lesbian. In her words, after I announced the title at the meeting, this woman huffed and said, 'No way will we offer such a presentation in this library! The title in itself is offensive!'"
I then told the director that if that was the case, then it was amazing this woman wasn't offended by the library itself, since the section on relationships were filled with books on finding love and getting married!
I was annoyed by the whole thing but at the time, toward the beginning of my coaching business, so I didn't want to start off on the wrong foot by suing someone. But I could have.
What I explained to the director, and to anyone who had questions about what I did during these workshops, was that women had the choice to attend them and if they wanted to get married, I wanted to help. I wasn't holding a gun to anyone's head. And besides, wasn't it the feminists who said they wanted women to have "choices?" And if a woman chose marriage, wasn't that a valid choice?
This is the problem women like me have with feminism. It claims to be about choice but choose a path that feminists don't agree with and you'll suffer their scorn. I'll never forget watching a film which had the main character sitting with a group of her career-focused friends. She just had a baby. When asked by her friends when she planned on returning to her job, she confessed she wasn't, and instead she would be staying home full-time with her new baby. The icy looks exchanged spoke volumes. The nerve of a "modern" woman choosing to stay home with her kid!
Some of the women who came to my workshops actually seemed apologetic and slightly ashamed for having a desire to be married. It was almost as if they thought they had let their team down. I spent time emphasizing the fact that it was just fine if a woman wanted to remain single but just as fine if she wanted to get married. The important thing, I said, was knowing what you really wanted. (I counseled Christian women a little differently, but overall tried to help women not feel guilty if they really wanted to be married.)
This exposes a weakness in feminism's argument. You can't tell women that feminism is all about having choices but then take away some of those choices. Nor is it fair to judge one choice as more important than another. Many women want to get married. Many of them want to raise a family. Just because a woman wants that does not make her stupid, oppressed, ignorant, a slave to men's needs, or intellectually dishonest. It simply makes her authentic.
This condescension exhibited by women toward women for wanting something that has existed for thousands of years is laughable if they weren't so doggone serious. Radical feminists think marriage is an old cultural tradition that places women in bondage. But as I said, there are many women who would like nothing more than to meet a wonderful man, fall in love, and get married.
I suspect there are some women who fell in with feminism and lived their lives as unmarried career women for many, many years. Suddenly, they wake up and realize they're fifty-years old and most single men around their age are on their second marriage to a women at least ten years younger. I wouldn't be surprised if they felt as though they had been duped.
Not everyone is called to be married. Catholics believe it is a vocation and in the Church, singlehood is just as valid of a calling. But for those of us who follow Jesus Christ, we are expected to pray and ask God what His will would be for our lives.
Because when you get right down to it. choices made separate from God won't ever bring joy. This perhaps is at the heart of why I so loathe feminism. It is a direct rejection of God's role in a woman's life. As a woman of faith, I am called to trust God. There were many years during my twenties that I wanted to be married but it was not to be. I had to come to grips with trusting in God for His timing for marriage, and also accept the possibility that He was calling me to live a single's life.
I've mentioned this before on this blog but will share the story again:
When I was in Charlotte, North Carolina, attending a ministry school, I had a revelation. I don't say that lightly, because as far as I'm concerned, a revelation is when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that what just entered your mind was not from you but came from above.
I was driving to class and my mind was drifting. Suddenly, I opened my mouth and this sentence came out: "Feminism is women's attempt to gain security apart from God."
Simple. Profound. And it made perfect sense.
Feminists expend a great deal of energy trying to convince people they're worth something. that their ideas are important or they're capable of great accomplishments. Why is this so important?
Because these same women feel unappreciated, disrespected, or minimized in some way. But guess what? They're looking for validation from the world.
Once I started to go deep in my relationship with God and find my validation through Him, everything in my life changed. I found my security, my strength, and my sense of worth through Him.
That is why Christianity is so dangerous and why radicals throughout the world seek to destroy it.
Because it triumphs over the world.
And feminists absolutely, completely, and with a pure, driven passion — hate it.