I've been pondering this for some time now, wondering if the term, feminism, is redeemable. Wondering if it is helpful and if Christians should repackage it for cultural consumption. Of course, some will say that it already has been in the form of "Christian Feminism", sometimes known as Egalitarianism. The problem with this form of feminism, however, is that it is, at best, heterodox. Being born in anthropological modalism and grown in the fetid soil of gnosticism, it can't provide us with the answers we need. It can't help us determine where or not feminism is redeemable for it has already determined that feminism is no only redeemable, but that it is their variety of feminism which is required to redeem the church.
The problem with feminism, if we take it as an umbrella concept, and not in specific forms such as religious feminism or equity feminism, etc., is that it is beholden to worldly philosophies that are, at base, incompatible with Christianity. The primary philosohpy is Marxism, which in its religious form is known as liberation theology. The trouble with both Marxism and it's barely baptized incarnation as liberation theology is that they are about power, and mostly about personal power in temporal situations. The marxist base upon which religious feminism and liberation theology are built is about power, control and victory over temporal situations.
Because of this, because they are about the here and now -- whether I am given a just wage for my work, whether my husband does his share of the household work, whether my church represses the use of my gifts where I see fit to use them -- we miss the larger liberation. We miss the true liberation in Christ. The liberation Christ offers us does not require a just wage or sexual equity -- Christ's liberty is of the spirit, it frees us from laws of the flesh such as these I have mentioned, it frees us for liberty in the spirit - the things against which there is no law.
It is this freedom, these gifts, the fruit of which we are free to live out in spite of our circumstances.
Baroness Thatcher rather famously pointed out that the problem with Socialism is that, sooner or later, you run out of other people's money. Socialism, like religious feminism, is a game of leveling, playing fair, bringing everyone down to the same meagre level of subsistence. I have not because you have so we must change the rules so we both have, but have in sum, less.
And here we have come to the heart of the matter, the reason Feminism, as a concept, is utterly beyond redemption. It is because Feminism is about leveling. Feminism is a zero-sum game. the only problem with the game is that the total sum ends up being less.
In the case of feminism versus sexual orthodoxy, we have less because we have leveled our differences and denied the opportunity for men to be brave, bold, strong, and lead -- we have denied the chance for men to be men. We have denied the chance for women to be beautiful, strong and yet vulnerable, to shine by their deference and meekness -- we have denied women the opportunity to be women. We have leveled everything to merely human and so we have, in sum, less. Because a zero-sum world of sex denies the opportunity for growth in Christian virtues, in the fruit of the Spirit in a similar way to that in which a socialist, centrally planned economy denies the chance for capitalist entrepreneurship and economic growth.
The problem with feminism is that it is a zero-sum game - a world of grey. And who wants to live like that when we can have the technicolor beauty of sexual orthodoxy? A world of men who are men and women who love them to be men. Where women are women and men cherish and protect all that is vulnerable in them.