Editor's Note: This series of articles was originally a speech delivered fifteen years ago. It's interesting to note what has changed since then, and what hasn't. This is the final section.
Well, like it or lump it, feminism is here, and it is powerful. Not only do the feminists in many ways run this country—just look at our president [ed - Hillary and Bill Clinton] and her husband--but their beliefs have filtered all through society.
And this brings us to the true legacy of feminism, my friends: It’s the same philosophy that drives all of liberalism, and that is so opposed to the traditional Judeo-Christian culture that built this country.
It’s the entitlement philosophy: I have my rights! They owe it to me!
Feminists are no different: We have our rights! We have the right to be heard! We have the right to have power, and prestige, and money, and so on, and on, and on. And they forget about the responsibilities.
If everyone is concerned only about their own desires, their own rights, their own wants, then no wonder this world is so full of strife.
Here’s what feminism has done, folks: It has caused a change in our culture: a lack of respect for people of the opposite gender, and that lack of respect has caused a willingness to exploit people of the opposite gender. So the important question is, how has it affected us here?
To answer this question, we need look no further than at relationships. It’s been said that a relationship is not a 50-50 proposition; it requires 100% from both parties. And I think that all of you here that are married will agree with that.
The problem is, so many people today don’t know how to do that, or can no longer give 100%.
I don’t know about you, but I love to watch people. There’s a lot that can be learned from watching people. It’s fun, and educational.
But one thing that I’ve seen: it seems to me that people are hurt a lot worse than they used to be. There’s a great lack of respect for other people’s feelings, or spirits; a willingness to exploit someone else’s heart to your own advantage or for your own moment of pleasure.
I read a lot; I love to read old books. You can tell a lot about cultures of the past from reading the literature of the past.
Read books by O. Henry sometime, or Booth Tarkington, or other writers of the end of the last century. These are romance stories; but they’re somehow different from what we have today.
People are hurt, true; there’s always the story of unrequited love, of chasing someone that doesn’t care about you. That’s been around since time immemorial; and having a crush on someone that doesn’t like you is part of growing up.
We all know this; we’ve all experienced it; we all laugh at the little teens and their relationships that seem so serious at the time, but we know that when they are older they’ll look back on them and laugh too.
Except—is this really true? Is this always true? Is there no harm done? Is all as it has always been? I say, No.
Emotions have always been hurt; hearts have always been broken; but I think today that there’s a large number of people that are torn apart, devastated, exploited, squeezed dry of every drop of their feelings, then cast aside by insensitive man-eaters and woman-eaters.
And it’s a cycle that repeats itself, a vicious circle that I’ve seen time and again. A good, open, honest, loving, caring person, exploited mercilessly by someone with little or no heart, that tears them apart. And then maybe the victim no longer feels able to love as fully as once they did; feels threatened by a close relationship; defends themselves from further hurt by a distance, by not loving with all their heart.
And eventually some come to care so little, to guard their heart so closely, that they are doing to others what once was done to them: they’ve become an emotional vampire, sucking the love out of others, and leaving them empty, to do it to others yet again. And the cycle goes on.
And that’s the legacy of feminism, my friends: a self-centeredness, a concern only for one’s own pleasure or one’s own rights, at the expense of everyone else.
Again let me say: Feminism has caused a lack of respect for persons of the opposite gender, and that lack of respect for the opposite gender has caused a willingness to exploit others. And this harms not just women, or just men, but both.
With feminism, it manifests itself as women cease to care for their husbands as they have for centuries; as they abandon their children to daycare or government workers; as they say in their hearts, We have been exploited by men all these years, by abusers and Don Juans and wandering eyes, and now it’s time to return the favor.
Well, I’m sorry, but two wrongs don’t make a right. And the relentless pursuit of rights won’t lead to happiness.
What’s Christian love? Giving without demanding a return. See, love is not a quid pro quo; it’s not a business deal; it’s selflessly giving to others and caring for them, not tallying up each tit for tat.
If all of us can be like this, and not just in dating relationships, but in all relationships, then the legacy of feminism will end: for what feminist is happy, never caring for anyone, any more than Scrooge was happy, always gathering money to himself and never giving out. And, of course, that’s just as true of chauvinism, for feminism and chauvinism are two sides of the same coin.
The right response for both is summarized in the collected wisdom of millennia known as the Bible.
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
- Titus 2:4-5
This verse, I think, encapsulates the answer to feminism. Feminists are not feminine; they want to be masculine. They want to do all the things men do. And that’s wrong.
In fact, the Greek word that we have translated as obedient to their husbands is the same word used elsewhere when telling servants to be subject to their masters.
But I’m not saying women are to be men’s slaves. Absolutely not. Any man who wants to marry a girl so he can be served by her is not worthy of her, and is a true chauvinist. The Biblical writers had plenty to say about men’s relations with their wives:
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.
- Ephesians 5:25
Remember, folks, according to Christian beliefs, Christ died for the church, and the early Christian writers compared the husband’s responsibility to this selfless act of sacrifice. If anything, that is a greater constraint and a more dire responsibility than the wife has.
The point is, both men and women are to serve each other. The husband and wife are to love and serve each other. Not to put what they want first, but the other’s needs.
The husband ought not to demand that his wife serve him, but he should not have to. She should willingly submit to his leadership.
And likewise, the wife should not have to nag or wheedle or plead to get the husband to take out the trash or fix the leaky sink or whatever. He should gladly do it, in a spirit of service, recognizing how blessed he is to have her in his life.
The right response to feminism is the opposite of both feminism and chauvinism. Instead of being self-centered, be others-centered.
Instead of demanding your own rights, help others with theirs. Instead of avoiding responsibility for your own actions, accept it and live up to it. And, most importantly, instead of having a spirit of hate and of anger, have a spirit of love.
For the men, we need to recognize that women are not lesser, weaker men; they are different with their own strengths. And correspondingly, if a woman is better at something than you, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t being a man. Some women excel, are great, skilled, famous, whatever, and that doesn’t diminish the man’s leadership in and of itself.
And for women who choose the be Christians, the fact is, according to their own holy book the home should have the priority over the career. Contributing to the social, spiritual, and academic growth of the family is more important, more lasting, and can be more rewarding than the fleeting financial gain and personal gratification of the business world.
Now, I’m not saying women should never work, should be penned up in the kitchen all the time, no, no, no. But there should be a priority, a precedence of family over job.
Why must women be like men? Why do feminists want women to be masculine, to fight the same fights, to share the same goals, to march to the same drummer, as men?
Here’s what the feminists want. Everything the same. Everyone exactly the same. Or if there is a difference between men and women, they want it like this. That’s worse if anything, it seems to me.
But they’re wrong. Women are different from men, and men are different from women, and you can’t change that. And as the French say, Vive la difference! Long live the difference!
The legacy of feminism is clear in our country today: broken homes, broken hearts, families doomed before they even start.
The feminists accuse men of warring on them; but in truth feminism is warring on men, and on families, and on love, and on all that’s good. What we need is old-fashioned Christian charity, love one for another, regardless of differences.
And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you.
- 1 Thessalonians 3:12
The feminist does not love; the feminist cannot love; for to love someone would be to infringe upon her own rights.
Our Christian heritage commands us to love; not just those that love us, but all men. And if we all do this, then we will return to the stability, the order, the civility and the concern for others, that has been lost now for almost fifty years.