Image by Jodi Womack
Recently I was reading an article by Dr. Lissa Rankin, regarding her new book, What’s Up Down There: Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist if She Was Your Best Friend. She’s been on a promotional tour, and has run into a rather ridiculous issue: the word “vagina” is ‘too saucy’ to say on a mainstream media outlet. She’d written an article called “15 Crazy Things About Vaginas,” but it got pulled after only an hour for being inappropriate (even though a similar article on sperm created no controversy).
Okay. I don’t define myself as a feminist by any means. But this is ridiculous.
What’s wrong with discussing important women’s health issues? What’s wrong with bringing these issues to light? To me, this is related to anti-choice in birthing (you will have a hospital birth or else), telling women they shouldn’t breastfeed in public (or at all), and other feminist issues.
God made our bodies perfect, and strong. He made our bodies to carry babies, to give birth to them, to nourish them with our breasts. Why should we be ashamed of that? Why should we hide it behind closed doors and pretend it doesn’t happen? Or worse, lose all knowledge of natural processes and confidence in our ability to do what God created us to do?
Because Satan wants us to be, that’s why.
Feminists are sure that women are denigrated and seen as sex objects and inferior people. They think that men are deliberately doing this to women because of a paternalistic, religious belief. They’re right about the first part — but wrong about the second.
Satan’s Greatest Lie
God’s design for the family is that men submit to God, and women submit to their husbands (which does not mean that husbands are ‘in charge of’ their wives or that wives don’t have brains of their own). Men and women have unique roles in the family, and neither is superior or inferior to the other. They need each other and cannot live without each other. Men and women are merely different but equally strong.
If Satan can convince men that they are superior, though, and that women ought to be inferior, then he can destroy the family. He can pit men and women against each other. He can make women feel meek and afraid to ‘stand up to’ their husbands, and that their place is silent, pregnant, and barefoot in the kitchen. This is not a Biblical marriage. This is a bastardization of one, one that Satan has gotten his hand deeply into.
Worse, Satan’s convinced those who are not religious that this is actually God’s plan! He has convinced the world at large that women ought to be inferior and it is God’s design and God’s fault, and therefore they — especially women — should turn away from God!
Women are Toys
This has led to our culture objectifying women as sex objects — portraying them scantily clad all over advertisements, and leading them to believe there is power in using their bodies as strippers, prostitutes, or even just “dressing to please” in everyday life. Attempts to wear modest clothing are seen as further evidence of keeping women down, rather than a woman choosing to show respect for her own body.
Women are to be empty vessels, who exist to give men sexual pleasure. This can take the form of stimulating magazines, videos (porn), advertisements; or it can take the form of prostitution; or even in marriage that a woman is quiet and allows her husband to “do to her” what he will.
The Bible does say that a woman ought not to refuse her husband. But it also says that he ought not to refuse her. It goes both ways. Again, the theme of “different but equal” is there, but ignored.
The Ultimate Undoing
The ultimate undoing would be to acknowledge that a woman is not inferior and not a sex object. It would be to publicly and shamelessly acknowledge a woman’s strength, and respect the way that God made her.
Satan cannot allow this to happen.
Therefore, we must hide things like sex, birth, and breastfeeding — women’s powerful, natural functions — from everyone. We must shield people from these “obscene” things and ask that they occur only behind closed doors. Women and “those things they do” are naughty, and polite company doesn’t talk about them (don’t some women teach this to other women?). That’s the way women keep themselves down!
But this is a lie from Satan. Talking openly about birth, breastfeeding, marital issues, women’s health — is not naughty or obscene. Showing off one’s body in a sexual manner to entice men you are not married to, that’s obscene. But the latter is truly inferior (viewing women only as objects of affection/sexual thoughts), while the former is truly powerful (celebrating women as real people, the way God designed them).
We, as Christian women, cannot buy Satan’s lie. We cannot refuse to talk about important, crucial women’s health issues because we believe it to be “wrong” to talk about. That’s not God’s design. In the Bible it talks openly about women becoming pregnant, giving birth, and nourishing babies at their breasts.
We need to break free of the stereotypes and meet up with the feminists who, for very different reasons, are championing women’s rights to birth where they choose, breastfeed their babies (if they choose), and otherwise celebrate their bodies. We can meet on common ground and show feminists who are not Christians that just because we are Christians doesn’t mean that we just lie down and let our husbands treat us like doormats. We have strength, too, and we are not afraid to talk about it!
Some say that birth and breastfeeding are wrong because there’s some sort of hidden sexual agenda there. In fact, there is nothing sexual about this. That’s just another of Satan’s lies — that anything we do with our bodies must be sexual in nature. There’s nothing sexual about health, birth, or breastfeeding! These are natural, normal, non-obscene functions of a woman’s body.
Proud to Be a Woman
I’m proud to be a woman. Are you? I’m proud that I am able to carry a child within my body, give birth to it, and nourish it with my breasts, as God designed me to do. A man cannot do that. We should accept and love our bodies!
On another note, we shouldn’t denigrate men. They didn’t “do” this to us; Satan did. We should respect and admire their unique strengths, too. Men don’t have to be pushed down so women can climb up — yet another of Satan’s lies!
Are you ready to talk openly about women’s issues? Ready to admit that you’re a perfect creation in the image of God with nothing to hide?