These were the questions I asked myself and the bible before arriving at this conclusion:
- Did Jesus think men and women should be treated equally?
- Did Jesus feel a woman had the mental capacity to direct him on what to do?
- Did Jesus allow women express themselves?
- Did Jesus like to empower women? Teach them his doctrines that they may be better Christians?
- Did Jesus delegate cooking and food preparation task to only a woman?
- Did Jesus even in his divinity believe that humanity can be a better place if we at least loved one another the way we love our own selves?
- Was Jesus overwhelmed in his masculinity that he was never in touch with his emotions? Did he ever cry?
I do not want to write anything lengthy on this topic, it is for sure a fact, and while, there have been a lot of debates on the bible being sexist and prone to condemn women in many instances, my focus is on Jesus today and nothing else.
Have in mind that as an ecofeminist, I am very in tune with my spiritual side and more so, as a Christian, I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and rose up on the third day, I believe that he is coming again and I am continuously working to be in good form when he comes back again. I am growing to be in sync with his word for in it lies the key to the many problems of the world (trust me on this, I recently started a study on the SDGs from the bible and you would be amazed at the things I’m finding).
But I also believe in feminism, I believe that we live in a society that does not treat women fairly and equally, and as an African woman, I relate my feminism with ecology because our women relate more with the environment, I have watched my grandmother fight for land rights that should be hers because she worked hard for the money. I have been asked to keep quiet when a man is speaking, my dream to further my education has been frowned upon and seen as a waste of time, because “last last, na husband kitchen she go end up’’
I laugh at the foolishness in that remark and I get worried at how this is my reality, the reality of women in Africa who do twice the work their male counterparts do and still get way less pay. For the women, who gender bills are not passed on in the senate houses because they say that what we ask is not cultural and I cannot help but lean unto my spiritual woman and ask, what will Jesus do?
Here are some of the things Jesus did based on my questions above and please feel free to come back at me with countering views, I am interested in knowing the people who are instantly outraged at the thought of gender equality 🙂
The mere fact that Jesus related with women under very normal circumstances should even be enough proof for this conversation, because, with this, we know that he believes in equality, but even if many women around him came for miracles and teaching, the Jesus I know had strong women and facilitators around him, case in point: Mary, his mother I mean, her courage was what even brought him into the world and so he showed great respect for her and the world should too!
I saw women being fierce allies in his ministry, Mary, Martha and Mary Magdalene and even instances where Jesus is hosted by women.
Can I also say that women stood with Him through his fiercest battle, when His male disciples ran for cover. The women stuck with Jesus to the bitter end (witnessing the horrors of His execution and the finality of His burial), and sealing traumatic images in their minds they would never be able to erase. But they were indomitable! Women were even the first to proclaim the gospel – ”He is risen!”
Jesus’ relationships with women within an intensely patriarchal culture represent a paradigm shift for male/female relationships. Was He not the one who said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”
I love how Carolyn Custis James puts it, “coming to this earth as a Man, Jesus liberated both men and women from their bondage to the social orders that violate God’s intention for human life-in-community…..Jesus freed males from their slavery to the role of domination that belongs to the fallen world, in order that they can be truly male.’’
So was Jesus a feminist? Yes! He was also the Prince of Peace and his feminism advocacy would not be as controversial as it is in the world today, because just because we want equality does not mean we have to:
- Hate the other gender
- Impose sin into ideologies and make it look right
- Live our lives just in anyway, we already have a standard that in His word and anything else is anti-Christianity
I accept that feminism has been terribly misused and attributed to many insane things, I am here for equal opportunities and I do not see the problem with that.
Again, this is personal for me and in these principles, I have found a light that I never want to shut out and I am growing in this GodConfidence so that when I talk about the things I believe in, they come from a place of understanding and not imposed theories and ideologies from the wicked hearts of men.