thatmom

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questions for Stacy on the term “white-washed feminists”

From the section of your book entitled “The Evangelical Feminist: The White-washed Kind: On the other hand, there is a more clandestine form of feminism which has crept into many modern churches. Observers have dubbed its adherents ‘evangelical feminists.’ These feminists claim to hold Scripture in high regard, yet they do not accept the biblically defined role distinctions between men and women, and they reject male authority to varying degrees. While some ‘evangelical feminists’ admit to their belief in the limited authority of the Scriptures regarding their role, others simply try to twist the Bible’s meaning to fit their lifestyle. This more subtle version of feminism is particularly dangerous due to its beguiling cloak of Christianity, because, at its core, it is no different that its ‘secular’ counterpart. While its face may be more polished and its manifestation less extreme, in essence, it is nothing more than white-washed feminism……Consequently, the biblical directives given to women to be wives, mothers, and keepers of the home are minimized or set aside as quaint or unnecessary options.” ( pages 121-122 in Passionate Housewives)

Then, it says on page 145: “The Church today is jumping on a train whose engine has already gone over the cliff! Instead of getting out and turning around, we’ve decided the train car will be just fine if we paint it a prettier color or call it by a different name. But feminism is still feminism; and the results of feminism will be just the same for the Church as they have been for the world—possibly worse, because we should know better. Quite simply, there is no such thing as ‘Christian feminism.’ We either embrace the biblical model and call it ‘very good’ (just as God did after He created it), or we reject it and plummet over the cliff with the rest of the passengers on the runaway rail car. Do we really need to lose a generation or two before we decide to stop this folly?”

Given these two quotes, and in light of the quotes from the first set of questions, regarding the biblical roles of women, you seem to be saying that anyone who does not hold to “biblical roles of women” as defined by you, is automatically not only in the “white-washed feminist” camp, but also in the plain old feminist camp. Is this what you mean? Further, the results of “feminism” for Christians could be worse. How so? The results of secular feminism today include abortion and infanticide. What could be worse?

Also, you have stated on your July 19, 2007 blog entry that : “There is a sly movement afoot and it’s very dangerous and enticing. It could be called Christian feminism, except that I don’t think it’s possible for feminism to be labeled Christian. Perhaps we should call it whitewashed feminism, because though it’s seemingly softened for the Christian pallet, it’s still feminism. It’s enticing because it feeds on a woman’s desire to be in control – and it’s sly because it claims to be based on Christianity. The current buzz words are “hyper-patriarchy” and “patricentricity.” There are groups and individuals who claim Christ and hate patriarchy because it means “father-rule.” When you see teachings that complain about how Christian women are being “held back” (either in the church or the family) by men, be very, very careful.”

I was the one who first coined the phrase “patriocentricity” as a more appropriate name for what others have called “hyper-patriarchy” and so many of us felt that you were referring to me and others on the TW blog who used it. However, you stated “The word “patricentricity” (which is what I used) is used all over the internet (do a google search). Patri (meaning father) and centricity (meaning pertaining to or situated at the center.)” (TW blog, Contributors page, July 21, 2007, entry #19.)

Several of us did just that and, after spending quite a lot of time looking on the Internet, came up with only one site that used the word, spelled the way I spelled it, and it had nothing to do with the patriarchy movement within the modern church and homeschooling circles today. There were also several places that used the word “patricentricity” as you spelled it, but not one used it in the context which you were addressing.

As a result of this, those who were reading the TW blog and your blog, as well some who were reading the private warning you sent to your Patriach’s Wives’ mailing list, were certain you were talking about us, labeling those with differing views regarding women’s roles as “white-washed feminists,” in spite of your claims otherwise. I exchanged e-mail with you twice at that time, asking for links to those blogs and you did not produce those links. A few weeks ago, I mentioned it to you again, wanting to read these blogs and links for myself, and my concern was ignored.

Again, I would like to publicly ask you to give us the links to those blogs. This is especially important in light of the fact that an entire chapter in Passionate Housewives is given to the topic of “white-washed” feminists and in light of the above quotes and the predictions that the fruits of being a white-washed feminist could be even worse than for those of secular feminists.

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6 Comments»

  Lynn wrote @

Karen, drum your fingers if you must, but don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer.

  thatmom wrote @

Lynn, I can be a very patient woman. I want to expect the best of Stacy and will hold out hope that she does answer these questions!

  sarah wrote @

“White Washed Feminist” is a label they developed to enable themselves to ignore those who disagree with their theology. I don’t know that it was intentionally developed for this purpose, but it’s certainly how the movement is using the term.

I think they don’t call us feminists because, golly, if we were outright feminists, I’m sure they think that would bring our salvation into question (note their statement that feminism cannot be Christian).

  Corrie wrote @

“I think they don’t call us feminists because, golly, if we were outright feminists, I’m sure they think that would bring our salvation into question (note their statement that feminism cannot be Christian).”

Hmmm? I never thought of that. Good point.

I am still unclear as to what a white-washed feminist. She tells us that if the shoe doesn’t fit don’t wear it but I don’t believe that is a responsible position to hold. I don’t think it is responsible because if they really cared about white-washed feminists and their well-being they would have no problem pointing out some of the white-washed feminist leaders, books, materials, etc.

The definition in Passionate is also very nebulous and because it is such a broad-brushed approach, it actually does more harm than good.

I do not believe that a biblical teaching and precept should cause this much confusion.

WWF’s hold to female ordination but many hold to male-only ordination. WWF’s deny headship. How? What does that denial look like?

What does it mean to “embrace the biblical model and call it very good”? What if I don’t agree with their strict interpretation of the key scriptures that they use to form this “biblical model”? Does that make me a WWF? What if I base my disagreements on scripture and use strict hermeneutical principles to develop my point? What if I just refuse to read more into the scripture that is not there?

I could also make a very good argument for biblical polygamy based on the very same principles they make for biblical patriarchy. After all, there are many verses that codify polygamy as acceptable. There is not one NT verse that says polygamy is sin.

I do not believe that all things in the Bible are things we are to copy. I believe that headship looks very different under Christ than it does under pagans.

I believe that they have a duty to make sure to define the meanings of these things. They left them very nebulous and when you read that part you do wonder what it is exactly they are referring to.

I have some thoughts on daughters and college since I have 6 of them. I will have to share them later.

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

WWF’s hold to female ordination but many hold to male-only ordination. WWF’s deny headship. How? What does that denial look like?

Anything not in compliance with the model described in books like “Family Man, Family Leader” by Lancaster perhaps?

[…] more questions on white-washed feminism […]


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