“My Brush With Feminism” by Rebeka Merkle

This is a great post from September at the Femina blog. Here’s a snippet to whet your appetite:

I have, now and again, had occasion to pop off on the subject of feminists who can’t decide if they’re trying to channel a swaggering machismo persona – or delicate, hyperventilating, victimhood. And the thing is, the whole situation is funny. It really is. One minute these ladies are rough, tough, and hard to bluff . . . and the next minute they’re pasting trigger alerts on all the sharp corners of everyone’s lives like those dreadfully inelegant foam protectors for the edges of coffee tables. You’ve seen those moments of high heels gone wrong in which the poor girl staggers violently in every possible direction before actually falling down? That’s what the evangelical feminists remind me of. There’s no clear trajectory. One minute they’re galloping nor’-nor’-east, and then suddenly they’re staggering to the sou’-sou’-west. On the one hand, they want to be hard edged modern women, all pant suits and nun chucks, but then again, what they really want to be is tender and empathetic, cherishing and tenderly petting the hurt feelings of everyone everywhere.

Like I said, I find that whole thing funny. But actually, in a surprise move, I wanted to actually take a moment to explain in what way I totally sympathize with them. I don’t agree with the nonsensical road they’ve taken, mind you, but I can at least understand how they came to be in this ridiculous place.

Men. Men who are chumps. Let us be frank – that’s the real problem here. If we want to dig in and get down to first causes, this is where the problem lies. There are lots of chumpish men of course, and each is chumpish in his own way . . . but there’s one particular breed I wanted to look at for a minute.

The thing that makes the evangelical feminists (which is a bit of an oxymoron really) as mad as fire is that Great Nemesis of the Western World – Patriarchy, and anything that reminds them of patriarchy, or alliterates with patriarchy. (Like “Paul” for instance.) So let’s take a moment to peer into the bushes that the feminists are setting up a squawk about. What men do we find in that camp? Well, if we let the feminists define the boundaries of who is in “That Camp” then we find a whole smorgasbord of men because it turns out that feminists aren’t terribly good at defining their terms. We find little tin-pot dictators who advocate for old school patriarchy and who rule their sparsely populated and badly educated red-neck demesne with a rod of iron. But we also find timid little would-be-hipster-city-dwellers who are trying to hide behind the label “Complementarian” and hoping that will fool the feminists and make them go away.

Interspersed in there we find a whole number of strong, faithful, masculine men who assume a godly authority in the home . . . but, and let’s be real here, we also find plenty of men who are chumps. By the grace of God, I have lived my entire life surrounded by the first kind . . . but I have actually been around the block a time or two, and I’ve seen plenty of the second kind as well. And it’s those men – the chumpish ones – who provide much of the ammo which the feminists are flinging at the faithful men. So I would like to humbly offer the suggestion to the menfolk – if you don’t like the feminists, then for heaven’s sakes stop making their point for them!

I’ve had men (in the name of headship and submission) tell me I ought not to be educated.

I’ve had men (in the name of headship and submission) tell me I ought not be wearing anything but dresses.

I’ve had men (in the name of headship and submission) tell me I ought not to disagree with them . . . because I was a female and they were male.

I’ve had men (in the name of headship and submission) tell me that any woman who disagrees with a man doesn’t have a gentle and quiet spirit.

I’ve had men (in the name of headship and submission) tell me that women don’t need an education, because they only need to know how to have babies and cook.

And I’ll be straight-up honest with you. I didn’t handle those men in a very saintly way. I called them names and made rude remarks. I danced around in a tight little circle and lit my hair on fire. And without fail, after about ten minutes of conversation with these pills I was ready to wear nothing but pants for the rest of my life, go to law school, run for president, and become a rugby player.

Read the rest of the story (it’s great!) here: My Brush With Feminism