13 Things that Make Me a Lousy Feminist


by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

I’ve shared 13 things that make me a lousy evangelical and 13 things that make me a lousy progressive. Lately, having been dubbed a “dangerous feminist” by some of my more conservative brothers and sisters in the Church, I’ve been pondering all the things that make me lousy feminist. 

Let me know if you identify with any of these: 

1. I like white males so much I married one. 

2. I’ve never read The Handmaid’s Tale. (I know, I know. It’s on my list.)

3. When folks at a progressive Christian conference get angry because we sang the Doxology, I have to ask why. (Note to other lousy feminists: We’re supposed to be mad because it employs gender-specific pronouns. Try folding your arms and frowning while you worship if you feel the need to protest along with the other feminists.) 

4. I’m pretty stubbornly pro-life.

5. Jokes based on gender stereotypes, like this one, usually make me laugh, probably because I think that men and women are different. I don’t think those difference are universal or that they should define us (or restrict our roles), but I think that if they weren’t there, most of my favorite TV shows wouldn’t be funny.  

6. I call Dan whenever anything in the house breaks. 

7. I fell asleep during “The Hours.” 

8. Little girls dressed up as princesses for Halloween make me smile. (But little girls dressed up as beauty queens make me want to throw up.) 

9. I think homemaking is an honorable career that should be celebrated like any other. Just because I suck at it doesn’t mean that other women can’t be fulfilled and effective in its pursuit. 

10. Unlike Leslie Knope, I don’t have a framed photo of Madeleine Albright on my desk...though I'm thinking of getting one.

11. It bugs me a little bit when unqualified women are asked to participate in an event or project simply because they are women and the group is in need of diversity. I want to earn my success, fair and square. I never want to feel like the “token woman.” 

12. I owe a lot of my writing success to the help and encouragement of good men, so I'm uncomfortable when they're cast as the bad guys. 

13. I’m not sure I even know what “feminist” means…and that seems like something a good feminist should know. 

BONUS #14: Based on the comments, it seems I am also a lousy feminist because I've perpetuated feminist stereotypes with this post. I'm truly sorry. That wasn't my intent. (Please check out Dianna Anderson's fantastic response.)

What about you? What makes you a lousy feminist?

How do you define the term “feminist” anyway? How many of the things on my list do you think are based on misunderstandings about what feminism is? (Sometimes I think "feminist" may be an even more loaded term that "evangelical" or "progressive.")

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