I once witnessed a heated discussion on twitter about gender roles and cooking. The discussion featured members of various divides: the societal conservatives, feminists, liberals and the religionists. It was spiced up with shrewd explanations for and against the definition of cooking in the home as a gender based—female—activity. There were also insulting tweets flying across timelines as everyone seemed bent on selling their opinions on the subject. Due to my interest in social conversations, I followed the discussion with keen interest and made some observations that I will be sharing this article.
It will not be fair to go any further without defining the concept of feminism. The Oxford dictionaries define feminism as:
“The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of equality of the sexes”
The movement became very prominent in the later years of the 18th century during the French and American revolutions. It gradually gained grounds in various countries and continents. It has been termed as movement against societal order—as defined by religious and societal conservatives. This is because it seems to tow a path that seems contradictory to various doctrines, societal and religious, that have lasted over the years.
This “war for equality” was the reason ‘Twitter Nigeria’ experienced the showdown of between members of the divide. Some were of the opinion that women should not cook for men, as that is slavery. Some others were of the opinion that not cooking for a man was to deny “what a woman was made to do”. The questions that kept running through my mind as I skimmed through my timeline were: WHAT IS EQUALITY ABOUT? HOW CAN EQUALITY WORK IN RELATIONSHIPS?
In explaining my opinion, I would start out by quoting Billy Graham:
“Wives submit to your husbands. Husband love your wives, the keyword is love”.
To explain the above statement; love is about service as defined by Rabbi Jesus and submission is also about service. Therefore, at the end, love is about serving one another to make things beautiful together. Does feminism satisfy this? By definition it does, but sometimes supporters of the movement seem to spread their opinions in manners that tow the path of exchange of gender roles rather than equality. And this, of course, goes against the concept of feminism making a good number of conservatives conclude that it is more of a misguided rebellious movement.
In conclusion, here is my advice to feminists and would be feminists. Before you call yourself a feminist, ask yourself what you want: equity or an exchange of “gender roles”? What I see most times is people fighting for exchange of gender roles they claim shouldn’t exist in the first place in the name of “feminism”. If you say you won’t cook—male or female—based on your equality drive or societal dogma, how sensible would you say you are? On this cooking issue; in my opinion it should be about both genders cooking. Not one gender saying ‘I won’t cook because of equality or society’. Let LOVE drive you. God is about love and not gender, this was clearly stated by Paul in Galatians 3:28:
“…nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
What is God’s view on gender equality and gender roles? I will be explaining this in articles that will sequel this.