I really enjoyed reading Mary Kassian’s chapter entitled, “You’ve come a long way, baby!” I have heard her speak, and she has a very engaging, didactic style that appeals to me. In this chapter, Mary analyzes the feminist movement of the 1960s–1980s (sometimes referred to as second-wave feminism) and the impact that has had on womanhood.
She points out the importance of understanding the history of feminism by quoting 1 Chronicles 12:32 concerning the men of Issachar, “. . . who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do . . .” Mary states:
My purpose in this overview is to help you “understand the times” so that God can raise us up as a holy Issachar generation of women in our day. Women who hold the knowledge of our times in one hand, and who hold the truth, clarity, and charity of the Word of God in the other. (p. 57)We often quote this verse at AiG in a similar fashion to encourage people to understand the times we are living in—a time when biblical authority is questioned—and to be equipped with answers and uphold the authority of God’s Word from the very first verse. Whether the topic is biology, geology, womanhood, marriage, salvation, or the second coming of Christ, God’s Word must be our ultimate authority.
One of the most well-known figures in the modern feminist movement was Betty Friedan. In 1963 she published the book, The Feminine Mystique. Mary remarks:
Friedan summarized the underlying precept of feminism when she declared, “We [women] need and can trust no other authority than our own personal truth!” According to feminism, the only hope for woman’s happiness and self-fulfillment lay in rejecting a male-defined, Judeo-Christian worldview and convincing herself to define her own truth. (p. 59)Man defining truth and placing himself as the ultimate authority is at the very center of the creation/evolution issue too. The heart of the matter is the same question Satan posed to Eve in the garden: “Did God really say. . . ?” (Genesis 3:1). Whether we are talking about gender and roles for husbands and wives in marriage or how and when God created, the crux of the issue is: who is the ultimate authority—man or God?
But there is hope for a return to biblical womanhood. Mary states:
. . . in order to find fulfillment as a woman, you and I need to turn our hearts toward the right target. We need to turn to the One for whom we were created and to whom all our yearnings point—the Lord Jesus Christ—and say “yes!” to Him. (p. 69)She concludes, “The heart of true womanhood is to understand and agree with the purposes of our Creator. A woman is a true woman when her heart says yes to God.” (p. 69) And the way to begin to understand true womanhood is to begin in Genesis with the creation of woman, the institution of marriage, the definition of roles within marriage, and the list goes on and on. We need to remove ourselves as the authority and trust God and His Word as the ultimate authority.
To find out more, I hope you’ll read my article on the topic, Genesis and Biblical Womanhood. Also, be sure to check out our new Answers for Women website for more information on our upcoming webinar and live chat with me on the topic of Eve.