Students, alumni explore personal journeys with feminism through blogs

by Jenna Pirrie editor-in-chief

On Feb. 26, tweets began appearing from Moody students and alumni with the hashtag #femfest. Feminisms Fest was a three day series of linkups (where one blogger hosts links to all participants’ posts) with dozens of bloggers  taking part. The blogging event was hosted by three Christian feminists on their blogs with the purpose of exploring feminism and its importance.

Each day and its topic was hosted by a different site. Day 1, hosted on J.R. Goudeau’s blog loveiswhatyoudo.com, was “Feminism and Me” and asked bloggers to write their experiences and stories and definitions of feminism.

In a post titled “Not sure (Or the scariest thing I’ve ever written),” Alyssa Hobson, sophomore pre-counseling major, explained her current journey to understanding feminism. She wrote, “I’m not sure if I’m a feminist or not. I’ve done some research, but I don’t have time to fully immerse myself in the study. There are still some things I can’t reconcile, some questions that haven’t been answered, and some implications that I’m not fully comfortable with … There are a lot of things I am sure of, though: I am sure that Jesus does not think less of me, as a woman, than he does of men.”

Kristen Mathson, 2012 alumna, in her post “Tipping My Hat to Feminism,” wrote, “[F]eminism was like a breath of fresh air … I was invited to imagine a world in which the relationships between men and women were healed, their voices restored and their purpose realized (worship!).”

In her post “Feminism and Me: When I cannot cook but I am still a person,” Emily Joy Allison, 2012 alumna, wrote about her journey in discovering Christian feminism. “To me, feminism was a soothing balm to a heart that had been battered and rejected by Christian culture for simply not looking like what they thought it should. Where the prevailing culture said you are wrong, you are dangerous, you are unsubmissive, you are undesirable, you are not enough, you are too much, feminism said you are a person.”

Day 2, Feb. 27, addressed “Why It Matters,” and on her blog, fromtwotoone.com, Christian feminist Danielle Vermeer asked participants to write why feminism is important and what is at stake.

Morgan Sutter, 2012 alumna, in a post on her blog, wrote, “I think that feminism is important because I’ve talked to far too many Christian women who’ve said the only place they’ve felt inferior as a woman was in the church.”

Eli Turrell, senior Biblical Studies major, has a different perspective on feminism’s importance — one of a man working in pediatrics. In “The Other Side of the Coin,” he wrote, “Feminism is important to me because it puts men and women into an equal playing ground … The other side of the coin is that people are just as uncomfortable with a guy in a traditionally female role. That’s not ok.”

The final day, hosted by Preston Yancey at seeprestonblog.com, prompted the topic “What You Learned.”

Rachel Rogers, 2012 alumna, finished her Feminisms Fest posts on her blog by listing what she’d learned: “I have learned that even talking about the idea of feminism really seems to make some Christians uncomfortable … that I don’t have to agree with every movement of feminism to agree with it as a whole. … But, ultimately I have learned that as a Christian, I don’t need to be afraid of the word feminism.”

Hobson (@ahobson92) summed up her experience with a single tweet: “Turns out, the community I once thought would be hard-hearted and rude is the most loving group of people I’ve ever encountered.”

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Want more? Read more from a few #femfest participants:

Alyssa Hobson, sophomore pre-counseling major:
Not Sure (Or, The Scariest Thing I’ve Ever Written)

Kristen Mathson, class of 2012:
Tipping My Hat to Feminism (You’re Welcome, Emily Allison)

Rachel Rogers, class of 2012:
I am a strong, independent woman
Feminism held in submission
A remedy

Emily Joy Allison, class of 2012:
Feminism and Me: When I cannot cook but I am still a person
Why It Matters: Feminism is for my little sisters
What I Learned: Like a fish needs a bicycle

Elijah Turrell, senior biblical studies major:
The Other Side of the Coin
What I Learned From #FemFest
On Being Christian, Complementarian, and Feminist

Morgan Sutter, class of 2012:
WHY FEMINISM (PART 1)
WHY FEMINISM (PART 2)

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    1 Comment

    1. Stacie Parlee

      March 10, 2013

      I find it deeply troubling that Moody graduates are claiming to find their personhood outside of Jesus Christ. Or that feminism is where relationships “between men and women [are] healed.” One responder wrote feminism helped her realize, “Jesus did not think less of her.”

      I’m assuming our Body must inaccurately understand what it means to be created in the image of God to risk selling women short via a cultural construct like feminism. We’re trying to use feminism to say something God has already said, and far more wonderfully. Jesus Christ loved, honored, and created women in his image. Male and female together constitute the image of God. This is true personhood. This is true value and worth. This is restoration.

      As a woman, I do not wish to be recognized in the church on feminist grounds but on theological ones. I do not mean to say that the bloggers’ words were unjustified in feeling; the church has long needed affirming words for women. I just wish those words were coming from the Word himself, and not the world. I am not a Christian feminist, I’m a Christian.

      -Stacie Parlee-Johnson Alum 2003

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