I Learned How to Have a Feminist Marriage from the Most Surprising Place

Were my mom's conservative Christian values actually kind of progressive?

by Eve Sturges, Contributor

couple's reflection on the beach

My parents missed a lot of what has happening in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Instead of watching Star Wars with the rest of America, they were reading the Bible with their church group. My mom and dad were more focused on organizing prayer circles at our nation’s capital in Washington D.C. than attending any vigils for John Lennon when he was assassinated. By 1983, they had a family with four children under the age of five, including my foster sister who had special needs. They were very young and very Christian; life was about living as Jesus wanted and spreading the word of Christ. This is how I remember most of my childhood.

Of course, there were a lot of rules that came with it. Rules from the Bible’s Ten Commandments that were easy to understand, like Thou Shall Not Lie or Steal or Murder and Always Respect Your Parents. There were commandments less easy to understand like Thou Shall Not Covet. And, like most conservative Christian establishments, we learned young about the perils of sex before marriage, about life at conception, stories of modern miracles, and to fear the Devil and his work. You know, Conservative Christian stuff.

Also? In my house, we were definitely, no matter what, not allowed to watch The Flintstones.

They’re a modern stone age…misogyny?

The life of Bedrock experienced by Fred, Barney, Wilma, and Betty was off limits to the Sturges children of Petaluma. This drove me crazy. Crazy. The other kids at church were allowed to watch it, I argued. They are funny, I pointed out. Both cartoon couples are married and not doing any work of the Devil, I postured. It isn’t even rated PG or anything, I cried. My mom never relented. Recently, as an adult who displays less drama about cartoons and has a lot of questions about the way we were raised, I asked her about this.

“Eve, they lie to their wives.”

I watched a few episodes to see if she even knew what she was talking about. Guys, The Flintstones is offensive. The men lie to their wives about where they are and what they are doing, and the women supposedly aren’t smart enough to catch on. The wives roll their eyes at each other about their husbands, because men. Here’s a gem: “Wait a minute, Wilma! I know my rights, and I know I gotta right to expect dinner when I get home!” Looking back, it feels not only acceptable, but admirable, that my mother disapproved of this show.

Guys, I think my Christian mom is a feminist; mind blown.

Using my new “Flintstones lens” of understanding, I started looking back over my childhood with a different perspective. Sure, there are the typical white American Christian experiences: Sunday school, Vacation Bible school, Church-sponsored sleepaway camp, youth group. But my mother and father were equals in our household, even if they divided the duties by predictable gender norms. There was no suggestion that a wife should “submit to her husband” (Ephesians 5:22), or “remain silent” (1 Corinthians 14:34). While some of my peers were wearing promise rings and forgoing college for mission trips, my parents were adamant that I could choose any career I wanted, that I put myself first in relationships, and that I was deserving of all the same things as my brother and my father—ideas that don’t always match up with conservative religious values.

cabbage patch dolls and intersectional feminism

Censoring the The Flintstones was just one of the small ways my mom asserted her feminist beliefs. Tired of feeling belittled for her role as mother-of-four, my mom had business cards made to hand out in conversation, just like my dad: Deborah Sturges, Homemaker. (And this was years before the Ann Romney vs. Obama stay-at-home mom controversy, or the Hillary Clinton stay-at-home mom controversy.) It seemed silly to me at the time, but the more women have to demand equality in 2016, the more I respect my mother’s demands in 1990. She didn’t just advocate for herself, either; raising two children with special needs made my mother an outspoken advocate for the disabled community. She has never been shy about asking people around her to consider their ableist privilege and demand equal access for all. Privilege was frequently a part of our day-to-day conversation. My Lutheran preschool hosted a “Bring your Cabbage Patch Doll to school day.” Disgusted by the classist assumption that all families owned or could afford one (those dolls were pricey), my mom pulled me from the school. Permanently.

Time and time again, I was embarrassed. No one else’s moms did these kind of things. Now I am nothing except proud.

While my conservative Christian’s mom’s feminism wasn’t perfect (and really, whose is?), fully realizing the values that she lived by is especially important to me now, because now I am a wife and a mother. These days I’m trying to teach my children the same things my mom was trying to teach me with her actions, and my husband and I are making every effort to model a relationship grounded in equality. (He does not, for example, believe he has a right to expect dinner when he gets home.) I no longer begrudge my folks’ righteous struggle against cartoon programming. Despite the leaps our society has made on behalf of women, it can still be hard to find role models for my daughter, and television that doesn’t have me cringing for one intersectional feminist reason or another.

I do a lot of things differently than my parents did, because a lot of their views and methods didn’t work for me. But even if we disagree on some big things—like religion—I try to encourage my daughter the way my parents encouraged me.  I work to find models of people and relationships that demonstrate values I want her to learn. My husband and I tell her she can grow up to be anything she wants to be (even a homemaker mother-of-four). And while I let her watch more TV and movies than I was ever allowed, I annoy the heck out of her by constantly explaining why entertainment still has a long way to go when it comes to gender norms.

It took me over thirty years to really appreciate the efforts my mother made, and to see the ways they are reflected in the woman I am trying to be. My daughter is entering her teen years and is already mortified by everything I do. She’s confident, strong, and outspoken, though, and I’d like to think she has at least two generations of women to—one day—thank for that.

Eve Sturges

Eve Sturges lives in Los Angeles with her tweenage daughter, baby boy, and super nice husband. With a master’s degree in counseling psychology, Eve is working toward therapist licensure and is developing her own life coaching program inspired by her blog The Magpie List. Her writing can be found at places like Cosmopolitan.comRookie, Feministe, Trop Magazine, and CleanPlates. Embarrassing videos of various shenanigans and the storytelling show she produced with comedian Melinda Hill are on YouTube. Finally, it’s important to know that Eve gets pretty upset when there isn’t chocolate in the house and really happy when she cuddles with babies. Follow her on Instagram @magpielife, or if tweeting is your thing, @magpielifela.

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  • I love this. In my family, my mom was very egalitarian in how she raised us, but she never talked about feminism or equality. She simply taught us that everyone should know how to do laundry and cook, and rules should apply to everyone equally – a big contrast to my dad who was all about double standards between his sons and daughters.

    • emilyg25

      Yes! A friend once asked me when I became a feminist. I don’t even know. That’s just how it always was.

      • anohter lady

        …when I was born a female!?!

  • Emily

    I LOVE that your mom made business cards. Also my mom wouldn’t let me watch the Flintstones either, for the same reason. It took me a long time to understand why, but now I really appreciate it.

    • Jess

      This was why we did not watch The Simpsons growing up. Or a lot of sitcoms, really.

      My parents were totally cool with sex on TV, swear words, violence. But men disrespecting their wives? Off limits.

      • another lady

        We also were not allowed to watch The Simpsons until we were teenagers, and they were quick to point out the negatives of the show once we were allowed to watch it. There are a lot of pop culture things from the 90’s that I just don’t know about, because we were not exposed to them in our home. But, my parents were feminist in their actions and the way they raised us (4) kids, also. I also wish my mother did not feel like she ‘had to’ be a stay at home mom. My husband also is very 50/50 in our relationship and wants to raise our kids to be respectful of both genders and do anything they desire and treat women well; although he just can’t get himself to label it as ‘feminism’. It was great to read a piece like this that can respect the Christian values for what they are and see how they had a positive influence on your life.

      • tggsm

        I’m kind of surprised at The Simpsons?? I’ve heard a lot of people’s parents banned them from the Simpsons because of language or cartoon violence (although honestly it’s about a family who loves each other and they learn life lessons – it seems so quaint compared to Family Guy or South Park…), but I hadn’t heard of complaints that it’s anti-feminist. Marge and Homer have a pretty old-fashioned marriage, gender roles-wise, but it’s actually kind of parodying that idea at times. (Homer can definitely be sexist, but the show points that out, and Homer’s not supposed to be the most enlightened person.) And Marge is often juxtaposed with Lisa, who is actually pretty feminist. For example: https://bitchmedia.org/post/how-marge-simpson-raised-springfield%E2%80%99s-favorite-feminist

        • Jess

          Homer is just an ass to Marge most of the time, which is the point as you say, but it wasn’t the kind of thing my mom wanted me or my brother internalizing.

          I’m not anti-Simpsons, and really enjoy a number of the episodes, but the Marge-Homer and/or man-child aspects are pretty awful.

        • We weren’t allowed to watch the Simpsons for a couple reasons, I think but mostly because my mom didn’t want us acting like the kids do. Because when they do horrible misbehaving things, it is funny (And it is! I love the Simpsons! But I will probably not let my future hypothetical children watch it either.) That’s also why we weren’t allowed to watch Disney channel, because my mom noticed that in the month or so that we had it, we started acting all sassy and obnoxious and rude.

      • LibbyM

        My mom didn’t let us watch The Little Mermaid because she hated the message it sent that Ariel can lie to and disobey her father and then la-di-da it’s all fine at the end! Looking back, that’s an excellent point, but it did make a weird gap in the Disney VCR tape collection.

    • Eenie

      I’m curious as to why parents didn’t explain why at the time? “You can’t watch Flintstones because the show has bad role models depicted. People in relationships shouldn’t disrespect each other.” I don’t think parents should always explain their reasoning, but why is this one where they would choose not to?

      • another lady

        my parents just didn’t explain why much until we were older – the answer was ‘no’, if asked ‘why’ again it was, ‘because I said so’

      • Violet

        Usually lots of different reasons. Because their parents never gave them reasons. Because they feel it undermines their authority to explain themselves. Because some kids use reasons as a jumping off point for further negotiations (“No they don’t!”) that parents don’t feel like dealing with. Because they’re not sure of the reason at the time– it just “feels” wrong, and only once they’ve reflected days (years) later can they say why something bothered them. Lack of time. Lack of child comprehension. Etc.

      • Ashlah

        Yes! What a great teaching opportunity. My husband still resents his very authoritarian father for how often he used “because I said so,” and he really wants to avoid using the phrase himself. (Though Violet does give some good examples of why a parent might choose to do so).

        • lady brett

          we try to toe that line by allowing arguing *after* compliance. because otherwise (with some kids) “why?” turns into a 30-minute way to delay having to follow any rules (i mean, not in this case, but often).

          • Violet

            Yep. Or giving your reasons before the instruction works too.

          • lady brett

            for sure. the other is most relevant for “stop!” kind of rules. “if i have to explain myself every time, you’ll already be run over, that’s why!” ;)

          • Ashlah

            That makes perfect sense. I think my husband’s father probably never allowed for any discussion of any sort, which is why it raises his hackles so (plus the same dynamic continued well into teenage years). Absolutely makes sense to not invite an argument from a kid when you just need them to do what you’re asking them to do.

          • Meg Keene

            Yeah. We also do the same thing with emotions. The answer is no, you have to stop, and then if you have whatever emotions those emotions are fine and we can work through them together. (This would have done wonders for me as a kid, BTW.) But you have to stop FIRST.

  • Sara

    I love this piece. Not just because your mom sounds totally rad, but its also timely to my life. My friends and I have been having discussions lately about how we were raised and how those thing shaped us now. Many of my friends are starting families and its interesting to see how much we were shaped by the way our parents set limits or boundaries.
    For instance in my case – my parents were fiercely against allowances (partially because they couldn’t figure out a way to remember to pay us, but mostly because daily chores were a requirement and not a ‘job’ to be compensated for). We wanted money, we found a way to make it. I think that bled into adult life in a big way of making sure I’m financially independent, and stable (though my dad always says I have champagne taste on a beer budget).

    • another lady

      I agree so much with the chores aspect of what you wrote. Although, we did get an ‘allowance’ for a short time as pre-teens, I think it was more about teaching us the value of money and saving than anything. Chores and helping out around the house were just expected. You live here – you will contribute. The allowance could also be taken away at any time when you were in trouble or did not do our part around the house. My husband did not get an allowance at all. They were just expected to do stuff. Period. If you wanted money, you got a side job (mow the neighbors grass, pass out newspapers) or you did major extra work (clean all the bathrooms in the house and get 50 cents for it). I think it’s important to teach the value of money and hard work and earning what you want.

      • Sara

        Your husbands house is how mine was. When I was kid, I walked around the neighborhood sticking flyers in everyone’s mailbox for pet/house/babysitting (I’m still astonished people allowed 12 year old me to watch their kids). I made bank back before I had taxes to deal with!

        • Eenie

          Babysitting money! It baffles my mind how much people would pay me to watch their kids. Yeah, sure stay out to midnight. I’ll just be here watching your premium cable package while your kids sleep.

          • another lady

            It is kind of crazy that 12 years old can watch other people’s kids. A lot of my friends with kids wouldn’t dream of allowing a 12 year old neighbor watch their kids, but I swear I bought a car and went to a semester of college off of that babysitting money! I recently was having a conversation about a news story where a 12 year old sibling was left with the younger siblings for the evening and something bad happened. The other people were amazed that a 12 year old was home alone for a few hours with the younger siblings – I mentioned that I was babysitting other people’s kids regularly at 12 years old, and so were all of my friends who took the babysitting class (do they still offer those!?!) ‘Crazy’, but true! And, I totally watched cable ’til midnight on many occasions!

          • Amie Melnychuk

            With the hubs and I, I am all for a teenager babysitting. Hubs, not so much. The way I see it, I babysat a lot as a young teen, and that was my fun money. I didn’t have an allowance, I babysat. And before that I petsat.

            And yes St John’s Ambulance and Red Cross do Babysitter’s Certificates and training programs. A lot of 4-H clubs offer them, too!

            We would only hire a babysitter that we know the parents of, their home environment, and they have first aid training.

          • Bsquillo

            Yup, I was definitely babysitting my neighbors’ 4 and 6 year old kids at 12 years old. And this was long before I had a cell phone for emergencies! Everything was always fine.

      • Helen

        my wife’s mum had a convoluted way around this. As part of the family, you had a responsibility to contribute to the household. And separately, as part of the family you also got to share in its resources. I don’t think she ever managed to get the kids to NOT see it as a “do the chores, get the money” exchange, but it was a nice way of thinking about it. (I argue, too, that under this rule, the cash from teenage odd jobs should flow back into the family pot)

    • raccooncity

      “partially because they couldn’t figure out a way to remember to pay us”

      – I have long suspected this was why we never had allowances. And I definitely inherited the scatterbrain gene from my parents.

      • Jenny

        That’s hilarious, every Saturday I was like it’s allowance day!!!! Pay me! But I always had big savings goal so I loved counting down the weeks until I could get my giant trampoline in the back yard.

  • AmandaBee

    This is a great piece, and I hope it sparks some good discussion! I feel like we often equate conservativism (religious and political) with sexism – and while that isn’t always off-base, it’s important to recognize that both sexism and feminism can exist across the religious and political spectrum. I was raised in a politically conservative household that I would describe as fairly feminist, if for no other reason than the fact that I was raised by a single father who by definition ended up carrying all the traditionally female tasks in our household, and who insisted that I know how to support myself independently. Certainly he wasn’t a perfect feminist role model, and wouldn’t really think of himself as feminist, but I do think that he parented with the assumption of gender inequality.

    Also, I never really watched TV and had no idea that the Flintstones was so sexist. Bummer! I’d love a post on good, feminist-friendly kids’ entertainment if such a thing exists.

    • another lady

      I think that my parents attempted to raise us with gender equality. But, there were definitely areas of traditional gender roles and areas of feminism. It was a hard balance for my baby boomer parents who grew up in the 50’s and almost had to start anew with their values. But, we girls were especially encouraged to go to college and figure out how to support ourselves and not just get married right away. We were also given the same budgeting and living on our own talks as the guys (family of 4 kids with 2 boys and 2 girls). But, big bro definitely had more freedoms than me and got less sex and baby talks!

      • Ashlah

        I think it’s pretty common, even today, for many parents to raise their daughters with the overarching idea that “girls can do anything!” in regards to education and career, but to still fall back on traditional gender rolls when it comes to behavior expectations, chores, sex, family, etc. The ratio of egalitarianism to traditionalism (and the specific areas they emphasize) obviously varies a lot person to person/family to family, but the “kind of feminist, kind of not” scenario seems pretty common.

        • Helen

          Yeah, I really believe feminism begins in the home. Even aside from the biases that still exist in lots of work places, who has the energy to work at a level that’ll get them to CEO, when they’re also doing (almost) all the emotional and house work? Make home equal, and we’ll see more women with the will and the capacity to put in the hard yards at work.

    • Jenny
    • Bethany

      The current My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is available for streaming on Netflix and pretty darn feminist. They show female characters behaving in loads of different ways (into sports, fashion, studying, farming, etc) but all still holding true to ideals that are great for all kids — caring about one’s friends, being honest, speaking up for oneself and others, being brave, etc. Really worth a try, plus it’s got some great easter eggs for adults (there are ponies who are clearly referencing Doctor Who and the Big Lebowski).

  • Not a parent. MockMyInsights.

    This is likely somewhat off topic, but I could kiss you for bringing forth the idea that Christianity and Feminism are not mutually exclusive! I’m a Christian. I’m a feminist. They exist in excellent harmony. (As a side note, I’d like to point out that Christian faith, when it started was radical in no small part because it allowed women to participate equally. That they valued widows and ‘prostitutes’ as people with value who were worthy of care and love. Christianity at it’s soul is actually pretty feminist. It’s people that have perverted it)

    • Eenie

      Well. Maybe? I’m not saying that isn’t your experience, but I think Eve touched on it in her essay:
      “There was no suggestion that a wife should “submit to her husband” (Ephesians 5:22), or “remain silent” (1 Corinthians 14:34).”
      I think this is typically why many people don’t see Christianity as a feminist faith.

      • another lady

        Definitely – it depends on the particular denomination and they way the values are actually preached to the whole group and lived out personally. I, for one, would not consider traditional Catholicism or Wells Lutheran, for example, as being particularly ‘feminist’. But, there are other denominations that do a better job of emphasizing those aspects and try to treat the ‘down trodden’ individuals as equals in the eyes of God, females included.

        • Eenie

          Yup! Just like there are people who belong to different faiths and don’t blanket 100% agree with all of the church’s teachings. My personal experience with Christianity did not come off as feminist at all. And I have some major feminist beef with certain faiths (Catholicism…).

        • Totch

          And then there are also mothers who buy their teenage daughter a “This is what a pro-choice Catholic looks like” shirt and feminism thrives.

        • Yeah, I would say that there are definitely some problems with the Catholic hierarchy and women in many ways. BUT ALSO the nuns that educated me in high school ran an extremely feminist school IMO and did an excellent job of that. And I know so many amazing feminist Catholic women. (I just know a lot of Catholics/am related to a lot of Catholics/went to school with a lot of Catholics)

          • Keeks

            Another feminist Catholic here! I went to an all-girls high school run by badass nuns, who worked in the oil fields of Alaska, regaled us with their drunken adventures before taking orders, and taught us that Mary probably wasn’t a virgin, but rather, “just a girl who got herself in a little spot of trouble.” The priest who came & said our Masses also taught our philosophy classes and called celibacy a very lonely life choice. Most of our religion & theology courses were about social justice, meditation, and finding one’s own path in life.

            Needless to say, it was a pretty big shock to come out of high school and realize that the general population’s perception of Catholicism was 180 degrees different than what I experienced.

      • Meg Keene

        I’m going to jump in as EIC here and say that I was raised VERY feminist and VERY Christian. I was raised as a liberal Christian, which very different than Eve’s experience. But for me the Bible was never taught as something to be read literally. And Jesus’s message is all about siding with the oppressed, hence, feminist.

        I think boiling faith’s down to a quote or two from an ancient text is super problematic. We see it done all the time to justify islamophobia (Islam is violent! … Truth: all ancient religious texts contain violence within them.) And really this is just the same construction applied to Christianity, on a different issue.

        I mean, I get it. The conservative Christian right believes a lot of things that I find to be terrible. I also find them to be anti-Christian. But the conservative Christian right isn’t christianity any more than… ISIS is islam. (Sigh. I went there.)

        • TeaforTwo

          But that goes in both directions: there are lots of parts of the Christian Right that I would also say are anti-Christian, but there are lots of members of the Christian right who would say the same about Christians who refuse to interpret the Bible literally.

          In as far as I’m religious, I certainly identify with the way more liberal Christianity that I was exposed to in parts of my family and practiced in my earlier 20s. But when people start talking about what real Christianity is, they’re usually saying “this is what my Christianity is.”

          That’s totally fine for defining individual belief and religious practice, but it’s not necessarily helpful in a conversation about the politics of a particular faith. I know some really rad Christian feminists. I was one for awhile, and my Christian upbringing is definitely how I started thinking about social justice including feminism.

          But I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Christianity is feminist, because while Christianity can inform great feminism and produce great feminists, it can, has and will continue to do the same with misogyny.

          • Eenie

            You put it better than I could :)

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            While there are feminist interpretations of Christian theology and more liberal scholarship has been developed, I would never say, at least from a historical point of view, that the politics of Christianity has ever been feminist.

          • Not a parent. MockMyInsights.

            I would agree that the politics of Christianity are not feminist. But the politics of Christianity are (in my mind) fairly removed from the soul of it. Christianity, at it’s core holds a belief that everyone is equal before God–because we’re all sinners. How people set up churches and the politics involved with that is very human (and therefore flawed/broken). Equality is at the very heart of Christianity, which is a very feminist belief.

          • Evey

            YUS THIS

        • LibbyM

          So I was raised much like the author of this post except that my mom worked part time, and still attend a Protestant church regularly, but skip all the marriage sermons at all churches because they’re at best pointless at worst offensively ridiculous. I think the main problem with trying to claim that Christianity is or isn’t feminist is that we misinterpret Paul’s advice. I don’t think Paul was trying to say “every woman needs to find herself a husband so she can start being submissive”, nor was he saying in the slavery passages “slavery is great and this is how we should all practice”. Paul had to answer a lot of questions about how Christians should respond to specific situations, not saying all Christians should put themselves into these situations. Paul never married and said he thought that was a better state of affairs, but that it also wasn’t wrong for Christians to marry or stay married if they wanted/needed to. Additionally, Paul and the whole early church were expecting to Jesus to return any minute. It’s a big difference to say “this is the most Christ-like way to be a wife until Jesus returns in a month” versus “this is what a wife should be 2000 years from now.” So basically, I don’t think Paul was a feminist, or that Christianity is inherently feminist, but Paul would say that’s missing the point: it’s not about whether you’re a feminist or not, it’s about whether you’re being a faithful Christian. If you’re a feminist, what does living out Christianity along with feminism look like?
          Also, I’m well aware of the hubris of the phrasing “Paul would say…” :-)

      • Ella

        As a Christian and feminist woman (again, not mutually exclusive) I don’t actually have a problem with the concept of submission but believe a lot of quotes are taken out of context. Paul calls women to submit but men also to love sacrificially. Neither are easy tasks. This post http://phyliciadelta.com/biblical-submission-is-dangerous/ explains it much better than I can.

        • Eenie

          I’ve read something similar before. I have personal experiences with Christianity that differ from the teachings in the post. I think another lady below states it very well – it depends on the church and the denomination and lots of other things. There’s a lot of feminists that are Christian! Some are my friends! My personal experiences lead me to push back on the notion that Christianity is really feminist at its core. That’s not the same as saying Christians aren’t feminists. I’m not in the business of telling other people they aren’t feminists!

          • Ella

            I agree with you Eenie.

    • Jessica

      I think it was in “Things Fall Apart” (someone please correct me if I’m wrong) that the village depicted had some missionaries, and the first to convert were the widows, the disabled and the outcasts because they were considered more equal in the eyes of a Christian God than the Village Gods. It’s one of the reasons why Christianity is so easy to spread–they welcome converts and those converting treat everyone with respect (or so the idea goes).

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    • JC

      Yes! Thank you! While I think some commenters below are right to separate “personal” Christianity with “political” Christianity (that is, what is being blasted to us night and day by the conservative microphones of the world), in true feminist fashion, the personal is the political, and if we (read: I) want my personal, Christian feminism to be better represented in the political Christianity of the world, then we need to do a better job of honoring the voices of women like you, Eve, and her mother who seek honor and equality in their relationships and their faith– whatever shape that make take.

  • anon

    Maybe spell Hillary’s name correctly?

  • TeaforTwo

    I really like this take. I grew up in an evangelical Christian culture, and while I can’t defend it as being feminist overall, there are aspects of the upbringing that I’m really grateful for.

    One big one is the way that the men around me talked about their wives. Pop culture is full of terrible jokes about marriage that are mostly just terrible jokes about women, and I didn’t hear those in the church I grew up in. I heard men talk about their wives as strong and capable, worthy of being openly admired and marriage as being incredibly rewarding. That’s what I thought about when I read the criticism “they lie to their wives,” and YES.

    • AMcCRead

      I’m really glad you brought this up. My husband is not religious anymore but he grew up in the same Pentecostal church where his parents were preachers, his grandparents were preachers and now his uncle is. So, he and everyone in his large, wonderful family REALLY grew up in the church. Today, everyone in his family falls all over the spectrum in terms of religious beliefs, political beliefs, life balance, roles in the family, etc. but the two things they ALL have in common is:

      1) Their commitment to un-apologetically creating the life that works best for their family (some men are homemakers, some women work mon-thursday in a different city for their c-suite jobs, some families split all of the housework directly down the middle, some couples maintain more traditional roles), and
      2) Their tendency to be unabashedly vocal about the love, respect, admiration and appreciation they have for their spouses (both the men and the women).

      I never really considered this to be related to their growing up in the church but I think you might be right. Pop-culture does not encourage people to be vocal about the love and respect they have for their spouses. I’m happy that my husband and I have been able to develop our relationship with his family as our example.

  • tr

    As both a conservative Christian and a feminist, I absolutely love this!
    I’m not going to pretend that conservative Christianity as a whole is feminist, because obviously some people in the movement do have a very patriarchal take on things. However, there is no inherent incompatibility between the two, as some people (on both sides) seem to believe. My faith has always taught and reminded me that all people are valuable and equal in God’s eyes, and that it’s absolutely essential to be respectful of one another. That’s a cornerstone of how I go about everything in life, and it ties in very nicely with my feminism!
    Also, your mom sounds like an all around awesome woman!

  • E.

    My mom is different from yours, in that she’s a very much a feminist, hippie, atheist, but we weren’t allowed to watch TV or most disney movies and she did a lot of little things like changing the gender of characters in books, saying gals instead of guys, calling them baby fingers instead of pinkys (not everyone’s are pink), and a whole host of other things that were horribly embarrassing to me as a child/teenager, and that I now use when talking to my students! One of my proudest moments as a teacher was when one boy said a book was a “girl book” and I said for the millionth time “there aren’t girl books or boy books, there are just books” and one of my boys raised his hand and said, “my big sister said a book was a girl book and I said there aren’t girl books or boy books, just books”.

  • 不错,不错,看看了!

  • raccooncity

    Your mom taking a stand on Cabbage Patch Dolls is my new #momgoals

  • Bsquillo

    Aww, this is a lovely tribute to your mom, Eve. She sounds like a great lady!

  • Evey

    I LOVE THIS. Thank you. Signed, a pro-choice, feminist Christian. My feminism is very different from a lot of feminists and my christian beliefs are also different from other christians. As Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist, said: Jesus made a feminist out of me!

  • First Last

    I can not stand feminism. It is not a movement for equality it is nothing but a hate movement based on faulty statistics and even worse anecdotal information. It has done vastly more harm than it has done good. American women crap all over their men and most have no left the country to see how good they gave it. American women are very foolish.