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Book review
The Feminist Gospel:
The Movement to Unite Feminism with the Church

Full description of book:
Mary A. Kassian, The Feminist Gospel: The Movement to Unite Feminism with the Church (Wheaton, IL, USA: Crossway books, 1992). This book can be found online here.

Rating:

Scholarship: 9.5/10
Information content: 10/10
Spiritual content: 10/10
Overall rating: 10/10

Short Review:

This book by Mary A. Kassian focuses on the evolution of contemporary Feminism and then evaluates it according to the Scriptures. She presents an in-depth analysis of the writings and actions of several prominent Feminists as the framers of the Feminist movement, analyzing their actions according to the various categories of Naming Self, Naming the world, and Naming God.

As this book covers much complex sociological issues revolving around Feminism, this review would be done only on some of the more important, core issues which do not require in-depth knowledge of sociology to analyze. Since this book is being promoted by the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), it would be reasonably assumed that the research is properly done. Definitely, the book itself is very well researched with the author quoting various feminists to show the evolution and the direction of growth of Feminism. What cannot be ascertained, however, is whether the sources the author quotes to prop up her thesis are representative of Feminism as a movement. Since CBMW promotes Kassian's book, such an assumption seems well-founded.

As it stands, this book is well researched. Since it covers the evolution of feminism and its impact on the Church, and the biblical response to Feminism, this book is highly recommended for believers who want to find out more about Feminism but don't exactly have the time to read up mountains of material to properly analyze it. Also, though this point is not stressed so much in the book, the idea of women pastors, elders etc is refuted in this book since they came about through the influence of Feminism.

Such being the case, this book is given a scholarship rating of 9.5, since there a few places whereby Kassian did not refute the Feminists but allow them to speak for themselves, which in some of these cases are not very good. Information content is given a 10, as is spiritual content and overall rating.

For readers who may want a more updated book (this book was published in 1992), you may be interested in getting the updated and revised book The Feminist Mistake: The Radical Impact of Feminism on Church and Culture, which is published in 2005 and can be found here.

Longer analysis:

The book by Mary A. Kassian, The Feminist Gospel: The Movement to Unite Feminism with the Church, covers mainly the history and evolution of the contemporary Feminist movement, starting from around the 1950s-1960s to modern times. There are 4 parts or sections of this book. The first part covers the initial stage of Feminism whereby Feminists start naming themselves (i.e. claiming equality with men in terms of rights; claiming ontological independence from men as co-equals). The second section then goes on to the next stage of Feminist evolution as they name their own world, where they start to apply their theories into academia, with the creation of disciplines such as 'women studies' etc, supposedly to study certain subjects from an 'unbiased' point of view (without the supposed taint of male-centered analysis done throughout most of modern history). The third section concentrates on the ultimate area of Feminism, which is to bring their philosophy to bear on God Himself, feminizing God. Some feminists have even gone to the extent of 'transmutating' God into a 'Goddess', as they redefine God according to their distorted view of the world. Women-church soon came into existence as a result of their feminization of God and theology. In the last section, Kassian does some analysis of Feminism as a whole, especially of the movement called 'Biblical Feminism'. This is not to suggest that she did not do any analysis throughout the other three-quarters of the book, but the analysis there is minimal, as she allows the feminists to speak for themselves.

Before we start looking at certain various issues, I would like to mention that the three categories of the aspects of Feminism as mentioned in this book are arbitrarily set by Kassian as she determines that the major issues in Feminism can be placed into these three categories. And historically, there is a general trend as shown in the order of the chapters; i.e. naming of self temporarily precedes the naming of the world which precedes the naming of God. However, such a trend does not in any way imply that somehow Feminism proceeds strictly along this order historically. In other words, there is a certain overlap between the events which are grouped in the different categories.

With that, let us look at the issue of 'Naming Self'.

'Naming Self', this is the name of the first section of the book, which details the issue of women struggling for equality on legitimate issues such as equal pay and job opportunity, being treated fairly in legal matters etc. However, that was not the main issue which was under contention, although that was the visible manifestation earlier on. More intangible, however, was the subtle paradigm shift which occurred, and which was manifested in the later emergence of the various aspects of the Feminist movement. To understand Feminism, therefore, one has to understand this paradigm shift, otherwise it is doubtful whether one can make sense of anything else in the movement.

To perhaps no one's surprise, this shift occurs at the philosophical arena. And in the source for this view can be already seen the fundamental flaw in Feminism — human autonomy (and rebellion), which we will discuss later. One of the main founders of modern Feminism is the French philosopher Simone deBeauvoir, the love interest of the Existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre (they were engaged in a fully consummated love affair) (PDF p. 16). Anyway, DeBeauvoir adopted Sartre's existentialism, which can be roughly defined as 'the individual is entirely free, and must therefore accept commitment and full responsibility for his acts and decisions in an uncertain and purposeless world' (p. 17). It is upon this existentialist philosophy that DeBeauvoir build her model for male-female interaction, and thus in part the foundation for feminist philosophy.

So what was it that DeBeauvoir came up with? In her book The Second Sex, DeBeauvoir wrote that:

(DeBeauvoir's primary thesis, as the title of the book suggest,) was that women as a group were assigned to second-class status in the world. Woman was "defined and differentiated with reference to man and not by reference to her" (Bold added). DeBeauvoir believed that the male sex comprised the prime measure by which the whole world — including women — were named and judged. Therefore, the world belonged to men. Women were the non-essential "other". DeBeauvoir argued: "... she is the incidental, the inessential as opposed to the essential. He is the Subject, he is the Absolute — she is the Other."

...

DeBeauvoir argued that it was a "man's world." Women were forced by men to conform to a mold that men had created for their own benefit and pleasure. The model she named "the eternal feminine". According to DeBeauvoir, it was a mold that caused women to be "frivolous, infantile, irresponsible and submissive." ... DeBeauvoir argued that the women of her time were not allowed or encouraged to do or become anything other than that which the eternal feminine dictated; they were trapped into a restrictive role of "Küche, Kirche, und Kinder": "Kitchen, church, and children" (Nazi Germany's official statement regarding the place of women). According to DeBeauvoir, women were to exist solely for the convenience and pleasure of men. (p. 17-18)

Of course, if she is correct in her analysis of the situation, then Feminism would be in some sense justified. After all, with such incendiary statements like "women ... exist solely for the convenience and pleasure of men", a strong reaction of indignation would be expected, especially from women. However, besides all the fiery rhetoric, is there anything of real substance? We will look into this later on. At the moment, let us look more into the Feminist view.

... Women ... were autonomous beings with the need to "transcend" self, but this need was being suppressed by men. According to deBeauvoir, men has named and defined the world, and in so doing had identified all humanity as male, thus robbing women of autonomy.

....

According to deBeauvoir, the dilemma for women was in being denied the right to autonomy, and therefore the right to transcend and develop. She viewed the right as the essence of human existence (p. 18)

Another early Feminist write, Betty Friedan, who described the supposed female dilemma as the feminine mystique, wrote:

... self-fulfilment came from having a defined purpose and from shaping and contributing to the world in tangible and creative ways. Men could seek self-fulfilment, but women — curtailed by both conformity to the role of wife and mother, and the feminine mystique — could not. This creates a dilemma. ... Friedan called this dilemma "a problem with no name" It was caused by women trying to adjust to an image that did not permit them to become what they could be. It was the growing despair of those who had forfeit their own existence. (p. 22)

Later on, this problem was named patriarchy, to 'signify the societal dominance of the male, and the inferiority and subservience of the female. Feminists saw patriarchy as the ultimate cause of women's discontent'. (p. 23). This of course, would lead to serious implications further on, which we shall see much later.

As it can be seen so far, the whole epistemological foundation of Feminism is either philosophy (DeBeauvoir — Existentialism) or Experience/ Emotion (Friedan and others). From a biblical point of view already, we can throw Feminism out, since it starts off not from the Bible but from the world's philosophy and experience, and we know what the Bible says about THAT (Col. 2:8; Jer. 17:9). Yes, there are so-called biblical feminists, which we shall look at later also, but it is my contention that they are not biblical in their Feminism. Having said that, the questions they do raise are legitimate (the practical ones, minus the rhetoric of course), but the answer they give is not in accordance with Scripture. The answer is in the biblical command regarding men and women under God in society, which can be seen in passages like Eph. 5:22-33. Suffice it is to say that the biblical answer to their questions is NOT Feminism or anything resembling it in any form.

As a preliminary counter against their points, I would just ask 'Upon what basis is existentialism right in the first place? Why is self-fulfilment the supreme good to be seeked, and thus women who are 'not self-fulfilled' are having a bad life?'

With this, let us analyze biblically the process of 'Naming Self' in Feminism — in fact, of naming anything, which would undercut most of Feminism at its core.

Analyzing the rationale behind 'Naming'

The process of 'Naming Self' is basically to define women autonomously from men. Through focusing on certain inequalities found in society at that time, feminists decided that they would instead rebel and create their own reality apart from who they think the offender is, men.

Before starting, I would like to point out that these blind feminists seem to forget that men do define themselves with respect to women. After all, we all have mothers, some of us have sisters, and most of us have or will have wives, so pitting one half of the human race against another due to the presence of bitterness in their lives seem a very poor excuse for these women to destroy societal norms and God-ordained institutions through their rebellious ways.

Anyway, with regards to women's right (and in fact anyone's right) to name anything, here is what Kassian says about the matter:

... the basic premise of feminism as the self-appointed right to name the self, the world, and God. To this basic premise, Christians must say "no". It is not our right to names ourselves, the world, and the Creator. Rather, it is God's right to name Himself, the world, and the people He has created. God provides the only reliable measures for a true interpretation of reality. It is from Him — not psychology, sociology, anthropology or any other human science — that we gave a proper framework for understanding ourselves, our world, and God Himself. If we look to ourselves for the framework, as feminism does, we will undoubtedly distort the pattern.

...

We must begin by letting God name Himself. We can then move on to discover how God has ordered and names His creation and finally us — His people. (PDF p. 243)

Kassian then follows through by showing through Scripture that God has named Himself, He has named the world, and He has named men and women. To all this, I totally concur. This basic premise of Feminism, that women have the right to name themselves, is thus wrong, for BOTH men and women. Neither have a right to name anything except what God has given us to name. Just because men have rebelled and created their own reality apart from God before doesn't give women the right to do the same. For these women and feminist who call themselves 'enlightened', they sure do act like those whom the apostle mentioned in passages like Rom. 1:22-23.

Feminism within the churches

As secular feminism grew in society, it started to also infiltrate the Church. Soon, feminist voices begin to sound from within the churches themselves, as calls for equality between men and women in the Church were made. Traditionally, women are not allowed to be ordained as pastors, neither are they allowed to be elders or deacons either. This exclusion of women from the leadership of the churches lead to accusations of discrimination in the churches against women, with R.A. Schmidt writing in a 1971 article in Christianity Today (Astray) that women possessed "second-class citizenship in the Kingdom of God". (Kassian, p. 26-27)

With regards to this push for egalitarianism, there are a few things we would like to consider: whether the charge of inequality is valid, what the Bible says about the role of pastors, elders and deacons within the church, and addressing the proof-texts of the 'biblical feminists'. Definitely, arguments of liberal religious feminist and secular feminists would be thrown out, since we have already established the principle of Sola Scriptura, and therefore anything not found in Scripture is not Christian at all.

With regards to the charge of inequality, if by inequality they refer to inherent worth and dignity, then we affirm that orthodox Christianity is on their side, as the 'biblical feminists' have aptly taken Scriptures such as Gal. 3:28, the example of Mary learning at the feet of Jesus etc. to prove their case. In fact, the entire doctrine of sin and salvation; that ALL have sinned and that the only way to God is through repentance and belief in our Lord Jesus Christ who died for all His sheep, BOTH male and female, holds forth the truth of equality between men and women. To the extent that the churches have treated women with less respect, worth and dignity than men, the churches and men in general need to repent of such discrimination against women. If, however, by inequality they are referring with respect to the role of men and women play in their walk and service before God, then I would deny that Scripture supports their view. Most 'biblical feminists', I would suspect, do not distinguish between the two, or they may see no difference between the two forms of inequalities, to their own loss, I would add.

Before looking at what the Bible says about the role of men and women in their walk and service before God, let us look at the whole idea of service unto God.

First of all, of course, we must first recognize that service unto God must be done in a way glorifying to Him, and thus in obedience. If by doing something, you are disobeying God's command, then you are not serving God but your own carnal desires. Therefore, regardless of how pure your motive and how well your service is rendered unto the Lord, the Lord will not accept it unless it is done in obedience. Truly, to obey is better than to sacrifice (1 Sam. 15:22ff). In this case, if women are involved in ministry such as being pastors while God has explicitly denied them to taking on such an office, then they are in rebellion against God and no ministry they do will be acceptable to Him even though they may 'do all the right things' out of a motive of wanting to honor God. Since that is the case, the core issue is whether God has permitted women to fill such offices, which we shall cover later.

Secondly, the whole idea of discrimination against women in the Church by only having male clergy while women can only be part of the laity carries with it the assumption that somehow the clergy group is of a higher class and status than the laity. This semblance of inequality in the service status between men and women could be easily solved by destroying the clergy/laity status divide, and reemphasizing the doctrine of the priesthood of believers (1 Peter 2:9). It seems that the Christians churches at that time had an unbiblical view of office bearers in the church (By office bearers, I am referring to those who are ordained to function in an authoritative serving capacity in the church), and feminism had identified the problem correctly but gave a wrong solution. As Kassian puts it:

The examination of the Church by Christian feminists revealed gross inequalities in the role of male and female. Serious consideration needed to be given to the problem. William Douglas perceptively pointed out two possible courses of action in dealing with the dilemma. First the Church could ... go back to its roots, reestablish the priesthood of all believers and dissolve the vast distinction between the clergy and laity, opening up ministry to all. Or alternatively, the Church could retain its current structure and simply open up the avenues of ordained ministry to women as well as men. Changing the way Church bureaucracies were structured, and changing ingrained perceptions regarding the pattern and function of Church leadership, would have been a formidable task. Furthermore, most believers did not associate the problem of women's involvement in the Church with a deeper problem of incorrect structure and function. The latter course of dealing with women's role inequality was thus chosen. (p. 27)

As such, we can see the tragedy unfolds within the churches, as instead of reemphasizing the priesthood of believers and dissolving the clergy/laity divide which exists in many denominational structures e.g. Anglicanism, Methodism (and other churches as long as there is a ruling party which sets the office bearers as being superior status above normal believers), they retain the unbiblical structure and allow women to join their exclusive 'club', thus giving us women pastors, women elders etc. Before looking into the Word of God to see what does the Bible say about the marks of office bearers (pastors, elders, deacons etc.) with regards to this issue, let is be said here that a biblical emphasis on the doctrine of the priesthood of believers would allow women to participate in ministry and serve the Lord, instead of being passive pew-warmers like most of the laity.

With this settled, let us look at the marks of office bearers in the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ which is prescribed to us in the Bible, especially with regards to this issue.

The apostle Paul, in these two passages from the pastoral epistles, 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9, sets forth the qualifications of office bearers in the church. With regards to the egalitarian position, perhaps the most important things that can be derived from the text is that these office bearers are required to be husbands of one wife (1 Tim. 3:2; 12; Titus 1:6), and to be able to teach and rebuke others (1 Tim. 3:2; 9; Titus 1:9). For the former qualification, definitely women don't have wives so it stands to reason that no women is allowed in Scripture to be an office bearer. Now, it has often been said that the reason why this is so is because of the culture of the 1st century world, and thus this verse is only saying that office bearers are to have one spouse. To this, we answer that the truths in the Bible transcend time and is not limited by and moldable by cultural standards of any age. Furthermore, the entire cultural argument is nonsense! In the Greek culture, and Roman culture, women often could hold high positions in society, and cults the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses do have priestess and prophetess in their services, so therefore, to say that the culture demands an adaptation of the church of that time is plainly ridiculous. In fact, any adaptation to the pagan culture would more likely favor the inclusion of women and their placement in prominent positions of authority rather than the biblical position set forth by Paul.

To the argument that Paul was a misogynist, one has only to look at the actions of Paul as stated in Acts and other places in Scripture to see how wrong this false accusation is. In Acts 16:14, in the city of Philippi, Paul's earliest convert was a woman by the name of Lydia and she in that sense was the first member of the church in Philippi there, together with her household. In Acts 18, Priscilla was a co-worker together with her husband Aquila and Paul in spreading the Gospel. In Phil. 4:2-3, Paul states that the women Euodia & Syntyche were contending at his side for the sake of the Gospel, and he pleaded with them to agree with each other in the Lord. From all of these examples, it can be said that Paul treated women well, and thus the charge of being a misogynist does not stick.

Another thing which Paul states in those passages from the pastoral epistles is the necessity that office bearers must be able to teach and to hold fast apostolic doctrine. To these, another passage from the pastoral epistle is added to show forth the fact that women are not allowed to be office bearers, 1 Tim. 2:11-14.

Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.

We will discuss this passage further when we analyze the biblical argument of the 'biblical feminists' later. At the moment, suffice it is to say that since women are not allowed 'to teach or exercise authority over a man', and office bearers are to teach (with the exception of deacons) and definitely to exercise authority in the Church, therefore women are not allowed to be office bearers.

With this established, let us analyze the arguments from bible passages put forward by 'biblical feminists'.

Refutation of 'biblical' arguments for feminism

We have seen previously that passages such as Gal. 3:28 and 1 Tim. 2:11-14 speak against the Feminist position. Other passages that feminists absolutely don't like are 1 Cor. 11:2-16 (on head coverings) and 1 Peter 3:1-7 (especially verses 5-7), which militates against their position. Excluding Gal. 3:28, which we have addressed before already, how do the Feminists in general approach these other texts?

Well, it seems that the Feminists just couldn't handle the texts; at least they cannot handle the texts on the basis of the texts themselves. Instead of adhering to the principle of Sola Scriptura, these 'biblical' feminists follow the same method as the secular feminists, defining everything else according to a presupposition of feminism itself. These 'biblical' feminists therefore invented an entirely novel hermeneutical matrix to interpret the Scriptures on gender issues. As stated by Kassian, they

...interpreted all questionable texts to align with their own understanding of sexual equality, which they defined as monolithic, undifferentiated role-interchangeability. (p. 208)

Kassian furthered revealed that the 'biblical' feminists choose Gal. 3:28 as "the crux around which to interpret Scripture" (p. 208), dubbing it "the Magna Carta" of humanity[1].

We have covered the proper interpretation of Gal. 3:28 previously, and we have then showed that Gal. 3:28 is talking about the equal worth and respect of all in Christ; more specifically on the basis of who could become a Christian and our equality as Christians in the sight of Christ. Nothing whatsoever of gender roles is mentioned here. A small point I would like to point out with irony here is the inconsistency of using this one verse which is written by Paul and then to attack Paul as a misogynist when one faces passages like 1 Tim. 2:11-14. If Paul was indeed a misogynist, why do you want to use a verse taken from one of his epistles (Galatians) as your key verse and "Magna Carta" of humanity?! The hypocrisy indeed!

The 'biblical' feminist, in order to sustain their feminism, adopt a hermeneutical matrix which is more akin to liberalism than to true Christianity. In order for them to explain away the problematic verses such as 1 Tim. 2:11-14, they make Paul's instructions culturally relative. In other words, they say that these words of Paul are only for that culture, but not applicable now. This is of course then followed up by contextualizing the verses in such a way that Paul's commands are made to sound like some sort of problem shooting in the churches. For example, 1 Tim. 2:11-14 is said to arise because the women were unlearned and thus cannot teach and therefore such a verse arose. Nevermind that the reason given by Paul for such a command is based on the Creation account, and thus not amenable to such 'contextualization'. Another interpretation given by feminists who strive to more biblical is that this command is given as a consequence of the fall (Gen. 3:16), and now as new creatures in Christ, they are free from the effects of the Fall and therefore the verses do not apply to regenerate women. Somehow, the fact that these verses are written to the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ eludes them.

Deeper feminist thinkers have apparently seen the problems in holding such interpretations (cultural contextualization, effect of fall) while trying to hold on to the high view of Scripture as being totally inspired by God. Unlike the more evangelical feminists who maintain their inconsistencies, these deeper thinkers attempt to iron out their inconsistent position by throwing out the doctrine of Verbal, Plenary Inspiration of the Bible. Some would stop at the Neo-Orthodox position held by Karl Barth (some portions or the spirit of the text of Scripture is inspired), while others who see the inconsistency even of this position spiral downwards into greater and greater heresy and finally into apostasy. This can be seen in the lives of Mary Daly, Rosemary Radford Ruether and Virginia Mollenkott (p. 227-239), which also demonstrates the slippery slope upon which feminism is on. This also demonstrates the nature of feminism as being totally antithetical to biblical Christianity, which is seen earlier on in the different epistemological foundations upon which both are placed; Christianity is based on Scripture, while feminism, like humanism, is based on (wo)Man. As Kassian says, no person can serve 'two authorities; they cannot serve a master called Scripture and a mistress called feminism. Seeking to do so creates a tension of conflicting loyalties. The infidelity will eventually force her to leave one and cleave to the other' (p. 240). Indeed! History has indeed borne out the fact that feminist leaders have drifted towards apostasy, leaving others to take their place, and the cycle starts all over again.

With this settled, I would like to just disgress a bit and analyze the scientific side of the feminist controversy, before returning and looking at the devastating effect Feminism has in the visible churches.

Scientific refutation of Feminism's claims

Feminism teaches the complete equality of men and women in all areas. To prop up their view, they have even tried to use scientific findings to do so. Initially, they relied on (highly subjective) anthropological research as found in two books by Margaret Mead, Sex and Temperament (1935)[2] and Male and Female (1949)[3] which stated that differences between male and female were learned and conditioned by culture rather than set by nature, which has since then been refuted[4] (p. 31). Since then, feminists have moved on and an influential feminist, Elizabeth Gould Davis, have even tried to promote female superiority, naming women the first sex[5]. Davis seeks to prove this scientifically through 1) embryology, 2) the genotype of males and females in terms of the sex chromosomes X and Y (p. 101-103).

[WARNING! Technical and probably somewhat mature material below! To skip this section, click here]

The first argument for female superiority is found through embryology, or rather Davis' interpretation of embryological data. According to Davis,

... all mammalian embryos, male and female, were anatomically female during the early stages of fetal life. In humans, the differentiation of the male organ from the female was accomplished by the action of a fetal hormone, androgen. ... Females structures developed autonomously without the necessity of hormonal intervention. In other words, Davis argues that the state of "femaleness" was normative, but the male genitalia only developed upon the addition of hormones. (p. 101)

However, is that really the case? NO! Fetuses do not start off as female and then undergo "sex reversal" to become male; humans are NOT zebrafish[6]! Just because the sexual organs have not developed and thus appear on the surface to be female does not mean that the fetus is female. In fact, for humans (and mammals in general), the fetus starts off with two ducts, Müllerian and Wolfian, that would form the female and male reproductive tracts respectively. During the early stages of development, the fetus have both of these ducts. If one really wanted to assign a gender to the fetus, the fetus would be bisexual, not female! Only later would the unneeded ducts atrophied (the Müllerian duct in the male and the Wolfian duct in the female) so that each gender would have only one and reproductive tract and system based on his/her genotype. With this, Davis' first point is rendered false.

With regards to Davis' second point, Davis states that the Y chromosome is a deformed and broken mutation of the female X chromosome, and from there prove that women were the first sex. Of course, such reasoning depends on the truth or falseness of the pseudo-scientific theory of Evolution, and would thus die along with the theory. However, even granting the truth of evolution, can Davis' theory hold true? Let us look at Davis' theory:

... the male Y chromosome that produces males is a deformed and broken X chromosome — the female chromosome. ... It seems very logical that this small and twisted Y chromosome is a genetic error — an accident of nature, and that genetically there was only one sex — the female[7].

... the Y chromosome was linked with many genetic disorders such as color-blindness and hemophilia. The male, who was sole possessor of the Y chromosome, was reported by Davis to be much more susceptible to genetic disorders. ... the extra X chromosome in females accounted not only for the greater freedom of girls from birth defects and congenital diseases, "but also for the superior physiological makeup and the superior intelligence of women over men" (p. 102).

A couple of problems arise if one was to accept Davis' wild conjecture. Now, if all were female then, I would like to know how reproduction occurred then. Did these "superior" women then reproduce asexually? Or were they hermaphrodites? But then, hermaphrodites would need to have both the male and female reproductive organs to reproduce, so these hypothetical people can no longer be called female, can they? Ditto for the asexuals too! (And just to rub it in, I can't seem to think of any remotely plausible mechanism for the evolution of dioecy[8], nevermind evolution of males from females.) Feminism seem to blind its proponents to basic thinking, it seems.

With regards to the so-called superiority of women in their having two X chromosomes over 1 X chromosome in males, is that really good? Having assumed evolution, let us now supposed that to be fact and see whether the female is indeed superior according to evolution. Since the "goal" of evolution is supposed to improve on the gene pool of the species by eliminating the weak (survival of the fittest), males with defective X chromosome containing disease-causing genes would thus exhibit their defective genotype and would thus (hopefully) be eliminated. Females, on the other hand, by giving rise to the highly probable scenario whereby one of their X chromosome contains a healthy, properly functional gene while the other X chromosome contains the defective gene, will lead to the fact that such females would be phenotypically healthy (assuming the healthy gene is dominant) while carrying a defective genome. These carriers would then be in a position to pass on their defective genes to the next generation, as they are not subjected to any negative selection due to non-expression of the defective X chromosomal gene. Since such is the case, shouldn't females be termed instead the bane of the species, by preventing natural selection from removing the defective genes from the population? Davis' superiority of women position thus actually work against her, unless she discard the theory of evolution, which she can't since her entire theory is built on that foundation.

Also, I would want to challenge Davis and her followers to prove the statement that women have "superior physiological makeup and intelligence over men". (It wasn't so long ago that the reverse was held by some to be true.) Anyway, upon what basis can such statements be proven? With regards to "superior physiological makeup", last I knew, the strongest people in the world were men, women are in general less muscular than men, and although women are less susceptible to genetic disorders than men, I know at least of quite a few women who are more susceptible to normal diseases than most men. Of course, no doubt this could be due to the differences in lifestyle between men and women, but the point that I was trying to put across is that Davis' point is not proven. The various indicators given by Davis (capacity for reproduction, greater resistance to disease, increased longevity, excellent metabolic efficiency), even if true, are not the only indicators of physiological makeup. Furthermore, for indicators like resistance to diseases, have experiments been done to prove such a case, and are the samples used unbiased? Are the experiments, if they are done, done is such a way such that factors such as stress level etc. are taken into account? I very much doubt so. With regards to "superior intelligence", this is even more doubtful. Definitely, not all women are smarter than all men. Collectively, women have also not been shown to be superior in intellect compared to men, as a cursory look at the intelligent people throughout history shows. If one objects that that is because of oppression of women throughout most of civilized history, then one truly wonders why is it that in the so-called "liberated" countries in the Western world, moral decadence is promoted by the "enlightened" women in the form of abortion, homosexuality, alternative lifestyles, etc. Some intelligence indeed (Rom. 1:22-23)!

I would not go into Davis' ridiculous hypothesis of how males came into being and subjugated the "superior" females, which is just plain ridiculous and distasteful , reducing women to nothing more than animals that are "incapable of controlling their sex drives" (p. 103). Readers who are interested may go and read it for themselves. Something I have noticed about these "liberated and enlightened" feminists is that they seem to be obsessed with sex. Some liberation indeed (Rom. 1:24-28)!

I would finish off this section by looking at sex determination at the genetic level, which should demolish all the nonsense of genetic pre-eminence of the female sex.

Davis made the assertion that the human genitalia will normally developed into the female reproductive organ in the fetus unless there is the presence of the male androgen hormones which is produced by the male fetus. This on the surface seems to show that femaleness is the default norm while maleness is not. However, those who make such a conclusion are basically showing their ignorance, as if sex determination was such an easy process in any fetus.

For most people who read and/or study a bit on sex determination, especially in mammals, they would have come across the term TDF (Testis Determining Factor), which is a gene locus located on the Y chromosome, upon which the gene SRY is found[9]. This particular gene is found to be the sex-determining gene, as its presence normally indicates maleness while its absence indicates femaleness. Thus, normal females, who don't have the Y chromosome, have the female phenotype, while normal males who have the Y chromosome have the male phenotype. The reason why I use the term normal is because abnormality do occur. Abnormal recombination between X and Y chromosome could result in transfer of the TDF gene locus, causing that XX individual to become a male (sex-reversal)[10].

If this is all we know of sex determination, then perhaps the feminists do have a point. However, this is not all. Another gene SOX9 (SRY-related HMG box gene 9) has been found, and this gene is NOT found on the X or Y chromosome. In fact, the human SOX9 is found on the autosome chromosome 17 of the human genome[11]. It has also been found that SOX9, like SRY, is both necessary and sufficient for testes formation, since SOX9 conditional knockouts in other mammals have reproductive organs akin to ovaries[12] while overexpressed SOX9 individuals develop as males[13]. In fact, due to this, it has been hypothesized that SRY somehow interacts with SOX9 as both of them are necessary and sufficient conditions for female-to-male sex reversals, although no one knows the exact interaction between the two gene products yet[14].

Moving on to other genes, we found an interesting gene called RSPO1, coding for a rather new protein R-spondin 1 found in 2004[15]. A rather large, consanguineous Italian family was found to have 4 XX sex-reversed brothers who were SRY-negative. It was found that these abnormal brothers have a mutation in their RSPO1 gene which codes for R-spondin 1 creating a non-functional R-spondin 1 protein, and this caused the sex change, independent of the SRY/SOX9 pair[16]. Of all the information found so far, nothing is more devastating to feminism than this; that the production of a non-functional protein causes a female-to-male sex reversal! Therefore, the production of that functional protein is essential for femaleness! Furthermore, this gene is found on the human autosomal chromosome 1, and thus is not sex-linked.

Based on all these information, especially the last one, a case can be put forward that males are the first sex, and it is only because of a later evolution of functional R-spondin 1 in the species that females later evolve. Of course, this theory is nonsense, but such is the stupidity that feminist reasoning takes us. Also, the fact that two important sex determination genes (SOX9 and RSPO1) are not found on the sex chromosomes shows the utter nonsense of feminists who think as though maleness and femaleness comes only through the sex chromosomes, or worse still, that XX individuals are the first sex and that these XX individuals are necessarily female.

With all this said and done, it can be seen that science does not even remotely support the wild conjectures of the radical feminists of female superiority. Nor can it be used to support any egalitarian position either. Fact of the matter is, science has nothing to say about what is essentially a sociological and religious issue. In fact, I would even say that science can not prove anything with respect to absolute truth[17]. What I have just done is to beat the feminists at their own game, notwithstanding the fact that the game itself is illegitimate for the issue at hand, just to show the poverty of the Feminist position.

Evaluating the effects of feminism

Feminism, since its inception in the 2nd half of the 20th century, has caused numerous devastating effects on society. Although feminists like Davis postulate an utopian society based on matriarchy, as the superior women create peaceful conditions on the earth (After all, according to the feminists, men invented rape, murder, war etc.), we have not even approached one-tenth of this utopia, despite the fact that women are "freer" and now are almost equal in every aspect, if not superior, to men. In fact, there is now discrimination against men; just marvel at the protection given to women who beat their husbands compared to the hatred and contempt poured out against men who do the same to their wives! Ditto for rape!

With the feminists and their allies now in charge, what are the effects in society? Well, no better example can be found than the disintegration of the family unit, which the feminists by the way glorify. Nevermind the consequences of their actions; "personal liberty" is pursued even when others are hurt in the process. Regarding murder, it does not need a rocket scientist to know that many babies are murdered in the womb everyday around the world, yet the feminists boast of this atrocity in a way that could perhaps rival Hitler's. Regarding morality, feminists are generally sympathetic to lesbianism, and whereas last time, men could get away with pre-marital sex and other immoral actions, now to "address the injustice", women could do so too. With all this, society starts to disintegrate, as the destructive forces of sexual immorality, moral decadence, and godlessness enters it, which characterized a society given over by God (Rom. 1:18-32), which would cause its destruction. So much for utopia! The feminists promise the sky and the only thing they could deliver is hell itself.

It is a sad thing when society imbibes on such poison and starts to self-destruct. It is much worse when feminism enters the churches and brings it to the point of utter ruin. Visible churches, especially the liberal churches, start to gravitate towards "alternative expressions of worship" as feminism enters them. First, God became a "she". As Feminism metastasized, the ancient Greek, Roman, and even Canaanite deities are revived, and paganism enters the church itself (p. 135- 157). With the entrance of pagan rituals, pantheism and the New Age movement enters in.

Not everyone decides to get out of the Christian community. Some decides to remain inside and destroy it from the inside out. Women-churches are thus born, which teaches from the viewpoint of feminist liberation theology. It still allows for a male Jesus and a male God, but they create the female counterpart of God, calling it Sophia, claiming that the word translated Wisdom in the Scriptures is actually indicative of the female part of God, which men tried to repress (p. 179-181). To support their hypothesis, feminists claimed that

Sophia's power as a divine female figure was repressed by patriarchy. ... this repression begins with Philo, who substituted a personified, masculine Logos for the feminine Sophia. Philo at first equated Logos with Sophia, then substituted Logos for Sophia, until the masculine person of Logos "had taken over most of Sophia's divine roles, including the firstborn of God, the principle of order, and the intermediary between God and humanity". Furthermore, the process of repression was continued with Christ replacing Sophia as personified Wisdom. (p. 180-181)

This bunch of nonsensical reasoning is just self-defeating! Sophia is called the firstborn of God? Principle of order? Intermediary between God and humanity? Not unless you read Sophia into what is written about Christ! A look at the usage of the words which are translated Sophia also in the LXX (Septuagint) also do not indicates what the feminists are imagining. And such reasoning may only be true if the Scriptures are not preserved at all, which is impossible. The feminists are truly straining at straws here.

To round up the madnesss known as feminism, let us look at a real-life example: Ebenezer Lutheran Church in San Francisco - ELCA, which owns the website http://www.herchurch.org/ . Let us look at one aspect: their blasphemous corruption of the Lord's prayer:

Our Mother who is within us
we celebrate your many names.
Your wisdom come.
Your will be done,
unfolding from the depths within us.
Each day you give us all that we need.
You remind us of our limits
and we let go.
You support us in our power
and we act with courage.
For you are the dwelling place within us
the empowerment around us
and the celebration among us
now and for ever. Amen

To these feminists: Anathema Sit! Truly, Feminism is a heresy that is to be excised from Bible-believing churches, in whatever form it may take.


References:

[1] Paul Jewett (1975), Man as Male and Female: A Study in Sexual Relationships from a Theological Point of View, p. 75 (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans), as cited by Mary A. Kassian, The Feminist Gospel.

[2] Margaret Mead (1949), Male and Female (New York: William Morrow and Company). As cited in Kassian, The Feminist Gospel.

[3] Margaret Mead (1935), Sex and Temperament (New York: William Morrow and Company). As cited in Kassian, The Feminist Gospel.

[4] Derek Freeman (1983), Margaret and Samoa (Cambridge: Harvard University Press). As cited in Kassian, The Feminist Gospel.

[5] Elizabeth Gould Davis (1972), The First Sex (Baltimore, Penguin Books). As cited in Kassian, The Feminist Gospel.

[6] von Hofsten J & Olssen PE. (2005). Zebrafish sex determination and differentiation: involvement of FTZ-F1 genes, Reprod. Biol. Endocrinol 3: 63

[7] Davis (1972), The First Sex, p. 63

[8] Dioecy comes from the field of plant sexuality. It basically means the existence of two separate sexes. It is often used in plants due to the wide variety of sexual reproduction systems in them. With regards to other species, it is normally used only in the field of sex evolution.

[9] Most of the stuff presented here come from compiled lecture notes from a module I have taken in my university entitled Animal Reproduction and Development. To give proper credit when due, I would try to find journal articles which do in fact provide the information that I present.

[10] Wilhelm D., Palmer S. & Koopman P. (2007). Sex Determination and Gonadal Development in Mammals, Physiol. Rev. 87: 1-28; [doi:10.1152/physrev.00009.2006]

[11] NCBI database's (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/) search results for SOX9 under 'gene' category

[12] Barrionuevo F, Bagheri-Fam S, Klattig J, Kist R, Taketo MM, Englert C, Scherer G. (2006). Homozygous inactivation of Sox9 causes complete XY sex reversal in mice. Biol Reprod 74: 195–201.

[13] Vidal V, Chaboissier M, de Rooij D, Schedl A. (2001). Sox9 induces testis development in XX transgenic mice. Nat Genet 28: 216–217.

[14] Wilhelm & Koopman (2007)

[15] Kamata T, Katsube K, Michikawa M, Yamada M, Takada S, Mizusawa H.(2004). R-spondin, a novel gene with thrombospondin type 1 domain, was expressed in the dorsal neural tube and affected in Wnts mutants, Biochim Biophys Acta. 1676(1): 51-62

[16] Parma, Pietro et. al. (2006). R-spondin 1 is essential in sex determination, skin differentiation and malignancy, Nature Genetics 38: 1304 - 1309 .

[17] Gordon H. Clark (1964), The Philosophy of Science and Belief in God, 3rd Ed. (1996) John W. Robbins (The Trinity Foundation)