The Feminist Challenge
Biblical views of gender and human sexuality that had been the fabric of the Western World for over two millennia are exploded in less than one decade; The Sixties
This direct and premeditated desire to free society and in particular the government of any association with theistic religion (in the Marxists movements) was unprecedented. Nothing like it had ever happened in the prior two thousand years of European history. The concept of god had been used in positive ways and also in negative ways to justify crime and manipulate and control people. However, the protestant idea of placing everybody under God’s authority, putting even popes and kings under the power of the Scriptures, was a tremendous leap forward for individual freedom and rights. Before that, the Magna Charta had been a first step in that direction, kings could no longer do what they wanted without having to answer for it.
In essence, what the reformation said was; “No one is above God or the Scriptures. Not kings or dukes, not popes or pastors.” Interpretation would always be an issue, but placing a bible in the hands of the common people brought about a sense of empowerment and equality never heard of before in the annals of history. It also brought about one of the greatest leaps forward in literacy the world has ever seen. Whether you were a plow boy or the neighborhood woodcutter or a land owner and a Duke, you could read the bible for yourself and you could form your own opinion. This brought about in a very real way the first great democracies in modern history. It created a thriving common ground of morality which, among other things, brought an end to the African slave trade as well an end to child labor. It empowered people.
It was in this culture that modern science and medicine and humanitarian reforms flourished, though never perfectly. In a fallen world, even those struggling to follow God and his word will fall short, and every generation has its high marks and its lows. But if the Bible is the Word of God, I have to believe He was pleased by seeing so many people able to read and meditate upon His word.
Unfortunately, Darwin and Lyell, Marx and Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky brought an end to all that. The bible wasn’t the word of God, Darwin had supposedly proven that, and God was dead. He was out of the picture.
Men and women or plow boys and Dukes could no longer have access to a book which informed them about the basic truths of life. They no longer had a book or common source that they could interpret for themselves to understand the basics of the human condition, nature, sexuality, and morals. No.
From now on, they would have to rely on the intellectuals to do that for them. And Stalin and Marx and the evolutionary and academic community were only too glad to take over the role played by scripture and scripture’s God. Darwin’s priests would tell them how life formed, and Lyell’s pastors would inform them how old the Earth was. Karl Marx would dictate to them who they were and how they should be governed.
Back in the USA, however, things didn’t seem so bad when the terrors of World War Two finally wound down. A new prosperity was beginning to fill the land and real estate was rising in value, Medical breakthroughs and new technology had exploded due to the recent war. Despite a short lived jump in the divorce rates at the end of the war, the moral structure of the nation continued on in tact. Americans had not fully embraced Darwin’s theory and there were not too many enthusiastic followers of Marx in Kansas or Oklahoma.
When the movie, Gone with the Wind, came out starring Clark Gable, he spoke the line;
“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
Thousands of mothers all across America flooded the movie studios with phone calls and complaints about that line. These American mothers were shocked and they were angry. How dare anyone approve of a cuss word like “damn” on the air?
Things have changed a little since then.
In the fifties, all bedroom scenes took place in rooms with separate beds and the camera flashed to both partners’ hands so the public could be assured they were wearing wedding rings. It’s hard to believe that was only fifty years ago. The divorce rate had dropped to almost nonexistence. There were almost no STDs around and if anyone had suggested same sex marriage you would have gotten a strange look. Women seemed satisfied with their condition, they had attained the right to vote and own property and many of them now had entered into the work force.
In 1960 we all were watching Leave it to Beaver or Ozzie and Harriet. By 1970 the entire world had changed
The “God is Dead” Slogan was pasted all over Look magazine. College professors were telling us to “Turn on to drugs and drop out”. Women were marching in the streets and burning their bras. My sister came home from college and told my father she wanted to move to Cuba to join the Marxist leader Fidel Castro. Drugs were everywhere, not only in the ghettos, but being used among the rich and middle class as well.
The new atheistic world which America had ignored in her isolation and apathy was coming home to roost. Students went away to college and found out that the bible was an archaic book written by old white men and had no real power or authenticity to it. The bible’s views and dictates on human sexuality were prudish and laughable. Man created out of dust? Women created from and for the man? The world less then ten thousand years old? Sex created for and sanctified by the marriage bed?
Who could be so stupid as to believe that? And the most infuriating and ridiculous thing about the bible was its outdated and irrelevant definition of gender and the sexes.
Unlike Marxist Russia or China, Americans weren’t compelled at gun point to burn their bibles and throw out their religious relics and no devastating wars were fought on their soil. The enemy didn’t come in the door carrying a Russian made sub machine gun. Instead the enemy came in passing out books like “Our body, ourselves” which helped to explain to people how trapped they had been by the biblical sexual taboos and helped them to free themselves from grungy marriages and heterosexual relationships. It taught them how to masturbate more often and practice birth control. Sex was fun and it was for everybody, not just for stodgy married folk.
Welcome to the women’s liberation movement. The feminist challenge to biblical authority. In this new defining of human gender and sexuality there were no rules except that you couldn’t have any rules. Following along the same route that Darwin and Marx and Wellhausen and Nietzsche had walked, the feminist rejected out of hand the concept that the bible may have been inspired by an all knowing Creator God. That whole idea was made up by men in order to control and manipulate women. The writers of the bible were chauvinist pigs. Not men inspired by the holy spirit of God. The bible was part of a long war for domination between the sexes, and was written to enslave women and put make them mere sex objects and servants. The sixties sexual revolution heralded by the feminists promised a new freedom from this domination.
Of course with this new sexual freedom came an explosion of unwanted infants born out of wedlock and these babies had to be dealt with. After all, men don’t get pregnant, so a way to make women equal to men by stopping pregnancy had to be adopted. The American feminists didn’t have far to look because the Marxists nations, being founded on atheism, had knocked down all the previously existing laws protecting babies in the womb. If man wasn’t created in the image of God, there was no reason not to kill the unborn infants.
At the time, no one understood the level of guilt and repressed burden of guilt this would lay on the mothers later in life. Hey, they said, if it feels good, do it.
Along with this new freedom came over 35 new sexually transmitted diseases, many of which, like the HIV virus, are deadly, and dropped a huge financial load on Medicare, medical insurance and society in general. And the damage to Marriage, long considered the building block and glue of any society may yet prove fatal to an American nation founded on the values of the Puritans. The damage has been so pervasive that we may have reached a point of critical mass in which recovery, outside of a moral revival, may be impossible.
Unlike the earlier women’s suffrage, the 60’s feminist’s movement came on the scene with unrivaled vehemence, Betty Freidan said;
“Housework] is peculiarly suited to the capacities of feeble-minded girls. [It] arrests their development at an infantile level. Betty Freidan, “The Feminine Mystique, 1963.
Gloria Steinem echoed,“[Housewives] are mindless and thing-hungry…not people.”Gloria Steinem, “What It Would Be Like If Women Win,” Time, August 31,
Simone de Beauvoir, in a very intolerant manner asserted;
“[A]s long as the family and the myth of the family and the myth of maternity and the maternal instinct are not destroyed, women will still be oppressed…. No woman should be authorized to stay at home and raise her children. Society should be totally different.Women should not have that choice…”
Simone de Beauvoir, “Sex, Society, and the Female Dilemma,” Saturday Review, June 14, 1975
Anyone who didn’t agree with the new feminism was promptly labeled a “sexist” or “chauvinist pig”. The feminist however, never really explained why everyone should adhere to their new definitions of gender, or on what authority or moral argument they based them. Nor did they explain in this new order of things, who would care for the kids?
God had now been effectively removed from having any role in defining marriage, gender or sexual boundaries. The divorce had been complete.