January 27 – Equality
Seeking Equality, Seeking Peace
Read: Luke 4:18-19
Although I identify myself as a feminist now, this was not always the case. As a young adult, I resisted the feminist label and its man-hating, bra-burning connotations. But several strong women nurtured my voice—my written voice, my literal voice, my metaphysical voice—and in the process, helped me to see how, in reality, feminists help people who are silenced, in our own culture and abroad.
Cheryl WuDunn and Nicolas Kristof’s transformative book, Half the Sky, describes the many ways women are oppressed around the world: silenced through abuse, rape, genital mutilation, prostitution. As a peace-seeking person, I am compelled to seek justice for these women who cannot speak for themselves, and I know my role as a vocal Christian feminist is one to which God called me.
Closer to home, I see young women who have been told that, according to biblical principle, they should remain silent. The messages from evangelical culture remind women to be submissive and meek, and that those females who would deign to speak—especially from the pulpit—are transgressing their godly-woman roles. In listening to these messages, too many young women fail to fully discover the gifts God has given them. As a peace-seeking person, and a professor at an evangelical Friends university, I am compelled to seek justice for these women, too, and hope my role as a vocal Christian feminist models for them a faithful response to God’s calling.
In the past, when I’ve thought about pacifism, I’ve most often considered my response to war and bloodshed and retributive violence. But surely, in prompting us to seek peace, God also longs for us to seek equity. For me, the crux of the Gospel is this: that the Prince of Peace came to recover sight for the blind, to free the oppressed and to give voice to the silenced. May I seek, each day, to live the peace testimony to its fullest extent.
Do I promote social justice and make my life a testimony to equity?
Do I support fair treatment of all regardless of race, gender, age and other differences?
Am I concerned for those in our society who are disadvantaged?
Am I concerned for those who are silenced?