Friday, 11 January 2008

Hatred and Anger

This probably isn't the best place to start documented my journey with christianity and feminism, but its what I've been thinking about a lot lately. Feminists are probably among the most steriotyped people out there, and one of the these is that we are a very angry bunch. Of course, theres a lot of truth to this, when rape conviction rates in Scotland are still 3.9%, and when women are still being objectified, abused, beaten and killed just because of their sex, then there is a lot to be angry about. And anger can be righteous: God is angry at sin, Jesus was angry enough with the corruption going on in the temple to do a fair bit of vandalism. So, its not the anger as such that concerns me, I think its the hatred.

And I'm not getting at the feminist movement here so much as I am getting at myself. I honestly have no love for people who abuse their partners, or people who produce porn or traffic women and do all these horrible things, and of course, this is quite understandable. And its when I realise that its these people who are my enemies that I realise just how great the challenge to love your enemies really is. I am slowly learning to remember that Jesus was not just friends with prostitutes (the opressed) but he was friends with tax collectors (if not directly the oppressors then certainly people working for them). And it was in expressing his love for these tax collectors that they became different. We tend to think of Zaccheus, for example, as being fairly cuddly really, or at least I do. But in actual fact he was a corrupt cheat who worked for a system that was opressing the Jewish people and deliberatly cheated the poor out of the little money they had in order to increase his own profits. And yet when Jesus met him, he didn't yell at him, He was nice to him, became his friend, and in doing so, Zaccheus changed.

Ultimatly, hatred gets us nowhere, all it does is polarise us. So if I, and the feminist movement, really want to change society, and bring down patriarchy then our rightous anger has to be fueled by love not hatred. Love for women who are abused. Love for women who will never reach their full potential because the world is not geared towards them. Love for men who are not free to be themselves becuase they are constrained by false concepts of what it means to be a man. But most difficult and most important of all, love for the men (and a few women) who perpetuate an evil system, love fueled by a belief that men who abuse women, who promote sexism, who buy and sell porn, are capable of changing and being better. Love that can see the potential for good that God can see.

And I genuinly believe that if we really begin to love like this, then we will see change and the revolution of the Kingdom of God will come.

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