Upon watching the recent headlines I am reminded that the movement of equality, freedom and feminism has failed miserably. Case in point Monica and Hilary. I remember when this story first broke in 1998, being outraged that everyone thrust all the blame on Monica, not the man, who just happened to be president of the United States.
This flew in the face of what I grew up believing about feminism. What happened to her expressing her sexual freedom, or the liberating notion that she had the right to have sex with whomever she chose. Let’s also not forget that we are supposed to support her in these decisions. Was this not what feminism stood for?
To my amazement no one then or even now was/is publicly coming to her aid. In fact it was just the opposite. Where there should have be outrage against his behavior, women whispered, gossiped and believed the distorted truth. Her story was discredited because she was the “other woman”. In fact every women that was in bed with this man took the fall. Hilary put her political future in front of the feminist message, setting back the progress of women’s rights to this day.
Now Hilary is considering a run for the presidency and is doing it again. With the début of her biography, Monica has once again become the brunt of the joke. In the words of a very wise two year old “dude seriously? Dude!”
Where are the voices of women who think this is wrong? The voices of women who have come to realize that we have been dooped? Where is the movement that was supposed to empower and liberate us? Here we stand 40 years later gagged and bound by those few loud but annoying voices who are still trying to convince us, that if we don’t agree with them we are ignorant and uneducated. We have been labelled as unenlightened, not progressive in our thinking. Explain to me and others what is progressive and enlightening about discrediting and humiliating women all the while defending a man who cannot be faithful to his marriage vows?
Well I am one woman who is tired of the rhetoric and am asserting my voice. You see, I bought into the sound bites and mantra of the Feminist Manifesto. As a young woman it was very appealing to believe that I could have it all and that the world would be mine. That I could compete and accomplish anything and no man was going to get in my way. I was not and am not a man hater I just wanted my cake and to eat it too! I was totally ignorant to understand that everything I did carries a consequence.
In the pursuit of sexual liberation and freedom as well as pursuing all that life had to offer, it never occurred to me that bad things could happen. I was told that my happiness and ability to achieve great things depended on my ability to acquire whatever I wanted without any consideration of cost or damage to others or me.
My own story is riddled with sexual experimentation that often led to exploitation coupled with mental and physical abuse. My sexual freedom only led to unfulfilled relationships and eventually to a form of prostitution for the pursuit of empowerment. The emptiness and shame for having been that woman, led to a dangerous cycle that also included alcohol and drug abuse.
Liberation led me to a self-serving idealism that interfered with everything including my ability to manage or keep a relationship and peaked when I found myself pregnant while using the pill. That led to choosing an abortion, which then created a dilemma for me both morally and spiritually, and perpetuated the cycle I was already in. All these things were to bring me freedom from a male dominated world and empower me to make better choices and control my world! Seven years into the liberated state I was defeated, addicted and spiritually destitute.
My story has a positive ending. Not because the feminist movement came and rescued me with their words and promises. Rather it was through admitting that I believed in the wrong messages. I needed to accept the things I could not change (my past). Then I recognized that only with the help of a benevolent God and the redemption offered through Jesus Christ coupled with the direction of His Holy Spirit would I have the strength and courage to change the path I was on.
It has been my great privilege to offer knowledge of this freedom to countless other women on the same path for so many years. Women helping women does work when it is a true message of empowerment. Lives radically changed, change the future. Who knows if enough of us speak out maybe we can overshadow those few voices that always seem to demand the floor. May be we can be the one who offers the empowering truth of grace, forever changing the course of one life.