What's an Accidental Feminist?
An accidental feminist is a woman who does not personally identify as a feminist, and in fact, may actually have no use for the term. But because of our place in history—now that the tidal wave of feminism has been absorbed into our culture—many of us do not understand how subtly we have been influenced by feminism and are, therefore, accidental feminists.
That was me: adopting and incorporating what the world has to say about women instead of what God has to say about women in Scripture.
Here are six signs that you may be an accidental feminist:
1. You think that you define your identity.
Perhaps you are reacting against the idea that women need a husband or children to find their purpose. While that’s wrong thinking, if you simply swing the pendulum to the opposite direction—where you find your identity in what you accomplish on your own, whether through your career, your ministry, or anything else—you may be an accidental feminist.
2. You think marriage and children can wait.
You like the idea of marriage and family, but you simply want to finish your degree or get established in your career first. While there are legitimate reasons to postpone marriage and children, feminism promised women that they had all the time in the world to have their career and have a family, too. If you find yourself believing you have this time, too, you may be an accidental feminist.
Many of us do not understand how subtly we have been influenced by feminism and are, therefore, accidental feminists.
3. You think it’s possible to “have it all.”
This idea is slowly getting debunked by even the most successful of women. But if you are attempting to balance a growing career, husband, children, ministry at church, and anything else that can be thrown on your plate, you may be an accidental feminist. Feminism told women they could have whatever they wanted, when they wanted it. The reality of our limitations as finite beings, and the seasons of life that we all experience, tells us otherwise.
4. You think it’s unfair when your church’s leadership doesn’t ask you or other women to be involved in the preaching ministry of the church.
There is no doubt that many women are extremely gifted teachers. But if you find yourself resenting the men who are called and gifted to bring the Sunday morning message to your local church, you may be an accidental feminist. Your gifts are valuable within the prescribed biblical context—and there are many, many ways women can (and should) use their gifts in the local church!
5. You resent being asked to serve in the nursery or bring a meal to a new mom at church.
Children’s ministry is not for everyone. And there is no biblical prescription for women to be excellent cooks in order to display godliness. But if you find yourself frustrated by these occasional requests because you feel like you have “more” to offer than these gifts of service, you may be an accidental feminist.
6. When your friend writes a blog post on the importance of dressing modestly you find yourself frustrated with yet another post on modesty.
You believe it heaps unnecessary condemnation on women and puts the blame solely at their feet. While modesty does not mean women can’t dress attractively, or that men don’t have a tremendous responsibility in this arena as well, balking at any mention of the importance of modesty may be a sign that you’re an accidental feminist.