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Aleah Bosgraaf

English 113
Dr. Parker
22 September 2017

Feminism; A Movement for All

When it comes to the topic of feminism, most of us readily agree that it is a necessary

movement that fights for equality for all women. Where this argument usually ends, however, is

on the question of who can be a feminist. I believe that all women should be included in the

feminist movement, however I have come to understand that women are held back from joining

this movement because of the issues with racial tension, and religion. Many women feel

excluded from the movement because of their race. However, feminism must include those of all

ethnicities and backgrounds because a lack of intersectionality leads to an erasure of people and

their identities (Uwujaren and Utt ). This year, at the Womens March on Washington, a group

of women gathered to march to protect womens rights. Nevertheless, ethnicity was a big topic

that day, and many women of color said that there were clear racial tensions at the rally, and that

they felt discluded (Bates). Finally, we must not separate feminism and religion but instead unite

them together so that the Church along with the feminist movement can fight for justice, Char

Adams notes that: Sexism and patriarchy are deeply rooted in all areas of modern society, so, as

Christians, we are to follow Christs lead by being different, and that includes treating women as

equals in every way (Adams). Women in the church feel held back from joining the movement

because they continue to believe that God has ordained that women be subordinate to men in

the domestic household(hooks 2) and not stand up for women's rights. My definition of

feminism is a movement that promotes equal opportunities for women of all races and religion

because, without them, the movement is incomplete.


To create a community where all women are treated equally, the feminist movement

must include and celebrate race and ethnicity and all the different perspectives brought to it.

Many women of different ethnicities feel as though It is one size-fits all feminism, where

middle-class white women are the mold that others must fit.(Uwujaren and Utt). However, I

believe it is vital for these women to be included in the movement, because feminism without

intersectionality keeps us from fully expressing who we are (Uwujaren and Utt). Together we

must fight for all women, especially those of color. We must work together because these

women help feminism continue to expand and grow and their ideas allow for the feminist

movement to reach and relate to other women who would otherwise feel discluded.

Some argue that women cannot be part of the feminist movement and have religious ties;

however, I believe that you can be strong in both realms. Specifically, some Christian women

feel hesitant to join the feminist movement because of indirect pressure from the church, saying

that the women in the congregation to be "quiet" and "submissive," to not pursue careers as

pastors and to instead learn to be a "good wife" (Adams). However, there are many ways

feminism and Christianity stand on the same ground. To be able to understand Christianity and

feminism, I interviewed Beth Jarvis a local pastor. While diving into the topic of Christian

feminism, she brought up several points saying that her passion for justice is driven by faith

and her personal view of feminism is that Jesus wants justice for all people, those of all genders

and of all lifestyles. I believe that if Christians are called to live like Jesus and love thy

neighbor as themselves (Mark 12:31) then they should believe that women are equal to men.

This means that Christians should be on the front lines of the feminist movement, because God

is a god of justice, who loves us all equally (Adams). According to my definition of feminism,

Christian women must be included in the fight for justice.


My definition of feminism is a movement that advocates for equality, opportunity, and

justice for all women, especially those of color, and religious women. To do this, we need ethnic

and diverse women, and religious women to support one another, and help guide each other

through our changing culture. We must not let our differences divide us, but use our differences

to grow and develop the feminist movement; so that one day we can rise, and stand tall as

women who are not afraid to live the life we deserve.

Work Cited:

Bates, Karen G. "Race And Feminism: Women's March Recalls The Touchy History." National

Public Radio, Jan. 2017, www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/01/21/510859909/race-and-

feminism-womens-march-recalls-the-touchy-history. Accessed 23 Sept. 2017.

Green, Emma. Christian or Feminist The Atlantic, Mar. 2015, 1p.


https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/03/christian-feminist/386609

hooks, bell. Feminism is For Everybody. Cambridge, South End Press, 2000, p. 2.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984,

2011 by Biblica, Inc.

Uwujaren, Jarune, and Jamie Utt. "Why Our Feminism Must Be Intersectional (And 3 Ways to
Practice It)." Everyday Feminism, Jan. 2015, https://everydayfeminism.com/2015/01/why-our-
feminism-must-be-intersectional/. Accessed 23 Sept. 2017.