CRDaily

Feminism and Christmas

Brian you almost said something brilliant with your feminism post. Almost.

Feminism has been and always will be about choice. It’s about not being relegated to a docile set of duties in the home, but being allowed to take part in society in any way you choose–whether that be as a “housewife” or out in the workforce.

The stereotype, as handed down to us by cultural norms and historical practice, is that men go out and engage each other in economic activity while women stay at home to raise the family. Some people try to defend it as “specialization of labor” that is “inherently more stable,” and to that, I say, what a load of crap.

You were right, though. It is selfish to want both a highpowered career and a loving family. Just be ready to admit that life is an inherently selfish enterprise, each of us taking it upon him-/herself to acquire as much happiness as possible without putting the happiness of others at risk of injury (thanks Mill).

Marriage is a partnership, a 50/50 split, and it’s as much give as it is take. That being said, if a couple wants both, then they have to accept equal obligation. None should feel more “duty” to home than to work, and BOTH must make sacrifices. And if that means a couple decides, as a unit, that one will work while the other stays at home, then by all means we should stay out. We lack the personal knowledge, not to mention the authority, to pass moral judgement on how other people decide to set up their homes. There is no gold standard. Templates, maybe. But that’s the beauty of being human. The rejection, adaptation, and manipulation of templates to suit our needs, to find that happiness. Cookie-cutters are for baking, not the creation of families.

On to the next subject: Christmas.

Christmas lost its meaning a long time ago. You know who killed it? That fat bastard in the red suit. I asked my 9-year old stepbrother one time a simple question. “Why do we celebrate Christmas?” You know what he said? Nothing. He just sat there, and thought and thought and thought, and didn’t have an answer.

“It’s Jesus’ birthday,” I told him.

“Like, the day he was born?”

“Yes.”

“How old is He?” (I, of course, am adding the capitalization here for him. I doubt he would have known.)

“Oh, not so old–2000 years or so. Do you know why we celebrate?”

Stumped again.

“We celebrate because God sent Him to die for us so we could be saved.”

More silence.

“Saved from what?”

“Ourselves, mostly. You know those kids that are bullies at your school? Do you think its right what they do to other kids?”

“No.”

“Right, that’s sin. There’s lots of other kinds, but you’ll figure them out later. But basically, Jesus was sent to die for us and pay for our sins, because none of us can be good enough people on our own–actually we kind of suck at being people.”

More silence.

“David?”

“Yea Nick?”

“If it’s Jesus’ birthday, why don’t we make him a birthday cake?”

Obviously my philosophical indictment of the human race was mostly lost on him, but suddenly I was the silent one. “I don’t know.”

And so, from that year forward, our family, in an attempt to add what little meaning we could in an age of hyper-consumption and secular institutionalism, have baked Jesus a birthday cake. We even sing that horribly written, acoustically unappealing song; but we do it so lovingly I don’t think God really minds.

The point I was trying to make is that Christmas only loses as much meaning as you allow it to. Religion is an extremely personal thing, and its a process–one that requires constant questioning and interpretation, lest we all become lemmings content to accept anything we hear on our march over a cliff a la The Walrus and the Carpenter. You can’t force anyone to believe anything. A whole bunch of crusades and persecution throughout the centuries should stand as evidence of that. I know Christianity assumes this “we’re right and everyone else is wrong” type of mentality, (I am the way… no one comes to the Father but by me spells it out pretty clearly); but we have to remember that we are not God, we are people, and none of it is for us to decide or judge. Most of the time I have enough trouble worrying about David Hodges.

So to respond directly to the Wampler, taking the word “Christmas” off of buildings or out of phrases doesn’t bother me one way or the other. Those aren’t the places where Christmas is. Christmas is a part of my faith, and my faith isn’t on a wall or in a “Christmas tree” lot. It’s within me and everyone else who believes. To hell with everyone else.

Categories: CRDaily

4 replies »

  1. i just thought of something… baking jesus a birthday cake has to be some kind of pagan ritual, so maybe i really am an existentialist christian after all…

  2. Thank you for standing up for women’s choices. Women can do home work; many enjoy it, but why should a woman sacrifice a job outside the home if her husband is not willing to do the same. It is about choice. Equal choice. I am so proud of you. If that didn’t blow me away enough, the fact that you understand that we don’t have to hold on to traditions like posting dead pinetrees in public buildings since that is not the meaning of Christmas and since it may offend other faiths. I think your post shows real maturity.

  3. If accepting modern values as Truth = maturity, then I guess this inane post could be called mature. And given the fact that everything is relative in contemporary America, Truth is in the eye of the beholder, thus who am I to say that either of you are wrong (even though I may think the premise from which your logic unfolds is a tad flawed and misguided).I will say, though, that modern feminism is a manifestation of nothing more then three key variables all culminating to produce one logical result. The first key variable are the Humanist ideals of the “enlightenment.” Centuries ago, elite circles of men adopted this religion as an alternative to Christianity, thus replacing God with mankind as the source of societal structure, virtue, and power. Over the course of the last several centuries this ideology has been so ingrained and inculcated into the minds of subsequent generations that this former belief system of the elites is now held to be Truth by the average person.Consequently, since mankind is the source of everything in this world, any differences between man and woman are simply nothing more then societally imposed statuses. And that being the case, since man placed himself above God a long time ago, there is no reason why woman should not also in the aim of “equality” be permitted to place herself above God. However, despite western civilizations transition in societal focus, modern feminism would never have gained any steam without two other key variables. The first being the industrial revolution, which turned western society from a largely agrarian economic system to that of a predominately industrial one. This industrial revolution in the last 50 years has resulted in two key historical firsts. Large scale access to higher education by the middle and lower middle class, and the birth of the services industry, which some argue is in many respects more suited to the female disposition.Thirdly, there is contraception and abortion. This last variable is what maximizes the effects of the prior two. In the last 50 years the pervasive use of contraception and abortion by women has enabled them to basically extract motherhood as a trait of womanhood.Anyway, this discussion could go in any number of directions, and I hardly do it justice with my very brief and inadequate synopsis. However, I think it can be argued that the three factors listed above in large part have created what is known today as “feminism.” I don’t think that modern times have given any new sense of “equality,” whatever that elusive and esoteric term means. Had you had the same mix of conditions 1000 years ago, we likely would see the same result. Humanism in place of Christianity, the laptop and cubicle in place of the farm and tractor (or mill/slaughterhouse), and contraception/abortion in place of one accepting and being open to their innate, God given vocation of bringing new life into the world.As for Christmas, see the first variable above. While it is true that the founders never intended for our country to approach religion in the manner that it currently does today, I don’t think our country really started off on a very good footing to prevent the idiocy that rules today.

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