Man-Bashing Isn’t the Only Kind of Feminist

by Corey Dunn

We all have things we’ve said or posted on social media that we regret. One of those things, for me, was an anti-feminist article.

At that point of my life I had just become a mother for the first time. I had a beautiful baby boy. I was in love with him and I wanted the very best for him. I saw him as mine to protect and nurture. I wanted a world that would love him and accept him. And I thought that feminism wouldn’t and couldn’t do those things.

I remember posting a blog post from some other mom of boys. The title was, “I Can’t be a Feminist Because I have Sons,” or something like that. It said that feminists only tear men down. They don’t let men be masculine. They don’t let boys play with stick swords. They don’t let them laugh at fart jokes. Feminists are anti-male, man-bashers and therefore mothers of boys can’t be feminists.

I posted this opinion piece and attached my name to it. I got a lot of push back from people whom I have since fallen out of touch with (#unfriended.) One of those people replied to my post with a heated comment on how I clearly didn’t get what feminism was all about. She linked to this speech Emma Watson gave at the UN. As the huge Harry Potter fan that I am, I watched the speech. Here is some of what Emma Watson had to say:

“I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating.”

“If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop. For the record, feminism by definition is: ‘The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.’”

Now, that I could get behind.

She went on to talk about being labeled as “bossy,” when her male friends were not for doing the same things or acting the same way. I had also experienced this phenomenon as a child.

And then she moved onto speaking about how men have been so harmed by overt masculinity.

“I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality either.”

This gave me such pause. Here I was, wanting the very best for my newborn son, but I was perpetuating a standard that was nearly impossible for him to live up to. And I didn’t want him to have to live up to it in the first place!

It might have taken me a little while to accept the facts, but the truth is that I have always been a feminist. Not a bra-burning, man-hating feminist. But a human who believed in the equality of all, and therefore a feminist. And a Christian-feminist at that. One who believes that Christ was the original feminist, creating a world where we are all equal and loved for who we are.

When my daughters were born I realized I HAD to stand up for all my children. My son and my daughters. Equality is a must. Equality is vital and so fundamental. We must have better for our children. We are called to create better for our children.

So, to the friend who got so frustrated with me and posted a rebuttal to my ignorant post, thank you. I know you won’t see this, and likely don’t even remember saying anything, but you opened my eyes. And here I am fighting on your side. For all people to be equal. Like a true feminist. Like a true human-loving, Christ follower.

Corey Searles Dunn is a founding member of CBE - Greater DC. Former costume designer, turned stay-at-home mom, she was thrilled to find that trying to make her marriage fit into a complementarian mold wasn’t the only option for a Christian marriage. Corey lives in the semi-country, with her husband and three little children. She is self-proclaimed crunchy mom, food blogger, and avid crafter. Corey is passionate about creating a beautiful, healthy, and equal world for her children and all their friends. “A woman’s place is wherever God calls her.” - Amber Picota