Women are riding a brief tide of empowerment. In the aftermath of the Elliot Rodgers murders (and other world events), people are talking openly about sexism, misogyny and the plight of women around the world. This is a good thing.

But why am I bringing this up on a blog reserved for spiritual matters? Because God is a feminist. (Yup, you read that right.) Ignore the sexist stuff in the Old Testament (which was written by and for men alone). And don’t be fooled by what years of editing have done to the apostle Paul’s letters — I, for one (and I’m not alone), can’t believe that the same Paul who praises several female apostles as being superior to him could be the same Paul who turns around and tells women to be more like plants. Forget that stuff. And forget, while you’re at it, what you think of when you hear the word “feminist.”

Feminists have been figuratively tarred and feathered, defamed as being man-haters; hairy, angry, rude. That’s not what feminism is about. Feminism (and listen up here, especially you millennials), merely asserts that women should have the same rights that men do. Feminism is about the fact that a woman will make almost half a million dollars less in her lifetime than a man doing the same job would. It’s about women in countries around the world who aren’t permitted to vote, or drive a car, or choose the person they wish to marry. It’s about girls being abducted and tortured for the crime of getting an education.

God doesn’t want anyone to be “less than,” to be hurt or subjugated. God is about love. God hurts in response to the things discussed on #yesallwomen. God does not want anyone to be victim-shamed, to grow up afraid, to worry that they have no say over their own bodies. Anyone who loves women — as God surely does — is a feminist.

So now that we’re talking about the problem, what next? Do something about it. Here are a few suggestions: Don’t vote for male politicians who think they know what’s best for a woman’s body. Think about sponsoring a girl in a third-world country through a reliable charity, as I am thinking of doing. (Surprise, honey!) Most of all, don’t let the conversation stop. Just like all conversations about inequality and social injustice, this one needs to continue if we’re going to take steps to really change it.

God loves men and women. And until we stand together as equals, love cannot flourish.

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