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Critique of Feminism

Dr. Grant C. Richison



The revolution in sexual roles is extremely costly to society as a whole.

Sex is devalued, propagandized, and deformed, as, at the present, quality of life declines and the social fabric deteriorates.

Differences of the sexes are systematically suppressed.

The inflation and devaluation of sexual currency lead to a failure of marriage that subverts the entire society.

The increasing incidence of divorce, desertion, illegitimacy, and venereal disease–a chaotic biological arena.

The chief perpetrators of these problems are men:

          -Men commit over 90% of major crimes of violence

          -100% of rapes

          -95% of burglaries

          -94% of drunken drivers

          -70% of suicides

          -91% of offenders against the family and children

          More specifically, they are single men

                   80-90% of the categories of social pathology

Yet Woman’s Liberation is designed to emancipate us from the very institution that is most indispensable to overcoming our present social crisis: the family. They want to make marriage more open, flexible, revocable at time when society is spewing all kinds of delinquents and neurotics, swarms of middle-aged men and women looking for a sexual utopia.  Advertised everywhere, delivered nowhere.

Feminism wants to weaken even further what is already a strained situation on male socialization–families, sports, men’s organizations–feminism wants to make them optional, bisexual, androgynous.  They want to emasculate men (their term is “humanize”).

Feminism is successful because our sexuality is so confused, our masculinity so uncertain, and our families so beleaguered that no one knows what they are for or how they are sustained.

Against a fetish of individualism and spurious equality, against an economic emphasis on sexless efficiency, against an erotic hedonism that sees sex as a mere sensuality, against such ideological abstractions and glandular pulsations, our social fabric seems invisible. All phenomena are reduced to dollars and body counts.

Sexuality, family unity, kinship, masculine solidarity, maternity, motivation, nurturing, –the bonds of the community–are sexist to them. They advance the idea that we are all just individual “human beings,” only secondarily identified by sex or family.  This assumption is statistically convenient.  But it is a myth.  This myth makes the women unable to understand almost everything that happens in society or to comprehend what is important in motivating men and women.



Men are said to dominate society  —  No trouble finding examples!

Most stats overlook that most of male power is exerted over other males.  In any modern society very few men, and fewer women, exercise great public authority.


Feminists think almost exclusively in economic terms. 

         The average American woman who looks to the media finds a cluster of negative images. 

                   Gloria Steinem = “prostitute”

                   Germaine Greer=a “female eunuch”, not paid

                   Male exploitation

                   Trapped by babies

                   A parasite

                   Puppets of Madison Ave

          Women have a victim mentality.  Motherhood is a secondary role.


Secular feminists

Christian feminists

Evangelical feminists [Nancy Hardesty, Letha Scanzoni, Paul Jewett, Virginia Mollenkott, and Dorothy Pape. Prominent names currently associated with the movement are Gilbert Bilezikian, Mary Evans, W. Ward Gasque, Kevin Giles, Patricia Gundry, E. Margaret Howe, Gretchen Gaebelein Hull, Craig Keener, Catherine Clark Kroeger, and Richard Kroeger, Walter Liefield, Alvera Mickelsen, David Scholer, Aida Besan_on Spencer, and Ruth Tucker.]


A.     Theological underpinning – Ga 3:28

Mutual submission – equality both in terms of being and role – a whole new order of relationships.

Equality is the abolition of gender-based roles in society, church, and home.

Gender is irrelevant in shaping roles and relationships

Not merely about ontological equality in standing before God but of functional roles.

Men and women lose their biological distinctions.

B. Contradiction of the evangelical feminist view of Ga 3:28 with most other passages dealing with role.

Contradiction on level of meaning (exegesis).

Deny the NT teaches the hierarchical model of male-female relationships.

Revisionist exegesis = “Submit” means adjust to mutually – switch in meaning.

Contradiction on the level of significance:

In NT times hierarchy was appropriate but it is no longer appropriate today – no longer binding on the twenty-first century

Attempts to separate the cultural and temporary from that which is universal and timeless – the NT writers knew that gender-based roles would be eliminated.

Contradiction handled on a theological

NT does teach a hierarchal model of male/female relationships but he was simply in error.

Paul’s rabbinical biases prevented him from seeing the full implication of the gospel.

“For Bible believers, the problem is that the Apostle Paul seems to contradict his own teachings and behavior concerning women, apparently because of inner conflicts between the rabbinical training he had received and the liberating insights of the gospel.” Virginia Mollenkott, Women, Men and the Bible, pp. 29-30.

C.     Critique

Evangelical feminists bring nonbiblical presuppositions to the Scriptures.

Strained attempts to redefine hierarchy passages.

Legitimate implications of Ga 3:28 regulate rather than eliminate hierarchical roles (husbands, elders, parents, employers).

The true thrust of evangelical feminism is the spirit of the present age rather than an honest approach to Scripture.

The Bible presents a unified worldview behind the design of an ordered universe – not open to change or redefinition.

God is the source of authority in roles (cf. Ro 13:1) – man rejects God’s authority much less other authorities.

Man cannot find himself unaided without God. He cannot define his existence for himself. 

Absolute freedom does not bring the desired result.

The error of evangelical feminism: they buy into the fickle standards of secular presuppositions & try to measure the truth of the Bible by them. 

“For Bible believers the problem is that the apostle Paul seems to contradict his own teaching and behavior concerning women, apparently because of inner conflicts between the rabbinical training he had received and the liberating insights of the Gospel.” Clark and Richardson, p. 33

“There are flat contradictions between some of his theolog­ical arguments and his own doctrines and behavior.”  Mollenkott  p. 22,  The Other Side May 1976

Paul Jewett believes role-gender passages should be excised from Scripture.  Man as Male and FemalePaul Jewett

“It appears from the evidence that Paul himself sensed that his view of the man/woman relationship, inherited from Judaism, was not altogether congruous with the Gospel he preached.”  MAN, Jewett, p. 113

“We must open ourselves to these conflicts, demonstrating faith in the God who allowed them to appear in the New Testament.  We must conquer our fear that honest attention to what we see in the Bible will undercut the doctrine of inspiration.  We must allow the facts of scripture to teach us the way it is inspired, rather than focusing scripture to conform to our own theories about it.”  Mollenkott, p. 105

Problems with evangelical feminism:

Low view of Scripture

For them God does not always speak in Scripture and therefore the reader must determine when God does and when He does not speak.

This is a direct and deliberate denial that the Bible is the infallible rule of faith and practice.

Whenever one disagrees with Scripture one may relegate it to socialization.

They hold to a fallacious hermeneutic

-assume that Paul borrowed views from rabbinic sources

D.  Biblical view of roles in marriage


                             2 different organisms living in close association or union.

– opposite of symbiosis is parasitism (one organism lives off another organism without compensation.)

– God never intended that wives be “leeches”, rather, He intended their mates live together in the closest possible harmony, fulfilling complementary and mutually edifying roles.  i.e.– the wife’s submission to the authority of her husband and the husband’s selfless care for the needs of the wife.

Unfortunately, the symbiotic view has suffered in the hands of misdirected males.

                           – wife is secondary, therefore, she is not important.

                           – wife exists only to meet the needs of the husband.

– she lives out her existence for and through her husband and submerges all her individuality into her husband so that they are lost in him.

– she lives her life almost vicariously through him, never attaining her full potential as a person who exists in her own right, for her own sake.

– such a view is like a parasite that draws her very life from her.

E.  Nature of Husband’s authority

“Submit” comes from HUPOTASSO

under / arrange

                             – that which is ordered, ranked or placed in rows.

                             – Ro. 13:1 = God is first ranked

                             – Tit. 3:1; Ro. 13:1 = citizens

                             – Tit. 2:9 = employees

                             – 1 Co. 16:16 = church members

                             – Eph. 5:21 = one to another

                             – 1 Ti. 3:4 = children

                             – Eph. 5:24 = church

                             – Eph. 5:22; Col. 3:18 = wives

Husband has exousia (authority) over his wife (I Co. 11:10)

– what is missed here frequently is that the husband’s author­ity in marriage is not from any inherent superiority of the male but rather in the position of “office” of the husband.

– moreover, such authority is only one of several kinds of authority human beings regularly exercise over each other.

there are five kinds of social authority:

Information authority

Referent authority

-the recipient identifies with the source and desires to be like him


                          -able to do

Coercive – reward


-The recipient accepts a relationship in which the source is permitted to prescribe behavior for the recipient, ­and the recipient is obliged to accept this influence.

-Biblically only this authority is given to the husband; the other four types of authority are equally available to the husband and wife alike!  Also, the fifth form of authority is the only one of the five that does not depend on some inherent superiority in the one exercising authority.  Rather, it depends on the position God has given in the overall hierarchy of human society.  Thus the wife is urged to submit herself to her husband “as to the lord” (Eph. 5:22), for her submissive attitude is to be in response, not to any intrinsic superiority of her mail partner, but to the design of a sovereign God who has placed her there.  This is an issue of questioning God’s design on creation.

– This authority is only a limited type of authority for the smooth function of the home.  It is to be exercised in love (Eph. 5:25) and understanding (I Peter 3:7).



A prominent characteristic of evangelical feminism is its insistence that understanding the literary form of a passage plays a major role in adequate interpretation

The principle is prominent in the interpretive scheme of 1 Tim 2:8-15 by evangelical feminists.

The implication of this ad hoc perspective is to restrict the teaching of 2:9-15 to the original audience and its problem with apostasy.

True purpose of 1 Timothy: how to order and direct the life of a Christian congregation.

An ad hoc hermeneutic that limits the teaching of 1 Tim 2:11-15 is inadequate, because it fails to consider both the purpose of 1 Timothy and the ad hoc nature of other Pauline epistles.

B.  THE PRINCIPLE OF AN INTERPRETIVE CENTER FOR EGALITARIANISM [whether or not there is a single text that determines the interpretation of all the other passage.]

Gal 3:28 = locus classicus, the major biblical statement, on a given matter.

Any attempt to establish one passage as the interpretive grid for all other passages is inconsistent with two standard tenets of the grammatico-historical method of interpretation: the plenary inspiration of Scripture and the necessary harmonization of texts.

C.  THE PRINCIPLE OF THE ANALOGY OF FAITH — Scripture cannot contradict Scripture

The principle of the analogy of faith is valid, but not when it is brought into the interpretation process too early, as evangelical feminists tend to do.

D.  THE PRINCIPLE OF SLAVERY AS A MODEL FOR THE ROLE OF WOMEN — slavery is wrong but still maintain that husbands must have authority over their wives are inconsistent.

In the NT, there are too many passages that never “drop the second shoe.” The passages say that women must submit to their husbands. But they never say explicitly that husbands must submit to their wives. They explicitly instruct Timothy and Titus about appointing men as elders, but they never explicitly mention the possibility of women elders

to parallel the role of women with the role of slaves is to assume that God ordained slavery, a teaching not found in Scripture. The role of women has its roots in the order of creation, however (Genesis 2).

E.  THE PRINCIPLE OF CULTURAL RELATIVITY IN BIBLICAL REVELATION — whether the teaching is cultural or normative.

To argue that objective interpretation is a myth and that the Bible contains sexist and patriarchal texts is to differ again from the grammatico-historical method of exegesis.

F.  THE PRINCIPLE OF PATRIARCHAL AND SEXIST TEXTS — reflecting patriarchy, androcentrism, and possibly misogynism are: Rev 14:1-5; 1 Tim 5:3-16; 1 Co 11:2-16; Eph 5:24.

Finally, evangelical feminists are correct in observing that certain biblical texts are cultural. Yet their procedure for determining which ones is questionable. In light of 2 Tim 3:16-17, it is best to consider all Scripture as normative, unless there are clear reasons to indicate otherwise.


A. Men have often unfairly dominated women.

B. To destroy the family would further alienate men and women.

C. To destroy the family would further alienate men and women.

– would further increase the injustices among women.

D. There is a need to teach complete instruction about family relationships.

E. The Bible allows for the mother to pursue a career, at least as she operates from the home base (Pv. 31).

F. There is a need to educate women that mothering is one of the most important roles in the world.

– child crime has increased 11,000% between 1950 and 1979.


A. Sharp decrease in traditional family households.

B. More probable that a marriage will end in divorce.

C. Trend toward remarriage and formation of “multi” families.

D. The high divorce rate and the longer time between divorce and remarriage contribute to the increase in single-parent families.

E. Working women

F. Working mothers

G. Decline of male authority in its perceived legitimacy

-egalitarianism has become an unquestioned norm for society

H. Singles living in cohabitation.

G. Growth of state control over families

                   – it has proven to be a poor parent

                   – basic building block of society is more and more the individual, not the family