The De-Sexing of America

De-Sexing of AmericaIt’s new. It seems completely mild mannered and innocuous. But it is dangerous. It’s everywhere we look. It’s affecting our teenagers. It’s showing up in the newest versions of our Bibles. It dictates what we wear. It is on every TV channel. It influences who our children grow up to be.

What is it?

Third wave feminism.

What is Third Wave Feminism?

The first wave of feminism occurred in the 19th-20th centuries, when women fought for the right to vote, to own property, fair wages, end chattel marriage, and gain higher education. The desire of these women was to be recognized as persons.

Second wave feminism began in the 1960’s-1970’s, where women fought against social and cultural inequalities, including sexual freedom, abortion rights, careers, and to liberate women from home and children. The primary movement focused on women becoming like men, able to do anything they wanted.

Third wave feminism began in the mid 1990’s and has made its way into main stream culture in the last few years.  It is a reaction against radical 2nd wave feminism. There are two main forms of 3rd wave feminism. First, the hyper-sexualization of culture of which we are all aware, where girls seek to become sex objects while demanding they not be objectified. Second (and opposite), women seek to erase their femininity and encourage men to abandon masculinity.Feminist’s today celebrate ambiguity, tolerance and androgyny. It’s all about gender-neutrality, where women and men become an its.

Where is Third Wave Feminism?

Last week, I was walking to class behind a teenage couple holding hands and whispering to each other. I could not figure out who was the boy and who was the girl. Both wore Converse shoes, skinny jeans, plaid button-up shirts, and feathery haircuts that flopped in their eyes and barely touched their shoulders. Neither 19-year-old weighed over 110 pounds. They had fully embraced the Emo trend and in doing so had erased their masculinity and femininity. This look, made popular in mainstream society by the Jonas brothers, completely blurs the line between genders. The movement seems to encourage guys to abandon masculinity. It results in guys who are weak, passive and un-masculine…. guys who at 27 choose to play video games all night rather than holding down a good job. But that isn’t the only place that third wave feminism shows up, there is an entire subculture in Japan that takes pride in the fact that no one can tell if they are men or women. Top designers Dolce and Gabbana, Cavalli, Lagerfeld, Galliano, Mcqueen, and Dior are known for using androgynous models and designing the same kind’s clothes for both men and women.  In 2008, the mainstream NIV Bible produced the TNIV translation which replaced some male language with gender neutral terms. Europe began the trend of unisex bathrooms. A trip to England means sharing the “loo” with men. This may seem like a little thing, but it is just one more attack on masculinity and femininity. Unisex bathrooms tell us that we are all the same and shouldn’t need privacy from the other gender. The rise in transgender issues is a direct result of third wave feminism in our culture. Don’t like who God made you to be?…. there are hundreds of grants, scholarships and subsidies to pay for a sex change operation. Homosexuality and bisexuality have completely permeated our culture and effect even those who do not participate by erasing God’s designed roles and appearance for men and women.

The technical term for this is ‘Psychological Androgyny,’ combining both masculinity and femininity as traits of a unified gender that defies social roles and psychological attributes, resulting in a “gender-indeterminate” society. Third wave feminism is moving us from two genders to one.

Even secular relationship gurus recognize the importance of men being men and women being women. Patti, Matchmaker to the Millionaires Club, tells her clients, “Women need to be women, and men need to be men. The minute you switch into masculine mode as a feminine woman, and take over the show, you end up with a son and not a husband.” Performer Steve Harvey, says “A lot of men would be better men if they were required to be, well, men. We’re in this new age, and women have taken on these roles [men roles] out of necessity – I’ll admit that. But at some point, you’re either going to have to accept that you’re going to be the big ol’ strong, lonely woman, or you’re going to have to back down and be a lady. You don’t have to give up your money, or your job, or your education, or the pride and dignity that come with all of that. Just be a lady.”

This is not a joke, it is not a trend, and it is not going away. Gender neutrality is a slap in the face of Creator God. It is men and women rejecting who God created them to be.

Why is Third Wave Feminism a Problem? God’s plan for Masculinity and Femininity.

In the beginning, God created the world, man and then a bunch of animals. Adam looked over all the animals, but could not find a companion. God knew that it was not good for man to be alone, so He created woman. Men and women are unique; they are the only creation of God made in His image. “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27-28 In making man and woman, God clearly designed them differently (man from dirt and woman from man’s rib) and gave them different job descriptions. Man is to protect, provide for and lead all that God has given him authority over. Woman was created to help man accomplish God’s purposes. Genesis 2:18 says, “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” At the very essence of femininity is the helping role.

The Hebrew words used here are “ezer kenegdo,” which literally means a helper comparable to him. God created women as a compliment and perfect partner to man. She is not less than him. She is simply what he is not. If God had wanted man to have someone to order around, he would given him a horse. If God had wanted man to have someone who worshiped his every move, He would have given him a golden retriever. But God wanted man to have someone to walk through life with, someone who in the very essence of her feminine nature would challenge and inspire man to be all God created him to be. So God created woman, a helper that complimented man in every way.

Elizabeth Elliot says, “Femininity has its limitations. So has masculinity….To do this is not to do that. To be this is not to be that. To be a woman is not to be a man.” “The special gift and ability of each creature defines its special limitations. A bird cannot swim, or crawl upon the earth. A bird is made to fly, and the ability to fly means that it is not equipped to do other things. And as the bird easily comes to terms with the necessity of bearing wings when it finds that it is the wings that bear the bird up, away from the world to freedom. So the woman who accepts the limitations of womanhood finds in those very limitations her gifts, her special calling, will bear her up into perfect freedom, into the will of God.”

It is when we embrace who God designed us to be, as women, that we find freedom.

Gender is a picture of the gospel.

God created masculinity and femininity for a purpose. It was not just so there would be two genders running around the earth. It is in true masculinity and femininity that God is glorified and His witness is proclaimed in the world. Gender provides a living picture of the Gospel message to the world. Men as leader and women as helper has nothing to do with the skills of men or women. It has to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Elizabeth Elliot explains it beautifully, “We know that this order of rule and submission is descended from the nature of God Himself. Within the Godhead there is both the just and legitimate authority of the Father and the willing and joyful submission of the Son. Here, in the reflection of the nature of the Trinity in the institution of marriage is the key to the definition of masculinity and femininity. The image of God could not be fully reflected without the elements of rule, submission and union.” Ephesians 5:22-33

Gender is a calling from God on the life of his children.

Third wave feminism is dangerous. It attacks God’s design for men and women. It mars God’s witness to the world through masculinity and femininity.

If the world looks at us and doesn’t see male or female, then they don’t see Jesus. If we distort, hide or alter our femininity, we are abandoning what God designed us to be. To reject our God-given femininity is to reject God’s plan for our lives.

Does this mean we have to look like 1950’s housewives and do housework in high heels? Does this mean I can’t wear comfortable clothes around the house? No. Femininity is expressed in different ways by different women. We are unique individuals who have different likes and dislikes. As long as we obey the basic guidelines of Scripture, how we express femininity is our choice. But femininity must be expressed. Femininity must be evident to the world.

“We are called to be women. The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman. For I have accepted God’s idea of me, and my whole life is an offering back to Him of all that I am and all that He wants me to be.” (Elizabeth Elliot) It’s not about us. It’s not about women. It’s about Christ, and reflecting our Lord to a lost and dying world.

Women, God is calling you to proclaim His gospel by embracing femininity. Will you accept the call?

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10 thoughts on “The De-Sexing of America

  1. I think one really important aspect of third wave feminism is the emphasis on and promotion of sexual gratification for women in any form. See below:

    “Third Wave feminism celebrates women’s sexuality and encourages women to explore sexual options and express themselves in whatever ways they feel comfortable. The double standard and titles like “slut” are discarded. The female characters from Sex and the City can be seen as Third Wave feminist icons who do not apologize for their sexual relationships and adventures.”

    (from http://feminism.suite101.com/article.cfm/third_wave_feminism)

    Teaching in a public high school, I have noticed this aspect of third wave feminism pervading the minds of many intelligent, creative female students. To me it seems almost like a backtrack of the original ideas behind feminism (to be considered a person with rights, to be respected, etc) because women are essentially letting men use them for their bodies, even though they say it’s for their own pleasure. They are perpetuating the idea of women as merely sex symbols when women long ago fought hard against that label. It’s a sad world that celebrates the numerous sexual escapades of women and calls it “being a strong woman.”

    And one more note…the androgynous, emo look favored today by many young people became popular long before the Jonas brothers. My sister and her friends wholeheartedly followed this trend 10 years ago (and she actually has a minor in third wave feminism). Go figure.

    I think one really important aspect of third wave feminism is the emphasis on and promotion of sexual gratification for women in any form. See below:

    “Third Wave feminism celebrates women’s sexuality and encourages women to explore sexual options and express themselves in whatever ways they feel comfortable. The double standard and titles like “slut” are discarded. The female characters from Sex and the City can be seen as Third Wave feminist icons who do not apologize for their sexual relationships and adventures.”

    (from http://feminism.suite101.com/article.cfm/third_wave_feminism)

    Teaching in a public high school, I have noticed this aspect of third wave feminism pervading the minds of many intelligent, creative female students. To me it seems almost like a backtrack of the original ideas behind feminism (to be considered a person with rights, to be respected, etc) because women are essentially letting men use them for their bodies, even though they say it’s for their own pleasure. They are perpetuating the idea of women as merely sex symbols when women long ago fought hard against that label. It’s a sad world that celebrates the numerous sexual escapades of women and calls it “being a strong woman.”

    And one more note…the androgynous, emo look favored today by many young people became popular long before the Jonas brothers. My sister and her friends wholeheartedly followed this trend 10 years ago (and she actually has a minor in third wave feminism). Go figure. 🙂

    • Thank You!! I was just about to post that the Jonas Brothers had nothing to do with this Third Wave Feminism thing. I guess I sort of see you point, but sometimes, fashion is just fashion. I know plenty of strong men who love the Lord and who also wear skinny jeans and have piercings and may not be the manly men of fraternity houses and construction sites. I also know women who have short, edgy haircuts that “hang in their eyes”, but when it’s time to get dressed up, they look lovely. I think sometimes you ladies take things a little too far. You come off very soapboxy in a lot of your posts. I was really on board with this blog when you first started advertising, but sometimes I just have to roll my eyes at how pious you sound. And half the time your pop cultural references are totally off. I mean have you ever even watched Sex and the City? Or worn anything by Alexander McQueen (which is the preferred spelling…)? Did you ask the teenage couple why they wear the clothes and hairstyle they do? Also, how does being emo mean you’re going to be a 27 year old guy playing video games. My boyfriend is 32, a lawyer and loves his Wii. And to be honest, I love it too…. it’s pretty legit! Anyway, now I will get off of my own soapbox and move on.

      • Just to clarify– I wasn’t trying to be critical at all of your analysis. I only wanted to add another disturbing element brought to our culture by third wave feminism.

        Allie, I agree with you that people who dress in many different ways can all love the Lord. I think what Gabrielle was trying to say is that this trend known as third wave feminism has pervaded our society in many different way; some might be “harmless,” like fashion, but others are not so harmless and we just need to recognize all the different ways it’s sneaking in and affecting us.

        Stasi Eldredge’s book Captivating and John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart offer amazing insight into biblical femininity and masculinity and what it means for today’s world. Captivating has been very meaningful in my life and helped me to understand what it means to be biblically feminine and still a strong woman and an individual.

        Also Allie, please keep in mind that it was me who mentioned Sex and the City, not the author of this post, and my quote came straight from a website describing third wave feminism.

        Just to clarify– I wasn’t trying to be critical at all of your analysis. I only wanted to add another disturbing element brought to our culture by third wave feminism.

        Allie, I agree with you that people who dress in many different ways can all love the Lord. I think what Gabrielle was trying to say is that this trend known as third wave feminism has pervaded our society in many different way; some might be “harmless,” like fashion, but others are not so harmless and we just need to recognize all the different ways it’s sneaking in and affecting us.

        Stasi Eldredge’s book Captivating and John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart offer amazing insight into biblical femininity and masculinity and what it means for today’s world. Captivating has been very meaningful in my life and helped me to understand what it means to be biblically feminine and still a strong woman and an individual.

        Also Allie, please keep in mind that it was me who mentioned Sex and the City, not the author of this post, and my quote came straight from a website describing third wave feminism.

  2. Ladies,

    You do a great job on your blog, but sometimes (I agree with Allie) you go too far making generalized stereotypes that are often incorrect.

    You’re blog is such an encouragement and I appreciate the work you put into it. However, you might want to check your facts. For example, the women of the second wave did not seek to “become men” – they sought equality within in the legal and labor spheres. Such as Rosie the Rivetter- the iconic “We Can Do It” figure. The work of these women to gain equal opportunity in employment allows for many young women, such as yourself to be in schools of higher education today. Thank these women, don’t degrade them.

    Thanks ladies!
    Love in Christ!

  3. I really appreciate the way you ladies (authors of this website) are willing to be a “different” voice to today’s generation of women, of all ages! Your articles are always provide excellent food for thought, while supporting women in becoming all God intended them to be. Keep up the good work!

  4. I think you make great points and I do think that Third Wave Femininity is definitely something we must take notice of…

    The only thing I will say is that (and this is just a personal preference) I wish you hadn’t included the Jonas Brothers. Only because I feel these young men are actually a wonderful role model for teenagers. They are men who have stayed true to their faith and are open about saving themselves for marriage. The reason I say this is because I would hate for us to attack them and then lose the positive effect they are also having on teen culture.

    That being said, I know it was just a single reference and I think that on a whole this is something that we MUST be aware of and combat. Thank you for writing on this and reminding someone like me (who works with teenage girls) that we have to help them to embrace femininity as God designed it. I also appreciate how you illustrated how it is a picture of the Trinity and I love the Elizabeth Elliot quotes.

    I think you make great points and I do think that Third Wave Femininity is definitely something we must take notice of…

    The only thing I will say is that (and this is just a personal preference) I wish you hadn’t included the Jonas Brothers. Only because I feel these young men are actually a wonderful role model for teenagers. They are men who have stayed true to their faith and are open about saving themselves for marriage. The reason I say this is because I would hate for us to attack them and then lose the positive effect they are also having on teen culture.

    That being said, I know it was just a single reference and I think that on a whole this is something that we MUST be aware of and combat. Thank you for writing on this and reminding someone like me (who works with teenage girls) that we have to help them to embrace femininity as God designed it. I also appreciate how you illustrated how it is a picture of the Trinity and I love the Elizabeth Elliot quotes.

  5. We want to thank you all for your responses to this post. I have to tell you, honestly, we LOVE hearing back from our readers even if it’s concerning things we disagree. We love to get feedback on where women are at, and how they are processing the things we have been researching. Keep it up!

    I just wanted to take a moment to address some things for Gabby. Her schedule is CRAZY busy this week, so she asked me to pick this up.

    Let me first say that we are in NO WAY singling out any one particular person (or group, ie. Jonas Brothers). We don’t know them personally and very much doubt their motivation to dress in skinny jeans was to advocate for third wave feminism…that would just be odd! We DO, however, see them as a cultural thermometer for how influential third wave feminism is in our society. And that merely is the point Gabby was making in mentioning their fashion sense. I’m sure they are very nice boys. Gabby’s point was that they were one of the many groups that have taken the Emo look and made it popular in the mainstream. Just because a man wears skinny jeans does NOT make him lost or an advocate for 3rd wave feminism, but it IS a strong indicator of our culture. She’s not singling anyone out…in fact, I KNOW she wears skinny jeans, pretty sure she wore them last Thursday.

    In response to Sara’s comment (which, btw, Sara…I loved your spirit in what you said. It was kind and gentle. Bravo!),We are in no way trying throw the baby out with the bathwater here. We know that the Lord has allowed a lot of GOOD to come out of what Satan meant for evil in feminism. But that is how God “rolls” (Romans 8:28-29), always one step ahead! Satan is trying to destroy the Gospel, and feminism seems to be one of his favorite tools in accomplishing that goal. Also, just a side note: Rosie Rivetter made her debut in 1942 as a result of WW2, and not second wave feminism of the 60’s. I am sure that feminist love to claim her as their own, but they also like to take ownership of Deborah in Scripture. In this case, ownership is not 9/10th of the law: Deborah isn’t theirs and they can’t have her!

    For more information, or if you’re curious enough to do your own research, here is a list of all of Gabby’s resources on this subject:

    The Feminist Mistake, Mary Kassian
    The History of U.S. Feminism, Rory Dicker (feminist)
    The Church and the Second Sex, Mary Daly (feminist)
    Act like a Lady, Think like a Man, Steve Harvey
    Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon
    Let Me be a Woman, Elizabeth Elliot
    The Women’s Study Bible, Edited by Dorothy Patterson
    The True Woman Manifesto, Nancy Leigh DeMoss

    As always, if this has sparked further questions, please feel free to email us at: unlockingfemininity@live.com.

    God Bless.
    Sarah

    We want to thank you all for your responses to this post. I have to tell you, honestly, we LOVE hearing back from our readers even if it’s concerning things we disagree. We love to get feedback on where women are at, and how they are processing the things we have been researching. Keep it up! 🙂

    I just wanted to take a moment to address some things for Gabby. Her schedule is CRAZY busy this week, so she asked me to pick this up.

    Let me first say that we are in NO WAY singling out any one particular person (or group, ie. Jonas Brothers). We don’t know them personally and very much doubt their motivation to dress in skinny jeans was to advocate for third wave feminism…that would just be odd! We DO, however, see them as a cultural thermometer for how influential third wave feminism is in our society. And that merely is the point Gabby was making in mentioning their fashion sense. I’m sure they are very nice boys. Gabby’s point was that they were one of the many groups that have taken the Emo look and made it popular in the mainstream. Just because a man wears skinny jeans does NOT make him lost or an advocate for 3rd wave feminism, but it IS a strong indicator of our culture. She’s not singling anyone out…in fact, I KNOW she wears skinny jeans, pretty sure she wore them last Thursday. 🙂

    In response to Sara’s comment (which, btw, Sara…I loved your spirit in what you said. It was kind and gentle. Bravo!),We are in no way trying throw the baby out with the bathwater here. We know that the Lord has allowed a lot of GOOD to come out of what Satan meant for evil in feminism. But that is how God “rolls” (Romans 8:28-29), always one step ahead! Satan is trying to destroy the Gospel, and feminism seems to be one of his favorite tools in accomplishing that goal. Also, just a side note: Rosie Rivetter made her debut in 1942 as a result of WW2, and not second wave feminism of the 60’s. I am sure that feminist love to claim her as their own, but they also like to take ownership of Deborah in Scripture. In this case, ownership is not 9/10th of the law: Deborah isn’t theirs and they can’t have her! 🙂

    For more information, or if you’re curious enough to do your own research, here is a list of all of Gabby’s resources on this subject:

    The Feminist Mistake, Mary Kassian
    The History of U.S. Feminism, Rory Dicker (feminist)
    The Church and the Second Sex, Mary Daly (feminist)
    Act like a Lady, Think like a Man, Steve Harvey
    Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon
    Let Me be a Woman, Elizabeth Elliot
    The Women’s Study Bible, Edited by Dorothy Patterson
    The True Woman Manifesto, Nancy Leigh DeMoss

    As always, if this has sparked further questions, please feel free to email us at: unlockingfemininity@live.com.

    God Bless.
    Sarah

  6. Last thing I want to say… I greatly appreciate this Blog and don’t want y’all to think I was bashing (or nit-picking). Gabby, thank you for your article and thank all of you for taking the time to post on issues that can be controversial and for always seeking Scripture not just your own opinion. =)

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