Awhile ago, I believed that Feminism was the most fearsome False Religion facing the Church. (This was before I learned the term “Critical Theory.”) I could see the similarities between Feminism and Black Power movements and LGBT activism–but I didn’t know there was a word to unify all of those beliefs into a single worldview…
I only knew that I was a woman who could NOT agree with the religious nature of Feminism, and so I wrote about it a lot.
The last couple weeks, we’ve heard much about being “Anti-Racist,” which is basically the race version of Feminism. (We probably agree that another name for Feminism could be “Anti-Misogyny,” right?) To become an Anti-Racist assumes all light-skinned people have to “unlearn” racism, just as Feminism assumes all males need to “unlearn” their bias against women.
Men have more hegemonic power than women.
Whites have more hegemonic power than Blacks.
Heterosexuals have more hegemonic power than people who are sexually attracted to members of the same gender…
These core beliefs provide the foundation of Critical Theory.
And, on top of those fundamentals, the Critical Theorists have constructed many Commandments and customs:
#1. Don’t “whitesplain” or “mansplain.” Do not explain racism/sexism to an Oppressed Person. Do not explain how the microaggression which bothers them was actually just someone being nice. Do not explain how a particular injustice isn’t about race or gender. It’s an easy trap to fall into, but you can avoid it by maintaining a posture of active listening.
#2. Don’t equate impact with intent. Yes, we all know your heart was in the right place and you meant well. But your words or behavior had a negative impact on those around you, and that’s what matters. Apologize and do better next time.
#3. Don’t demand proof of an Oppressed Person’s lived experience or try to counter their narrative with the experience of another Oppressed Person. Systemic, institutional racism/sexism exists, no matter what anyone else says.
#4. Do not chastise Oppressed People (or dismiss their message) because they express their grief, fear, or anger in ways you deem “inappropriate.” Understand that historically, we Powerful People have silenced voices of dissent with our cultural idol of “niceness.” Provide space for POCs to wail, cuss, or even yell at you. Jesus didn’t hold back when he saw hypocrisy and oppression; so women shouldn’t have to either.
#5. Don’t get defensive when you are called out for any of the above. When a POC or a woman says that your words/tone/behavior are racist/oppressive/triggering, you stop. Don’t try to explain yourself. Don’t become passive-aggressive or sarcastic. Don’t leave in a huff. (It may be helpful, however, to inconspicuously step outside/go to the restroom and take a deep breath.) Remain cognizant of the dynamics of white fragility and toxic masculinity, and take note of how it usually shows up in you.
I didn’t write these Commandments, so please don’t think I’m exagerrating or trying to make this Other Religion sound more extreme than it is.
I took these warnings directly from a public note about “Whiteness 101,” posted on the “Be the Bridge” group on Facebook, and then I added the references to women and Feminism. (Again: Anti-Racism and Feminism are basically two denominations of the same religion.)
If you’d like to read more about “Be The Bridge” specifically, you can start with this review by Neil Shenvi.
But I hope what you’ve seen from these “rules” is enough to help you understand why I’m grossed out by the cult of Critical Theory.
For me, seeing the way Feminists start with the wrong diagnosis and then try to correct supposed injustice in the culture by adopting EQUALLY SEXIST/ABUSIVE techniques was enough to convince me I AM NOT A FEMINIST.
And, I do my part to call out the Tribalism whenever I see it, by telling anyone who claims to be a Feminist that they don’t speak for me. A woman who believes that systemic sexism exists may certainly share her opinions wherever she wants.
But don’t assume that she and I are on the “same team” just because the word “female” is buried in her religion’s name.
I don’t want there to be any confusion between the Feminist’s values and my Christian ones.
Thus, as the ugly fruit of Critical Theory begins to grow on the trees of its faithful, I’m only more convinced than ever that Feminism is a religion with nothing of value to offer me.