Femininity vs. feminism

Adventurous Femininity

Yesterday I listened to Adventurous Femininity by Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin.  I’m always so impressed with these 2 young ladies.  They never fail to stretch my mind in new directions, and this message was no different.

Description from the Vision Forum website:

Which activity is more feminine: embroidering a pin cushion or digging up ancient artifacts in a foreign land? The answer may surprise you. In this practical message from Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin, femininity is examined in terms of how a young woman can fulfill her unique calling within her family—not by defining which adventures and activities girls “can” or “can’t” enjoy. The exhortation to young women is clear: Do not pursue a brand of femininity that is so obsessed with its own girliness that you can’t get your hands dirty with real service for Christ.

My favorite bit:

We need to be very careful that we don’t pursue a brand of femininity that is so obsessed with its own girliness that it can’t get its hands dirty with real dominion…This attitude defeats femininity’s real created purpose and it’s a lot closer to feminism…

There’s a lot more to [feminism] than a desire to dress up in pin-striped power suits and do man’s work.  Essentially, feminism is the desire to be autonomous.  It’s the desire to be independent from a man and out from under his authority, and this is a tendency that even the girliest girl wearing the frilliest apron and making the wholesomest muffins can have.  If muffin making becomes a girl’s priority over serving her father in more urgent or useful ways just because she really, really likes to make muffins, then her motive is really no different from the feminists.  It’s selfish at its heart.

Doesn’t it make perfect sense?  I had an inkling of this, but had never been able to clearly formulate the thought.  I knew that feminism was alive and well among thrifty, conservative SAHMs, and this is why.  Many of us have lost our focus – or allowed it to become blurred because we are not self-conscious about the why’s and wherefore’s of what we are doing.


  1. Kim, I think you are right on the comment about there being no such thing as a Biblical feminist, there are however a lot of women in denial.LOL…
    I just felt compelled to comment because submitting can look different in different households
    This post and the commetns where especially interesting to me, because we had bible class on the subject of submissiveness 2 weeks ago. I don’t remember every hearing about it growing up, thankfully I actually read my Bible, and attend a congregation that actually bought bibles for every member a few years ago so we could all read it together in a year. We have been covering all the smaller less talked about books and vs.

  2. I think that some people just don’t get that a man and a wife submit to each other, and that being a submitted wife does not make a woman a doormat. I am a very strong woman with strong opinions and a smart brain. I have strength that my husband does not and vice versa, in a healthy marriage those strengths are used to benefit the family and ultimately God, Bowing to someone else idea of what is submissive, or letting the person not as strong in an area do something just because of gender is pure silliness. Respect goes both ways, but a biblical wife remembers that her pride should not go before her husbands or before following His word. Just as the Biblical husband will strive to not put his pride above the good of the family and doing what is right.
    Worldly feminist cling to selfpride, using it as a shield, a ladder, and and a rock to build a life on. The Biblical feminist strives to set aside selfpride, and clings instead to the Blueprint of Life(The Bible of course) as it shows us how to form lasting lifelong relationships, how to life for Jesus and find fullfillment, no need for a shield and the ultimate rock in a world full of sinking sand.
    As for the quiverful comment, don’t people talk before they marry? I highly recommend this:D

    • sillygeese,
      I agree with most of what you say, but I think we need to steer clear of the term feminism, which tries to redefine a woman’s role apart from God. I don’t think feminism can be Biblical any more than humanism can be Biblical.
      God has defined our created roles clearly for us and while there is definitely an element of mutual submission, that doesn’t mean that our roles are interchangeable, nor does it negate the headship of the husband and the wife’s duty to obey her own husband.

  3. I can’t wait to hear this. I totally agree that being a feminine, woman of God has nothing really to do with whether you knit and sew and where frills. It has everything to do with having a gentle, loving and submitted spirit.

  4. what about women who have fathers and husbands with very ungodly opinions – to whom should they be submissive to – God or the men in their life …
    what about women who’s hearts desire to be quiverfull but husband says no more kids?

    • Janie, I would certainly empathize with those women. One can have a submitted heart even still. Unless she is being asked to do something truly unbiblical, she can submit. If she is asked to do something that she just cannot do she can still be very respectful. I realize that there are extreme situations where a husband or father is abusive, but that is not the normal circumstances. As far as the quiverful issue, from my perspective, a woman ought to submit to her husband. He will ultimately be held accountable. For me, my conscience would dictate that I draw the line at using contraceptives that were abortificient and getting an operation on myself. Nobody said the Christian walk was easy, and living in a divided home is certainly even more difficult.

  5. Well, it’s just as well femininity has more to it than girlieness and pink…. our eldest daughter was born a ‘blue’ baby – seriously, she just would not have ever suited pink. Our second girl is different and did suit more girlie stuff, but neither of them are ‘girlie’ girls. I grew up (and I know things were kinda different) playing with my older brother’s cars, playing soldiers and running around outside! Eeek! Does that make me unfeminine? Well, I hope not, and my husband certainly doesn’t seem to think so 😉

    We grow our own vegetables, so a great deal of my life just now is spent in the plot with dirty hands and muddy wellies…. Yes, ladies, it is possible to be a lady…. and have dirt under our fingernails 🙂

  6. ‘obsessed with its own girliness’ is awesome as an insight and a summing up of some of the women I know who consider themselves old fashioned, non-feminist.

  7. That sounds like a lovely CD, I have been enjoying the Botkin very much lately 🙂

    we have 3 young little precious girls and are expecting our fourth baby in March, for us raising girls have a lot to do about pink, dolls and pretty dresses BUT they are no china dolls, our oldest (4 years old) knows how to do maintenance on our car, she knows how to check the oil, break fluids and so much more…. I love that she knows her tools and how to use them, even powertools!!!!

    But all our little girls can clean like pros (I mean for their young toddler years that is LOL) and cooking with them is a blast.

    They are learning the lovely art of being a girls that can be a great helper to their future husband!!!!

  8. I love this message!

    I listened last week – I think the section you highlighted was great and so true. I highly recommend this message by Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin.

  9. Interesting… and true. So, not being willing submissive to God’s ordained authority in our life is also feminism..? This could be a father or a husband’s authority.

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