This blog post was originally featured on Rising Tswana.
Recently I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when I came across a video from Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo (of Rebelgirls.co) called “If Cinderella were a Guy”. Through this video, they highlight the fact that women are impacted by misogyny as early as childhood for the following reasons:
which then give way to confidence issues by the time most girls reach primary or elementary school- more so than boys. In answer to the question of why this is so, Favilli and Cavallo pose one of their own:
“They say that ‘If you can see it, you can be it.’ But what happens if you never see someone like you making the headlines? What happens when all that you see around you is movies, cartoons, books and TV shows dominated by men?”
To counteract this, they created a book called “Goodnight Stories of Rebel Girls”- a collection of:
“100 stories of real women who have achieved incredible things, despite all odds [because] every girl… deserves to grow up thinking that she can be anything she wants.”
When I saw this video it instantly resonated with me. This, I noted, is definitely a problem in the secular world but it is also a problem within the church. Christian women therefore not only have to navigate systemic sexism such as gender pay gaps, mansplaining and rape culture, they also have the added baggage of the misogyny that occurs within church, which includes the:
- Exacerbation of the problem of limited female representation (in terms of how little we are spoken of generally and in what contexts we are spoken about when we are discussed, particularly where the matriarchs of the faith are concerned)
- Objectification of women's bodies (either as weapons for "tempting godly men" or for the sole purpose of pleasuring our husbands and having their babies)
- Depreciation of women's roles and identity (hence the continued debates around female leadership and preachers, and the idea that being a wife and mother is the "ultimate stamp of womanhood")
All of these issues were highlighted via this recent article. Issues which I am personally acquainted with and served as both the frustration and inspiration behind launching this website last year.
This website has allowed me the pleasure of challenging these stereotypes by interviewing a diverse range of Christian women from all walks of life (globally). I also continue to achieve this by discussing the “rebel girls” of the Bible through my weekly devotionals- women who shift traditional paradigms surrounding (Christian) femininity, such as: