By Lewis Willis
You do not hear much from them today, but perhaps it has always been that way. I refer to godly women. They either have no time for, or interest in, the feminist rhetoric that captures the attention of the media. These godly women simply go about their business as wives, mothers and homemakers, striving to be credible helpmeets in the truest sense of that word. They are respected by their families, admired by their neighbors and they are blessed of God. Their homes are as God would have them and they are central elements in the orderly function of society. The godly woman is not the source of unrest and strife that permeates modern life.
So, where does the confusion originate concerning the woman and her role in the 1980s. Who are these women who champion the feminist cause? What are their backgrounds? What are their contributions?
Last week I saw a CBS Morning News interview with the “mother” of the movement, Betty Friedan. It was 20 years ago that her book, Feminine Mystique, was published. The modern women’s liberation movement attributes much of its impetus to the appearance of this book on the scene. It is viewed as the “bible” of the movement.
Just who is Betty Friedan? Perhaps you have known for years who she was, but the interview I saw was actually my introduction to her. She is an old, arrogant, foul-mouthed gal – the embodiment of all that is ugly in a woman. She makes Yasser Arafat look like Prince Charming. She is so unattractive that I can now understand how she had time to write her book. Her husband would probably like for her to write some more books. How this “excuse” for womanhood could be so greatly admired is beyond me. If she is all the women of this world have to idolize, we are in worse shape than many of us think we are.
Then there is the lovely Ginny Foat. She has been on leave from her job as California president of the National Organization For Women (NOW). She championed the NOW cause until her arrest on January 11 of this year for murder. In her celebrated trial, her husband, John Sidote, an admitted alcoholic and convicted killer, testified that 18 years ago she had beaten an Argentine toy manufacturer to death with a tire iron. Yesterday (11/16/83) her trial ended and she was acquitted of the charge. However, from the public and media reaction, this gal is destined to become another of the champion of the feminist cause. Such sterling character is deserving of respect!
The Akron-Beacon Journal (11/13/83) reported that Foat had worked in a New Orleans bar as a gogo dancer. USA Today (11/16/83) reported she had had an illegitimate baby at that time and had given it up for adoption. She is a marriage dropout; Sidote was the second of her four husbands. She has only been married three times since 1965! The details of that sordid and corrupt relationship made her trial spectacular. The National Organization For Women must surely be proud of such a wonderful representative for their cause! She is just the kind of image that NOW deserves. All people make mistakes and Foat’s mistakes are not greatly different from those that many other people make. However, the tragedy with her is that there is no evidence that she would do things differently today than she did back then. She is sorry that her exploits were exposed by the media and her trial, but her defense is that she was a victim of an abusive husband and her environment. The last several years of her life have been spent trying to get society to look with favor on such conduct and thus remove the stigma attached to those who do such things.
What has been the impact of such women on society. Politicians, from the local to the national level, have been led to believe that Betty and Ginny represent the aspirations of modern women. In their search for votes and in an effort to “be elected at any cost,” these politicians have recently tried to bless our nation with another Equal Rights Amendment to replace the one that the states would not ratify. The latest effort failed to win approval in the House of Representatives, being defeated when less than a two-thirds majority voted for the amendment on Tuesday (11/15/83). Feminists across the country were outraged and they vowed to defeat every representative who voted against the issue. God bless those statesmen who voted in favor of the well-being of women instead of knuckling down to the threats of a few malcontents who have failed to find happiness by living ungodly lives.
Behold, not wishing to be left behind, the National Council of Churches has lent its ear to the utterances of these women and responded favorably to NOW purposes. This national council represents 30 Protestant and Orthodox denominations. Their work through the years has done as much for religion as Betty and Ginny have done for women. The NCC has just published the Inclusive Language Lectionary. The Lectionary is a collection of Bible readings that eliminates references to God as being solely male. NOW must be rejoicing! The Lectionary could possibly become the basis for many other books by Betty. Ginny’s attorney might introduce some of its wisdom in her next trial for deeds in her colorful past. In some passages, God is referred to as both Father and Mother – as in “Our Father (and Mother) which art in heaven. . . . ” They altered the language about Jesus to refer to him as the “child” of God, instead of the “son” of God. The 112-page Lectionary is billed “as an attempt to re-think the language of Scripture . . .” (Akron Beacon Journal, 10/14/83). Why can’t these people just say what they are trying to do? The National Council of Churches is responding to the feminist movement and if it is necessary they will desecrate the Sacred Scriptures to attain their purposes! Their efforts, if the past provides us a measure, will be applauded by the clergy of most mainline Protestant, Jewish and Catholic bodies. With Betty and Ginny, the clergy will correct all of God’s mistakes about the role of women!
I was just thinkin’- I think I will continue to believe and teach the Scriptures teach and honor those godly women who respect Divine Revelation. Let the world applaud the NOW gals, but let godly women remember that “her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her” (Prov. 31:28). “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husband; . . . whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price . . . . Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (1I Pet. 3:1-7).
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 14, pp. 441-442
July 19, 1984