I have known I needed to address this topic ever since writing two posts for Covenant Eyes back in 2015, in which I explained six ways porn is keeping men from marriage.
Why would a couple posts on porn inspire me to address feminism? Because of all the bitter, angry comments those posts received blaming the feminist movement alone for keeping men from marriage.
So now I will attempt to prayerfully wade into matters of which many fear to tread (or wade), but first – two clarifications:
- There are many factors contributing to the problem of delayed marriage and – worse – NO marriage for 73% of Americans age 25-34 today. This post is not trying to place all the blame for this reality on feminism than my posts for Covenant Eyes were trying to place all the blame on porn.
- I am aware that not all feminists are alike. Some feminists (male or female) may not actually support certain beliefs I attribute to the cause of feminism, but that doesn’t negate the fact that many feminists do proudly hold to all the positions I reference below.
Now to addressing whether feminism is going to keep you single. Here are four questions for you to consider.
#1: Will you take advantage of the “sexual freedom” of women?
Among the male species, probably the most popular feminist tenant is this: women can be just like men in pursuing sexual pleasure.
While purporting to offer women “sexual freedom” (along with the help of contraception and abortion), this perspective has essentially made women “fair game” for men doing whatever they can with them sexually. As long as there is consent, of course.
Even more popular with the men are the growing number of women who offer their bodies without even being asked.
But the very physiology of men and women’s bodies run counter to this imagined idea of sexual sameness.
For starters, men generally find that both sexual arousal and climax come far easier than it does for women. Even without any foreplay. The natural result: men are far more likely to pursue sexual contact than women.
Further, without cultural or personal restraint, these innate sexual differences naturally put men in a predatory role toward women, who (again based on biology) are usually physically weaker and therefore more vulnerable to sexual assault. And, oh yeah, then there’s the physiological reality that only one gender is capable of bearing the consequences of a sexual interaction inside her body for 9 months.
And so, across time and cultures, marriage has been the way a community has sought to protect women by requiring a man to commit to a woman for life before expecting that woman to give the man access to her body. (This marriage covenant then also commits the man, in advance of sexual relations, to the care and support of any children their sexual relationship may produce. Another bonus for women!)
But how could the elimination of this protection keep you single?
Simply this: if we don’t have to work for something we often won’t. And so as long as you are willing to take advantage of the sexual availability of the women you date the following will happen:
- Instead of looking for the kind of woman you want to marry, you’ll opt for the kind of woman who will “put out.” Who, in the end, will probably not be the kind of woman you want to marry.
- As you continue this pattern of using the women you date (lusting after, manipulating, and perhaps even abusing them), you become less capable of loving, honoring, and cherishing a woman.
- With each “sexual conquest” you train your sex drive to desire variety instead of the monogamy of marriage.
- Meanwhile, the sort of healthy, wise woman you might want to have for a wife is far less likely to have you for a husband; or even date you!
And that will keep you single.
So learn to take the wheel of your sex drive and learn to honor the women you date, by refusing to take advantage of their so called “sexual freedom.”
#2: Will you be intimidated by women’s equality?
Contrary to popular belief, women were declared “equal” to men long before the feminist movement cranked up in the ’60s. Long before the suffrage movement was launched in the 1800s.
Even before the foundation of America. Or Great Britain. Or Rome. Or Egypt.
It actually happened the day the first woman was created.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. – Gen 1:27
So though physiology (and neurology) may showcase undeniable differences between men and women, Biblical theology declares that despite those differences, men and women are equal image-bearers of our God.
Now that same Bible also details significant differences in spiritual roles for men and women in the church and in marriage, but never questions the equal worth of men and women before God.
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:27-28
Regardless, some Christian men use the Bible’s delineation of roles (particularly a wife’s duty to submit to her husband), to justify treating women (or at least thinking of women) as somehow less than men.
However, this kind of thinking is not only unbiblical. It can keep you single.
Unless, of course, you can find a “pretty young thang” who is content to be treated more or less like your pet, instead of your co-heir in Christ.
But I beg you: if all you want is a pet, please content yourself with a dog or cat. They’re far easier to care for and control than a wife.
Better yet, I encourage you to talk with someone who believes both in you and the true equality of men and women, to discover how your mom or dad or personal experience may have negatively influenced how you view yourself and your understanding of women.
#3: Will you adopt the “us vs them” adversarial attitude of feminism?
An “us vs them” perspective is unavoidable for an oppressed people group toward their oppressors. And, to be certain, women have been oppressed by our cultural norms in a multitude of ways. And in some ways they continue to be oppressed, or at least taken advantage of by men.
That said, however understandable this relational pattern may be for someone who feels they have to fight to maintain equal footing with someone else, by its very nature an “us vs them” perspective will never bring people together. In fact, it often backfires (however unfair this may be to the oppressed) influencing oppressors to circle the wagons and defend their rights in the face of the demands of the oppressed.
This adversarial perspective is particularly destructive in a personal relationship between a man and his wife, because it creates a “score-keeping” mentality where the responsibilities and privileges of those in the relationship are constantly measured against and compared to each other.
In contrast, a healthy relationship is comprised of members who believe they’re on the same team, scoring together, as they fight a common opponent. Not fighting each other.
And as for that good desire for fairness, our motivation should not be “perfect equality,” but love.
If equality would have been the driving force of Jesus’ life, He who was “equal to His Father” would have never submitted to the Father’s will to die on our behalf.
Fortunately for you and me, His compelling passion was His great love for us (and His Father), so He “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6b-8)
And it is that very kind of love that you are called to have toward every woman you date; a sacrificial love that isn’t concerned with making sure everything’s “even steven” (as if that were possible).
This is the kind of love a healthy woman of God is looking for in a man; the kind of love that could win a girl’s heart!
But if you’re going to be score-keeping throughout your dating life, prepare to enjoy a long dating life instead of a life-long marriage. And if you still wind up getting married anyway, prepare to be unhappy.
#4: Will you judge all women by the bitterness of the minority?
As the saying goes, “Hell has no fury like a woman scorned.” That phrase easily comes to mind when I read a feminist screed against the scourge of patriarchy. Indeed, when some feminists talk of “toxic masculinity,” they will decry acts of chivalry and truths of scripture right alongside sexual or physical abuse.
That is to say, they would label me, and pretty much every man alive (or dead) as an evil oppressor.
But isn’t it just as unfair for men to view all women through the lens of some kind of “toxic femininity” as it is for women to view all men through the lens of toxic masculinity?
Of course it is.
And here’s the truth: fewer than 1 in 5 young women will even identify themselves as a feminist at all, much less an extreme feminist who believes all men should be incarcerated, below ground, and only kept alive for breeding purposes.
But if you’re going to judge every woman in your life by the bitterness of a few that’s going to keep you single for the following reasons:
- You will find it nearly impossible to wholeheartedly trust the women in your life. And you will likely even resent them.
- As a result you will be guarded and defensive toward the women you date.
- The kind of healthy woman who would make you a fine wife won’t be able to trust a guarded and defensive man.
- Since trust is essential to any healthy relationship, even if you find a woman who will tolerate your distrusting posture, you won’t be able to grow a healthy dating relationship with her.
Let’s Love Feminists like Jesus Does!
Before I close, let’s admit that there are legitimate reasons extreme feminism exists. Take for instance the fact that one in five women will be raped at some point in their lives. Now there’s a statistic that should not only compel us to change our culture for the greater flourishing of women, but inspire men to approach all women – even militant feminists – with grace and understanding; not with an eye-rolling, dismissive attitude.
Further, this means you will likely date at least one young lady who has been mistreated or abused by another man. She certainly won’t need a defensive boyfriend (or husband), but one defined by grace and compassion. And I’m praying you’ll be that guy!
Here’s to your future marriage. And feminism not standing in the way.
And for more manly guidance in the ways of wise dating, check out this MAN2MAN memo!
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.
Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.
Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!