The art of being a Christian Feminist


I am a Christian not because I was born into a Christian home to Christian parents. I am a Christian because I believe in God and love the teachings of Jesus Christ who preached indiscriminate love just as his protege and representative Pope Francis preaches now. Jesus never said women were inferior even though St. Peter inferred same when he urged Christian wives to be submissive to their husbands, probably influenced by the norms of his time, and that I understand.
Today, however, I have issues with the present Christian Patriarchs: the most powerful patriarchal figures in the world. They have derailed from the indiscriminate teachings of love of Christ, the progenitor of Christianity. They have taken to lording it over their followers so unlike Christ. And worst of all they enable bad societal norms.
For the past two weeks (excluding today) I’ve been attending a "living" church in Ojodu where "miracles" and "prophecies" abound. Initially I loved and enjoyed the "living" sermon and prayers of the "Father-in-the-Lord", until he started reeling off people’s names and giving them prophecies of doom which he will then "reverse". It all seemed so practised; just like the magicians would poke their hands into hats and produce white handkerchiefs or doves that weren’t there earlier.
Still, I admonished myself and quelled my un-belief. That lasted till the end of the first service when the pastor told the congregation God has shown him 1,020 people who will be blessed today, so if we want to claim this blessings, we should run out with a token offering of N5,000. Amazed, I watched as people ran out in dozens to claim these blessings that God was selling through his ordained. I didn’t know what to say. The whole thing was shocking to me. But, I decided to pardon him. Maybe it was a one-off. How wrong was I? Very wrong. That is a pattern of behaviour at this church in Ojodu, and people troop to this church in hundreds seeking financial liberation.
Then he called out spinsters, who had the problem of women in their families not being married, to pray for them. I thought, typical! I waited for him to mention the bachelors who are unable to find wives, but he didn’t. Am I surprised? No! Women boku everywhere naa; "looking" for husbands. And he knows it. Worse still he supports the fallacy that men don’t strain themselves to find wives.
It chaffs at me: this glorification of marriage as a fulfilment of the woman’s being. Heck! Relatives are praying for me to get married; fasting, worried like I’m an "incomplete" being without a person with penis by my side to "complete" me. It doesn’t even occur to them that it might be my choice to stay single. That I am not in any undue haste to tie myself to a man; that I am enjoying my singlehood with all its drawbacks, loneliness being one of them. It doesn’t occur to them because the way they understand it spinsterhood is abnormal. A state which no mother wishes her daughter.It boggles the mind what Patriarchy has done to our society.
Again, I lament that annoying moment when I got a call from an old school friend and first thing she asked after "How are you? Long time!" is "Ego, are you married, now?". And when I replied in the negative she proceeded to pray for us single women who have clocked the dreaded 30. Like we are diseased and require marriages to cure us. Only courtesy held the acerbic retort that sprang to my tongue.
I understand that Patriarchy is deep rooted and finds its most powerful elements in religion but I do not understand how right-thinking, ordinarily-intelligent women can be so brainwashed and remote-controlled by issues they ought to know better about.
Maybe if I’m not a feminist, I won’t notice or find fault with the religious Patriarchs but alas I am a womanist, and I do find fault with them. So help me God!

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About Egoyibo Okoro

Beautiful. Friendly. Opinionated. Feminist. Scholarly. Apolitical. Christian. Sometimes, I write in Engli-Igbo and/or pidgin English. Just so you know, I am naturally disgruntled about a lot of things, most especially gender inequality, human rights abuses, racism and corruption. #EndChildMarriage. #EndTerrorism. #EndPoverty. #EndRacism. #EndImperialism. The Igbo say, "egbe bere, ugo bere, nke si ibe ya ebena nku kwa ya" - Live and let live!
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8 Responses to The art of being a Christian Feminist

  1. prince Chioke says:

    Hehe! I laughed as I read. Nice write-up. Sadly women will continue to ‘boku’ everywhere until ‘polygamy’ is legalised in some religions and countries. Don’t quote me though…

  2. uju says:

    Lol. Good to knw u are finally writing. Jisike!

  3. Pingback: semaseph

  4. egbuyugo says:

    Ego,one word #wonderful

  5. spacyzuma says:

    This is just disgraceful.
    That’s one serious drawback of organized religion. The smart leaders utilize it efficiently by playing the psychological and emotional needs of the mass populace. It’s all about Power and Control.
    Well, I’m happy you are intelligent to identify the flaws and bold to speak out against it. +1

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