The following post is written by Heidi Jo Fulk. Heidi Jo is passionate about encouraging woman and girls to love and live God’s word. She is wife to her high school sweetheart, Dan, and mom to their four young children—Emma Jo, Gretchen, Tucker, and Brock. Heidi Jo helps to lead a women’s Bible study and teaches third grade girls at her church.
After sending an email recently, a banner popped up advertising a just-released AOL and PBS project titled “Makers: Women Who Make America.” Because I’m a woman in America who’s fascinated with studying womanhood, I clicked on it. With my mind and eyes guarded and girded with the truth of God’s Word, I dug in.
I found that the Makers website compiles short videos “showcasing hundreds of compelling stories from women of today and tomorrow . . . both known and unknown.” In 2013, PBS plans to air a three-hour documentary “built on the extraordinary archive of stories” from ABOUT at www.makers.com.
I went deeper into the website and found the purpose and “whys” of the project. Let me say that I was hoping to find the purpose really would be sharing the stories of many extraordinary women. But I was guessing that there would be a grander goal in mind. My guess was correct. Here’s what I found:
“Over the last half-century, America has seen one of the most sweeping social revolutions in its history, as women have asserted their rights to a full and fair share of political power, economic opportunity, and personal autonomy. It’s a revolution . . . No individual and no aspect of American life has been unchanged.”
Without a doubt, there are some amazing and influential women highlighted through Makers. I watched videos of women who have done things that have benefitted and can inspire us. But I also watched a lot of videos—a lot—of women who represent, promote, and seek to further their self-defined women’s rights and power.
So here I am, striving to take this information in and measure it up against the truth of God’s Word. Do these women and their stories exemplify a biblical definition of womanhood? Perhaps a few. But I see and hear no references to women being specifically and intentionally created by God and given equal, but different roles from men.
Could these stories be tied together with the truth of God’s Word? Not this collection. The creators of Makers clearly reveal that their definition of a strong woman is one who “can’t sit around waiting for somebody else to say who you are.”
I believe my strength comes from God telling me who I am as a woman (in passages like Genesis 2), and who I am as a believer in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation . . .”
So is Makers right in saying no individual—and no aspect of American life—has been unchanged by the women’s movement? And are the women featured on this site the kind of women who “make” America? Why or why not?