Revive Our Hearts Podcast

— Audio Player —

Leslie Basham: According Mary Kassian, feminism has robbed women of true fulfillment.

Mary Kassian: Women now believe that unless they are being self-fulfilled and having their lives mean something out there that they will not find fulfillment and happiness. The value of pouring oneself out for someone else has really been set aside and has gone by the wayside.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It’s Wednesday, September 14th. Here’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Forty or fifty years ago a small group of determined and intentional women who at the time were considered radicals and extremists and fanatics were not well-accepted by the society. But that group of women determined to make a difference in our culture. They set out with an agenda, an aim and a purpose, and by and large they have succeeded in transforming society to reflect their agenda.

Our guest this week is Mary Kassian, who’s a wife, mom, professional woman, also an author and a woman with a real heart for the Lord. She has done a lot of study of the historical development of what has come to be known as the feminist movement. Mary is here to discuss that with us and to help us understand how this came about. So Mary, thank you for being with us on Revive Our Hearts.

Mary Kassian: Glad to be with you again, Nancy.

Nancy: Mary, you’ve done a lot of research that has been very helpful to me and to others in understanding how the feminist revolution came about and it really has been nothing short of a revolution. Now, for the last couple of days we talked about how in the early phases of this revolution that the things that made women different, that made them unique, their reproductive capacity, the things that were true only of women were considered weaknesses that needed to be overcome. So the early goals were that women can be just like men, but as the movement developed that began to change.

Mary: Yes, the thought that women’s differences were weaknesses, that thought began to change because women began to see themselves as a group. They began to say all of us have common experiences. All of us as women are unique and we are different and we have a lot to offer to society. We don’t need to be just like men. We want to have all the same rights as men, but we see that we have something unique to offer.

And so women’s differences were no longer seen as a source of weakness but as a source of pride and confidence. In the early seventies this was reflected by a song that went on to win a Grammy Award by Helen Reddy. And for those of you who that remember that era it was:

“I am strong.
I am invincible.
I am woman.
Hear me roar.”*

I am going to go out and change the world based on my differences.

Nancy: That kind of epitomized the view of the feminist movement at that point.

Mary: That really did. Actually, up until that point it wasn’t called feminism. It was called Women’s Liberation. At that point that term was changed to feminism in recognition of women’s unique femininity and that women’s differences were a source of pride and confidence in that women had a lot to offer society.

Now the whole thought of that era was that men had defined meaning. Men had told women what their role was. Men had determined that the role of power was one that they were going to occupy, and that men’s experience had shaped the world, that men had shaped the world.

Women began to say our differences are very unique and valuable and they have been neglected, and we want to take a part in determining meaning and in shaping the world. We don’t just want to say who we are. We want to take a look at the world and give our analysis of what the world should be and ought to be.

That was actually called women-centered analysis. In the seventies, in the whole decade of the seventies to 1980, there was a huge push to bring women’s perspectives into the educational system.

Nancy: Into every area of study.

Mary: Into every area of study. Women began to re-evaluate the world from a woman’s point of view. For example, at that time women began to take a look at language and literature and say, “We think that men have, even through language, kept women in an oppressed state. For instance, using terms like chairman or policeman. We want to change language. We don’t like the terms for women, Mrs. and Miss, because that defines a woman in terms of her relationship to a man.”

Prior to that there was not such a term as Ms. That was where the term Ms. came from. It was saying that we do not want to be defined in relationship to a man. We want to define ourselves. And we want to change language in order to reflect female perspective and a woman’s perspective.

Nancy: And that effort really has succeeded, hasn’t it?

Mary: It really has. I know even in writing you get publishing guidelines where you’re not to use male pronouns any longer. You’re to mix them up or to use a generic pronoun or even a plural pronoun. So women-centered analysis that took place throughout the seventies was really, really effective.

Not only did it address language and literature. It addressed politics. It addressed law. Whereas before people were judged as being guilty or not guilty based on the letter of the law, women re-evaluated that and said, “No,” we need to get into the person’s skin and find out their intent.

For instance, if a woman commits a crime, is it because she was egged into it, was it because she felt so oppressed there was no other way out? And so she would not be found guilty in those instances and so women’s experiences really became the norm for defining meaning.

The educational system in particular was transformed by women-centered analysis. In 1969 they thought let’s put together a course in order to educate our college women about women’s plight, about women’s liberation, feminism, about our ideology. And so in 1970 one course taught women’s studies and ten years later, well one year later there were six hundred courses, ten years later there were thirty thousand courses.

Nancy: At the college level.

Mary: At the college level. Then, that was disseminated into the changing of text books even at the grade school level saying the way that we portray women, we can’t portray them as wives and as mothers. We need to portray them as executives. We need to portray them as having power. The basic frame of reference she’s being given is that the role of a mom and housewife really is a lesser role and that if a woman does not have a degree and a life plan that includes a career, then she will not be fulfilled.

Nancy: Some would say having grown up in that system, “So what’s so wrong with that?”

Mary: What’s wrong with that is that women now have to have a career, and they have to contribute to society outside of the home; and that being within the home, the nurturers of children and the nurturers of the next generation, is denigrated and seen as not contributing to society.

Nancy: So a whole generation of women have grown up not recognizing the enormous value and significance and contribution that they can make as wives, as mothers, as nurturers and that has been the essence, hasn’t it, of the transformation of our culture.

Mary: That’s right; it has. Marriages have broken down. Families have broken down. Children are un-parented. And instead of seeing the value of nurturing the next generation and the value of pouring our lives out for others, women now believe unless they are being self-fulfilled and having their lives mean something out there, they will not find fulfillment and happiness. The value of pouring oneself out for someone else has really been set aside and gone by the wayside.

Nancy: There are many applications for our listeners in every season of life, and I know there are some listening who have bought into this philosophy and felt that their role as a wife, as a mother was not something of great value.

I find there are a lot of young Christian couples today, committed Christian couples, who are making conscious decisions not to have children because they’ve been indoctrinated in this way of thinking that that is not an admirable or sufficient contribution for a woman to make.

There may be some listening who would have to agree that they have bought into the world’s way of thinking rather than God’s way of thinking about the value of their role as a wife and as a mother. And then, just a word to moms who are raising sons and daughters today in the world’s educational system. You need to be alert to what it is that your children are being taught. This philosophy is not just a peripheral thing; it’s not just a tangential, optional way of thinking. It is the way of thinking that permeates and pervades the educational system today.

So the question is: What are you doing to train your children in God’s way of thinking. You say, “Does it really matter?” Listen, if you don’t train your children in a biblical, God-centered way of thinking about what it means to be a woman, what it means to be a man, then you can count on it that the world will educate your children, and it will not be in God’s way of thinking.

So this is an enormous call for us as women, particularly moms, to be tenacious as those early feminists were and to say, “Listen, the world may have its agenda, its curriculum, its program for training our children, but we’re not going to let the world be the ones to train our children. We’re going to take those children, and with intent and with determination, make sure that they understand God’s frame of reference and His point of view so that we can produce children that don’t just fit into this culture but children who are countercultural and who will represent God’s heart and His ways and His Word in this generation.”

Leslie: And Nancy, you’ve created quite a few resources to help moms gain a biblical understanding of their role as women. I think of books like Biblical Womanhood in the Home and Lives Women Believe.

I’d encourage every listener to explore some of Nancy’s resources by visiting ReviveOurHearts.com. That’s also where you can order the book Mary Kassian and Nancy Leigh DeMoss were describing today. It’s called The Feminist Mistake.

That’s a lot of information, but here’s what you need to remember. Visit ReviveOurHearts.com for resources to help you grow as a godly woman. And while you’re there, you can encourage us. Nancy is going to tell us about one woman who recently did just that.

Nancy: Have you ever been blessed by a particular ministry and wished that you were in a position to support it financially? Well, let me read to you a letter that stood out to me from one of our listeners recently.

She said, “There are a few radio programs that truly bless me throughout the week. I always think to myself how I wish I was in a position to give a financial gift. Unfortunately, money is extremely tight for us right now. But I thought if each person listening sent in a dollar or more if they can, instead of waiting until they were in a position to give more, what a gift that would be. So here’s my dollar, and I will pray for God to multiply it and feed the multitudes.”

That reminds me of a little boy who just had a small lunch when he went to hear Jesus one day. But he gave that lunch to Jesus, and Jesus took it and multiplied it and did use it to feed a great multitude.

So as you think about how God has used different ministries like Revive Our Hearts in your life, you may not be in a position to give a large financial gift, but perhaps God will let you give just a small lunch, perhaps a dollar or two or three, whatever it is that God puts on your heart. Let me encourage you to do it, and then to do as this listener did—pray that God will bless it and multiply it and use it to feed many lives with His truth.

Leslie Basham: You can donate online at ReviveOurHearts.com or call us at 1-800-569-5959.

Tomorrow, we’ll see how feminism affects the way our culture looks at God. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

Helen Reddy, “I am Woman,” Helen Reddy’s Greatest Hits (and more), 1975, BMI.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

Support the Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Darkness. Fear. Uncertainty. Women around the world wake up hopeless every day. You can play a part in bringing them freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness instead. Your gift ensures that we can continue to spread gospel hope! Donate now.

Donate Now

About the Speaker

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love …

Read More