All forms of oppression involve some combination of "negative" and "positive". The person oppressed is either forced to do something they don't want, or can't do ("positive" oppression) or prevented from doing something they wish to do ("negative" oppression).
In the ancient oppression of women, called patriarchy - women experienced both kinds of oppression. They could not vote, they were prevented from certain careers, they were paid less than men for the same jobs, and so on. And, yes, they were also forced to do things they did not want to do.
In the modern version of oppression called radical feminism - women continue to experience oppression. We are thankful that feminism has done away with a lot of negative oppression. Made in the image of God men and women should both have the same opportunity for education, the privilege of voting, and should be paid the same as men for the same job. There are many aspects of modern feminism for which we should rejoice.
But westerners imagine therefore, because they have eradicated some negative oppression, that women are now free. But that is a myth. No secular culture uninformed by God's Word can set anyone free.
Positive oppression is the pressure to do what we are not designed to do. In the name of "equality" - that pseudo-wise weasel word of modern culture - women are encouraged to live lives they may not feel they want to live or feel they are equipped to live.
Modern oppression denies biological and psychological facts:
A woman is very different from a man:
- A woman can give birth
- A woman can feed a baby
- A woman has a natural predisposition to care for little ones
- A woman is more emotional than a man - her hormonal make up is different
A man is very different from a woman:
- A man cannot give birth
- A man cannot feed a baby
- A man is much stronger than a woman (in sports men are not pitted against a woman for this reason)
- A man has far more testosterone running around his body
- A man is better psychologically equipped for leadership
Common sense and psychological tests reveal these vast differences between the sexes:
"In an article published in the online journal PLoS ONE, psychologist Marco Del Giudice and his collaborators compared the personality traits of men and women in a sample of over 10,000 people and found huge differences. Women scored much higher than in men in Sensitivity, Warmth, and Apprehension, while men scored higher than women in Emotional Stability, Dominance, Rule-Consciousness, and Vigilance."
- this is just what anyone who lives in the real world would expect. While men and women are equal ontologically, that is in terms of value, they are not created (made by God, designed by God) to perform the same roles and tasks.
The very confusing equality mantra of radical feminism says that in the name of "equality" men and women must do the same tasks even if they are not designed to do the same tasks.
(The logical conclusion of radical feminism is to insist that the Government provides the medical services for a man to have a baby: only then can men and women be truly "equal", using that word in the way they define it. Only then will men and women be truly "equal." This absurd example illustrates the absurd nature of modern political correctness: men and women, when you think about it for 10 seconds are actually not "equal" in every way).
Positive oppression takes place when a woman is put under pressure to be or to do what she is not created to be or to do, all in the name of pseudo-righteous confused "equality"; and positive oppression takes place when a man is forced to be or do what he is not created to be or do.
Example? Suppose in our day a young woman comes to this conclusion, "I believe that the very highest calling in life for me at the present time is to give my life and time to bringing up the children God has given to me and my husband. This calling is far more significant than being a managing director, a Professor, pursuing a career or making money. It will have a much greater impact on the world than any of the options just listed because the hand that rocks the cradle ends up ruling the world. And I believe that I myself will be far more satisfied in doing it than any of the options I am forced into by my culture. All my gifts will be used to the nth degree, from organisational gifts to intellectual gifts."
She then takes this view into the modern world and what does she get? "You are liberated to pursue this wonderful goal?" "Go for it sister!" Not at all! In our oppressive western culture, all she will get is negative oppression - "don't do that", and positive oppression - "this is what you should be doing, pursuing a career for yourself."
So she gives up her own dream and gives up her maternal instincts and feels forced to do something she does not want to do - pursue a secular career.
If that is not oppression, I don't know what is. "You may not do what you want to do! You must do what you don't wish to do."
So while our culture prides itself in the advances it has made over the inequality of patriarchy, it continues to oppress women (and men) by radical feminism.
Only Jesus sets us free
Only the Gospel sets men and women free! By setting us free to be who God made us to be - equal in value but created very different in gifts and abilities. True freedom can only take place when we are in possession of the truth about who we are, then truth sets us free.
It is high time for a new feminism which will truly liberate women, and that New Feminism can only be discovered through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.