Why Zizipho Pae Made You So Uncomfortable

I’m here to rebuke Zizipho Pae who wrote a piece on her own Facebook wall breaking down the various ways in which feminist ideas do not fit with her Christian beliefs. Yes her descriptions of feminism were at times quite simplistic and other times sensationalist. But in fact the bible verses she refers to really do undermine some of the very foundations of feminism. And so faced with these two contradictory ideologies, she chooses the bible over logic and progress. And she warns us ominously, “she who has ears let her hear.”

The feminist Christian apologists did hear. And they were not impressed. But most of the attacks against Pae were empty of reason. Most were fallacy ad hominem (attacking the person and not the idea). Because the fact is that the two ideologies do contradict each other. Or as one Facebook associate put it “Feminism and Christianity are definitely on opposite ends of the spectrum pertaining to women’s rights and equality of the sexes.” But I understand your spluttering my Christian feminist sisters. You were in a bind because you know that feminism is the logical and just approach and yet you cannot fault Pae for choosing patriarchal Christianity because you have not denounced it yourself.

But I am here to defend you. I rebuke Miss Pae on the charge of disturbing your precocious religion-feminism balance. Her views on this are frustrating to all feminists who are still trying to defend Christianity and Islam etc. Good for her if she can choose one, but you’re bent on an in denial balancing act. I wish she could just for one second try to get into your shoes and imagine how difficult it is to hold religious views as a woke and thinking (especially black) feminist. So much of the feminist movement you subscribe to was about rejecting archaic patriarchal ideas that our society would have long abandoned if they weren’t being carried forward in the time capsules of religious doctrines. In fact, much of all the work past and present done to advance human rights has been about undoing barbaric religious beliefs and stopping ludicrous practices condoned by religious doctrines: slavery, LGBTQ rights, ending FGM, child marriage, the list is long. But through his grace or your own, you are still holding on.

Others before Pae have tried to shake you by using the Old Testament to prove that your religion is backwards and has no place in the modern world. But you know that only the New Testament matters. Jesus undid all that old stuff about stoning adulterers and killing people that were not Jewish. Well, to be more specific it’s only the verses you like in the New Testament that matter. You don’t read the whole thing, of course. Goodness no! Otherwise you would come across all the stuff about how a woman should never talk above a man (1 Timothy 2:12), and if you are African you would raise an eyebrow at the line where Jesus turns away a Canaanite woman, says he is only there for Israelites and compares her to a dog (Mathew 15:22-28). That stuff would be inconvenient, so you’ve kind of vaguely argued all this away and managed to come to a strained, but workable agreement in your mind that allows you to hold both religious and progressive views.

But just as you were settling in to your wobbly bed of justifications for still being a Christian, here comes Pae inconveniently pointing out that feminism and Christianity are not compatible. How annoying and uncomfortable for you! Here you are trying to defend Christianity at all costs, mostly by ignoring the reality of what Christianity teaches, and now you can’t because this heffa is actually using quotes from the Bible (the New Testament at that) to prove that Christianity preaches women’s submission to men. Ughhh!  I say she should cut you some slack, because you really are ready to question all manners of dogma, just not the outdated misogynistic texts that sustain those same dogmas.

Why can’t these able-to-choose-a-side people respect that as enlightened as you are, you still desire the comfort of an illogical oppressive ideology brought to your ancestors by white people? (Not by the way because God preferred whites, he just got to them first, you guess. Not because they were white and colonizing everyone either! You’re against all that- except for the bibles they brought. And it’s really just an unfortunate coincidence that what your ancestors were doing to bridge the existential gap, wasn’t quite as good. You know that imperialists say everything your ancestors did wasn’t good enough but in this case they are right. Though you are deeply sorry to all the millions of poor Africans who lived and died before white people brought the religion.) Anyway!! You CAN be a Christian anti-Imperialist feminist. I believe in you. Pay no mind to the fact that the most progressive nations in terms of women’s rights are also the least religious and likewise the most oppressive are steeped deeply in religion. Somehow you can make it work! Sure it will be a compromise and you will be helping to uphold a system of global patriarchy, but at least you can have a nice myth to pray to when you remember to do so. And you are fighting religious intolerance and hate! It’s just that your method is to kill wasps not to take the nest out of the house. In summary, don’t let a silly article like this (is it even an article? It was on the chick’s Facebook status for goodness sake) shake your unsteady grounds. You don’t have to choose between equality and surrendering your life to a god with a male pronoun and his son, you can half-ass both!


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