Actually Focusing on the Family

CW: Discussion of Rape


Marital rape wasn’t universally illegal in the U.S. until 1993.

I was 6 years old when laws permitting marital rape were finally deemed unconstitutional.

And it’s feminists who led the charge. Not the Church.

Its this fact that I think of whenever Christians, especially conservative evangelical Christians, try to posit feminism as somehow inherently anti-family. While Christians on the U.S. have been committed to protecting their version of the institution of family, it becomes more and more obvious that they have little care for the actual people in those families and their well-being.

Even in churches that state that they are dedicated to naming and decrying injustice in today’s world we are slow to speak on things like marital rape, spousal and child abuse; child molestation; consent and rape culture in general; how to actually care for your lgbt+ kid in a nonabusive way, whatever your beliefs are; how colonization changed the institution of family for the cultures of *many* of our siblings in Christ and what a culture (and family) restored actually looks like; etc. These issues are being discussed in Christian books and magazines, but only to a small extent and in only the most shallow political terms, and I have yet to hear a pulpit message addressing… any of this.

I don’t think that feminism writ large has all the answers, but as a system of thought it *is* asking many of the right questions, questions that until recently we as Christians have been happy to ignore and even in our current acknowledgement are too quick to give kneejerk reactions that don’t actually reflect Christ or take time to reflect, period. Do we, as believers in Christ, have the courage to listen to the questions and answer thoughtfully and reasonably?

Published by:

Johana-Marie Williams

Johana-Marie Williams is a writer, artist, and historian focusing on Black women and femme's health and religio-spiritual experiences. Her current projects include the ongoing zine caro and papers on the history of Black midwives in Leon County, Florida and Black women's thought on transhumanism, as expressed in science-fiction and fantasy media. Johana's work also appears under the name Marie Annetoinette, in homage to her mother's influence on her creative and spiritual life.

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