Voices: You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!

Voices of the True Woman Movement

This is the third post in a series about Voices of the True Woman: A Call to the Counter-Revolution. Read here for posts one and two.


Born in 1971, feminism is all I’ve ever known. I was born into it, raised by it, and unwittingly trapped by it.

On the playground, I would chant, “Girls can do anything boys can do, only better!” And I believed it with all my heart. Being a girl wouldn’t stop me from being whatever I set out to be.  I was going to be a doctor.

I remember as a young girl, perhaps ten years old, watching how my grandmother did everything for my grandfather – cooking the food, serving the food, cleaning up the food; laundry, ironing, sewing. He seemed to be helpless to do anything, in my mind. And he would boss her around, and they would fight in their native tongue. I’d heard it had been an arranged marriage, though I don’t know if that was true. They were old folk, from the old country; and in my mind, entirely old fashioned. I wanted nothing to do with their way of life, and settled in mind at that young age, that my life would be different. I would never stoop so low as serve a man; if I was equal to a man, then I would be equal in all ways, including marital responsibilities.

When I was thirteen, I became a Christ-follower through the witness of another young girl that God brought into my life. She was very bright and precocious. Talk about someone who could have achieved anything she dreamed. Yet her greatest dream was to become a wife, mother, and homemaker. She didn’t even want to go to college. “What a pity to waste all that intelligence”, I was told. And I agreed.

I was a feminist.


Mary Kassian shares in chapter three of Voices the history of the Feminist Revolution. She writes:

Feminism is a distinct philosophy that shook the underpinnings of society in the early 1960s like a tsunamic earthquake shaking the ocean’s floor. Feminism is indeed an “ism” – like atheism, humanism, Marxism, existentialism, or postmodernism. The “ism” indicates that we’re talking about a particular philosophical theory, a doctrine, a system of principles and ideas….Feminism is a distinct worldview with its own ideologies, values, and ways of thinking. And whether or not you know it or care to admit it, feminism is a philosophy that has profoundly affected virtually every woman, man, and child alive in the Western world today.

Kassian details the birth of feminism through the writing of female French philosopher, Simone de Beauvoir, and American political activist and journalist Betty Friedan:

According to Friedan, a woman could only be fulfilled if she had a life plan that included education, a career, and work that was of “serious importance to society.” (Homemaking and raising children were not thought to be of “serious importance.”) To be equal to men, each woman needed to move beyond the restrictive shackles of the male-defined, male-serving, traditional role of wife and mother, and name herself by developing a vision for her own future. She needed to reject the image of womanhood that had purportedly been constructed and perpetuated by men. Woman needed to claim the authority to define her own existence.

Friedan summarized the underlying precept of feminism when she declared, “We [women] need and can trust no other authority than our own personal truth!” According to feminism, the only hope for woman’s happiness and self-fulfillment lay in rejecting a male-defined, Judeo-Christian worldview and convincing herself to define her own truth.

Frankly, I was fascinated to learn the history of the revolution that had shaped everything I believed. From television programs to advertising to education, feminism permeated the entire society. Without knowing of any other way of thinking, I had become a feminist by default.

It wasn’t until I married and had children of my own that I realized my feminist beliefs weren’t all they were cracked up to be. As I sought to grow in my knowledge of God, I dove into scripture and discovered that feminism was contrary to God’s design. God is Creator, and as such, He has the right to define that which He created. God designed men and women with different roles; when I learned and accepted my role as a woman I discovered a way of life that brought more happiness and fulfillment than I ever dreamed.

Kassian explains the life I’ve lived this way:

We tend to reduce the discussion about womanhood to peripheral questions: her marital status, whether she has children, her education and career choices, whether she works outside the home, her use of birth control, whether she educates her children at home or sends them off to school, the type of clothes or make-up she wears. These questions are not unimportant, but they are not the essence of true womanhood.

The heart of true womanhood is to understand and agree with the purposes of our Creator. A woman is a true woman when her heart says yes to God.

Feminism promised women happiness and fulfillment. But it hasn’t delivered. The new generation is disillusioned. They can see that feminism hasn’t brought women the satisfaction it promised. Today’s women are searching for answers. They want to know how to make life work.

Ultimately their longing will only be satisfied by embracing the gospel of Jesus Christ and a biblical understanding of manhood, womanhood, and gender relationships. The time is ripe for a new movement – a seismic, holy quake of countercultural Christian women who dare to take God at His Word, who have the courage to stand against the popular tide, choosing to believe and delight in God’s plan for male and female.


Feminism has not gone away; on the contrary, the feminist revolution was so successful that to follow a philosophy other than feminism is regarded as a revolution itself, a counter-revolution. This is the revolution that I want to pass on to my daughter (and son, too).  My husband and I are teaching both of our children that a woman’s calling as a wife and mother is her highest calling.

My daughter, a bright ten-year-old, dreams of becoming a wife, mother, and homemaker. And even of home schooling her children. I am so happy for her that she will have the opportunity to live her calling at a much younger age than I.

After all, it would be a pity to waste all that intelligence.

In hope,
About Shelli Bourque

An ordinary girl living by the grace of life in Christ. Adoring wife and mom. Lover of quiet places and uncluttered spaces. Beauty seeker and image maker.