Written by: Lexi Hoagland
Ever since high school, I have prayed God would give me a path where I can be a light in the world. I prayed that God would grant me small and large opportunities to be the person he has called me to be.
On Monday, March 20, Harding asked if I would be willing to be interviewed by The New York Times with my view on feminism from a conservative Christian perspective. And there it was, a complete and utterly unexpected answer from God. This was one of his big plans for me to speak about the gospel, and I could not have been more honored and stunned at the same time.
The New York Times reporter, Eilene Zimmerman, asked what feminism meant to me. Feminism to me is all about empowering people. I am proud to be a woman, so I am definitely pro-woman. But I am also pro-man. Ultimately, I am pro-people. I believe in God, and I believe God created men and women with individualized skills and attributes. I do not believe God created man to be loved any more than woman and likewise. I believe he loves us all equally, and that’s what I am called to do as a woman and as a human being, love and empower people.
When I was thinking about what it meant to be the ‘ultimate woman,’ I thought of Proverbs 31. Proverbs 31:10-31 talks about being a wife of noble character (I am not married …. I know, and I go to Harding.) For the last year, I have striven to be a woman of noble character. I want to be the type of woman God calls me to be: someone who has full confidence in herself, a woman who believes in herself and is comfortable in believing she can achieve whatever her heart desires. I am called to be a woman who finds a greater need than herself. I am called to be a woman who is respectful, bold, diligent and hardworking.
I am a triplet, the other two being boys, and I have been blessed to never feel as though I couldn’t be as successful, if not more successful, than my brothers. I have dreams and visions just like them, and I am confident in the fact that I can accomplish those.
I realize and see that there are issues out there that strong women are fighting for. These are issues that I am still learning about. I am concerned that some women do not feel capable of succeeding or comfortable in their own skin. I can see a divide between men and women when it comes to personal beliefs, wages and respect. I think it is important for men and women to come together and help one another out. We are called to empower one another; we are all one in the eyes of God.
The interview scared me. I knew my view was going to be different than Ms. Zimmerman’s. However, Eilene Zimmerman carried the interview with grace and open ears to truly hear what I had to say. At the end of the day, she is my sister and I respect her point of view. And that is an aspect of feminism: mutual respect. This has been a learning opportunity for me, and I am still hoping to learn more about feminism. I do not consider myself an expert on feminism; I am simply basing what I believe around God’s word and who I am called to be.