I was basically ignorant of Kate Millett until I read her sister's account of the impacts of Kate's ideas and problems.
I've had a few of "my kids" take Women's Studies classes. If I recall their tales correctly, the material was laughable if not frustrating. One such course was taught -- unironically, apparently -- by a dude. Thankfully, these young ladies did not emerge from such courses feeling a need to be "liberated" in the ways described in the article above.*
I feel, however, that Women's Mission Societies were hipsters, finding liberation before it was cool (and twisted by extreme feminist ideology). Inspired by the Gospel, these women rose up and made an overwhelmingly positive impact on the world. They found freedom in following Christ wherever He led ... even if that was halfway around the world without the help of men.
These were the biographies I grew up with in Sonlight. The first woman who came to mind was Gladys Aylward; she was my age when Kate was born. But the difference between their two lives is staggering.
Fight the Man vs Love your neighbor
As I thought about the controversy and very raw statements made by Kate's sisters (see their comments on page 2 of this LA Times article), Mother Teresa came to mind. Why? Because of Christopher Hitchens. The research surrounding his accusations against her are rebutted here. But even if a woman who devoted her life to caring for the dying was imperfect -- who of us is? -- what should be said of someone dedicated to promoting prostitution and the destruction of the American family?
Personal liberation is a difficult thing. Christianity teaches us that we are slaves to sin until we find freedom in Christ. But, at that time, we are then in Christ and no longer our own. This certainly sounds like a highly repressive form of bondage to someone outside the faith.
History allows us to see, first hand, how God uses ordinary people to change the world. We're imperfect. But we can still follow Christ's example to reach outward.
The more I read about Kate and the absurdly devastating ideas she championed, the more I think of virtue. I love how Sonlight teaches virtue; look back on history and consider what's been done.
Who are our heroes? Whom do we aspire to be like?
Me? I want I be like Christ, willing to lay aside my own inflated sense of "liberation" to find true freedom in walking with my Lord. The women (and men) I met using Sonlight's homeschool curriculum helped me see real-life examples of what that looks like.
Filmmaker, Writer, Pseudo-Dad
* I don't like fearmongering. Know your children and you'll be able to encourage them down paths that are going to benefit them ... even if that is to attend a State University.