If gay Christians believe that their faith requires them to be celibate, I am quite clear on the matter. It is internalised homophobia. They intend to make a sacrifice which will do no-one any good: it will increase the confidence of straight oppressors, make it more likely that others will make the same wrong decision, and reduce their opportunities to flourish.
And if a woman chooses to sacrifice her career for her husband’s, and devote herself to bringing up children and keeping house, is that a decision which anyone could make freely, or is it always internalised patriarchal repression?
Men who do that are figures of fun, despised parasites on their working wives.
Yet here am I, “feminine”, with almost no ambition, as can be seen from my career. My femininity is not a result of internalising patriarchy, even if its mode of expression is: because I was brought up to Be a Man. My femininity is no sort of false consciousness, but truly me.
Feminism gives women choices, liberating us from the tyranny of patriarchal expectations, which live on in Complementarianism. That choice has to include being a stay-at-home Mum. When I hear that the choice to be a home-maker rather than a career person, or to be “dominated” by her husband, is necessarily internalised repression rather than a free choice,
my first argument is Me. How would I internalise such oppression?
My second is, that it values one way of being human- the rat racing through the maze, perhaps over the heads of other rats- over other ways which have, well, complementary value: the peacemaker, the carer. It thereby reduces choices and freedoms. Ambitious women are glorious; those of us who are not have value too.
After that I would be looking for cis female feminists, clearly feminist because of valuing all the rights of women, who validated the home-maker’s as a free, feminist choice. Then, I might find myself in arguments about whether such a person was a “real” feminist.
This matters because I met a fascinating woman who holds the contrary view. I would have seen that as negating me: asserting that my “femininity” is illusory, perverted, misogynist, precipitating me into crushing doubt and despair. I don’t, at this precise moment, feel the need to convince her otherwise, as if my opinion has no value without her validation: it is a settled conviction not a mere opinion. I know it from experience, and I can value my experience and responses. This feels as liberating as that misgendering story. Though I notice myself performing actions “looking after” her, and need to watch that: the only reward I can expect from that is the act itself.