Darrow Miller and Friends

Grizzly Bears and the Reemergence of the Maternal Feminist

“If you thought pit bulls were tough, you don’t want to mess with mama grizzlies!” said Sarah Palin recently. Kudos to Alaska’s former governor for her rousing call for the return of maternal feminism at a recent meeting of the Susan B. Anthony List. 

 Modern feminists are loudly protesting Palin’s image of a female Ursus Horribilis fiercely protecting her cubs. Maybe they are ignorant of the history of feminism. 

 Susan B. Anthony was a first-wave feminist. Active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, these pioneers worked from a Biblical worldview. Many were committed Christians. They were maternal feminists: maternal in that they restored women to their role as nurturers of families, feminists because they resisted male-dominated structures to rescue women and children from sweatshops. 

 Second-wave feminists, in the mid to late 20th century, were secular humanists. They affirmed the dignity of womanhood, but derided women’s unique role as mothers.  They sought to reverse the maternal feminist’s victories by jettisoning motherhood for the marketplace. 

 At the end of the 20th century, feminism moved into its third wave, which continues to lead society’s decline. These “feminists” are radical egalitarians.  They deny any transcendence of sexuality and seek to overthrow both sexism and second-wave feminism. Their goal is androgyny, erasing all distinctions of masculinity or femininity. 

 French postmodern Philosopher Michel Foucault (1926-1984) might be considered the father of androgyny. Sexuality is a lifestyle choice: one chooses to be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, transvestite, transgender or pedophile. 

 Pop music icon Madonna promotes and models this theory, identifying herself with the virgin mother of Christ, yet boasting hundreds of sexual partners. The late Michael Jackson gradually morphed into androgyny through numerous surgeries. Madonna fashioned her persona; Jackson sculpted his body. These and other pop icons, though their lifestyles and MTV, are calling young men and women around the world into an androgynous order. 

 Maternal feminists knew that the nation could only prosper if the family was strong. Today’s feminists have forgotten that ” The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” [1] For the family to be restored, the essential work of woman to nurture and educate the next generation of leaders must be recognized and applauded–particularly by those in the church. 

 Palin’s call for mother grizzlies represents a pro-life, pro-family woman courageously challenging a new generation of mothers to the same virtues. America needs maternal feminists who embrace motherhood as the foundation for a healthy society, mother grizzlies who will defend their cubs at home and in the public arena and nurture us back to marriage and the family as the root of a healthy social order. 

 For more on maternal feminism see Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women to Build Healthy Cultures.   

– Darrow L. Miller 


[1] William Ross Wallace

print this page Print this page

Tagged in:,
Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).