Sometimes I feel I live on both sides of a fence, for I am a Christian and a feminist, and neither side has a fond affection of the other. Christians think feminism is an ungodly attempt to destroy faith; feminists consider Christianity to be an oppressive patriarchal ideology that is out to destroy women. Most of the time I wish we could just remove the fence so people could see that Christianity, when understood correctly, affirms the equality of men and women, and feminism, when understood correctly, is the radical belief that women are people too.
In other words, Christianity and feminism share a core belief of equality, which is why feminism isn't against faith; I'm a feminist because of my faith.
But why are these two so hostile to each other if they are so similar in their fundamental beliefs?
There is an old saying about enemies, how they can be disarmed by bringing them into the fold. Christianity became part of the Roman Empire in the fourth century, and ever since that fatal century faith has sounded and acted like the very patriarchialists who attempted to destroy the movement in it's inception. Feminism is suffering from the same problem at the present moment. "Freedom Feminism" claims patriarchy is non-existent and that women have every opportunity to advance in society if they would only apply themselves.
This begs the question: why did these two agree to become part of the very ideology they should be fighting against? The answer is very simple: we all want approval. Since the whole world is under the spell of patriarchy, we all gravitate towards beliefs approved by patriarchy, whether we recognize it or not. Male privilege is just one of the beliefs cherished by patriarchy; wealth is another. Feminism made the mistake of attempting to get a portion of the privilege and wealth white men have enjoyed for centuries. By doing so they played right into the hand of patriarchy as white feminists became the unwitting oppressors of the poor and women of color, and invalidated their own attempt to gain equality for all women.
So what should we do? The first crucial step is a general recognition that faith and feminism aren't antithetical, that faith leads to feminism and feminism can lead to faith. Neither excludes the other, for their common battle is against patriarchy, not each other. The second, and equally important step, is the recognition that faith runs deeper than the color of one's skin and/or the funds in one's wallet. Faith that excludes is not worth the name it bears. In other words, when faith returns to its roots and begins to seek justice and mercy by calling people to forsake their callous indifference before inequality, the fence will vanish and faith and feminism will once again become indistinguishable.