On Saturday, Ciara, singer and wife of NFL star Russell Wilson, ended up as the piñata du jour for unhappy feminists everywhere. The 32-year-old made the mistake of posting a video clip of Pastor John Gray telling single women that they should have more respect for themselves and carry themselves as a "wife," not a "girlfriend," in order to obtain a husband.
“Too many women want to be married but you’re walking in the spirit of ‘girlfriend,'" said the text displayed on the video. Ciara captioned the Twitter post with a "#LevelUp" hashtag, and added "Don't Settle" to her Instagram version of the post.
Feminists were deeply offended that anyone would suggest that some single women might actually need to change their behavior to find a husband (or that these empowered women would even want to find a husband to begin with). Maybe unhappy and single feminists want to remain unhappy and single, Ciara!
“‘He that finds a wife finds a good thing.’ It didn’t say, ‘He that finds a girl that he’s attracted to, who he then begins to date, who he then calls his girlfriend, who he then buys a ring, proposes to and makes her his fiancé, who he then marries later who becomes his wife,'" says Gray in the video clip, addressing single women.
“You’re not a wife when I marry you, you’re a wife when I find you,” he continued. “But a wife is not the presence of a ring, it’s the presence of your character.”
That was enough to trigger fragile feminists.
"Teaching women they’re 'unworthy' is part of the reason so many end up settling for relationships where they’re disrespected and unappreciated," accused one woman, clearly missing the point of the video.
Some felt the reasons for their troubles rested solely on men (definitely a factor) and chided the singer for addressing women at all, as if this were somehow sexist.
One Twitter user accused the pastor of being a "woman-hater" who uses "his vile words to beat other women with."
"Marriage is not the great life accomplishment you and Gray are trying to make it out to be," she added, definitely not sounding scorned and bitter.
Feminist allies also joined in on the marriage-is-meaningless attack:
Slut-shaming was another response.
Ciara ended up issuing a post in reaction to the backlash, on Sunday. The singer mentioned her own struggles, from having a baby out of wedlock with a man who cheated on her, to promising herself to Wilson and waiting until their wedding night to be intimate.
"I was once that girl wanting to be loved a certain way but was making the wrong choices," she wrote. "I found myself at my lowest moment. I was a single mom sitting at home, and then I realized that the perfect love I was looking for was how God loves me, how He wants me to be loved, and who He was calling me to be as a mom and a woman. ‘That’s when I realized married or not married… I needed to love myself. #LevelUp.'"
It's easy to find fault in the short clip of the pastor's sermon, but to suggest it's anti-woman is quite the stretch. Clearly Ciara's intent was to help women find a successful and loving relationship just has she found with Wilson. Everyone needs to relax.