"…The masculine element must not murmur if at some period in human history the verdict should take a turn in behalf of woman, and say, - Her time has come, and the reflection of God's feminine nature is permitted consideration, has come to the front, and will be heard and understood. … I would declare that one was not less, nor more, important in God's sight than the other, … we shall find therein no occasion for departure, no occasion for strife, no suggestion of preeminence, or disserverance [separation] of the masculine and feminine elements of God's creating – no question of who shall be greatest."
I love this quote. It's statements like this, as well as her accomplishments, that I believe have earned Mrs. Eddy a place of honor in the feminist canon. To me, it gets at the very essence of feminism, and of what it means to be a feminist: man, and woman, and those in between, all co-equal – and further, that every person is complete in their own right. This way lies peace, and freedom for all, ending the battle of the sexes, for each recognizes the other as equal and complete, with mutual respect, with no struggle for supremacy or subjugation of the other.
It seems to me that bringing on this "period in human history" is the desire and mission of mainstream feminism. Yes, there are extremists who twist feminism into the flip side of masculism, wishing a change from patriarchy to matriarchy, but, in my experience, these are a small minority. So why do antifeminists – typically conservatives, and often women who benefit greatly from feminism – feel so threatened by feminism? From where comes this meme of "feminazi?"
I think it's because they fear that losing male privilege will cause them to lose the essence of their identities – though in fact it only frees them to express the sovereignty of that identity.
I'd be interested in hearing the opinions of others, both feminists and those opposed, on this understanding of feminism.