While women like Faith Moore and Sheila Gregoire deny women’s temptation to compete for men’s sexual attention, some complementarian feminists admit that this is going on but blame it on the patriarchy. As complementarian feminist Wendy Alsup explains in her post On Nude Selfies (emphasis mine):
Kim Kardashian broke the internet last week with her nude selfie. She previously posted a nude selfie when pregnant with her son with a general explanation that it was to quiet the body shamers who regularly criticized her body. Last week’s nude selfie made her feel “empowered.”
Kim operates in a power system run on the currency of big breasts, small waists, and sexy butt. She runs in a power system in which her primary power is her sexuality. She said she feels “empowered by her sexuality.” Though she has money, owns a business, and is famous, those don’t make her feel empowered in whatever power structure she perceives herself. The secondary powers of money or fame are based on the one thing that fuels her power, her sexuality. She does not bank alone in this power system. Many women do similarly though with lesser currency and lesser power. Kardashian and Beyonce are two of the most savvy women in our world at exploiting this currency for their own benefit.
The problem in this system is that women didn’t create this currency. They have, however, learned how to build their bank account and spend their earnings in it. If a dictator takes over your world and changes the form of money from euros to won, eventually the savvy are going to start operating in won if they want power or influence under the dictator. Satan changed the currency between men and women at the fall. Men oppress women, and women still desire men to the point that they sell their soul (or their body on the internet) to trade in their currency.
Alsup quotes another complementarian feminist (Hannah Anderson) to reinforce the point:
“Rather than dismantling male power structures, (nude selfies) are an attempt to gain power through them. They ARE a form of female empowerment but only because they buy into the established system. Feminine beauty is valuable because the people who want it the most (men) hold biological and sociological power. In other words, feminine sexuality is a commodity that can be leveraged to gain power because of the demand that already exists.
In a fallen world, men hold power, and sinful men hold onto it for their own benefit; women need to gain power both to protect themselves as well as desiring it out of their own sinfulness. The result? Women use the one thing they have that men want to shift power away from those men. The problem, though, is that it ends up harming other women. It becomes a form of competition for the limited resource of male attention, which is the means of gaining power.”
This is all standard feminist boilerplate with a dash of Christian seeming theology mixed in. What makes this noteworthy however is that it is coming from women who are taken seriously in complementarian circles. You can read Wendy Alsup’s contributions to Dr. John Piper’s Desiring God website here, and her contributions to The Gospel Coalition here. Likewise, you can read Desiring God’s endorsement of Hannah Anderson’s book here, and her contributions to The Gospel Coalition here. If one or both of their names sound familiar, it could be because of a quote I shared from another complementarian feminist in my post Androcentric chimps chimping
Gary McQuinn, named so many of the issues friends like Jen Wilkin, Wendy Alsup, Hannah Anderson, and others—all complementarians paying particular attention to women’s involvement and leadership—had been talking about for years.
There is a direct pipeline from the women’s studies department at your local university into the complementarian mind, and complementarians are entirely incapable of defending themselves from this.