Some Views From 30,000 Feet

2dLPWfINote: We’re in the middle of a series where we’re examining a trinitarian theological perspective on gender, but today we’re taking a short detour!

My supervisor is fond of the word “telescope.” In fact, he uses it as a verb. As in, “let’s telescope out and see what’s going on in the bigger picture.” I think it’s hilarious, quirky and mockable.

It’s also wise.

Blogging each week takes me pretty deep into a particular, focused topic.  But sometimes, it’s well and good to pause and survey the bigger picture. Sometimes, “telescoping out” is the right thing to do.

Today I want to offer a bird’s eye view of some instances of male privilege in our culture and in the church. To do so, I’ll give you some selected links and a bit of commentary. Most of these links actually come from you, so let me also say thank you for resourcing me. Keep ’em coming!

The Good:

According to this piece, “what is growing…is the diversity of leadership in mainline Protestant churches, where 28 percent of pastors are women, up from 20 percent in 2001. New research using survey data also finds female pastors are in general more satisfied in their ministry than male pastors and are strong in welcoming new people. Almost two in five pastors of growing churches are women.” Let’s keep these trends going!

There’s a lot to like in Preston’s post entitled “When We Need Women Behind the Pulpits.” Here’s a quote:

“And I know,” she goes on, “That not one of them in that room would have had a problem with a woman praying. I know you all well enough to know better than that. But it’s still resident within me, from the culture I’ve been in, that when there’s a man in a room and someone is asked to pray, it’s always his right and his role.”

The Bad:

Tis the season for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. According to this article, “this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue contains a new feature, a six-page style guide ‘to help women recreate the looks they see in the issue.'” Heaven help us.

Some controversy from last weekend’s Oscars ceremony. In this article, Philippa Willitts dissects host Seth McFarlane’s “We Saw Your Boobs” musical number. Her verdict? Demeaning to the actresses and their craft at one level, horrific at another level. After all, several of the scenes being referenced were rape scenes.

The Ugly:

Lastly, in all this talk of Danica, let’s not forget that last week the young sport of MMA welcomed women into the octagon for the first time. The story is here. How should we read this? Is it privilege getting pile-driven, or equality gone awry?

I”ll leave you on a high note, quoting the tail-end of Anne Hathaway’s Oscar acceptance speech: “Here’s hoping that in the not too distant future the misfortunes of Fantine will only be found in stories.”

Amen to that.

What about you? What’s happening with  male privilege around you?

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