Stop What You’re Doing and Read These Pieces!
Over the last several weeks, I’ve been inundated by some amazing articles and blogposts on the topics of gender issues and gender equality. So, instead of cooking up my own stuff today, I thought I would curate a selection of material from others. Enjoy these terrific and thought-provoking links!
By the Kate Wallace of the Junia Project. The perspective on “Biblical womanhood” that’s outlined in this post makes my blood boil. Here’s a quote from the piece: “That is why I do not buy into the “biblical womanhood” gospel, and why I cannot be a part of that movement – because it preaches a “to do list” instead of freedom; because it is gendered when scripture is not; because it demands uniformity instead of celebrating diversity; because it elevates married life over single life; because it doesn’t apply to everyone.”
From the Crates and Ribbons blog. When we talk about women being tragically objectified, we mostly do so with sexual material in mind. But according to “Crates and Ribbons” it’s so much more foundational than that. “The cumulative effect of all this is that we are socialising generation after generation to view the world, and the women in it, from the point of view of men. As a result, only men are seen as full and complete human beings, not women. Women are objectified — this means we are denied agency, and are seen from the outside, our own consciousness, our thoughts and feelings, utterly overlooked.”
How does male privilege damage men? Tim Peck has three reasons. The one that most grabbed me has to do with the tragic impact on our collective mission: “If one’s role in the church is based on gender alone, some men may find themselves in church leadership roles that they lack the competency to fulfill. By effectively disqualifying more than half of the potential leaders in a church by virtue of their gender, the need for leadership will necessarily be larger than the pool of available male leaders.”
A few weeks back, I blogged about the lack of female speakers at Christian leadership conferences (here). Here’s a bit more perspective from Jim Wallis and Lisa Sharon Harper from Sojourners: “So, it is not only a sociological problem, but a theological one — an ecclesial one — when more than half the church is excluded from upfront leadership, prophetic ministry, and public teaching. This denial repudiates the power of the gospel of reconciliation.”
In her post this week, Erna Stubblefield eloquently captures what it feels like to be on the outside looking in in a ecclesiastical world dominated by male privilege: “I realized that though I believed in the Biblical basis for women in leadership I was uncomfortable with it in praxis. I was guilty of the same kind of subconscious male bias that I had experienced through others towards my leadership. I couldn’t picture myself as a pastor because I was woman.”
Sit with this reflection on Psalm 40 and let your heart engage this issue. “My sisters and I have cried when we’ve been told “no”, “be quiet”, “this is not your place”. We need your rescue, God. We desperately need you to bring good news in places where we are pushed down, snuffed out, and negotiated around. Your Kingdom suffers when we are relegated to roles and ministries and places where we are not gifted or passionate. How long?”
Micah Murray went from being “least likely person to ever become a feminist” to someone who could write this: “I realized that the “Gospel-centered manhood” promoted by so many leaders didn’t always have much to do with the Gospel. I realized that the violent masculinity that I’d admired wasn’t consistent with the Jesus who showed us that God can bleed.”
Last but not least I present you with…Goldiblox. And the Beastie Boys. What’s not to like?!? Here.