Gender and the Church

A few weeks ago I wrote an article for Bedlam Magazine detailing my experience as a woman in an extremely patriarchal church here in France. It was something I hadn’t come up against before in such a glaringly obvious way so the experience left quite an impact.

If you’re interested in giving it a read then you can head over here: A Wake-Up Call to Gender Inequalities in the Church

I’d be interested in hearing other stories from people who have shared similar experiences. Whether it be an othering by the church, or simply snide comments by fellow Christians. The more people add their voices and experiences in challenging these complementarian ideologies, the closer we’ll get to opening minds and creating a space where men and women can work side-by-side. You know, like we were supposed to.


6 thoughts on “Gender and the Church”

  1. It often amazes me that women are willfully party to being treated as outsiders in most institutions, customs, places. Despite being the other half of the world’s population, they’d rather support the opposite half than their own species, they’d rather participate in contributing to the problem than look for ways to solve the matter.. It is this self destructive sort of instinct that is keeping things as in and not helping the world prosper (which I think will happen if all humans are allowed to contribute to its betterment fully)..

    1. That’s what Biblical Manhood and Womanhood teachings will do – it preaches a his and hers (pink and blue) gospel that is divided by a line neither side is supposed to cross. The women who are a willing party to being treated this way gets affirmation and praise for being submissive in everything. The women who aren’t sufficiently submissive get treated as if they’re heretics who just don’t understand what the Bible really says because there’s no room for egalitarianism in their book. A whole generation has been raised under these teachings, daughters who were told that their only goal in life was to marry and have children are marrying and having children. As ideological clones of their parents, they will teach their daughters that if they want to be a godly woman, they must submit to their husbands and they will ‘model’ that behavior in how they submit to their husbands. Because it’s preached as Biblical, it’s sold as God’s recipe for a perfect marriage and happy family – which is what people want in general. It’s easier for certain personality types that are predisposed to wanting to live that way, but for those of us who are independent and strong-willed, it’s something we can clearly see that we cannot do.

  2. My churches tended to let me serve in ministries that were out of sight, usually it was the nursery. Though I did get to be a sound technician because that was at the back of the room. What they didn’t know was that for every question I wasn’t allowed to ask, I took it to my blog and developed a storehouse of knowledge, translation biases and errors, cultural and historical facts, and came to ask myself: “Why if things like head covering (1 Cor. 11) were seen as cultural and therefore not demanded that women could not speak (1 Cor. 14) were seen as a timeless truth?” Sadly, I discovered that there’s a Christian movement that saw the disconnect, so they opted to bring back head covering just so they could bolster their gender roles teaching. Just a few days ago, I saw some Christian women bloggers who were concerned that they were violating the prohibition about teaching men by blogging, so they were kindly requesting the men to reading their blogs and to go learn from other men in accordance with scripture. I really don’t think this is the Christianity that Jesus had hoped to create – a flawed copy of 1st century patriarchy-based gender roles in in 21st century egalitarian societies.

    1. Wow, i haven’t heard of head coverings being brought back into churches, though I am familiar with the brethren tradition of wearing them. Do you know which denomination is spearheading the movement?
      It is so sad that women are shamed into feeling the need to apologize simply for sharing their faith! And of course it is so covertly done that they believe it is “the spirit” prompting them to humbly fall back in line…

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