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Tag: Gender Roles
Oh Love, Come Close: A Memoir
Oh Love, Come Close is a deeply personal reflection on one woman’s journey to confront her chronic depression and its underlying causes.
We Can’t Just “Move Beyond” the Struggle for Gender Equity
"The people who want to “move beyond” debates over questions of equality and inclusion are, most often, the people who already hold power. They do not see a significant problem with the status quo because the status quo is not holding them back from pursuing their goals..."
Women in the Mission of the Church: Their Opportunities and Obstacles throughout Christian History
"I am in awe of foremothers who were martyred for their faith, of those who pushed their way into unknown lands to proclaim the gospel, and of those who chose celibacy to better care for the poor and sick in their communities."
The Book of Longings
"Within the context of Ana’s life story, Jesus is seen as very human. We see his personal evolution from life as a physical laborer to someone who comes to understand his life’s purpose as a leader, healer, and prophet."
Women Rising: Learning to Listen, Reclaiming Our Voice
"Women Rising is a powerful story, in large part due to Tschanz’s willingness to look closely at her own participation in what she comes to see as white-saviorism. Her vulnerability is not only endearing but also refreshing."
The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth
"The Making of Biblical Womanhood is not only a timely examination of patriarchy packaged as complementarianism in modern Christianity; it also is a call for both men and women to look critically at what is accepted as gospel truth, especially pertaining to the role and treatment of women."
"Many women in today’s society continue to struggle to be able to pursue their passions. This book gives the reader inspiration to realize all she accomplished in her society. If Kempe was able to travel the world, write a book, and forge her own path, we should be able to do the same."
Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation
"When the two towers fell on 9/11, the evangelical culture was primed for a quick militaristic response and had the political power to do so. “Manly” heroes were needed to protect the American way of life, and the purity movement had prepared a generation of men to become those heroes."
The Mrs. Files
May 21, 2020 How does the honorific "Mrs." impact how women view themselves and how they are viewed by others? Take a look at The...
The Collective Response of Males
"A collective response is different from a set response. A set response is when the teacher asks for questions from us, so we raise our hand, the microphone goes around, and one person at a time has the floor. The collective response is the teacher asking the entire class a question."
Christian Feminism in the News
September 5, 2019 As active readers of the Christian Feminism Today website the majority of us wouldn't be surprised to find out that feminists can...
Kol Isha from a Whisper to a Song: The Voice of a Jewish Woman
Our tradition encourages, even requires, us to examine things from different angles, to question, and to make sense of ideas in the context of our own time and place.
Women Serving as Clergy in the Early Church
August 26, 2019 Women serving as clergy in the early church may have been more common place than has previously been believed. Backed by research...
Pink Sunglasses and Yoga Pants: 31 Reflections on Biblical Feminism
“You get a sense [while reading this book] that the author truly wants to improve the lives of women in their religious community, both their physical presence and how they are impacting the world. She wants to make a difference.”
1 Timothy 2:15: Salvation—A Strange Promise for Mother’s Day!
Lesson 8: "For conservative scholars who believe Paul himself wrote the Pastoral Epistles, figuring out what he meant here becomes a pressing issue. If salvation comes through Christ, as other Pauline letters affirm, what can salvation through childbearing mean? "
1 Timothy 2:9-15 — That Troublesome Paragraph on Women
Lesson 7: "The pastor provides what he sees as scriptural authority for women’s submission in 1 Timothy 2:13-14: Adam was formed first and only Eve was deceived by the serpent. That is a traditional Jewish interpretation of the Genesis 2-3 story, but a very limited and male-oriented one. Since both Adam and Eve sinned, is it worse to be deceived or to deliberately sin?"
The Moon Within
Aida Salazar has created a work of art that touches the soul in writing the story of Celi, as Judy Blume did so many years ago with Margaret. The two stories connect in the shared growth and personal development of both girls during a time of life known for its challenges, as each character becomes more wholly herself.
An Interview with Author Linda Kay Klein
Particularly if you're a girl or a woman, you are taught that you need to protect everyone else by your purity because men and boys are easily sexually tempted. So girls and women have to be responsible for the sexual purity of the whole community, essentially.
PURE: Inside the Evangelical Movement that Shattered a Generation of Young Women and How...
Life-changing. Freeing. Healing. Empowering. These are just a few of my takeaways from Linda Kay Klein’s work. There is a way to break free, and this book is a roadmap to that freedom.
Gender Equality: Walking Away from Division and Anger into a Place of Compassion and...
Thanks to the tireless work of Tarana Burke and #MeToo, the conversation in our society has finally mutated from cowed acceptance of patriarchal systems to a demand for civility and equality for all persons. As the stories of abuse and sexual harassment are finally told, there is not a single profession left untouched.
“Repent!” says Pastor Nancy Sehested
June 7, 2018 Nancy Hastings Sehested is speaking out as Southern Baptist women rise up against the oppression inflicted on them since 1987. In her open letter...
Worthy: Finding Yourself in a World Expecting Someone Else
... Melanie Mock has given her readers a psychology course that liberates us by forcing us to look beneath the surface of our expectations for ourselves. She teaches us how to “interrogate the Bible” (p. 222) and how to “stop, be quiet, and affirm the stories of others through active listening” (p. 229).
In her newest science fiction novel, The Power, Naomi Alderman takes the reader through a global cataclysm that disrupts normative relationships between men and women. Women develop a skein: a muscular strip across the collarbone that emits electrical power. With skein activation, women can give shocks and are able to physically overpower men.
What Paula Stone Williams Knows about Gender
January 8, 2018 I know Paula Stone Williams from CFT's involvement with the Gay Christian Network's WomenConnect retreat. In 2017 Paula was one of the...
Some Thoughts on Modesty
We need to stop allowing Augustine and the flawed theology of other early Church Fathers into our hearts, minds, and society, because they have nothing good for women except slut-shaming and blaming women for all men’s lust and sin.
A Podcast, the PCA, and the Conservative Christian Battle Over Gender
August 21, 2017 "Many Christian conferences address 'race, racism, racial reconciliation, trying to do justice in those spheres,' said, 'but yet completely ignore...
Being Womanish Is Not Bad
Womanish girls rebel against the patriarchal standard imposed on them to be silent and invisible. By being themselves, they challenge patriarchal child-rearing structures that stifle young black girls.
Shattering Masks: Affirming My Identity, Transitioning My Faith
... as we read Shattering Masks, we can rejoice with its author that the intersexual transwoman Laura Bethany Taylor is indeed “God’s own child,” resembling and revealing her divine Mother/Father precisely as she was created to do.
Your Beliefs About Gender Differences May Be All Wrong
March 14, 2017 A new book by Cordelia Fine, Testosterone Rex: Myths of Sex, Science, and Society, examines views about gender differences and why they are...
Are men projecting their feelings of sexual shame onto women?
March 6, 2017 This post by Emma Lindsay asks an interesting question. Are women's feelings of shame about the way we look actually a projection of male...
Angels on Earth: Mothering, Religion, and Spirituality
A woman’s actual personhood is a paradoxical irony: young women are valued for their potential to be useful sexually and reproductively, but once they have succeeded in fulfilling those potentials, they are regarded as vaguely defiled.
Reclaiming Your Story: Mary Magdalene and Lady Gaga’s “Judas”
Mary Magdalene is a person in her own right. Her real story is remarkable, and can be uncovered through the accurate interpretation of scripture. Mary Magdalene is featured in the New Testament more than any other women, with the exception of Mary, the Mother of Jesus; she’s mentioned in 14 different verses.
Does the Bible Teach Biological Complementarity?
Lesson 10 “For many Christians [who voice opinions about same-sex sexual expression], these disapproving biblical verses imply the case is closed. But why does scripture (or God) disapprove? Or as James Brownson puts it in Bible, Gender, Sexuality, (mentioned in Lesson 8), what is the ‘moral logic’ behind this disapproval?”
A New View of Mary and Martha
Hanson raises important questions about the traditional reading. She points out that we read into it things that aren’t actually there. For example, we assume that Jesus and twelve other tired, hungry men showed up on Mary and Martha’s doorstep unannounced. Any decent host would be alarmed. But the passage doesn’t state that any other disciples were present.
Gender Disputes in Bible Translation
Lesson 5 "The translation was called Today’s New International Version of the Bible (TNIV), an updated edition of the New International Version (NIV), a favorite of conservative Christians. And many of them were not happy with the new edition. Why the unhappiness? Because the TNIV was the first NIV updating to use gender-inclusive people language."
A Christian Feminist Remembers Elisabeth Elliot (1926-2015)
"During those years, I purchased every book Elisabeth Elliot wrote, and each time I looked forward to the next one. Like many women of my generation, I considered her a role model, an example of what a strong, intelligent, confident, courageous Christian woman could be. "
Prostitutes, Virgins and Mothers: Questioning Teachings About Biblical Women
Certainly this book could be meaningful to any Christian wanting a good overview of the women in the Bible, but I also feel the book could be interesting reading for feminists wanting to understand the way layers of patriarchal interference over the years have worked to influence Christian behavior and attitudes toward women. With that said, I don't think this book is "too feminist" to have a wide audience.
On Christian Femininity and Bragging Rights
But if our greatest treasure is our spiritual gifts, then men and women together should lift up the riches offered by the women of the church. We should open wide the doors to this storehouse of wealth. It means being a little less quick to slap down a compliment with, “Oh, isn’t God great? God did it. I didn’t do it. It wasn’t me.”
I’ve always been taught the inerrancy of Scripture. Paul tells women to be silent...
Learn how Christian feminists approach the concept of the "inerrancy of Scripture."
How can a Christian be a Feminist?
Rebecca Kiser responds: There are many distortions of what feminism means in the current culture. Feminists are proponents of women as whole people, who are capable...
Submission, Subjection, and Subversion in Household Codes
"... the overarching message of Jesus throughout the New Testament is a call for those in power to give it up or lay it aside for the sake of the powerless or for the greater good of the community. The theme of “little ones” being greatest in God’s kin-dom saturates the Synoptic Gospels. Jesus flees popularity, risks his life to defy rigid structures that oppress “little ones,” and finally endures the shame of crucifixion as a rebel against Roman domination."
Mutual Submission in This Time and in This Place
But something changed a few decades later that made the early church start to rein in the mutual submission and egalitarianism of its Savior and the teachings of its foremost apostle. What was it? The simple answer is that Jesus did not return.
Wounded by God’s People
I wonder if the“more severe” unshared wounds Lotz mentions in the epilogue were originally the inspiration for the writing, but were later left out to avoid causing more pain to those involved. Or perhaps it was just my own personal wounds hoping she was going to give them voice.
God Places the Solitary in Families: Childfree Doesn’t Mean Childless
For me family is a much broader and expansive concept than the nuclear family. Jesus said that anyone who obeyed God was his mother, brothers, and sisters. I see no reason to limit my family to those I am biologically related to, and I think part of our responsibilities as Christians is to cast a much larger definition of what a family is.
A Christian at the “Final Feminist Frontier”—Housework
"As a Christian, a spouse, and a mother who longs for her family to be happy, healthy, and comfortable, I suppose I should see the house tasks I complete as a servant’s work, part of the way I express love to those I care about most. "
A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her...
"A Year of Biblical Womanhood" is not just for women. Dan Evans is characterized in the book as a partner who trusts, supports, and respects his wife. Dan’s example is a reminder that one does not enact “biblical womanhood” in a vacuum; it is always a performance in relationship and community.
“Having it all” or “Being it all”?
"Much of the media buzz about Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, 'Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,' has focused less on what I consider the book’s intended message and more on the unending debates about whether women can combine marriage and children with pursuing a career outside the home..."
Christian Feminists Weigh Pros and Cons of Women in Combat
"Last week, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta ruled that women can now serve in combat roles with the United States military. I reacted to this decree with decided ambivalence, as the ruling challenges two ideologies I hold closest to my heart, along with my Christian faith.
What Kind of Man Would Want to Marry a Feminist?
The kind of man who would marry a feminist is a man who believes in social justice and “playing fair.” If the woman he loves supports and encourages his interests and career, he realizes that he is just as responsible to support and encourage her interests and career.
The Food Network: A Challenge to Gender Equality?
Perhaps I am being too critical of the Food Network, it is, after all, only entertainment, not intended as serious fare. But it does seem to me an illustration of the pervasive challenge to equality embedded in all aspects of our culture. And, while seemingly identifying the problem themselves, it is clear executives had little awareness about how to address this inequity on a sustained basis...”
Why Have Religions Feared Women’s Brain Power?
"Women who think, women who question, women who are educated are a threat to those men who think power is theirs by right—simply by having been born male. And so in many times and places, now and in the past, education for girls has been discouraged, opposed, made difficult, or actually forbidden —in spite of the impoverishment experienced by nations that hold such attitudes."
Creating Learned Helplessness, One Potluck at a Time
It seems, in my experience (and by what I’ve observed) that most church potlucks are still initiated, organized, and managed by women. Why is that? Why are women the ones who stay long after everyone else is gone, cleaning the kitchen (while a few men linger to stack chairs)?
A Sword between the Sexes?
Like Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, author of the newly released Sword Between the Sexes?, I’ve remained a fan of Lewis’s works in spite of his blind spots; still, before I read her book, I had never really looked in any comprehensive way at Lewis’s view of gender.
A Third Wave Feminist Speaks Out
My first conference was one of the only times I have felt positive, inspirational feminist community. Should this privilege be reserved for the few women who discover an EEWC poster and tentatively attend? Should we not be more "out there" with our God-filled organization? Women of EEWC, I ask you to reach out to my generation with your message.
My Journey to Feminism
"Ever since my feminist awakening, the proverbial “fire in my belly” has burned for those countless evangelical women who are faithfully practicing the spiritual tradition that has been handed down to them, unknowingly replicating a sexist, exclusivist hierarchy of privilege..."
Answering God’s Call to the Soul: Marjory Zoet Bankson
by EEWC Update editor Letha Dawson Scanzoni I see ‘call’ not as a vocational choice but as a special way of understanding what we are...
Subject, Once Again
The answer given to women at this seminary is that “God expects wives to graciously submit to their husbands’ leadership,” and doing so involves “learning how to set tables, sew buttons and sustain lively dinnertime conversation.” Students in class mention cross-stitching, “freezer pleaser” meatloaf, and using the Internet to track grocery coupons.
Bold Spirit: Helga Estby’s Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America
Years after her death, Helga has become a role model for tough, independent-thinking, risk-taking women everywhere. We would all do well to learn from her, and from Linda Lawrence Hunt who gave her story back to us.
Evangelical Identity and Gendered Family Life
What I probably liked best were her efforts to provide a sympathetic portrait of women whose religious views differ from my own. Gallagher adopts a very even-handed and respectful view towards both gender "progressives" and conservatives.
The book began as an exploration of the “un-testimony… an unruly story, a story that refuses to conform to a simple before-and-after pattern,” writes Hannah Faith Notess, the book’s editor.
What Betty Friedan Did and Didn’t Do
Dear Kimberly, You and I are so much on the same wave length and such good friends that I can’t recall our ever disagreeing, even...
Stepping over Boundaries and Finding New Metaphors
Dear Kimberly, Since you’re inundated with your Yale studies and deadlines for papers at this busy time of year, I’m happy to help out by...
“Paradigm Lost” and Slippery Slope Panic
Dear Kimberly, After reading your September 14 post, I purchased Elisabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity. I didn’t want to discuss something that I hadn’t even read! As you...
More Thoughts on the Writings of Elisabeth Elliot
Hi Letha, As you know, I’ve just returned to school, after spending a summer working in the Pacific Northwest. It feels good to be back...
Relationships: Complementing and Complimenting
Dear Kim, It was wonderful to see you at the EEWC-Christian Feminism Today Gathering in Indianapolis a few weeks ago and to continue these intergenerational conversations before...
Empathy: An Antidote to “Othering”
Dear Kimberly, I’ve been thinking a lot about empathy lately, and it ties in with something you referred to in your December 1 letter --...
Normative Restrictions: From 19th Century Victorian “Ideals” to Twilight
Dear Letha, I appreciated how in your last letter you nuanced the different patterns through which cultures control women. In this letter, I’d like to...
Dreams without Boundaries
Dear Kimberly, Last weekend, the film discussion group that I attend regularly viewed an advance screening of Amelia, the story of aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, who...
Religion, Women’s Status, and Self-image
Dear Kimberly, As you pointed out so well in your last letter, girls and women have had access to education for a relatively short time...
Women, Education, and Expectations
Hi Letha, Thanks so much for your last letter about “great and not so great expectations” for women.” Right now, I am thinking about how...
Great and Not-So-Great Expectations
When Steven Goldberg's controversial book, The Inevitability of Patriarchy was published in the 1970s, he argued for the existence of a "biologically-based male superiority" that equips the male sex for dominance and achievements. He claimed that "there is not a single woman whose genius has approached that of any number of men in philosophy, mathematics, composing, theorizing of any kind, or even painting."
More Thoughts on Women and Pride, also the Interplay of Lookism and Racism
Dear Letha, Now it is my turn to apologize for my slow reply to your last letter! As you know, this past month has been...
More about “Lookism,” also Are Sins “Gender-specific”?
Dear Kimberly, So many things in the news have recently reminded me of your last letter about how women are judged by their appearance, causing...
Faith, Rebellion, and a Larger Story
As a college sophomore I went into the office of my professor of Christian Doctrine, breaking down in tears and telling him why I was going to give up my faith. I could not submit to these expectations of submission and subservience placed on my femininity within the church circles I knew, and I could only assume there was therefore no place for me within Christianity. I was either committed to women’s rights or I was a “Bible-believing” Christian. I could not, surely, be both. (It seems that my black- and-white, either/or thinking, so trained in me by fundamentalism itself, was even at work in my recanting!)
When Gender Roles Become Straitjackets
Dear Kimberly, I've been concerned that some of our recent conversations might strike our readers as irrelevant during this current economic crisis. It's one thing...
More on Mothers…But Where are the Dads?
Dear Letha, Two things strike me after listening to the NPR segment you mentioned between Alice and Nina Rossi, as well as the humorous song...
Being a Feminist, Being a Mom (or Not!)
Dear Kimberly, In this letter and my next one, I'd like to comment on two topics you brought up in your Sept. 24 letter. One...
More about Gender-Based Division of Labor in the Home
Dear Kimberly, It was great reading your personal "observational study" of fathers and children delighting in their time together! And thank you for sharing your...
Who Can Nurture? More Thoughts on Parenting
Dear Letha, It is a very curious thing for me to sit back and try to look with a “beginner's mind” at all these notions...
Quakers, Gender Roles, and “Chickified Men”
Dear Letha, As I sit down to write this letter, I find myself sipping tea, listening to Rachmaninoff, and surrounded by many piles of books...
Christian and Mrs. Christian
Dear Letha, Thanks for recommending the essays of Dorothy Sayers. I have not yet read them, but it’s time! I love the distinction her editor...