Women’s Equality Day

Sunday is Women’s Equality Day.

Every so often I begin to wonder if I have misjudged how bad the situation with women in our churches actually is.  After all, millions of women go to church each Sunday to these churches that do not allow them to participate fully in their church.  It can’t be so bad, can it?

In particular I began thinking about this as I was re-writing parts of my book Dethroning Male Headship and then this week I was asked for an email interview for Women’s Equality Day for a certain website. (I’ll share this with you if it comes out). 

It is not a pretty picture that I paint.

Then something like the stupid statement of Congressman Akin makes the news and I know that he heard it from somewhere. Yesterday I came across another damning report about how girls think of themselves. The Girl Scouts Research Institute posted their findings and it is very discouraging.  Read what one woman said about the Girl Scouts report on social media:

“Speaking about the worrying finding that girls with low-self esteem are more likely to sex up their images online, Orenstein, a mother whose book Cinderella Ate My Daughter comes out in February, said that the trend was a result of a “performance culture” around feminine sexuality. Orenstein expressed concern about “the way that the culture is marketing and telling girls what it means to be feminine and what it means to be a girl,” which, she said, mostly means being sexy and sexual. The result is premature sexualization and rigid, restrictive definitions of femininity. It starts early, and never ends.”

A friend said this to me: “It is so discouraging to hear how girls feel about themselves.  Takes a very strong young woman to push her way through all of that.”

Ultimately, in the end, it doesn’t matter what I think about women’s equality. What matters is what girls themselves think because this will either propel them forward, or hold them back.  This study by the Girl Scout Research Institute also reports that four out of five girls believe they don’t have what it takes for leadership positions.  It is an attitude that is taught in fundamentalist churches and is borne out in studies such as this. Girls must begin thinking of themselves as being equal.

Equality for women begins with the girls.

Will you stand up for your daughters? Will you stand up and tell your pastors that the church should be leading out in defending girls, instead of depressing them forever behind some role that the churches think they should be limited to? Equality begins in the heart. We must see our daughters as being worthy and we must accept nothing less from our churches.

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About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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11 Responses to Women’s Equality Day

  1. Temperance says:

    Once again you have hit the nail on the head. Many girls lack the strength and the self-worth to aspire to do anything other than to please the men in their lives. And it starts in the church. That’s why so many women stay there and settle for less than what God intended for them. Many of them are kept busy doing “proper” women things, instead of doing what they’re actually gifted at. They accept it so they can keep men’s approval.

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  2. tommy9999 says:

    I have no doubt in my mind that God has given to women leadership and ministry skills and these women would be more than glad to use for God but sadly many churches are not allowing these women the opportunities. There must be a revolution to turn this around!

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  3. Mabel says:

    http://www.denisonforum.org/cultural-commentary/496-tiger-likes-rice-on-augusta-menu

    then read the comments. People defends sexism. Boys’ club? hardly. They allow wives to play, but not single women. That does not make them a Boys’ Club. I agree with Shirley, things are BAD.

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  4. The only way we will ever dethrone male headship is with the truth of God’s Word. Right now we do not have the truth, because Scripture on the “women passages” have been mistranslated. For example, the word “hypotasso” is translated as “submission” or “subjection”. But do you know that one time when Paul used the word “hypotasso” he was quoting from a prophecy found in the Old Testament? And if you turn to the prophecy of King David, you will find that he used a word of placement and NOT a word of subjection? Indeed, the true meaning of the word “hypotasso” is “to place, to put, to set”. So, in actuality, Peter was not asking wives to submit to husbands who were being disobedient to God’s Word ( 1 Peter 3: 1-2), but rather, he was asking wives to be set as Christ was set. (See 1 Peter 2: 21-25) Therefore, 1 Peter 3: 1-2 should instead be translated as, “In the same way [that Christ was set] you wives [also] be set to your own husbands, so that even if any of them are disobedient to the Word, they may be won over without a word by the behavior of their wives, by observing the reverent and pure way you live your lives.” So again, Peter is not asking wives to submit to their husbands disobedience, but rather he is asking them for righteous living. He is asking them to have pure and respectful behavior, just as Christ had pure and respectful behavior. So until Christians realize that the Scriptures are mistranslated on the “women passages”, we will never dethrone male headship because men who teach from the pulpit need only to turn to Scripture, as it is currently translated, to win their argument.

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    • Michelle says:

      1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.
      Gospel of John, NIV

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    • Michelle says:

      Excellent points on the mistranslations and various ways to understand scripture (some of the ideas you present here are new to me, despite my egalitarian understanding of the Bible, and of Christianity as a whole). Also, I do not understand why the so-called woman passages are not understood in light of the overarching messages given to all christians. That would seem to make it immediately clear that the idea that their purpose is to limit christians who were born female is not sound interpretation, and some other understanding should be sought.

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      • Yes, you are right. Their purpose to limit Christians who were born female is not sound interpretation. I fully believe that God does not limit women. And I believe that the “women passages” are very different from what is typically taught. Another example would be in the 1 Corinthians 11: 3-16 passage on head coverings. Here, I believe that Jesus Christ is the image and glory of God (vs. 7), not man [as is typically taught]. I believe that Paul is using Jesus Christ as a correlation as to why women should not be veiled. If you are interested to see my full interpretation of this passage then you can visit my website at http://www.womanthegloryofman.com. It is nice to know that there are other believers who keep an open mind to other interpretations of Scripture.

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      • Kristin, I am so glad that you have joined in our discussions. I visited your website and we welcome your voice to this discussion. We are trying to make a difference for women. For the world, for that matter, because the whole world will benefit when women have equality. Shirley > Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2012 14:47:37 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

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  5. Michelle says:

    Oh! A book named “Cinderella Ate My Daughter” sounds like one I want to read–especially because of my (now 5) nieces. CBE’s “Mutuality” magazine had a great article about the princess culture a year or so ago that I was able to share with my mother-in-law and (more importantly) my sister-in-law who is mother to four of my nieces.

    The denigration of females and femininity started with human beings, who incorporated it into most (if not all cultures), and codified it in nearly every religion on Earth. Sadly christianity is not an exception.

    This is another good post. Thank you for your continued encouragement/motivation.

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  6. Temperance says:

    One thing I’ll say for the whole Akin controversy is that now people have caught a glimpse of what he and some other men in authority really think of women. As you said, Shirley, his comments didn’t just come out of no where. He is not the only man in office who has said some similar things. No matter how much he tries to backpeddle now and convince people what he really meant, he has forever lost the respect of many. They see the hatred behind his comments. I think it will effect the outcome of the election. I think it’s possible that there are some Christian women who are at least internally asking themselves questions after hearing this. Maybe they are wondering if the men in their lives and church see them that way. Wouldn’t it be great if some men in the church would expose themselves by “misspeaking” so that people would see them for what they really are and lose respect for them?

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