So after reading Dave Fitch's article on why he isn't an egalitarian
over at the Church and Postmodern Culture blog (and then Makeesha's
great response), I am just left wondering what the deal is really with men in the Emerging Church. So you get these high profile men writing stuff that equality isn't biblical (but that they still support women in ministry) and that women should be allowed to live out their God given roles. One one level that might sound good, but it's just the same old oppression in a different packaging. Others tell me point blank that they won't waste energy working to help women in ministry because our ministry structures aren't biblical to begin with. So why waste time working to get women involved in a system that they are working to change? But the obvious problem is that the system is not changing, the boys keep it going as is, and the women remain on the sidelines. Others give an ample space for the fight over whether women are fully human on their blogs, but never really stick their necks out and actually support women. And then when certain leaders degrade and objectify women as mere sex objects, the men of the church remain silent or pat him on the back. WTF? This is the response we get from men in the Emerging Church.
What are you guys afraid of? Controversy? Having to share power? Having to talk to women? I just don't get it. When they say they "support" women, but don't actually ever do anything to about I have to question if they really do respect women. Are we just a nuisance that they can placate with kind sounding words? If they give enough platitudes and asides (I really do support women in ministry, really) will we shut up and pretend that everything is okay? I know a number of women who have given up on the emerging church as a joke because of the way women continue to be treated.
Hey boys guess what. We don't want to be treated like a piece of meat or piece of art. We don't want to treated like second class citizens and be endlessly tokenized or debated. We want to be a part of the conversation and respected for who we are. We can have our own conversations, but it would be really nice of you to make just the slightest effort to treat us as human beings and let the world know about it.
So what I would like to see is one, just one, male leader in the Emerging Church come out in complete support of women. No debating our worth. No stereotyping us into assumed roles. But complete and open support with a commitment to action to do whatever you can to help the women's voices be heard. That isn't too much to ask is it?
Labels: Emerging Church, Emerging Women, Gender Issues