Same Old Crap


© christian misogyny – Google Search

It was never my plan to take a year hiatus from posting on my blog but the time just flew by. During my lapse of silence, I have been reading, pondering and listening to those around me on the subject of women and Christianity (I did also have a baby which drastically changed the pace of my life as well). The last year has only produced more questions and personal challenges to my faith. Becoming a mom is such a life changing event that it has caused me to stop and look for voices of other mothers within the Christian tradition to relate to but they are few and far between (where are their writings and perspectives? Probably too busy taking care of everyone and everything in their households!). I know that I am on a search. Some of the questions that have come to mind are “Is Christianity actually good for women?” And “If it is, then why are women still viewed as less than men within most sects of Christianity (and other religions for that matter like Judaism, Islam and Buddhism)?”  I stopped writing in order to have more time to think. In the midst of my developing views, I have wanted to land somewhere.  Well, I am still searching but one thing is for sure, I am tired of the same old crap. Let me explain with a personal story…

I recently attended a close friends’ kid birthday party and there was a man present who I had never met but had only heard good things about. He is highly respected amongst my peers and as a Christian leader of sorts, he has been very influential. My husband talked with him for a while at first (I believe they had a good conversation) which then prompted him to come introduce himself to me. At the time I had started up a conversation with another woman who I had just met. This man (who will not be named) decided to join our conversation by saying to me “Wow. You are really pretty.” I was so caught off guard by what he said that for a moment I thought I misheard him. But I didn’t.  He then went on to talk about how best I could maintain my beauty as I get older (you could tell that the other lady felt uncomfortable with where the conversation was going). His advice was all about dressing to look my age (not trying to look any younger because that is sad and unattractive) and working on my inner beauty (what Christians refer to as character). I was stunned and too paralyzed in the moment to realize just how pissed off I was going to be five minutes after our conversation.  I started to think as he kept talking “What the! Who does this guy think he is?!” When is it ever ok for a man to tell a woman, who is a complete stranger, how she should look and also act? I know that this type of crap rarely if ever happens to men but it happens to women constantly and especially within religious communities. How women look and behave is a constant topic for discussion and it is mostly being talked about by men to women. Do women ever get a platform to talk to men about how they should look and behave?  No! That would never happen.

What I regret most from this encounter is that because I was so caught off guard, I didn’t have the opportunity to correct this man and tell him how inappropriate his behavior was. It is just another reminder of how women are still viewed and treated as subpar within most Christian communities. Which is also why stories continue to come out about how women are being mistreated within their churches (see “After Willow Creek: How Can Churches Make Women Feel Safe Again” by Kelly Ladd Bishop).  How women are viewed within the church needs to change or abuses are only going to continue to keep taking place. Christian women have been experiencing two-thousand years of men telling them who they are and how they should live. Let’s face it, within Christianity, women have mostly only been given two options: to be a saint (virgin) or a whore. That’s it. Personally, I would appreciate more options.

3 thoughts on “Same Old Crap

  1. So good McCall. Your opening photo and article reminded me of something that I read a while back, it explained that for a woman humility is a character and social trait we should carry, not something referring to our clothing. Youth groups often teach girls that their clothes and how they look are the reason their “brothers in Christ stumble,” this heaping loads of guilt on girls for all men and their failure. Why not blame the girls? They are the Eves, the Jezabels, the Whores of Babylon…

    Liked by 1 person

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