Friday, February 21, 2014

Guess I'm Just a Sorry Excuse for a Modern Woman

A comment thread on a friend's recent FB post prompted me to make the following declarations:

- Although I'm a bit fuzzy on the current definition of a feminist, I'm still pretty sure that I'm not one.

- I don't believe I've ever been in a situation where I have been held back or mistreated simply because I'm a woman. However, this is most likely because I chose a career field that has historically been dominated by women.

- I don't at all doubt that there are women out there who are held back professionally or mistreated simply because they are women. But I also believe there are men out there who are held back professionally and mistreated simply because they are men. Example: I can't tell you how many times over the last twenty-five years my husband has been one of the last couple candidates for a job and lost it to a woman or a minority . . . but it's enough to convince me that it's not a coincidence. And I'm quite tired of television shows portraying all men as either violent sex maniacs or wimpy buffoons dominated by their wives.

- I have no problem with the term "mankind", even though I am not a man. None at all.

- I also have no problem with masculine pronouns being used to refer to a generic person. In fact, I find "s/he" and "his/her" and all their ilk to be quite annoying. They are MUCH more disruptive to effective communication, I think, than just saying "he" and assuming your reader has a modicum of common sense.

- The only time I recall experiencing any direct discrimination for my gender (and even this wasn't really direct) was at a church Hubby and I visited several times when we first moved to Hutchinson early in our marriage. He actually was the one who pointed out to me that women were never asked to pray in the Sunday School class, and did that bother me? (Not really.) When the church had a missionary couple come in to speak for a weekend -- and the men gathered to hear the husband speak of the mission efforts while the women gathered in another room to hear about the country's food and clothes -- that's when we decided to move on in our church search.

- There are a lot of super-conservative Christians that have a lot of super-conservative views on women that I don't agree with.

- That said, I think the Bible teaches that wives are to submit to their husbands, and I agree and do so, to the best of my ability. It's not a question of inferiority and superiority. I am "inferior" to my husband in some aspects, and he is "inferior" to me in other aspects, and we are equal in value before God. It's simply a matter of position; someone needs to be in charge in any organization. I knew when I married my husband that I was hiring a CEO for my family; if I didn't trust him to do the job well, I wouldn't have married him. Rarely has he ever expected me to "submit" to him because we rarely disagree on important matters regarding our family, but I'm prepared to do so. Anyone who uses the Bible to make women doormats has not thoroughly read their Bible.

- Men (as a whole) are physically stronger than women (as a whole). This means that men (in general) are better suited for certain jobs than women (in general). There are many other differences between men and women, and I like my men and women to be different. Again, it does not mean they are different in value.

- I had male OB/GYNs deliver both of my babies -- and I loved them.

- I prefer not to attend a church with a woman pastor. But I don't know that this has to do with Biblical admonitions against women in the ministry -- I think it's just a personal preference.

- I'm still not sure what I think of women in ministry roles as a whole. I had a friend once (a woman Sunday School teacher of a couples class) who believed that the church made a big mistake when they allowed women to take leadership positions in the church because this gave men permission to sit back and stop leading -- which they did. I tend to think there's something to that. I also know that if I were tapped to teach a class at church and I knew that there were several men who would not attend or who would give less credibility to the teaching because of my gender, I would step down and give the job to a man . . . because it is far more important that these men hear the word of God with an open heart than it is for them to get over any misogyny I suspect they suffer from (especially because getting over their misogyny would require them hearing the word of God with an open heart first).

- I was uncomfortable with Sarah Palin running for Vice President because she had young children -- and especially a very young one with special needs -- and I felt she would not be able to give her family the attention they needed if she were Vice President. It did occur to me at the time that it was hypocritical of me not to apply the same standard to men running for office . . . which has contributed to my belief that high-level offices in the national government (President and such) really need to be filled only by people who do not have children at home. Everyone should put their families first, and a President really can't.

- When a man opens a door for me or stands to give me a seat on a bus, it never occurs to me that he is implying that I am incapable in any way. I'm just terribly impressed at his good manners.

- I understand that many women have experienced genuine abuse based on their gender. This is abominable. I also think there are many women (and men) who frankly are just too darn sensitive. There.  I said it.

- Please feel free to call me a "lady". I strive to be one. I think I can tell when you mean it in a pejorative sense, and I'll get over it if you do.

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