A Feminist is “a person who is in favor of, and who promotes, the equality of women with men, a person who advocates and practices treating women primarily as human persons (as men are so treated) and willingly contravenes social customs in so acting.” Leonard Swidler
1. Research on the attributes that we associate with "being feminine" tells us that the most important qualities for women are:
If you want to play it totally safe, you have to be willing to stay as small, quiet, and attractive as possible.
2. In my own decade-long research on authenticity and shame, I found that speaking out is a major shame trigger for women. Here's how the research participants described the struggle:
- Don’t make people feel uncomfortable, but be honest.
- Don’t upset anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings, but say what’s on your mind.
- Sound informed and educated, but not like a know-it-all.
- Don’t say anything unpopular or controversial, but have the courage to disagree with the crowd.
3. #2 applies to all issues, not just politics. When "being liked" is more important than "being real", we'll need to be very careful everywhere - at work, church, at our children’s schools, and on the soccer fields. It's exhausting.—Brene BrownDo you find this to be true in your church work? If so, how do you overcome the tendency to try to be liked at the expense of being real?
Until the twentieth century Christians universally spoke of the “superiority” of men and the “inferiority” of women. After the 1970s, with the advent of “women’s lib,” Christians had to abandon this language, and, in addition, most abandoned the idea that women were subordinated to men. Conservative evangelicals, without exception, gave up this language as well, although some sought a new way to uphold male hegemony with more genteel wording. They affirmed that men and women are equals, yet God has given them different roles. This sounds fine, but when unpacked it means women have the “role” of obeying and men the role of leading; no other “role” is in mind. What is more, this “role” is permanent since God ascribes it in creation. Since God established this social hierarchical order before the Fall, it cannot be changed. It is the ideal. As this difference in “role” (in plain speak, difference in authority) is the one essential difference between men and women, to deny the permanent subordination of women is to deny male-female differentiation as such. This novel case for women’s permanent “role” subordination raises exactly the same problem as their novel case for the Son’s eternal “role” subordination. If women are permanently subordinated in role, and their subordinate role can never change, then they are the subordinated sex. They do not merely function subordinately. Their God-given subordination defines their person or being. They are the subordinated sex. Kevin GilesThe ' eternal subordination of the Son' argument is one of the issues that women face as they consider and enter the role of pastor or minister. It is the basis of the complementarian argument for the role of women and men. If you read the article you will see that he argues against the permanent subordination of the Son. In fact, he wrote a whole book on the subject called,
Elshtain points to Augustine, Aquinas, and Luther in particular as Christian thinkers who challenged the classical elevation of the public realm that had as its necessary corollary the exclusion of women from political life.
Elshtain writes, "Christianity challenged the primacy of politics. It did not relegate secular power to silence and shadows as secular power had formerly relegated the private, but the claims of the public-political world no longer went unchallenged. Caesar now had to confront the formidable figure of Christ." Christianity bequeathed to the individual qua human being irreducible worth and dignity, and placed independent value on "the realm of necessity" inhabited by women. In so doing, it turned Aristotle "on his head." The Greeks had excluded women from the highest expressions of human life, action, and thought; Christianity smashed the distinction between higher and lower forms of human existence, with effects that reverberated through to the present.
Just take a look. The site may not be to your taste and it might offend you, but the author does speak to some interesting clothing issues that women in the ministry face.
Beware...Not Yet Rated
The heartbeat of the whole [Wesleyan] movement was personal religious experience and its power to transform both the individual and society. Wesley was ready to adopt and adapt any idea that might further this cause. His chief purpose was to help the Church proclaim the gospel more effectively. The spirit of the movement and the vision of the founder contributed both to the acceptance and encouragement of female leadership. Wesley pioneered and sustained the revival. Women, as well as men, were allowed to express themselves freely.She Offered Them Christ: The Legacy of Women Preachers in Early Methodism, Paul Chilcote. (Abingdon, 1993, 24)