Saturday, 27 July 2013

Women and the church: you're not really a woman if you're not married.

It started with a video advert in church about an upcoming six week course on hearing God's voice. And then Pastor Isaac made the announcement that it's only for women. And straightaway, a bitterness welled up in my heart - deep, sharp, angry - because I knew even before it was announced that the dates available would be inaccessible to me. And I was right. Women's meeting, Tuesday morning or Wednesday afternoon.

Because, you know, in the eyes of the church, if you're not married, you don't have kids, and you're working full time, you're not really, you know, a woman.

That's bitterness talking. I acknowledge that. I also acknowledge the fact that even if it were held on a weekend, I would think twice about joining it because I'm already busy enough as it is, and the stuff I have in my head to do will make me even busier.

But it's the very fact that a "women's meeting" is automatically scheduled on a working day makes me angry. Men's meetings are always on Saturdays, or evenings, to make sure that as many as possible can make it. Why can't women's meetings be too? Oh right, I forgot, the woman's place is at home, no? 

What about working mothers? Are they not women too? Or men have the "priority" on weekends, because well, they're men, and 100% of them work, as compared to the maybe... 50% of women who do. (50% is just arbitrary number. I don't know. Maybe my church has a lot of homemakers or retired women and maybe 50% is an overstatement, or then again, it could be an understatement OR THEN AGAIN, MAYBE ALL THE SINGLE LADIES WHO WORK HAVE GIVEN UP ON THE CHURCH AND GONE SOMEWHERE ELSE. Just saying.)

I don't know why I'm so worked up about this. Maybe I've been reading too many articles on gender, too many articles on how women are still being stereotyped, still being held by patriachish views, even whilst they are given the semblance of freedom, and this thing just flies up in my face where it shouldn't and stuns me. I don't know if the other 99.99% of women in the church see this as a problem. I don't know if they should. Maybe they should. Or maybe they'll just shrug their pretty shoulders and ignore it.

Go read this and tell me what you think. And it makes me angry because we buy into this as well. We, us, womenfolk. It's not the men doing the propagating. Most times we do this to ourselves.

Then again maybe, just maybe, I'm just being dramatic over nothing. Like you know, women and that time of the month *rolls eyes*. Maybe it's too many boundless articles about single women griping about not being able to find a husband. And single men griping about being turned down by too many women. And the net result being a lot of stupid, pointless advice which, you know, doesn't make a difference because, apparently, none of the guys in my church seem to be looking for a wife anyway.

And that comes up to the other nub that irks me about this whole women and the church thing. It's like how you don't really exist as a woman until you get married, or turn forty. They just don't know what to do with you, so they don't do anything. Other than, of course, suggest at ways to get you married off so that they will finally know how to categorise you: women's ministry, of course. 

6 comments:

  1. Nice rant Amy. If you aren't happy because of perceived sexism at your church, change churches, or start your own group. If you've noticed a problem, or a gap in the services provided by your church, chances are there are at least a few others who have too. The church does struggle with gender issues but remember the church is a microcosm of society. It's not paradise. I'll look forward to reading what you do.

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    1. Thanks DA.
      My pastor's wife actually responded to me on this (via FB!) and I think it's something that as a church we need to consciously work on.
      I just felt it needed to be said, because no one else is saying it.

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  2. lovely rant, see you next week & we can chat about this :) to some extent, i do agree with the position that you're writing from, but nevertheless, it doesnt and shld never come in the way of us living our lives as fulfilled, & wholly contented single women! - val -

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    1. Haha... it doesn't.
      I just get annoyed.

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  3. ... ah ah..doesn't stop at marriage ~ you're not really a woman until you have kids. Oh gosh, let me not rant about it..lol ^.^

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    1. Bahaha. I know that one too.
      Only I'm not going to borrow tomorrow's troubles today. LOL!

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