When I decided to do three posts on bugbears, I wasn’t planning to make the majority of them gender related. But I am.
I realise that any male who attends Church may read these posts and think that one of his Church bugbears is that there’s so many whinging women about the place (only partially joking…). If that’s your perspective, then my response is: that’s fine. You’re entitled to it.
However, I will push on undeterred.
In reading Julia Baird’s Media Tarts across January, I have been reminded of certain ideas about representation and profession that I considered back when I first started working as a teacher.
As Baird points out, wider society has certain ideas about what work a woman should and shouldn’t do and/or when they are allowed to do this work. Ideas about restricting women aren’t just within the Christian Church – let’s be clear on that!
However, I am a school teacher and I did reflect some time ago on the fact that perhaps the reason I decided to become a teacher was because of social conditioning within the Church about what was ‘a good job for a woman’.
I can recall a moment when someone did actually say that explicitly to me. I can also deconstruct the general attitude of those around me within the Church and when I do, I gain a strong implied message that there are certain jobs that women should do and others that they should stay away from.
The implication is that there are certain jobs that are unbiblical for a woman to do.
This I do not agree with, nor does complementarianism or conservative theology about women and their role within the Church (with which I do agree).
It’s almost as though other ideas, which aren’t biblically sound have attached themselves to this teaching and I can think of a number of jobs that I would never have considered for myself, purely on the basis that I am female and the implied messages that I received from the Church.
Again, this happens in broader society too.
Yet, the gospel is a message of freedom. When we have the truth, Jesus said, it will set us free.
You might think my position on women in Church is restrictive, but I think it’s far more liberating than it’s often presented to be, both by the Church and by wider society.
Provided the job a female chooses to do is not inherently sinful, there is no Biblical support for anyone who tries to deter her from signing up for it.
Certainly, we can make decisions surrounding our employment within a certain profession that can be sinful; but the profession in and of itself should not be questioned.
Who are we to make rules where The Bible does not?
Yours in questioning what else she might have been,