Bugbear #3 is again related to being a woman in the Church – because I am one.
On the lighter side, this bugbear could be considered unfair laziness. On the darker side, depending on the frequency and tasks, it could amount to spiritual and emotional abuse.
Simone de Beauvoir’s first autobiographical work (which I have read) was called Memoirs of a dutiful daughter. The adjective is very apt.
Whilst some women are lazy, I know of plenty that could be described as dutiful. Far too often the Church takes advantage of that fact.
After sermon upon sermon about allegiance to God, serving him wholeheartedly and putting others before themselves, a young woman is perfectly primed to be ripe for exploitation.
All the better if she’s single, because then she’s got no excuse in the eyes of the Church as to why she doesn’t want to serve on that roster yet again this year, organise that conference or run that group… etc…
Sermons cover ideas of how the Christian life is a marathon and not a sprint, yet we expect single females to be on the treadmill full pelt, constantly.
This is bad enough, yet coupled with that, too frequently I see a complete lack of concern for the wellbeing of females within the Church. There is a shying away from that, perhaps because we feel concern for women’s welfare is a feminist thing not in line with complementarianism.
I can think of numerous times when it was known that a woman within the Church had problems which required assistance and they were ignored. It was as though an emotional female was a terrifying beast from whom all must run away. Or else they didn’t consider it their problem. The women could sort it out themselves.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
That’s what Jesus said. Love never exploits. Love always cares.
For the record, in a Bible Study I was once told “You’re such a feminist” due to my concern for women’s welfare. I think such an assertion is ridiculously hilarious.
I cannot apologise for being concerned when women have work dumped on them and then no one worries about their welfare and just expects them to cope.
And if that makes me a feminist, I’d better go get myself a new dictionary.
Yours in blue stockings (apparently),