After writing 42: A bizarre gender debate. I was reflecting further on the questions and why they would be asked. That led me to wonder what Male Headship Churches (especially those that use the marketing term Complementarian to describe themselves) teach about those who disagree on gender to them.
If members of a complementarian Church are asked what an egalitarian (I still don’t like the term but anyway) like myself believes and how I live what will they answer? What will they have been taught?
The androgynous, asexual, gender-bending, role-reversing view of modern egalitarianism is so unattractive to me that I cannot help but think most of us publicly embrace it simply because it saves time and bother when we are in public. Link: Role Calling: John Ensor on Gender Issues
Let me sum up my understanding of egalitarianism (or feminism) more simply and see what it means for life.
- I believe women and men are equal, that gender should not predetermine roles (the only exception are roles that require specific biology eg childbirth).
- I believe this understanding is clearly supported by Scripture, despite the Bible having been written within a patriarchal society.
- I do not believe that all people are identical
- I do believe that some people are created, called and given gifts that make them particularly suited to some roles – but that this is not determined by gender.
So how does this match the description by John Ensor:
1: having the characteristics or nature of both male and female
2 a: neither specifically feminine nor masculine <the androgynous pronoun them> b: suitable to or for either sex <androgynous clothing>
3: having traditional male and female roles obscured or reversed <an androgynous marriage> From androgynous – Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
Which of these are egalitarians being accused of? Clearly from what I have said I don’t believe in 1, but I do believe in 2 and 3.
What we wear is governed by (among other things) cultural norms, technology, comfort, fashion and rebellion. I don’t see why it should have anything to do with gender (except there are some general shape and size differences by gender). Some traditions are clearly there to enforce gender roles (clothes that stop you performing tasks not permitted for your gender) and should be challenged.
1: lacking sex or functional sex organs <asexual plants>
2 a: involving
or reproducing by reproductive processes (as cell division, spore
formation, fission, or budding) that do not involve the union of
individuals or gametes <asexual reproduction> <an asexual generation> b: produced by asexual reproduction <asexual spores>
3: devoid of sexuality <an asexual relationship>
From asexual – Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
I assume we are not being accused of definitions 1 or 2.
I just do not understand the accusation that understanding women and men to be equal and that roles are not assigned by gender makes anyone devoid of sexuality (the quality or state of being sexual: a: the condition of having sex b:
sexual activity c: expression of sexual receptivity or interest
especially when excessive: sexuality – Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary). I have never heard anyone complaining that their sex life is bad because their partner treats them as an equal (and I have heard plenty whose sex life is damaged by not being considered equal).
If there is something here about certain sexual positions (male on top) being defined by gender, then I recommend trying a bit of variety
I have been trying to think this through (and coming up with many dirty comments) but I just cannot understand what this accusation is about. Jane is my equal and I definitely find her sexy and I am pleased to say that vica versa applies here (and after 20 years of marriage things in this area just keep getting better – something I did not believe was possible say 19 years ago). Having kids around stops things getting excessive
Iniitially it sounds really painful – like non permament, repeated circumcision. Apparently it means "a person who dresses and behaves like a member of the opposite sex" gender-bending – Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
To me it sounds like a way of enforcing a particular understanding of gender role by making it a requirment for men to get throttled by ties and women squashed by corsets. Now I have nothing against ties or corsets (wonder if the latter might make it look like I have sucessfully lost some weight), other than they are uncomfortable. But to imply that not waering such garments is heinous offense is ridiculous. Sadly there are many examples where a fixed understanding of gender and appropriate clothing has lead to some very unsafe items (such as stilleto heels – make a woman unable to do practical actions, slower than men and needing to be protected while damaging their ankles and backs).
Not in the dictionary Essentially a tool of repression. Those in power (men) find ways to keep that power (male headship) and try to enforce gender roles to protect themselves, part of that is to be derogatory about those for whom these fixed roles are wrong.
Yes I believe in role-reversal where that role is fixed by stereotype, prejudice, gender, race, sexuality, age, hair colour,income, … Break out of this oppression. Find yourself, the persojn you were created to be.
I repeat what have people been taught if they believe that this definition bears any simularlity to reality?
Does anyone really know egalitarians who are androgynous and asexual as a result of supporting equality and non gender based roles? Note that both gender-bending and role-reversing are simply insults based on a male headship view of the world, outside that culture they are utterly meaningless.
Whatever these guys are smoking it sure ain’t good for them
Just reading the original post again and I was struck by this:
Since most American cares now do not have a keyhole on the passenger
side door, men are being told in now uncertain terms that chivalrous
door-opening is out of style. In our sterile environment, a man merely
pushes the key fob and the woman opens her own door.
a) Are supporters of Male Headship so stupid that they cannot realise that unlocking the car and opening the door are 2 separate actions and that by replacing the keyhole with a keyfob has no impact on the use of the door handle. Duuhhhh!
b) I would assume a 50% chance that if opening a door for a woman it would be the drivers door.
c) I would assume a 50% chance of it being the woman holding the keyfob.
d) Let her open her own door I mean all this talk of opening doors for people I assumed meant when both going for the same door. Or for example when my Mother-in-law now needs help getting in and out the car. If I got out the car, ran round and opened the door for Jane I would be worried about the conseqences for her health, I mean heart attacks are a serious business.
e) Did someone really write this in a book and then someone else is recommending it. Wow.
Please tell me this was a joke and there are not really people thinking this.
- 42: Becki’s Wanderings: Together on a Mission.
- 42: CoE gets something right.
- 42: New Frontiers and Women.
- 42: Putting paid to the complementarian position on 1 Corinthians 14:33-34.
- 42: Auntie Knows Best: Newfrontiers and women.
- 42: A bizarre gender debate.
- 42: A new blog to disagree with.
- 42: Wise words on a "Biblical" position.
- 42: Films as good gender examples.