March 8, 2010 by

The Voice of the Woman


Categories: healing wounds, link love, women's issues

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything about women’s issues. It isn’t for a lack of passion about it, but in many ways it’s perhaps because I’ve said my piece…and the last few times I’ve posted about it, most of the comments were from other men who wanted to waste my time arguing theology, which tended to make the posts counter-productive. So mainly I’ve been focusing more on living out these convictions more than just talking about them.

If I could boil down the whole issue of gender equality (both in and out of the church) into one sentence, I think it’s this: Women have not had a legitimate voice in our culture. I know of very few women who truly feel their opinions and thoughts are given as much weight as that of a man in most arenas. I think most of the contending and activism and fighting over the years has really been about restoring a sense of legitimacy to the voice of the woman. In pondering this and really trying to hear the heart of women in the past year, I think women don’t just want to be heard. They want their voice to matter, because they do have something worth saying, whether it be through literal spoken word, or through expressions like art or music, or what have you.

Today is International Women’s Day, and as an aside to this post, I think it’s quite fitting that at last night Kathryn Bigelow was awarded the first Oscar for Best Director award ever given to a female director, for The Hurt Locker. Congratulations, Kathryn!

On that note, I think it best to shut up now and refer you to a recent blog post by a woman who shares some of what she feels about being wanted in this culture–a woman whose voice I’ve come to respect greatly. Go read this post by Kathy Escobar.

And if you’re tempted to argue theology in the comments here–rest assured your comments won’t be posted this time. Try to get the message this time: It’s not time for you to talk. It’s time for us to listen.

Musician. Composer. Recovering perfectionist. Minister-in-transition. Lover of puns. Hijacker of rock song references. Questioner of the status quo. I'm not really a rebel. Just a sincere Christ-follower with a thirst for significance that gets me into trouble. My quest has taken me over the fence of institutional Christianity. Here are some of my random thoughts along the way. Read along, join in the conversation. Just be nice.

6 Responses to The Voice of the Woman

  1. Cynthia


    When I talk about my growth as a woman, about becoming confident as a person, a human being, about finding worth for myself, I usually talk about people who encouraged me, who became the voice in my head telling me that I do have a place, that my voice is valuable.

    You are one of those people. Though we've never met and I have rarely commented, I have read with a grateful heart your calls for women to raise theirs heads from their place of shame, for men to bend a knee to a place of servanthood.

    I am blessed to have a man in my own life who values me, who has never asked or expected me to be anything other than who I am, who was a feminist before I was. He would say that his weakness is the inability to put words to his heart. You do that for him.

    Thank you.

  2. Jeff McQ

    Your words bless my soul in ways I cannot describe. How encouraging it is to know that somehow my words here have been part of your process of restoration. Thank you for saying it, and thanks for adding your own voice to the online community as well. Not only does it have value–it is desperately needed.

  3. Maria

    Hi Jeff,
    I am new to your blog and it is quite interesting…. I do have an unresolved thought or issue. And this is that even though we are making progress, I have a sense of aggravation in that I will always be seen as less than men, I was brought up conservative and even though my Grandmother was a Minister (one of the first ordained ministers in AG Puerto Rico), I do have a thought lingering that Men are above us… …. How do I detox from this?
    Thank you!

  4. Wayward Son Post author

    Hello, Maria,

    I wish I had a solid answer for you. In my view, “detoxing” from this way of thinking is probably going to be different for every individual, and it needs to be a work of the Spirit–just as cleansing the church itself from sexism must also be a work of the Spirit. I can remind you (as I’ve mentioned several times in the blog) that the church’s long-held beliefs about the subservience of women are based mainly on a couple of Scriptures written by the same individual, taken out of context. I can remind you that most of the church’s long-held beliefs about women are also based in the context of our own culture, rather than Scripture itself. I can point out many instances in Scripture in which women are affirmed and venerated. But getting that truth from head to heart is always a challenge, especially when we’ve lived our whole lives believing the other to be true.

    What I can say is this: you cannot control what other people think. You can only allow God to change what you think, and how you see yourself in His eyes. There’s nothing you can do about others who see you as less than men, but you can choose not to be victimized by it. My thought is that you should focus your efforts on allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal to you how God really sees you, and then carry yourself as though that is the truth. You might be surprised over time to discover how this can silence the voices around you who tell you that you are “less than.” But even if it doesn’t–you will still live in that truth. And I believe healing will come in the process. 🙂

    Thank you for the comment, sister. God bless.

  5. Maria

    Thank you so much for your thorough response… I will definitely start focusing on what God really thinks of me. It is true what you say, because when struggling with an eating disorder what helped me recover was speaking truth to myself and I have seen how healing has come gradually. The challenging part is that we have been “trained” to believe or accept whatever leadership believes but I am learning much more now with different resources, including this blog.

    I will print this answer so that I can remind myself of that…. Thank you again and talk to you in another thread.. May the Lord Bless you!

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