Posts Tagged ‘sexism’

I love Facebook fights. <_<

February 28, 2011

A friend of mine, generally open-minded and accepting, recently posted the Yahoo! Finance article “Ways Your Appearance Affects Your Paycheck” on his page. The article begins with the incredibly privileged statement, “How successful you become is mostly up to you. Success also depends on how you’re perceived by others. Numerous studies have shown looks can impact career advancement,” and then lists several qualities that will “earn” you a higher salary, including symmetrical features, the “right” height and weight, an “appropriate” degree of attractiveness, and so on. Cue Facebook Fight.

Me: “This is disgusting.

Me: “And the use of that picture in conjunction with this article is hilariously sad, because it’s from the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. Which, skewed as it is by capitalism, is still a call to value the beauty of real people instead of holding them to standards of perfection that are not only impossible to reach (or maintain), but offensive (often racist), as well.

Friend: “I didn’t think it was THAT bad. It doesn’t explicitly say, ‘If you’re prettier you get a raise.’ In fact, it even says if you’re ‘TOO pretty’ it can actually be bad. It just gives tips on what to wear and how to present yourself, and it’s not something that everyone can’t do. Like no beards, or smile, or don’t be overweight.”

Me: “‘Skinny women.’ That right there’s actually a huge chunk of what’s wrong with it. Not everyone can (or should) be the same weight. It’s not like there’s one ideal weight for everyone. This article isn’t just about presenting oneself professionally, it’s about how people with symmetrical features or the “right” body type, and also people who conform to society’s gender and sexual expectations, are more highly-paid than those who don’t measure up in terms of physical appearance and those who aren’t interested in altering their appearance, quite literally, for the Man. If two women hold the same job, should the femme one have a higher salary than the butch one? Why is salary based on appearance and personal expression? It should be about skills, qualifications, talent.”

Friend: “I do agree about the skinny women thing and I don’t think everyone should be skinny, but I do think everyone should be healthy. And I’m all for equality and self expression and individuality, and I think it’s sad that more of our society isn’t, but I think it’s on it’s [sic] way. 100 years ago, women and people of alternative ethnic backgrounds couldn’t hold the same positions as white men did. Look how much things have changed since then, our president is black (my lambo is blue), we have female senators, CEOs, etc. I think the same thing is about to happen for people with alternative sexual orientations. They just take time though.”

Me: “I want people to be healthy too. Especially the people I love. So. Is an unhealthy weight grounds for paying someone less money than a person with the same job description but a healthier weight for their body type? (And that can only be determined by a doctor, contrary to popular opinion. Not everyone who’s considered “overweight” actually is.) Is it an employer’s job to regulate the weight of their employees? Or their health? If that’s the case, what about all the people with other health issues–cancer, diabetes, pregnancy, depression, etc.? You’re right, we’ve come a long way, but there’s still much room for improvement. There are still glass ceilings that haven’t been shattered. Women can head powerful corporations, but women as a whole still earn 77 cents to a man’s dollar. If you live in the right state, you might be able to elect queer politicians, but queer kids are still being bullied to death, literally, and much of mainstream pop culture does nothing but drive home the point that people who are different are wrong. Part of the process toward social progress is fighting the harmful things we find in our culture. There WON’T be progress without teenage lesbians suing their schools for the right to wear tuxedos to prom, people refusing to participate in a system that bases worth on physical appearance over innate qualities, etc.”

THE END, he didn’t want to play anymore. v_v

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It’s time to go public with some of this crap:

November 11, 2009

These are emails that once passed back and forth between my ex and me. Yes, they’re legit. Unedited. Obviously, names removed.

(Background: I informed him that I was upset by his extremely misogynist comment about Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, as well as his sexist comment that one of his friends had gotten a job, an apartment, and a car, and all he needed now was a wife–the last possession to make his life complete, as well as his sexist comments about me, my friends, and women in general)

Ex: “i’m standing up for myself now,
its bs that you want me for who i am,
you may like somethings but its not enought of me to matter,
and i’m not going to speek to you one way because you want me to,
your going to have to want me becuace of the way i am, got it?”

Me: “lol. I’m standing up for MYself now. You don’t get to make decisions about Talia. You get to make decisions about [ex]. If you want to even be friends, you cannot say that again. If it does happen again, that is the end of any possibilities you could have ever had with me. There isn’t a way I want you to talk to me, except civilly, which so far you have failed at. If you can’t even refrain from making destructive comments that I have asked you I don’t know how many times not to say to me..because they hurt me..then close the door behind you on your way out. I believe I’m worth more than the way you treat me and the garbage you talk. If you don’t like that, fine. If you don’t agree, fine. If you think you haven’t been treating me like crap, fine. But I do, and I’m making the decisions and the rules about me, NOT you and not anyone else.”

Ex: “did you get what i said or no?
i’m going to talk to you the way i know how, if its destructive and if its not what you want then, maybe its how i talk, and its apart of me, yes i dont want to hurt you,  but maybe you need someone else who can talk better then me, okay?”

Me: “Apparently you didn’t get what I said.
In case you didn’t, let me run it by you one more time.
What happens now is up to you. I made the decision that if you continue to be a hurtful person to me, the end of the friendship. Now it’s your turn to make a decision: you can either shape up or keep going. You can do whatever you want. Nobody’s trying to make you do anything or CHANGE FOR THEM, but you will have consequences no matter what choice or non-choice you make. You will always have consequences–stop trying to blame them on me.
I am not saying, “Stop hurting me.” I know better than that now, because it’s clear you couldn’t stop now even if you wanted to. I AM saying that you will either stop or you will not be a part of my life.”

Ex: “why dose there have to be consequences?”

…He wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.

The gospel according to Harper Lee

October 2, 2009

“Arthur Radley just stays in the house, that’s all,” said Miss Maudie. “Wouldn’t you stay in the house if you didn’t want to come out?”

“Yessum, but I’d wanta come out. Why doesn’t he?”

Miss Maudie’s eyes narrowed. “You know that story as well as I do.”

“I never heard why, though. Nobody ever told me why.”

Miss Maudie settled her bridgework. “You know old Mr. Radley was a foot-washing Baptist–”

“That’s what you are, ain’t it?”

“My shell’s not that hard, child. I’m just a Baptist.”

“Don’t you all believe in foot-washing?”

“We do. At home in the bathtub.”

“But we can’t have communion with you all–”

Apparently deciding that it was easier to define primitive baptistry than closed communion, Miss Maudie said: “Foot-washers believe anything that’s pleasure is a sin. Did you know some of ’em came out of the woods one Saturday and passed by this place and told me me and my flowers were going to hell?”

“Your flowers, too?”

“Yes ma’am. They’d burn right with me. They thought I spent too much time in God’s outdoors and not enough time inside the house reading the Bible.”

My confidence in pulpit Gospel lessened at the vision of Miss Maudie stewing forever in various Protestant hells. True enough, she had an acid tongue in her head, and she did not go about the neighborhood doing good, as did Miss Stephanie Crawford. But while no one with a grain of sense trusted Miss Stephanie, Jem and I had considerable faith in Miss Maudie. She had never told on us, had never played cat-and-mouse with us, she was not at all interested in our private lives. She was our friend. How so reasonable a creature could live in peril of everlasting torment was incomprehensible.

“That ain’t right, Miss Maudie. You’re the best lady I know.”

Miss Maudie grinned. “Thank you ma’am. Thing is, foot-washers think women are a sin by definition. They take the Bible literally, you know.”

“Is that why Mr. Arthur stays in the house, to keep away from women?”

“I’ve no idea.”

“It doesn’t make sense to me. Looks like if Mr. Arthur was hankerin’ after heaven he’d come out on the porch at least. Atticus says God’s loving folks like you love yourself–”

Miss Maudie stopped rocking, and her voice hardened. “You are too young to understand it,” she said, “but sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the hand of–oh, of your father.”

I was shocked. “Atticus doesn’t drink whiskey,” I said. “He never drunk a drop in his life–nome, yes he did. He said he drank some one time and didn’t like it.”

Miss Maudie laughed. “Wasn’t talking about your father,” she said. “What I meant was, if Atticus Finch drank until he was drunk he wouldn’t be as hard as some men are at their best. There are just some kind of men who–who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”

[Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird]

Jimmy Carter Leaves Church Over Treatment of Women

July 28, 2009

[Hadn’t posted on this yet for some reason, but oh, it makes me smile.]

“Former President Jimmy Carter has announced that he is leaving the Southern Baptist Church after sixty years because of its treatment of girls and women.” [via Feministing]

The words of God do not justify cruelty to women: Discrimination and abuse wrongly backed by doctrine are damaging society, argues the former US president [by Jimmy Carter]

“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status…” -Article 2, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” -Galatians 3:28

I have been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world.

So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited them from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service. This was in conflict with my belief–confirmed in the holy scriptures–that we are all equal in the eyes of God.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. It is widespread. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths.

Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. The discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries. The male interpretations of religious texts and the way they interact with, and reinforce, traditional practices justify some of the most pervasive, persistent, flagrant and damaging examples of human rights abuses.

At their most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in Britain and the United States. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for everyone in society. An educated women has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and out-dated attitudes and practices–as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive areas to change.

But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy–and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights. We have recently published a statement that declares: “The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable.”

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasise the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world’s major faiths share.

Although not having training in religion or theology, I understand that the carefully selected verses found in the holy scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place–and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence–than eternal truths. Similar Biblical exerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

At the same time, I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn’t until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted holy scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

I know, too, that Billy Graham, one of the most widely respected and revered Christians during my lifetime, did not understand why women were prevented from being priests and preachers. He said: “Women preach all over the world. It doesn’t bother me from my study of the scriptures.”

The truth is that male religious leaders have had–and still have–an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter.

Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions–all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.

[Jimmy Carter was US president from 1977-81. The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.]

“I think you have possibly misunderstood his theology on women.” [4]

June 17, 2009

Here’s the second conversation that began as a result of Mark Driscoll is a Misogynist. My commentary, once again, will be in {these} brackets. Whatever they’re called. I used to know, I believe, but I’ve forgotten. The other party will be referred to as Two.

Two: Can I ask why you made this group?

Me: I made it to counterbalance all the other Driscoll groups available; at the time I made this, the others were all extremely supportive of Driscoll and his teachings. I don’t have it out for Driscoll himself, but I do want to call attention to some of his more questional/unbiblical/offensive views and teachings.

Two: I simply want to know what of his unquestionable/unbiblical/offensive views and teachings are. I respect your opinions and would just like to know what they are. {I didn’t think it was that hard to deduce. ;P }

Me: I would direct you back to the group description. Yes, these are “isolated” quotes, but as you can see, a lot of them closely resemble each other. It’s a recurring theme, and I feel it accurately sums up his theology on women. He preaches that women and men are not and shouldn’t be treated as equals; that men are inherently strong and women are inherently weak; that men who aren’t into beating people up for fun aren’t “real” men, they’re sissies, which is akin to saying they’re stupid and laughable because they’re “like women,” or as he likes to say, “chick-ified.” He frequently reduces women to sexual objects and has compared the women’s rights movement to voting for cute baby bunnies to lead the church. All of which is extremely offensive to me, and I don’t believe it accurately portrays Scripture, either.

Two: Ok. I have read these quotes on the group page. Many of these quotes I would like to see them within their context. Also, I also am wondering {side note: I’m leaving this exactly as written, so that double-also isn’t my fault} if you actually heard them in a lecture/sermon, read them, or if you possibly read them out of context. I think you have possibly misunderstood his theology on women. He does not think that men and women should not be treated as equals, but I think he is simply saying that the roles of the man and woman are entirely different. {He says both.} Because their roles are so different you cannot treat women as though they are men, just as you cannot and should not treat men as though they are women. {So how, exactly, should one treat a man vs. a woman? I would like specifics. Even if their roles were different, and I don’t believe they are, I fail to see how different treatment of the sexes would be justified because of this.} They have different roles, but are simultaneously equals. That is what Mark Driscoll actually tries to express every time he preaches. {Every time he preaches he reinforces ridiculous gender roles? I have no doubt of that whatsoever.} This separation of roles between genders but equality at the same time. {…What?} I hope you understand what I am saying and I apologize if I am being confusing. {I think he just won the game How Condescending Can I Get?} Also, you mentioned that you don’t believe he accurately portrays Scripture in what I think you would call his anti-feminine ideals. {Personally I would just call them anti-woman. “Feminine” is getting into that whole gender-role thing that I don’t buy into, remember? Haha, oh yeah!} I am wondering what YOUR theology of 1 Peter 3 is where Peter talks about women as the weaker vessel in verse 7 if Driscoll’s is wrong. I do not mean to come off disrespectful in any way, but I am simply attempting to understand where you are coming from. Where you said to me that men who aren’t into beating people up for fun aren’t “real” men, they’re sissies, which is akin to..I would like to point out that none of those quotes seem to be quotes by him {Yes. He actually has called less macho men “sissies,” “girls,” “limp-wristed,” “chick-ified,” and more} and when you say, “which is akin to..” you are applying your own ideas to someone else’s words to prove them wrong. This is a philosophical and interpretive fallacy. {It would be, if I were putting words in his mouth, but I’m not. It’s his own words that damn him.} You cannot prove your point to me by saying it is “akin to this” or “akin to that”…to me that is simply your input, not what he has said. Also, I would like to know where Driscoll would say you aren’t a real man unless you beat people up. That seems to be his past life before he was a converted Christian and he continuously says how he was living in a life of sin and violation against Jesus. {At this point, I like to recall this pleasant little image: “In Houston, Driscoll was intent on making absolutely clear that he is in favor of masculinity. At the 2 hour, 15 minute mark, he invited five pastors from the audience to take the stage, put his hands behind his back, stuck out his chin, and said, ‘Hit me with your best shot. Go on. I won’t hit you back. I want to show everyone what this is all about.’ When none of the five took a swing, Driscoll had them escorted from the building and proceeded to hit himself five times. ‘This is  what being a pastor is about, guys. If you can’t handle it, go back to teaching yoga or playing My Little Pony with the other girls.'”} When you say that he reduces women down to sexual objects, I would like to object to this claim. If you have heard his peasant princess teaching series along with his marriage and men series you would understand that he is simply and utterly disgusted with men that mistreat their wives as sexual objects, views them in unnatural ways, or anything else that is totally degrading to women. {And yet, he blames the wives of men who cheat. And yet, he equates “getting a wife” with “getting a job” or “buying a house”…just acquiring another possession. And yet, he seems to feel the main purpose of “getting a wife” at all is so you can “ask her to get naked” instead of watching pornography. Want me to go on?} He would never say that man and woman are not for each other’s pleasure but again, he would view them as equals with separate roles. He would never reduce them down to sexual objects. He also holds women as the most precious, important, most valuable things in God’s creation, and turning them into sexual objects is contrary to what he teaches. {What planet exactly are you from, my friend?}
Thanks.
Two.

Me: I’ve heard several of his sermons, read his blog, etc. It’s not possible for me to provide a transcript of everything he says, but yes, taken in context, I believe these quotes are still an accurate representation of Driscoll’s teachings. For instance, he teaches that a woman’s place is at home; that is very much advocating different treatment of men and women. If you have separate ways of treating men and women, then by definition you aren’t treating them as equals. I suppose where we differ, for starters, is our understandings of gender roles in the first place. I believe men and women are equal in role as well as in personhood.
My theology of 1 Peter 3, if you would like to call it that, is closer to the way The Message by Eugene Peterson puts it: “As women they lack some of your advantages. But in the new life of God’s grace, you’re equals. Treat your wives, then, as equals so your prayers don’t run aground.” It has to do more with the disenfranchisement of women, and in no way does Peter signify that that is a good thing or even okay; he sets a clear new standard of equality that was unheard of at the time. If Christ was the second Adam, obliterating the curse, there went all the so-called justification of male domination.
When I used the phrase “akin to” I in no way meant to put words in Driscoll’s mouth, but I don’t think it’s unfair to compare his words to each other and connect the dots. He does claim that men who like yoga or tea, for example, are “sissies” or “chick-ified,” which is in fact a derogatory way of insulting men he sees as being too “feminine” to be real men, and by extension, that’s very demeaning and insulting to women as well.
If you want examples of Driscoll’s opinion that violence and macho-ness make people (but only men) worthy of leadership, here’s his description of how his first church met his criteria: “Firstly, the pastor was a man who had been in the military and knew how to kill people in self-defence. Second, he taught through the Bible verse by verse so that I could learn to trust the Scripture and to love Jesus without feeling like we had a thinly-veiled homosexual relationship.” His description of how his second church met his criteria: “First, the pastore (who looked like Mr. T) had been an NFL linebacker and knew how to kill people in self-defence. Second, he taught through the Bible verse by verse in a real way, one that enabled me to have a relationship with Jesus that did not feel like he was my lifelong prom date.”  He has commented multiple times on how the problem with church today is how “feminine” it is. He attaches a gender to everything, no matter how ridiculous, and if he feels someone or something doesn’t measure up to the appropriate level of manliness, they’re not man enough to pastor. {I canNOT believe I forgot to cite this direct quote: “I cannot worship a guy I can beat up.”} It seems like the worst insult he can find for a man is the word “effeminate” or one similar, and he employs them often, whenever he wants to quickly dismiss someone. That says a lot about not only his view on men who differ from himself, but also his view on women and whatever he thinks it means to be a woman.
I’ve not heard that series, but I have heard his series on Ruth, in which he did reduce Ruth to a sexual object for Boaz’s pleasure. I also take issue with his apparent need for women to be weak (think: damsel in distress. in need of protection). Perhaps he thinks a woman’s weakness magnifies a man’s strength? I don’t know. I’m not Driscoll and I’m not trying to speak for him, but his views, even clarified as much as possible, hold no appeal for me.
Oh, and I certainly understand what you’re saying and where you’re coming from. I basically grew up in it. ;]

If/when I receive more messages, I’ll post ’em up too, haha.

[EDIT::As I told this fellow, I haven’t heard the Peasant Princess series, but I have now read a bit about it, and it sure sounds like it proves his point that Driscoll supports equality! Just kidding! Here’s a summary of the summary I read, which also includes commentary on his Spiritual Warfare series, oh joy: Women are dangerous and prone to gossip. Men never have a problem with gossip. The only problem men usually have is when they’re not getting laid often enough. Which is the women’s fault. Friendships between women are dangerous. (He even uses the word “Satanic.”) Men must protect their women from friendship with other women, which, as we all know, is just a front for female manipulation. “Women’s ministries” are permitted, but only just. “You have to be very careful,” he says. “It’s like juggling knives.” Women who want to be in leadership and/or lead women’s groups are “the wrong kind of women.” They are “gossip mamas and drama queens.” Of course, as we all know, the only women fit to lead anyone are the sweet, submissive, quiet women–in other words, the ones who’ve been brainwashed into believing women can’t lead. So the ones who want to lead aren’t fit, and the ones who are fit won’t lead. See? The easiest way in the entire world to completely disenfranchise women, blocking every single one of us from leadership!]

Part 1: Mark Driscoll is a Misogynist, or How to Start Theological Debates With People You Don’t Even Know.

Part 2: The fastest way to attract male attention is to make an anti-misogynist Facebook group.

Part 3: Criticizing Mark Driscoll’s views on women draws its own criticism.

Criticizing Mark Driscoll’s views on women draws its own criticism. [3]

June 17, 2009

Observe the following remark left by a naysayer in Mark Driscoll is a Misogynist:

“Are you alone with your fanclub here does your club meet in the local payphone booth?” -Paul Lindsay

I’m not even going to go into critical analysis of the interesting grammar Paul favors. Whatever.

Part 1: Mark Driscoll is a Misogynist, or How to Start Theological Debates With People You Don’t Even Know.

Part 2: The fastest way to attract male attention is to make an anti-misogynist Facebook group.

Part 4: “I think you have possibly misunderstood his theology on women.”

The fastest way to attract male attention is to make an anti-misogynist Facebook group. [2]

June 14, 2009

Of course, if you care enough to make an anti-misogynist Facebook group in the first place, the males you’ll attract are the males you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. Ironic, isn’t it? It’s a good thing that I’m not in the market for a fellow (in other words, I like being single) because this is not the way to attract a male who’s actually compatible with you. Observe:

So I started a Facebook group entitled “Mark Driscoll is a misogynist.” All it is is a list of offensive statements Driscoll has made, the vast majority of them being demeaning, dehumanizing, or otherwise anti-woman. Immediately I started getting messages questioning my purpose in creating this group, my own theological views, all that fun stuff. I’ve even received one juvenile piece of “hate” mail! Haha, so popular. Interestingly, everyone who’s contacted me with their concerns thus far has been male. Of course! Anyway, here, in its entirety, is my conversation with contacter number one, which began the day after I published my group. Complete with all the commentary I wanted to make but didn’t, in {these} brackets.

One: Just saw this group you created and had to look up misogynist to be honest. Are you sure he is? Did you ask him? That’s a pretty tough judgment to make of someone. Just saying, you may wanna’ ask him if you really want to get somewhere meaningful with this suspicion you’re having. {A, you’re a man, which means you’re automatically on the top of the sexist food chain. B, even more importantly, you don’t know what the word misogynist means without a dictionary. So what makes you think you’re a qualified judge of sexism?! “Misogynist” is a label few people are willing to own up to. Like “racist.” Many people are, few are willing to admit it. And “wanna” doesn’t have an apostrophe.}

Me: …Did you read the quotes? At all? They’re taken directly from Mark Driscoll’s mouth.

One: Yeah, I did read them. I’ve heard him say stuff like that, but then clarify, and usually after clarification, I can better understand what he means. The danger with all quotes is that they are small soundbites that can always be taken out of context, and for the ones that aren’t, such as the one about men being elders, I’m sorry to tell you, but that’s exactly the way the Bible puts it. I don’t believe that he dislikes women at all. In fact, his congregation is filled with women as well as men.
I’m assuming you’re Christian, or else you wouldn’t feel so passionately about this in the first place. So, here’s the point, and I really mean this respectfully and with love: like the Bible says, if someone has offended you, you are supposed to take it directly to that person, not put them on trial before the rest of the world. God is in control, so ultimately if you trust God and follow God’s Word, then everything will work out much better for the entire Body of Christ. Is that fair?
If so, I urge you please, ask Mark Driscoll himself, or even his wife, as I’m sure that she would be able to address his comments from a woman’s point of view. I only say that because if she’s not offended, maybe she can explain why for you. {1. So if someone uses “feminine” language to insult someone, and then turns around and “clarifies”, his sexist speech suddenly isn’t sexist anymore? 2. Put back in context, his statements are absolutely no better. I feel that they’re a pretty accurate representation of his feelings about women. 3. Oh yeah? The “men-only” elders thing? Watch him contradict himself in a couple minutes.. 4. He clearly laments the ratio of women to men in the church. Why should I assume he feels any differently toward the women in his own church than toward the women in the global Church?}

Me: I doubt this is something we’re going to agree on; I disagree that his clarification somehow makes his feelings toward women less offensive, and I also disagree that “that’s exactly the way the Bible puts it” in reference to forbidding female leadership. There are numerous examples of female church leaders both in the Bible itself and in early church history; there is evidence that women long ago have held roles such as elder, deacon, priest, apostle, and bishop.
I am a Christ-follower; I am more interested in learning about and following Jesus than I am in adhering to a religion I feel has been twisted almost beyond recognition. Mark Driscoll has not personally offended me–he has never called me on the phone or anything and verbally attacked me; but I do feel it is important to assert that not everyone in the Church speaks the truth, and no one should be followed blindly. It is not my intention to put Driscoll or anyone else on trial. I recognize that unfortunately misogyny is often deeply-seated in the Church. I am only interested in asserting that I vehemently disagree with these concepts and that it is, in fact, okay to disagree with corruption within the Church. I disagree that the best way to deal with sin or corruption is to passively leave it alone. I do trust God, and I am following Christ’s teachings, I believe, to the best of my current ability. Neither of which is a good reason to turn a blind eye to what I believe is both corrupt and morally wrong.
I am neither complementarian, as the Driscolls claim to be, or patriarchal, as they appear to actually be; I am, instead, egalitarian. I have heard explanations from both Driscolls and remain unimpressed. This isn’t a case of my blocking out something I don’t want to hear, it’s genuine theological disagreement, and that’s not going to change.

One: I agree that we probably won’t agree. I understand that there was even an all female church in Acts. I’m not here to argue that. {Where’d the “no females in leadership” argument go? Hmm.} To be honest, as a male, the point you’re making is incredibly more personal to you than it is to me. {I hadn’t noticed!} I’m merely saying this: you, me, and Mark Driscoll are all 3 trying to follow Christ, so let’s look at Christ’s example for our answer:
Jesus valued women dearly, as he did all people. Jesus despised the Pharisees for their hypocricy [sic]. But Jesus did something as an example to us and even instructed that we do the same, which I’ll explain in a moment. {It’s like he’s playing a game, How Condescending Can I Get?} But first, let me say this. as followers of Christ, we can’t feel compelled to defend one portion of the Bible and ignore the other simply because we don’t want to “change.” {Who said I was? Nobody.} We must follow His word or else we are not following Him. So this is what He taught us.
When he had a problem with the Pharisees, he spoke directly to them. And He later told us to do the same with each other. So listen, I agree that women and men each have a vital part to play in the Church, God’s already spoken on that. But I don’t think that the people who see another Christian bashing a fellow Christian is going to lead anyone to Christ, and I pray that between you and God, you will see the same. So please, if you have a problem with Mark Driscoll, either email him about it, or just leave it alone and don’t listen to what he has to say. Christianity doesn’t need any more confusion. We’re still trying to get back on our feet from the last century…or since the Middle Ages for that matter. {There’s so much wrong with this paragraph, I don’t even know where to begin. It makes my brain hurt.}
In the end, neither one of us is right. {Haha.} It’s not about that. It’s about God, I leave you with that. Pray for me as I pray for you, that whoever among us isn’t on God’s page will be.

Me: I appreciate your concern. I have emailed Driscoll, as have others, with no response. This is not a “private” offense–he has never personally told me to stay in the kitchen–but it’s a very public one. It affects all the families in his church, and many others besides. I believe the passage you mention is referring to when someone wrongs you or does something to hurt you…NOT the same as corruption and false teaching within the Church. It is not my intention to “bash” Driscoll or anyone else (I’m aware that a large number of Christians share Driscoll’s views on gender)–I only wish to call attention to some of his more damaging teachings.
We’re not going to lead anyone to Christ by being secretive and in denial about the problems in the Church, either. There’s enough of that going on already, and it doesn’t work. People are tired of organizations they feel, often rightly, are more concerned with their image than their integrity. If we want people to take us seriously, we should be active in our honesty and quick to address internal problems.

One: You’re right about addressing internal problems. But Christ said to handle them internally. That’s all. {No, it isn’t all.}

Me: I disagree. Yes, Jesus confronted the Pharisees. He also spoke directly to the people about them to warn them away from the teachings of the Pharisees and to teach them a better way.
I’m curious: If we were discussing, say, child molestation by Catholic priests, something which has garnered much media attention recently, would you be so enthusiastic to prescribe shoving it under the rug and dealing with it quietly? Or in that case would you be supportive of an attempt, for the Church, by the Church, to be honest and openly condemn the practice?

One: There is something apparently {haha, you mean inherently} wrong with child molestation, not a theological disagreement. That’s a big difference. So, I think you and I both know the answer to that question, which is probably why you asked it. And that’s just how debate works. Which we’re doing. {Huh?} So, with this last statement, I’ll leave this between you and God from now on: Jesus never taught bandwagon theology. {…Who brought that up? Nobody.} He’s a God of decency and order.

Me: There is something inherently wrong with the systematic oppression and suppression of women, as well. This is not merely a “theological disagreement,” it’s actual wrong and right. I do disagree with him theologically, but to reduce this to only a theological disagreement is to minimize its importance down to a mere matter of opinion.
With THIS last statement, I thank you, once again, for your concern and for acting on your principals, but I am sticking to mine. Since Jesus did warn the people away from the Pharisees, and since he did pitch a royal fit when he found corrupt businessmen in the temple, among other instances, I am of the opinion that Jesus is in favor of rooting out corruption where possible, and when impossible, of exposing it clearly so others don’t stumble into it accidentally–but no matter what, of being honest. It’s not a matter of anyone’s bandwagon; it’s not about seeing how indecent or disorderly I can be and how much of a ruckus I can cause. And even God has been limited by our too-small ideas of gender; the original words used in reference to the Holy Spirit, for example, are all feminine, as are many of the word pictures used to describe God.

One: What we’re talking about is a matter of opinion {no, it isn’t.}, which isn’t women’s rights in the Church because I already agree that women shouldn’t be oppressed. {But you don’t know oppression when you see it, conveniently.} We’re talking about how to handle things within the guidelines God has provided for us, right? And Jesus said to keep the wheat with the tares, because in the end He’ll handle them Himself.

Me: But somehow the way we handle child molestation is totally different than the way we should handle oppression of women? That’s where the two trains of thought tie together. You think they don’t warrant the same response, I think they do.
Hey, I’m not weeding anybody out. I am not forcing anyone to join my Facebook group or to agree with me; I am not proposing we “do something” to Driscoll. I just want to expose a dangerous undercurrent I feel is in Driscoll’s teachings, not by attacking him, but by using his own words as a reference point, and I don’t think that’s inconsistent with the teachings of Christ.

Haha, he never replied.. To be continued.

Part 1: Mark Driscoll is a Misogynist, or How to Start Theological Debates With People You Don’t Even Know.

Part 3: Criticizing Mark Driscoll’s views on women draws its own criticism.

Part 4: “I think you have possibly misunderstood his theology on women.”