Gender Justice Concerns | CBE International

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Gender Justice Concerns

As I explained in my previous post, I think it’s important to ask if seemingly harmless Christian books, curricula and other educational tools actually promote our own values when relating to gender. Here’s a brief assessment of the online assessment quizzes available for Chapman’s popular Five Love Languages: The quizzes are based on participants choosing between two statements for 30 questions, each statement representing one of the five love languages on which the participant will be scored. First, it should be noted that out of sixty statements on the separate husband and wife quizzes, 47/60 are exactly the same and items are in the same order. Interestingly, all items relating to the gift-giving and quality love languages are identical. The presumed differences... Read more
I haven’t thought much about Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages in a long time, but recently my Family Life Education class did a presentation on this subject.  I tend to see most evangelical book empires of that sort as an attempt by publishers to cash in on an author’s popularity, and I am not a big fan of Christian pop psychology to begin with.  Still, I am reasonable enough to acknowledge that there is something to the five love languages.  I’m not crazy about limiting ourselves to a magical five, but the general principle that different forms of expression mean more to different people is hard to argue with. I could argue, however, with the gender stereotypes I saw in our class’s brief discussion of the love languages.... Read more
Our government advocates human rights and female equality while Christian America often teaches female submission and carries that message across the world.Women in the United States have freedoms that are denied women in most countries, but many churches are telling women something very different! Yet, freedoms should be promoted inside the church. Many people in church do not want to make a fuss about equality. But a fuss must be made before change will come. Sadly, because we are often afraid to stand up to patriarchal systems, change will more than likely have to come from groups that are outside the church. Unfortunately, this change is coming slowly, yet the message of male headship continues to be spread not only here in the US, but also on the mission field, sadly. Churches... Read more
As I continue to listen, research, and learn more about human sexuality and the differences that characterize men and women, I have noticed, as many have, a particular theme that tends to marginalize many good men and women who fail to fit our “biblically” prescribed gender roles and characteristics. What I often hear descriptive of women are these: counselors, helpers, nurturers, and followers (those that submit to leadership). What is descriptive of men is warrior, protector, provider, and priest (or spiritual leader). What we fail to realize is that many godly men and women in the bible have decided to completely disregard how we believe God made them to function. Funny thing is, God did not seem to mind. In fact, he loved to call on those who could best serve h... Read more
Margaret Mowczko
You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God people from every tribe and language and people group and nation.”  “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:9-10) I always get a thrill when I read the words of this song.  In this song the church is described as being wonderfully universal and inclusive of all God’s people around the world who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Interestingly, while the lyrics of this song go into some detail to show that Christians come from every nation, tribe, people group and language, the lyrics do not di... Read more
When teaching a college gender studies course, students are often surprised to learn of what researcher L. A. Bell calls the “smart versus social” dilemma, meaning that as early as elementary school, girls seem to feel that they have to choose between being smart and having relationships. Laura Roberts & Anne Petersen of Lafayette College also found that among 6th and 7th graders, boys and girls who did well in math and science had a better social self-image. However, when making the transition into 8th grade, something interesting happened. While the boys’ success was still related to better self-image, the girls’ self-image increased when their math scores dropped from A’s to B’s! The researchers concluded that adolescent girls might be... Read more
When I was in my twenties, I attended a “Bible” study on how to be a Good Christian Woman. Good Christian Women, I was told, stayed home with their children. Mothers who worked outside the home were compromising, trading their morals for material gain. Good Christian Women decorated their homes with artistic flair, making a beautiful, comfortable nest for their loved ones to nestle into. If they couldn’t afford magazine-ready furnishings and decorations, they scoured flea-markets for irresistible finds, or got that sewing machine humming! Good Christian Women put on fresh clothes, a gloss of lipstick, and a squirt of perfume before their husbands arrived home from work in the evening. Good Christian Women served their families the best meals money could buy... Read more
I am female. I cannot become “more female”. Unless I were in the process of gender reassignment or was afflicted with a rare chromosomal abnormality, my gender is not a graded scale; it is a black and white, only-two-options phenomena, determined by my chromosomes. So- if I am as “female” as I am ever going to be, why would I waste time trying to be more female, or more “feminine?” It would seem rather silly, unless of course I equated “truly feminine” with an external checklist of subjective or objective qualities and attributes my adherence to which determined my femininity.  I do not make such an equation, because I do not believe that there is a list which defines “true femininity”, or “godly femininity... Read more
I don’t know about you, but I have evangelical friends with all kinds of different views on gender. Come to think of it, I have evangelical friends with all kinds of different views on a whole host of topics: child baptism or believers baptism, just war or pacifism, Arminianism or Calvinism, and, yes, even egalitarianism or some form of gender hierarchism (often called, somewhat misleadingly, “complementarianism”). Since evangelicalism has no official magisterium, such diversity is inevitable. And, while I’m as committed to the egalitarian cause as the next person, I’ve come to view this diversity as a good thing: It means that instead of relying on the coercion of some official leaders or evangelical “gatekeepers,” we egalitarians are le... Read more
This post is preprinted with permission from Susanna Krizo’s blog. Why is it so difficult for us to be respectful towards other humans? For example, why do we think children deserve less respect than grownups, and why do men get more respect than women? Some say children and women need love instead of respect, presumably because of their physical weakness. However, such thinking assumes that respect and love are fundamentally different. Love is seen as something that is soft, cuddly, forgiving, enveloping; something that soothes the nervous tendencies of the weak. Respect is something that is firm, impersonal, affirming, empowering, something that the strong need to remain strong. In this view, the strong must be strengthened to protect the weak, who cannot be trusted to take c... Read more