Global Perspectives | CBE International

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Global Perspectives

Dorothy Greco
This is a two part series. In part one, we’ll trace the history and impact of misogyny. In part two, we’ll explore what Jesus has to say about healthy, whole, male-female relationships in a more just world. The #MeToo movement uncovered a fault line running across the entire country. Revelation after painful revelation exposed the pervasiveness of misogyny and sexual brokenness in the United States. Among the accused were Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, politicians Roy Moore and Al Franken, talk show host Matt Lauer, physician Larry Nassar, and perhaps most shocking, Willow Creek’s founder and head pastor Bill Hybels. The charges certainly didn’t come as a surprise to the 321,500 Americans who are victims of sexual assault or rape every year. After... Read more
Gricel Medina
Christian conferences exist to serve and edify the church. They provide an opportunity for believers to have community with each other and to learn from each other’s faith and experiences. They also provide platforms to leaders and visionaries who then shape how Christians think about and practice their faith. Christian conferences are a powerful tool. They can be used to engage, include, and challenge all Christians. They can also hurt and exclude believers who are already marginalized in US society and in the Christian family. And, they can confirm the conscious or unconscious biases and attitudes of the more powerful group. As a Latina, I have been hurt by how the church excludes those who look like me from the leadership and theology of Christian conferences. And as a woman, I... Read more
Recently, in the small bowling alley where Shelby works, three immigrant women and eight children came to the counter to pay for their games. After Shelby realized that none of the women could speak English, one of them tried to apologize, saying, “Normally my husband…”  Shelby asked if her husband usually did the talking. She nodded and kept her eyes glued to the floor. Over twenty million immigrant women and girls live in the United States today. Many come to the Unites States searching for a better life, but it can be difficult to fit into US society. Obviously, men are not immune to the challenges of adapting to a new culture, but women often have additional challenges that men do not experience. We wanted to learn more about women's experiences, so we int... Read more
She holds up her hands to shield her face as they drag her from her home. She digs her feet into the soil, but it's not enough to save her. She is afraid, a Jephthah's daughter, about to face a vow someone else made on her behalf. Mourning for her virginity, for choice, for everything that will be taken from her. Her heart is barren, a suffering tomb, never to be loved or valued. A young girl of fourteen, sold and given away. She screams one final time, but it's not enough to stop them. She will weep, cover her mouth, and cry her silent screams as they take her away. Ukuthwalwa. The stories will break your heart. It's happening every day in rural South Africa. Girls as young as fourteen are being forced to marry men double their age. In some cases, men as old as fif... Read more
At a recent Wednesday night church service, a group of us wandered away from the topic of the night to discuss the old baptismal font recently decommissioned by our church. A parishioner had tripped over a leg that protruded too far into the aisle, injuring herself and damaging the font. We all agreed that it was time for the font to go. Our conversation returned to the topic of the evening: human dignity. I was struck by the many acts and attitudes of oppression that were and are sanctioned by the church in the past and present. These structures cause harm to the body of Christ and are broken, just like the damaged baptismal font. It is time for these oppressive structures to go. Patriarchy is an earthly system that oppresses, limits, and silences women. The church has been compl... Read more
My husband and I were sitting in a restaurant waiting for our food. A young couple sat down at the table just in front of us. “So,” my husband began, “I know you told me not to tell you about all the news stories I’ve read today, but I read something interesting you need to know about.” “Uh–huh.” “China has ended its one-child policy.” The waiter arrived and placed our food on the table, but I could barely see my meal. I was dumbstruck by the news my husband had shared. I thought back to the years of prayers on the issue of gendercide in China. I recalled the group of women who gathered on International Women’s Day last year to discuss the plight of Chinese women and girls. Thirty-seven million girls have been... Read more
While I was at university, I was obsessed with becoming a missionary. I wasted several years of my life trying to become one, because I was convinced that it was the Lord's will for me. Looking back, I now recognize how privilege, bias, and patriarchy drove my desire. Lurking beneath my perceived “calling” to missions was an unspoken assumption about my place in the world and the place of others in relation to myself. I now see that my goal and the assumptions driving it were rooted in my own bias. They were also a consequence of patriarchy.   I knew from childhood that I wanted to preach. I loved listening to my father preach every Sunday, and I wanted to be just like him. I wanted to dig deep and find out everything there was to know about the Bible. I wanted to con... Read more
Christian egalitarians in developed Western countries engage a wide range of issues related to gender equality. We stand up for women’s ordination. We support mutual submission in marriage. We fight sexual objectification in the media. We stamp out insulting gender stereotypes. And we celebrate women who break glass ceilings in male-dominated careers. This is just to name a few of our battles.  It would seem that our plates are full in the fight for equality—and all of these endeavors are good things. Yet, as we wade neck-deep through the struggles of our own culture, let’s not forget the millions of women around the world who face problems we can’t imagine. In many different regions, particularly in developing countries, women have few rights and an over... Read more
God uses all kinds of spokespeople to communicate important messages to the church and world. In the past few years, former US President Jimmy Carter has been one such advocate—challenging audiences to affirm and respect the personhood and contributions of women. Carter's 2014 book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, grew out of his travels to more than one hundred forty countries. The book begins with the former president's bold statement that "the biggest challenge facing our world today," the belief that maleness is superior to femaleness, is often enforced by the twisting of religious teachings. The ripple effects of these deep-seated convictions are evident in many parts of the world today. Joy erupts when the doctor, midwife, or fa... Read more
This article was written in honor of South Africa’s National Women’s Day on August 9. In light of this memory and moment, we celebrate the experience of global womanhood, even as we learn to hear and love each other’s unique stories. I glanced at the newspaper lying next to our table. It read “the day 20,000 women said no the dompas."[1] I was intrigued and pulled the paper onto the table where my mom and I were sharing lunch. Just the week before, South Africa had celebrated women’s day on August 9 with a sleepy holiday from work. But, as I read the article, I wondered why many of us had never learned about the significance of the holiday. I am a woman who believes in the value of the female voice. I also believe in the godly empowerment of o... Read more