Sexism… In the Church? An Introduction

Oh geez.

This topic is so dangerous to approach but I feel it must be done. Many evangelical men (and men in general) deny the presence of sexism, especially in the church. Many women, particularly younger women outside of the church, voice a clear protest towards this force that is claimed to hold back many women. I believe it is my responsibility as someone who wants to be a conduit for the voices of the oppressed, as well as someone who wants to address matters that happen within the church, to write on this subject.

HOWEVER:

I beg you to pay careful attention to what I am about to say. I am a young white male, living in the United States of America. I know oppression at the same level I know Mandarin (which is not at all). Because my complete and inarguable ignorance to any form of oppression and my inexperience of sexism, I will do my very best to keep my own voice and opinions out of these blogposts. I plan on interviewing (and citing) many women about this heated topic. Some of these women will be stark believers that the outrage against sexism is a whiny cry from Millennials. Others will speak of the pains they experience from this degradation within the place of worship. And other women will simply be indifferent towards it.

I ask three things of whomever decides to read these posts.

First, please have patience with me as I convey the opinions of these women. It takes a while to organize interviews and compile statements. I want to be as accurate as possible when I type out how these women feel, making sure to capture whatever emotion is involved. This is going to be a long and arduous process, but with a topic such as this, time and attention are needed. If you care at all for the voices of these women, these human beings with important voices regardless of opinion or stance, then please bear with me in patience.

Second, please approach this with an open mind. It is not my intention to try to shove feminism in anyone’s face, or to discredit the passionate movement that has been recapitulated within the past few years. I wish only to be a conduit. Men, these voices will be those of the most important people in your life. Don’t disregard them because you don’t quite see where they are coming from. Women, whether you are pro or anti-feminist, please remember this is specifically within the context of the church, and while many people believe systematic sexism trickles into every aspect of life and the church-setting is only showing an affliction symptomatic to a larger issue, I am in no position to try to be a voice for such an issue.

Thirdly, this one is solely for the ladies in the audience. As I mentioned before, I am a young white male and have no idea what it is like to be under any oppression. Please, I ask very sincerely, forgive me if I say something incorrect in my ignorance, and also please let me know. I hope to only funnel the many wise voices that come from your side of life into the light of my readers’ perspective. If there is a moment in which I say something out of line, I will correct it apologetically. However, I refuse to censor any comments from the women I interview, whether they are pro-feminist or anti-feminist. That is the antithesis of what I am trying to do. Voices are silenced very frequently, and I do not plan on contributing to that dreadful epidemic.

Whatever this turns out to be, I just hope you will consider all of it carefully, and share it with whomever it might affect. This very well may be the beginnings of a book, or just a lot blogposts from some random guy, but the fact is, these women and their voices matter, regardless of your own beliefs, for or against.