Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Spin Zone of Patriarchy

Posted by Hannah at 6:42 PM

I have spoken before about how I have noticed that certain segments of the faith community have labeled anything that has to do with equality as feminism.

It is strange to me how people in certain circles claim that equality has to do with 'sameness'.  When they say this I think of Mathematics myself.

Lets look at an equation made up of different parts, and yet are equal.


You notice both sides of the equal side add up the number 4.  Does that mean that 1,2 and 3 are the same?  No, yet the equation above is equal.  Does that mean 2+2 is trying to be 3+1?  No, yet they are equal.

Its funny how people can point out the differences between the equations, and realize that both equal 4.  They both equal the same number, and yet both sides represent different numbers adding up to 4.   When we were all young in our Math classes in school we learned to recognize the fact these types of equations are different but are equal.  Its not a hard concept here!

The sameness is the equality of the equations, but numbers are different.

Its not a hard concept to grasp, but people seem to want to make it complicated.  What is sad is within the faith community we see such silliness as dogma, doctrine, etc.  How does that look to the outside secular world?  We look like idiots.  People trying to 'spiritualize' equality in God's eyes as 'sameness'.  Women trying to be men or men trying to be women.  I mean seriously!  That truly must look really, very childish.

Its strange how the secular actually 'gets it', and yet within the faith world?  You get these strange comments about how if they accept equality between the sexes that opens the door the downfall of the family via homosexuality.  (scratches head - I still don't understand that connection!)

People are making equality into a boogie man, and trying to label it feminism.  The label feminism isn't suppose to be nice, and it is used to insult others.  Egalitarian for example is often labeled, 'Evangelical Feminism'. 

To me the label is used to as a 'spin zone'. 

What is a spin zone? To spin in this context means to alter the truth and deceive, in order to make unpleasant facts more acceptable.  "Spin", used here as a noun, refers to a belief slant or bias. The verb form means to twist the reporting of a differing beliefs to suit one's own purposes or agenda.

We are all equal in God's eyes.  Fact.  The differences seem to be how that equality is played out!

In simplistic terms lets look at the two opposing parties.

Complementarianism uses biblical gender roles they believe are put forth by scripture to glorify God.  "We have differing roles that complement each other'.

Egalitarian differs in they feel that you should use the gifts that God has granted you for his purpose.  "We believe man and woman are made to complement each other, and the person's role is determined by the gifts God granted them."

The culturally accepted gender roles may overlap within the Egalitarian beliefs, and this seems to be taken very offensively from the Complementarian's.

The biblical gender roles within the Complementarian family is represented by the Man as the head, authority, and in biblical leadership.  The female is to be help meet by being in submission to her husband, keeper of the home, etc.  Patriarchy is another term that is used.

Egalitarian believes that husband and wife should be in mutual submission to each other.  They are to mutually love, respect, and serve one another and their family.  They believe that you should use your individual gifts that God has granted you with, and use them to serve others as the Holy Spirit prompts you to do.  Gender within Egalitarians is not used as a restriction to not use your gift that God has given you for his purpose.

The Spin Zone

To say when Egalitarian respect people's gifts to be used for God's Glory as 'Feminist' is to me the ultimate spin.  They seem to include men within that definition because they don't restrict women from what is seen as culturally gender based roles, positions.  In a nutshell they basically call them girly, women, feminists.

I'm sure with some men that accept equality the name calling in this fashion would hold them back from presenting themselves as Egalitarian.  We all know how well men like being called 'girls'.

I find the approach rather manipulative myself.

I also find it strange how the Complementarian approach seem to wish you to believe they love and respect women, and yet use a 'female' term to show you all that is wrong with the world.  I don't see any gender cornering the market in that realm personally. I'm sure at times they speak on (ahem) manly sins as well, but they sure do love using that female terms an awful lot!

When equality is brought up people will state that women don't respect the role of mother, and live the selfish life of 'me me me'.  How this means that men can't be bring boys up to be Godly men, and ladies can't bring up girls to be Godly women.  To do so would be oppressive, because there would be no 'sameness'.  If you look at the math problem above?  Equality doesn't mean sameness.  That is a couple of spins as well.

A couple that has 'mutuality' within their relationship, and not this 'someone has to be the boss' attitude doesn't mean you don't respect gender.  It doesn't mean they can't complement each other, and they have a proper appreciation for God's design.

I have to say I have to giggle at some of the lengths people will go to.  People are unique and wonderfully made by God, and that doesn't change due to a disagreement on gender roles.

Should we spin in the other direction?

What if Egalitarian's wanted to spin?  That would make the complementarian side 'Evangelical Masculinism" Right?  I very much doubt they would appreciate that label, because of the negative stigma attached. They already fight against the image of not taking to task men that abuse their biblical roles, and accepting such a label would be seen as endorsing that image.

Can you imagine what extremes we could attach to Evangelical Masculinism?  I suppose we could spin that in the misogyny direction right?  I mean how often is 'feminism' labeled as 'man haters', and we would have to go in the opposite direction right?

Nah.  I respect men to much for that.  I don't like the extremes in either direction, and world's woes aren't due to gender anyway.  They are due to human sin.  That must such a surprise to some it seems.  Sigh.

I think we can all admit there are radical wings within the feminist movement, and SURE some of them have even made their own 'gender' religion.

Groups that take extremists, and try to apply that to those that don't agree with their view of scripture?  Rant on and on about how 'these' people ruin everything?  Talk about major 'victim' mode they have themselves in.  They lash out by name calling, and then tell what the 'other' side believes in such a way that it makes no sense at all.

Evangelical Masculinism...hmm.  Nah.  That would be stooping to their level.  I'm sure for the next couple of days I will have to stop and giggle at myself.  That subliminal label is going to be stuck there for a while.  It will go away in time.

You have to wonder if the 'spin zone' is due to the fact the cold, hard facts of what egalitarian actually stands for is something threatening.  It also makes me wonder WHY they seem to think they have leg to stand on with such nonsense comments about it.

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Donald Johnson on 1:37 PM said...

I have used the term "evangelical masculinism" as an attempt at consciousness raising.

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