Recently on the website ‘girls gone wise’ Mary Kassian wrote an article called, ‘complementarianism for dummies’. Once again they seem to claim that people do not understand their positions, and feel the need to put it in clearer terms. Some of the items she speaks about that are incorrect to her came from her own words she spoke in the past. For example, Mary states:
June Cleaver is a traditional, American, cultural TV stereotype. She is NOT the complementarian ideal. Period. (And exclamation mark!) Culture has changed. What complementarity looks like now is different than what it looked like sixty or seventy years ago. So throw out the cookie-cutter stereotype. It does not apply.Mary Kassian used the stereotype of June Cleaver in her presentation of, “You have come a long way Baby!” She used this stereotype to show how our culture has changed from wholesome, moral, Godly belief system to acceptance of a Murphy Brown type of stereotype. It was her own presentation of this that brought about this ‘cookie cutter’ idea.
In today’s society when you use such extreme models for how things ‘should be’ and how things ‘are’ outside your belief system? You need to learn from your mistakes, and not try to demonize aspects in such an extreme manner. People see it for what it is, and you need to accept the backlash. You created it! Some will see it for what it is – scare tactics – and others will wonder how extreme YOU are?
I realize she is attempting to ‘theme’ this article after the ‘for dummies’ series you see in bookstores, but I also have to wonder due to her past remarks if it also had a ugly twist to it. She does seem to have a habit of talking down to her readers. Mary Kassian also has a habit of using the most awful examples you can come up with, and tell her readers this is how ‘most’ believe or accept things. This is just not realistic.
Sadly, with her presentations she also encourages other women/men that are complementarian to react in a defensive manner, because she models this for them. ‘We believe like this, and they believe like that’ type of thing doesn’t seem to be working for them. No doubt Mary Kassian sees her rhetoric copied and used by others. The part I don’t think she counted on is people basically turn it around, and use the opposite extreme towards her beliefs.
They have to ask themselves….how is this polarization working for them so far?
It seems she has done a great amount of research on the roots of feminism. The problem as I see it is she takes people like Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem – whom I don’t even think are Christians – and place their belief systems as how ALL the world believes and accepts. No doubt there are some aspects of the beliefs people don’t take issue with, but that doesn’t mean they accept everything.
To many books, articles and lectures are on the premise that the world does. This is creates the backlash when you have to create this ‘complementarianism for dummies’. People figure if you see the world in such extremes? You belief system must be JUST as extreme in the opposite direction. Its just common sense.
Polarization of the disagreements isn’t going to win believers in the end. If my life experience has taught me anything its that when you learn you have been lied to? You wonder what else is not true as well. You have broken the trust, and then you need to figure out how you will earn that back.
Here is one example that I see used. They claim it is selfish to want ‘rights’. Once again they have used a feminist term to make their point, and yet they truly didn’t make it against the Egalitarian beliefs. Yes, I do believe they have read what the actual beliefs are…but I guess this polarized approach about the differences is more acceptable then telling the truth about the differences.
Its All About Rights!
My early childhood was in the 1960’s, and most girls/women had the felt the sting of you can’t do something because you are female. It had nothing to do with qualifications, capabilities, etc. Those within my generation can name some truly silly things we were asked to stay away from that I don’t think my own children could even fathom today.
In my parent’s generation it wasn’t uncommon or unheard of within the church to remind those in the audience how women were easily deceived, unstable, foolish, weaker in almost every way. This is the reason WHY women could not participate in certain functions within the church. It wasn’t politically incorrect to state that women were inferior. That is part of our human history, and no one can deny that.
Some things did change for the better after the 1960’s women’s movement, and some WELL not so much! That tends to happen with every big change in history.
What did change within certain churches after the women’s movement of the 1960’s is ‘spiritual equality’. How men and women are equal in worth in the eyes of our Lord.
(giggles) So the Complementarian’s do have to admit they did BEND to culture so what there! Most now days also tend to downplay the ‘inferiority’ statements just a tad as well.
Complementarian’s started their movement in the 1980’s, because they felt that the gender roles should still be honored.
You hear/read people referring to egalitarians as "evangelical feminism" or “evangelical feminists”. The term is a misnomer at best, because egalitarians don’t use this term to describe their view of scripture. They don’t use the label because it isn’t about ‘women’s rights’. Its not about ‘rights’ at all.
The Egalitarian emphasis is equality of privilege for men and women, not women's rights. Its the use of the gifts that God gave you to use for his glory!
It has nothing to do with taking ANYTHING away from ‘manhood’. At times I have to wonder why some can’t see how ‘insecure’ they make men look when they take this approach. Its not about US – men or women – the gift is about God, and how he wishes it to be used. When someone uses that gift to honor God? How they can say that takes away from ‘men’ makes no sense. It wasn’t for men to begin with.
Gifts have been used by women in history FOREVER, and just because some haven’t checked their history well enough doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Women have served in all kinds of capacities throughout history, even with all the roadblocks that the cultures they lived in put up. Lottie Moon is a great example of this! That shows true commitment to our God, and if it threatens men/women in some fashion? They need to realize its NOT about them anyway. The threat is in their mind only.
Most of the extreme descriptions you hear about regarding feminism in complementarian circles used to describe egalitarians? It’s a tool to polarize issues, and truly is bearing false witness against others.
You don’t use the most extreme examples of feminism, and use that in a way to orchestrate people to your way of believing. Its deceiving others towards what they see as their ‘opponent’, and not fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. This should not be.
If you can’t win the debate without bearing false witness against others you truly didn’t win anything.
Why I hate the word Feminist
Is Complementarianism for Dummies?
It’s not complementarianism; it’s patriarchy
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