There’s a fly in my soup; there is patriarchy in my religion

I am a fan of people who devote their lives to unpopular causes.

Some causes I understand, even if I don’t agree with them. But I will never understand patriarchy.

My head is spinning as I try to remember where in the Bible it states that all women must be stay-at-home mothers and let their husbands be the sole breadwinners. I don’t even recall where it states that all women HAVE to become mothers. As a soon-to-be-married woman who doesn’t want kids (for now), it troubles me to think of the reactions I might face when I try shopping for a new church where my fiancé lives. Any attitude suggesting women have to be this or that is an automatic dealbreaker.

I cannot understand how it’s “unbiblical” for marriages to be treated as partnerships, where each couple makes decisions that are best for them and their families; why it’s considered unreasonable in many conservative circles for men to help out with chores and child-rearing; why a woman choosing to have a career is accused of neglecting her children. I went to daycare as a kid while my mom worked; I think I turned out okay. When my dad got sick and had to retire, mom took over financially. Do ultra-conservatives somehow believe they are above that possibility?

But no matter which path you choose, there is disdain to be met at every turn. The disdain for women who choose to be stay-at-home mothers is also backlash in the face of feminism. It has to stop.

I can’t deny that these attitudes have a direct impact on my faith and the way I relate to Jesus. Even though I firmly believe Jesus valued women (he saved the life of one about to be stoned for adultery, per Old Testament law, after all), if other Christians who claim to represent him cannot allow for equality in their definition of womanhood, then the result is simple: the church will have no women. Maybe not all of us will leave in droves, but this particular woman will pack her bags if things do not change.

I know this wouldn’t happen on a large enough scale to wake people up. Sadly, there are plenty of women perpetuating anti-feminist viewpoints. They have never been taught what feminism is supposed to be: a radical notion that women are people; an idea that goes beyond politics, religion, and social status.

Ironically, I have met more women lately who actively promote patriarchy. They look at me like I’m holding a dead squirrel when I dare to admit I am a feminist.

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That, too, must stop.

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3 thoughts on “There’s a fly in my soup; there is patriarchy in my religion

  1. Jessica says:

    Not to sound to self-promoting, but as part of a denomination that has women in ministry, I would suggest trying out an ELCA congregation. Other options would be United Methodist, Episcopal, or Presbyterian. With the exception of the Methodists, who are struggling with LGBTQ rights at the moment, the others are also firmly supportive of gay rights. I can’t make any more vast generalizations, however.

    Like

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