Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ah yes, we love our womanliness . . .

I stumbled across a blog post today, courtesy of one of the sillier religious feminist discussion boards, that really caught my eye. It is a post on the subject of a 'women's roles' study by a gentleman who used to teach at Bethel University (in the interests of full disclosure, I have a family member who has worked at Bethel for more than 30 years). In this, their first week, they started with the more conservative position by reading 'recovering biblical masculinity' (that is as it is in the blog post, no caps). This does not bode well for the rest of the article if he doesn't trouble to type the name of the book correctly, especially when a picture of the book cover tops the article! For the record, the book they are studying is the standard work of Complementarianism, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem.

Further in the article, the author writes:

Another problem I personally have with Piper and Grudem is that it seems aimed at unisex androginous feminism– one which claims that there are no non-social real differences between men and women. But that form of feminism is largely discredited– in feminist circles. Rather, what we have today is a view that women ARE different than men– and that they have abilities men to not– which are quite useful in leadership, among other things.

Now that is so astonishing a claim as to tempt me to write the author asking on which planet he resides! That describes no sort of religious feminism which I have ever seen. Rebecca Groothuis has been known to point out that while there are differences between men and women, it is more important that there are huge overlaps. One religious feminist recently claimed, on a friend's blog, that the only significant differences were related solely to procreation. This past summer, Christians for Biblical Equality presented a workshop purporting to teach us what there is to learn from the "intersexed". And, finally, there is the religious feminist mentioned in an earlier post on this blog who claimed it was the highest compliment she'd ever received to have someone not notice she was a girl after having spent a week together in close quarters.

So please, Mr. Gustafson, can you tell me where you find these religious feminists who celebrate our sexual differences?

Finally, I didn't know whether to laugh at the silliness or cry at the utter blindness evidenced in the postscript:

I got interested in the ways which evangelical women think of themselves and their possibilities when I was teaching at Bethel in Minnesota. Two of our strongest departments were Philosophy and Physics, yet these departments had the fewest women. When we would ask women if they would consider being a philosophy major (becaue they were doing so well in the philosophy classes) their response was usually that they were women, so they didn’t think they could do that. They hadn’t seen women Christian philosophers, and didn’t know women could/would do such a thing. Some even said that they felt like their family and church had sort of told them that teaching philosophy was not for women. This made me start to think about what women are told they can and cant do. It also made me act, and I helped some female students start BUFF: Bethel University Feminist Forum (we debated over labeling it feminist, but eventually decided to, more for effect and the added benefit of the cool acronym)

BUFF, eh? A friend tells me this is also the nickname for the B-52 Bomber, in which case the acronym stands for, "Big Ugly Fat Fella". Whichever the case may be, it seems that women who embrace their womanliness, even if it includes an inclination toward studying philosophy, wouldn't think it was "cool" to go around calling themselves, BUFF.

1 comment:

Kevin Jones said...

Kamilla, may I introduce you to The Thinking Housewife? I think you'd enjoy her blog.