One of the things which has long puzzled me about our religious feminist friends is their penchant for secrets. They have secret email lists to protect the fragile and increasing levels of secrecy on their discussion boards. Like a game in which you have to earn a certain number of points to progress to the next level, some Egalitarian groups have varying levels of secrecy on their boards, and most of these levels are completely opaque to the innocent passer by. And yet none of the patriarchal blogs or discussion boards or websites on which I participate have any of this. Some of them require registration or ask their posters to identify themselves with their real names, but this seems to me to be the opposite of secrecy.
Perhaps this is simply self-selection on my part, but past experience on both sides of this divide inclines me to think that is not the case.
My experience and biblical wisdom also teach me that such secret gatherings are not good ideas. They often turn into dens of sniping gossip which resemble our therapeutic culture more than anything biblical. The so-called fragile are enabled and coddled -- and anything they advocate which does not cause immediate physical damage to another person is uplifted as their "god-given right". Hitting out from the shadows and slandering men (most often it is men) about whom they actually know very little, all manner of psychiatric illnesses and selfish desires are attributed to their opponents. The shadows in which these feminists dwell only serve to feed their delusions. And even on the rare occasion when they do manage to engage something these men have actually taught, the words are taken out of context and the worst possible construction presented as if it is the only reasonable interpretation.
All religious feminists are not so dark and secretive, but very few are as open and free as the patriarchalists I know. Consider the simple difference between a religious feminist professor who moderates all his blog posts, discarding or posting at will -- and that of a blog run by a patriarchalist in which comments are freely accepted (though some may occasionally be edited or deleted, this is never done without a clarifying comment by the blog owner). Of course, in each case it is their blog and these gentlemen are free to moderate or delete as they see fit. I'm not disputing that, I'm simply comparing the tenor of dialogue, the manner of moderation and how they differ in the two camps.
In the end, I can't help thinking of Paul on Mars Hill. Are we going to emulate him with a free and open exchange in the "marketplace of ideas"? Or are we going to hide in the shadows, protecting ourselves?