Women in the church, Suzie Homemaker and the Pastor on Facebook

I’ve been on vacation the last couple weeks and have had the opportunity to get some much needed chores done around the house. It was nice to have the time to cook dinner and to set down and have family meals that were not rushed. So, when my husband hugged me and said that I had been a really good wife lately all he was saying is that it was nice I had more time at home and thanks for cooking dinner. However, it got my Gloria Steinem up. A good wife! Because I was cooking and cleaning! I tried and failed to successfully explain why it was offensive. If you like dinner, say thank you. To say “good wife” in reference to distaff chores fits right into the notion that women should be home cooking and cleaning. Of course my husband is a devout feminist and women’s rights is core issue relevant to and underlying other global problems. Still, he is of an age where growing up more women were in the home cooking and cleaning. My upbringing was totally different. My mom was more the bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan role model. She was the bread winner and did all that wifely stuff too. She was and is superwoman. Nevertheless, we also went to a very conservative, fundamentalist church. Three times a week we were there and I got a regular dose of information on exactly what the woman’s place was. Below men. To be silent. To be a “helpmeet” to her husband. It went against the reality of most of the women in my family who were the head of the household – and yet they still went along with all that crap that they heard preached every Sunday. That dissonance was only a part, but certainly an important part of my early disillusionment with the church and religion.

This morning, my husband called me and asked me to turn on the radio to hear a story about the Baptist church and women. He found it horrible and shocking as the piece explained the role of women in the church. I was not raised Southern Baptist, but I already knew the score. The only news in the story to me was that some Baptist churches were rebelling and having female pastors. Cool. One of the opponents of the traditional treatment of women in the church noted that in 50 years the church would look back on the their treatment of women much as they looked back on slavery today. Wow. That a pastor in a Baptist church said that is significant progress. The piece also gave me an idea, a way to satisfy that “stick it to the church-man 15-year-old rebellious itch” I still get when the church steps on my toes. How did they step on my toes if I have long ago disassociated myself from religion? Facebook. I signed up for a Facebook page even though I really don’t get it. I don’t have time for it. But my boy wanted to get on and I had to check it out before I approved it for him. I signed up and saw a few friends and family members, added them as friends. I didn’t look at it for a couple weeks and then I looked at my hotmail (junk mail) account yesterday and saw that a lot of people have added me as their friend. One of my new friends is the pastor at my mother’s church. Are you serious! I don’t care one bit what that man thinks of me, yet I cannot help but feel it is a little bit like Big Brother watching over his flock. I think I will put a link to the NPR story up on my wall. Subtle, maybe, but I walk the thin line of telling the preacher man what I think and trying my best not to offend or alienate my uber-religious family members that make up about a 1/5 of the church’s membership.


1 Response to “Women in the church, Suzie Homemaker and the Pastor on Facebook”

  1. 1 jon
    September 1, 2009 at 11:26 am

    To thine own self be true.
    You don’t have to go out of your way to tell the “churchier” members of your tribe that you disagree but you do yourself a disservice if you hide your opinions – you who NEVER hide them!

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