Egalitarianism is an investment in future generations of women:
Growing up in a patriarchal church handicaps a woman for decades. You may remember wearing white anklets, black patent shoes, and a little purse with a dime in it for the Sunday school collection. You also heard, “don’t be pushy, don’t show off, wait your turn, sit still like a lady.” Add to that, “stand back, get out of the way.” There were many messages that small girls were mostly to blend into the background. The day I put my hands on my hips and stomped my foot with as much fury as I could muster, the only result was laughs. No one listened.
Following is a compilation of the many ways a woman suffers from a childhood of patriarchal teaching experience. This is not a legacy you want to leave to your daughters . . . or sons either.
She regrets many missed opportunities to . . . apply for jobs, grants, and scholarships for which she did not feel qualified. ask for appropriate wages. apply for jobs requiring leadership skills. speak up, contribute ideas, add to a conversation. approach possible mentors, take advantage of mentors.
She is genuinely . . . content to volunteer her skills because she doubts her skills are worth wages. amazed if an employer would ever pay her to increase her skills. certain she must work twice harder than other employees. amazed if a male elder or pastor sits down with her and asks, “what’s on your mind?”
She is convinced . . . if she gets a job, it is because no one else is available. if someone more qualified comes along, she will be replaced. another person, especially a man, can do it better. her best is never good enough. She must be perfect. she is too ugly, old, short, young, weak, or not cool enough to succeed. if a man has half the credentials, he will get the job. in an emergency, it is best to consult a man.
She lacks self-respect so she . . . does not demand respect from others. never goes to the front of the line. sits in the back row. First -class is too good for her. defers to even much younger men, including brothers. occupies the minimum amount of space.
In relationships, she feels she . . . must always defer to others or she will lose friends. does not deserve good opportunities that come her way. must expect that good opportunities will disappear as fast as they appear. must share or deflect praise; escapes being in the center of attention. must do the larger share of maintaining a relationship. is naïve, if she is taken advantage of it is her fault. expects people to talk to her only if no one more interesting is available. is used to people looking through her or over her shoulder. if a friend or spouse leaves, it is her fault. will only attract a “flawed” spouse, she must “settle” because no one better will like her.
Personally she has been taught to distrust her intuition, emotions, feelings. feels that men’s rational, logical thinking is superior to her haphazard thinking. tends to talk too loud because that is the only way she gets attention. talks too fast because she only gets limited time with important people. knows that when men in dark suits approach her, she will be reprimanded. is afraid to challenge men, backs down easily when challenged. quickly gives others the benefit-of-the-doubt. pretends to understand more than she does to save face. feels dreams are delusions; hope will disappoint.
When she reads the Bible she . . . understands it was written by men for men. must always filter between verses for men only and verses that include her. knows if empowered women appear in the Bible, they are explained away. does not trust her own understanding.
She considers that God . . . puts her prayers “on hold” until everything else is done. has more important people in line for his attention. does not speak directly to her, men are more important. has no call for her; only men are “called.”
She notes that . . . young men get opportunities. Older women never got offers when they were young. Now they are old, they are not considered worth investing in. when she offers her ideas, no one pays attention. When a man suggests the same thing, it is applauded. a residue of sin remains in women that the cross did not erase. Brought to light by all the various restrictions. Growing up in a patriarchal church places your daughters into chains.