Toxic Christian masculinity, Women Talking and the quiet resistance of rural wreath building.
I live in a rural farming community with many generations of families within the churches. You described life here perfectly. Misogyny is all around. I really liked the idea of just having a group setting for women. Then my thought went to the women being so afraid to cross the line. The misogynistic culture has women so threaded with fear. I also think the narcissistic traits that come with misogyny has the women blinded to what is happening. Great article for ways and hope to break the cycle .
Beautiful, as always. I am grateful there are Lindas in the world, full of strength and conviction. I feel lucky to live in a time and place where church women are exercising their gifts, even if, still too often, there's uphill climbing they must do for no other reason than they are women. Some good news: in my church, women fill all the leadership positions, head up most of the committees (despite the fact that our congregation is split pretty evenly between men and women), two of our three lead pastors, as well as our associate pastor, have been women, our bishop is a woman, and women outnumber men in our two local seminaries. I am convinced that the future of many faith traditions, including my own, is feminine. And for the ones where there isn't at least parity, well...that's to their great loss. Traditions that deny the gifts of some may survive but they can never thrive, not in the truest sense (which is not measured by butts in pews). Also, I am taken with Linda's vision of a holiday craft luncheon. I want these spaces and places for women. And if there is a male version of sitting around making wreaths, I want that, too. Male-centric culture has created political and social power for us men, but power robs even as it rewards. It has robbed so many of us of the skills needed to fulfill the very natural, human need to connect. Maybe what we men need is some good old-fashioned wreath-making and lemonade-sipping. I think the world could only be better for it. Lead on, Linda!
I love this synthesis, Kelley! I’m certainly in the kind of misogynistic midwestern world you describe as the first female priest at my current church. Interestingly, I’ve had more trouble with strong bullying female parishioners than male, but that seems to be a pattern throughout our church’s history, even for male clergy. But I want to investigate this further and I definitely want to see Women Talking (Torontonian Canadian female director Sarah Polley, yes, please!). You’ve given me a great impetus to buy it so I can watch and rewatch and share with other women navigating the church system. Thank you for this!
Geez, I love this. Great writing.
My partner watched “women talking” and has told me several times I need to see the show.
I hate that you (and my partner and others) have had to experience all that you have. And at the same time, I also love the subversive thing you’re highlighting here. As long as that remains... maybe there’s still a chance.
Fantastic, Kell. Moving and smart, vulnerable and grounded-strong. Thank you.
Yes Greg! In the Belden Lane interview last week we asked him about men’s work and what he felt is needed most. I think his response was something akin to lemonade and wreath building. 🍋