Below is an excerpt taken from Kendra Weddle Iron’s blog from Nov. 15, 2013.
… In case you’ve missed it, this week a pretty significant conversation occurred on Twitter when Rachel Held Evans, author of A Year of Biblical Womanhood, raised a question about the lack of female presenters at ‘The Nines’ conference. Out of well-over 100 presenters only four were women. So, Evans asked on Twitter how this vast imbalance reflects the reality of the church. What ensued was a rather interesting smattering of responses: some lambasting Evans for pointing out such things in a public format and others lamenting the “unchristian” nature of disagreement.
Not to be left out, Jeremy Weber of Christianity Today published a brief news story of the Twitter blow-up and another thread of disagreement ensued this time not as much about Evans and “The Nines” but the one-sided perspective of the CT story, one that portrayed Evans negatively while at the same time failing to explore whether or not her concern about gender inequity was legitimate or, further, if she had any comment in light of the dust-up, a courtesy extended to “The Nines” organizer, Todd Rhoades.
Social media also played a large role this week in unearthing a high school motivational speech given by Justin Lookadoo to Richardson (Texas) High School students. His conservative Christian role-based message met considerable backlash not only in the auditorium but also on Twitter and Facebook. The Dallas Morning Newsreported that following Lookadoo’s speech in Richardson, he was met by several students who objected to his gender-based “Dateable Rules” which include items such as “Be mysterious. Dateable girls know how to shut up. Let him lead. God made guys as leaders.” And “Men of God are wild, not domesticated. Dateable guys aren’t tamed.”
In contrast to these events where patriarchal preferences were clearly called into question, there was a day-long conference (Nov. 15) sponsored by Q. Heralded as a place for women to explore their callings through “exposure, conversation, and collaboration” Rachel Held Evans and several others were on hand to celebrate the contributions of women to faith, encouraging more, not less, involvement of women in church leadership…
… So, what are we to make of just one week in the cyber world?
… It is becoming apparent that the time the church can hide its male privilege is quickly drawing to a close. Instant and wide-spread communication means it is no longer possible to keep women silent and isolated. Communication lines have been thrown wide open and church leaders today will not be able to stop the rising tide of the majority of people who go to church.
Thanks to Rachel Held Evans to keeping this conversation going and for knowinghow to utilize Twitter to call the church to embrace its potential. Thanks to outspoken high school students in Richardson, Texas, who refuse to listen to a vile message. And, kudos to women—Evangelical and Liberal and all kinds in between—for refusing to be silent any longer.
A new day is dawning!