Southern Baptist’s New Sexist “Biblical Woman” Site – Attitudes in Total Face Palm of a Site One Reason Among Many This Unmarried and Childless Woman Is Saying Toodle-Oo to Christianity
There are several reasons I am closer and closer to saying bye-bye to Christianity, but the continued insistence upon Southern Baptists, Neo Calvinists, and other Christian groups, on pushing sexism and codependency for women – under the headings of “gender complementarianism” or “biblical womanhood” – is just one more reason.
I am now blogging about a new site by Southern Baptists about “Biblical womanhood.” (Link to that site, with screen captures from it, is farther below.)
First, a preface: IT’S NOT JUST A WOMAN’S ISSUE
If you are a male, an unmarried male, you need to be concerned about this pushing of gender complementarianism to women. It impacts you as well, oh yes it does.
If you are a male, do not make the deadly mistake of thinking, “Aw, this is just about ladies, it is of no import for me, I am a dude!”
No, no, you couldn’t be more wrong because 1. (Link): this page and 2. they equally oppress, pressure, shame, and hound males who do not live up to their narrowly defined list of rules of what constitutes “biblical manhood.”
Just as gender complementarians limit and enslave women to following a very narrow set of 1950s- American- culturally influenced, un-biblical rules of what constitutes a godly woman (which often includes being married, submitting to a husband, and cranking out children), they do the same to men.
For example, and depending on what type of breed of gender complementarian we are discussing, they usually define “biblical manhood” to mean ‘MAN WHO IS MARRIED TO A WOMAN AND FATHER TO BIOLOGICAL CHILDREN.’
Some Christian biblical manhood advocates further tack on additional qualifiers of what constitutes “biblical manhood,” such as, “spiritual leader of wife,” “steadily employed with a big paycheck, so the wife can stay home all day,” and “manly man who drinks beer, belches loudly and often, and who watches cage fighting with great enthusiasm.”
So, if you are a single male, or you have never been a daddy, and if you do not care for American stereotypical manly man pursuits (e.g., football, NASCAR, copious amounts of beer drinking) and you even prefer artistic pursuits, such as painting and opera, and…
If you find yourself unable to support more than yourself on your pay check alone, you will be treated like a second-class citizen in most Baptist and Neo Calvinist churches.
You will be deemed a failure for not being biblically mannish enough by a host of gender complementarians.
I do find it telling that the Southern Baptists and other gender complementarians seem to expend more effort and time at talking about women’s roles, though.
They seem to crank out more books, sites, and so on, to convince women that being submitted doormats is really honest- to- gosh biblical and not the least demeaning, than they do in cranking out as much material convincing men to be Biblical Tough Guys.
Occasionally, they do, however – about a year ago, preacher Mark Driscoll and other preachers hosted an “Act Like Men” conference (link to that) which emphasized the idea that Christian men should be manly leader men, but it is my impression that conservative Christians are far more obsessed at keeping women in line more so than the males.
Even so, if you are a single, childless, un- or under- employed, or non- football obsessed male, you have a stake in this topic as well.
THE BIBLICAL WOMANHOOD SITE
The Southern Baptist “biblical womanhood” site, as of this writing (Apr. 2014) is a white and pink combination.
Yes, the web pages have a white background, but there is liberal usage of pink-colored fonts and headings all over the place.
Even their “biblical womanhood” logo contains pink. Screen capture of their site’s mast head:
Enough with pink already. I am a woman, but I have never liked pink.
I am a woman. I have never liked pink. Even as a child, I did not find pink attractive, and it annoyed the piss out of me that companies and manufacturers went default pink on any product made for girls (and they would toss in rainbows and unicorns on the packaging, too. I’ve nothing against rainbows or unicorns, but I was never a horse or unicorn crazy girly girl, and I resented the notion, even at age ten, that I am SUPPOSED to like both just because I’m a girl.)
Anyway, leave it to a Southern Baptist site that is pushing “gender complementarian” roles to use pink as one of the site’s main colors. They couldn’t break the stereotypes and go with muted teals, greys, or dark red with gold, or other unexpected colors for a woman’s site, oh no, gotta stick with pink because PINK = GIRLY FEMININE! *Sigh.*
Where in the Bible does it say God defines the color pink as a biblical color for expressing womanhood? If that verse is in there, it must have escaped my attention, and yes, I have read the Bible all the way through.
Leave it to a Christian biblical womanhood, or gender complementarian, site that is intending to dispel the notion that gender complementarianism is sexist by… are you ready for this? by… upholding sexist stereotypes! – they do, right there on their site, examples to follow in this post.
First, you can read a page about the site here:
(Link): Seminary website lists aspects of ‘biblical womanhood’
- By Bob Allen
- A Southern Baptist seminary has released a statement by women and for women to counter misunderstanding and negativity that the authors say abound on what they call biblical womanhood.
- Biblical Woman, online home for women’s programs at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, posted a 12-point statement March 27 outlining “the counter-cultural convictions that guide us as we strive to live out [God’s] wisdom for our world.”
- An accompanying article introduces the Biblical Woman Statement as “a positive value statement about the 12 aspects of womanhood that impact us most.”
- The Biblical Woman Statement affirms “that every woman has been created in the image of God and is infinitely valued by and significant to Him.”
No, no, allow me to finish that statement to say what they really mean:
- The Biblical Woman Statement affirms “that every woman has been created in the image of God and is infinitely valued by and significant to Him….
- to wash dirty dishes”
- to be barefoot and pregnant through much of her life”
- to never learn to be totally independent and make her own choices in life for herself and about herself”
- to vaccum the carpeting while wearing a pearl necklace”
- to allow a man, her husband, to totally define her identity and life for her”
- to never serve in a teaching, leading, or pastoral role, even though there are examples of women in the Bible doing that very thing, and even though a woman may be more suited, gifted or talented at a particular duty than a specific male also contending for that spot”
- to feel like a second class failure in life if she never marries and/or never had children”
In the past year, I have made the rounds on visitor comment sections on various sites and blogs pointing out that one, big gaping weakness in gender complementarism is that they only consider married female parents.
I then noticed one or two other women bloggers picked up my observation how women who do not fit the “married with children” demographic are usually ignored by gender complementarians, and they blogged about the issue as well.
Biblical Womanhood advocates never, or rarely, acknowledge that some women never marry and never have children.
Then, also, some married women are infertile; they never have children. Some women experience the death of their husbands and are single once more. Some women end up divorced, and hence, also single again. Do biblical womanhood advocates ever write material for women in these particular situations? Nope – or it’s pretty rare.
Apparently, some gender complementarians noticed my posts (or someone else’s) about how their position ignores single or childless women; this is another excerpt from the article, by Southern Baptist Biblical womanhood supporters:
- “We believe that God has given women and men distinctive roles within the family and the church; that these roles were intentionally created and given prior to human sin; that according to God’s design, these roles are interdependent but not interchangeable,” the statement says.
- “Women are called to honor God in marriage by submitting to their own husbands voluntarily and purposefully,” the statement says.
- It also affirms women who are unmarried, “that by their chaste and set-apart lives they may especially devote themselves to service in the Kingdom of God during either their season or lifetime of singleness.”
- “We believe that every woman is called to make her home a place of service and that such service is ultimately to Christ,” the document says. “We believe that investing in the next generation is every woman’s task; that women are uniquely gifted to nurture, teach and train children; that children, as blessings from the Lord, are the most worthy investments for a woman’s energies whether as biological, adopted or spiritual children.”
The problem is, they are still downplaying single and childless females, even in this very statement where they claim to affirm women who are not married or who are not mothers!
Notice that in the remarks both before and after their comment where they say they support adult, single women, they are still defining a woman’s godliness or femaleness by whether or not she “gracefully submits” to a husband, and by defining her role as being “in a family” (i.e., if she is a wife and mother) and how “joyful” she is about playing the roles of wife and mother (if not in this particular case, I have seen the “how joyful a woman is” used as a barometer by complementarians on other sites or other contexts).
Gender complementarians (in reality, and to be more accurate, they are male hierarchists) have no real standard of measure for “biblical womanhood” for un-married and childless women, apart from the “chaste” one.
But we’re right back to the fact that groups such as this, and most churches, while they give “lip service” to chaste singles, do not really value singlehood or chastity (see this link), as most churches and gender complementarian groups emphasize teachings about and for, and fund, married couples and children’s programs, but do nothing to help, support, fund, or encourage adult singles, and certainly not celibate singles.
Most churches either cut funding for adult singles ministries altogether, or only toss paltry sums of money at them to meet their needs.
Southern Baptist proponents of biblical womanhood: if you truly believe in adult singleness and celibacy, then prove it by devoting as much time and money to both as you do to braying about wifehood, motherhood, and marriage. Put your money where your mouth is.
Another excerpt (again, from (Link): this page):
- The statement says “women are indispensable” to the life of the church, but their Christian service must be “according to biblical guidelines,” specifically “that women are exhorted to instruct and mentor other women.”
In other words, they expect women to bully other women into being churchy doormats.
Nope, no way, I won’t participate in sexism against other women like that, and certainly not under the claim it’s “godly” and “biblical” and has God’s support.
If I still went to church, I would be distributing free copies of gender egalitarian books to the young ladies and teaching them all the inconsistencies that reside in gender complementarianism. That would be my form of mentoring.
Here is a link to the site proper:
(Link): Biblical Womanhood (Southern Baptist site)
My thoughts about their site:
Oh geeze. Not only is the home page of their site currently illustrated with a woman sitting next to folded laundry and an iron, but the heading next to the photo is something like, “Did all my work really matter if nobody noticed.”
Unless they intend on balancing this image and story out next week with a similar piece, but illustrated with a photo of a woman in business attire in a professional office, behind a desk with paperwork on it, they are again implying that a woman’s only, or most suitable, role is stay at home wife -n- mom, which excludes ladies like myself who don’t fit either scenario.
I understand wanting to counter militant, secular feminist propaganda which tends to “talk smack” about and against SAHMism (Stay at Home Wife And Mother) as a choice for ladies, but these “biblical gender complementarian” guys go the other extreme direction with it.
You have one side of the debate insisting women should be nothing but a wife and mommy, while the other side thinks women should never marry, never have kids, and be obsessed with career.
Looking over the rest of the “Biblical Womanhood” site, I see it is meant to appeal to married mothers.
I see little to no material on the site for older, single, childless women, and for career women.
Here is a screen capture or two, with examples of what I mean:
Here is a screen capture of a Tweet from the site’s Twitter feed, with a link to one of their site’s articles – note that it’s about motherhood:
In spite of their spokesperson’s comments that they also support single, childless women, you can see in fact from their “biblical woman” website, they are again ignoring the needs and particular struggles of childfree, childless, and un-married ladies.
Much of their “Biblical Woman” site’s content assumes the woman reading it is married with children, or even wants to be married or wants to have children.
BIBLICAL WOMANHOOD = HANDICRAFTS AND SOUPS? WHAT ABOUT MOTORCYCLES?
I am not saying there is anything wrong with a woman being into cooking and crafting, but that this “Biblical womanhood” site contains only, or predominantly, June Cleaver-ish, stay at home wife and mother, stereotypical feminine pursuits – where they seem to assume all women are interested in handi-crafts, sewing, using glue guns to paste together pipe cleaners to pine cones, and making various soups – is insulting, and yes, rather sexist.
I’ve been interested in motorcycles since childhood and was considering saving up money eventually to buy myself a motorcycle at some point in life.
I enjoy watching the television program “Counting Cars,” especially where the guys on the show work on motorcycles or talk about them. I like watching Mike on “American Pickers” find antique motorcycles and talk about them.
I loved Evel Knievel back in the day. As a kid, I wanted to be like Knievel and ride a mororcycle over rows of cars. I did not want to wear a pink, frilly dress and bake cookies as an adult.
For me personally (I said me personally, I am not putting down women who do like to bake cookies and be mothers):
- -Jumping cars on motorcycle = cool and exciting
-Being stereotypical wife and mom who bakes cookies all day = lame and boring
Will this Southern Baptist Biblical Womanhood site ever publish a blog post for women such as, “Ten Tips To Consider When You Are Considering Purchasing a Motorcycle,” “Photos and Information About Twenty Awesome Motorcycle Models,” or, “An Essay on the Life of Evel Knievel”? Probably not.
They think that all women only want to bake casseroles, knit mittens, and sip tea by the fireplace.
Even if they did publish such a post, it would be a token; it would be out-numbered easily by fifty thousand soup recipe pages, or eye liner tips.
WREATHS, JAMS, AND SOUPS = BIBLICAL WOMANHOOD?
Currently on their “DIY” (do it yourself) pages are these headings:
- DIY Wednesday: Blackberry Freezer Jam
- DIY Wednesday: Custom Coasters
- DIY Wednesday – Martha Stewart-Inspired Wintery Wreath
- DIY Wednesday: Cute Christmas Gift Ideas
- DIY Wednesday: Autumn Leaf Garland
- DIY Wednesday: Pumpkin Pancakes
- DIY Wednesday: Roasted Corn, Turkey and Poblano Chowder
I don’t comprehend. Not only are there women who are not into what some might think of as girly pursuits, such as canning jam, or making drink coasters and “Martha Stewart wreaths”, but where in the Bible does it say God Himself defines womanhood as being “women who are totally into handi-crafts and making wreaths”.
Who is really defining Biblical Womanhood here, the Southern Baptists, vis a vis American 1950s culture, or God? I don’t think it’s God.
BIBLICAL WOMANHOOD ADVOCATES PUSHING BEAUTY TIPS – NO DIFFERENT FROM COSMO MAGAZINE
For all the gender complementarian insistence that we women should care about our “inner” beauty and how God sees us, they oddly pursue making women insecure about their physical appearance, and at that, usually to attract or keep a man. I wrote about this before, in posts such as: (Link): Gender Complementarian Product for Females: Don’t Base Your Value on Your Looks, but Wait, Yes, You Should
If you visit the Biblical womanhood site right now, currently on their home page is this (screen capture is below):
Why are they doing this? Why are they providing dieting tips, and under the heading “Fat Tips?” They could not even bother to title this “Health Tips,” but have to label it “Fat Tips.”
Secular culture already inundates women enough to be insecure about their looks and obsessed about their bodies and weight, why is this “Christian” group playing into this? What is “biblical” about causing women to dwell even more on being fat or not being fat or how not to be fat? That is a topic that consumes secular women’s magazines.
Where in the Bible does God define “biblical womanhood” to mean “be skinny, ladies.”
Telling women on the one hand that they are valued by God for simply who they are or that Jesus loves them (as gender complementarians often do), but then turning around and giving them “fat articles” and beauty tips sends a conflicting message that at least part of their worth and value resides in their physical appearance.
I could explore their site even more – there is an “About” page, an essay talking about Sarah Bessey’s “Jesus Feminist” book, something called an “Equip” page and other pages, but I do not have the fortitude to wade my way through any more of their site. Their site reminds me of typical sites for Christian singles, similar to what I wrote about here:
(Link): The Cloying Annoying Nauseating G-Rated Wholesome Saccharin Sweet Tone of Articles by Christians For Christian Singles – Christian Material For Singles is LAME
Anyway, the Southern Baptist “Biblical Womanhood” site is a big sexist fail. The attitudes and opinions conveyed in much of the material is also an embarrassment to Christianity.
May 2015 Edit. I have added a few comments or critiques about the Southern Baptist’s “Biblcal Womanhood” site’s page about sexual purity on this other blog post of mine:
Related posts this site:
(Link): Why Stay-at-Home Moms Are More Depressed Than Working Moms (article) -Intersting- yet Christians hold up Motherhood (especially SAHM – Stay At Home Mommydom) as Being a Woman’s Only Godly, Worthwhile, or Legitimate Calling In Life
(Link): How Christian Teaching on Gender Roles and Sex Can Mess People Up in Adulthood (from Wine and Marble blog, post by a former Christian guy)
Related material on other sites: