I wish though I could go back to that young girl, sitting in that big arena with all its grandeur. I wish I could invite her to a quiet, less intense space, and tell her she may leave the church, but it will never mean she left the faith.
Christian patriarchy does not remain confined within the walls of our homes. It does not stay behind our pulpits. It cannot be peeled off suit coats like a name tag as evangelical men move from denying women’s leadership at church to accepting the authority of women at work or women in the classroom.
Throughout history, women overwhelmingly have been silenced when they’ve had a truth to tell, so much so that it felt detrimental to speak up. A waste of words. Yet Jesus, who came to make all things right, who came to overthrow power structures that demean and oppress, gave women a voice when others didn’t.
Genesis 1:27 is significant for those of us who once were blissfully unaware of the depths of abuse in our churches, for it secures our understanding of who and what people are. Despite any theology or ideology or actions to the contrary, people are people. They are not objects.
There is a difference between being “allowed” a vote and being listened to. There is a difference between being tolerated in a position, and being valued for the unique contributions to leadership only you bring.
I was twenty years old when I first met Nekesa. I landed in Kenya to capture stories for my thesis film about women who inspire hope in their communities. A friend invited me to sit in during her university cla...
And in their haste to expedite the birth process, they end up playing not the role of a good birth companion, but of an abuser, an oppressor, of someone who forces a birth too soon. This is the opposite of solidarity.