Wednesday, January 18, 2006

infuriating

Warning: this post is not funny.

the feminist inside me is livid. Check out this website on men in the church.

14 comments:

rob said...

This has been a push in the church (at least among men) for a decade or more. Promise Keepers was the first response to this that I remember. The message there was "the church is run by women, men should take it back". That was also the line that was used to explain why Islam was exploding among young black men. It was seen as strong for men and weak for women -- opposite of the church.

Now what's his name is writing the most popular men's books lately about being Wild at Heart. Of course that book is, what, 4-5 years old? But that's the jist of it also.

I think there's probably some truth to it, but that article you pointed to certainly has, imho, a condesending tone to it. That's too bad.

The package of a truth can make a difference. Just like the package can make a sin look inviting (aka: Turkish Delight), the package of truth can make it cause ill emoting.

Your reaction is justified, but I think it's more in the package than some of the nuggets of truth in there.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Rob! I think that the article has some valuable points but the way they packaged it was not the best. I don't think the answer is women sacrificing what they have in the church. What they have is a good thing. We may need to adapt our Men's Ministries a little differently.
-Lindz

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. What's so infuriating? I only read the front page, but it didn't seem to demean women at all, just emphasized that what is typically presented in church doesn't appeal to the manly adventure that most men want to express and participate in.

Is the feminist in you denying the difference between the genders that the page is stating? Or do you dislike the notion that the Jesus that's presented in church is too soft? Or is it that you are adventurous and action oriented (perhaps more than the average woman) and therefore find offense to the statement that women (and the church - according to the article) are generally less desiring of these things?

Or maybe I'm a typical clueless man who just doesn't get it. But that doesn't mean it can't be explained to me:-)

A fellow church goer friend of mine said that he wondered if Constantine was the worst thing to happen to the Christian movement. I don't know if that's necessarily true, but I can certainly see his point. Is it too far a stretch to say that the problems that the author is attempting to address might have originated from there?

-MikeL

Amanda Lomonaco said...

Yeah, I'm with Mike. I don't get what is infuriating. The article made sense to me. Luckily, my man goes to church and doesn't stay try to stay in bed, but I can see how non-Christian men (or men new to the faith) might struggle to want to attend church. Sorry not to share your feminist perspective, K.

Patricia said...

What's infuriating about the ariticle is that it:
1 - demeans women, making us the reason that men don't go to church
2 - assumes all women don't want adventure, challenge or risk
3 - completely avoids the fact that most church's are run by men (pastors and deacons)

He then challenges women to change the church as if we had the authority to do so. The last time I checked, men were in charge of the church. So the challenge should really go to church leadership, which is mostly male.

So my feminist side is also upset at this article. However, having said that I agree with Rob that there is some truth in the message, even though this is a horribly written article!

karin said...

Couldn't have said it better myself. Well done, Patricia!

Anonymous said...

Ok, I read it again, and I can now say that I still don't see it. Not that what I think matters or anything. I it demeaning women at all, just stating the differences between the two.

It's like stating the fact that men don't enjoy watching romance movies as much as women do, but women don't like action moview as much as men do. I konw many women who think of action movies and video games as violent and either a)don't want to watch them altogether b) will tolerate them for the sake of their spouses c) will openly complain about the senseless violence d) doesn't understane why on earth someone would want to watch them, unless they're too secular and non-christian like and d) would rather watch a drama or romance. This isn't wrong or a bad trait or women. It's just a difference.

If he were to say that women are boring and unadventurous, or say that women are causing the church to be this way, then maybe I could see your point. But from what I can tell he says that the church has just become like this and that in its current state it is a stronger draw for women as it suits their personalities and interests more.

So again I have to ask if you can at least agree that men and women have different personalities and interests. I'm not saying (nor do I think the author is) that women don't have these traits (adventurous, action oriented, etc), but that in general, men have them to a much greater extent. Similarly, as a whole men have a much lesser degree of sensitiviey and gentility.

The only problem that I have with it is that it seems to put the burden of change almost soley on the women, while I would say that it's the men who are becoming wimps and weinies. So maybe with that he is implying that it's the fault of women, in which case I would definitely disagree with him. But that's not how I interpreted it by reading the rest of the content.

-MikeL

Jon said...

I go to a church that has more men than women (though its pretty close). But it is a Very action driven church. The sunday service is pretty much like any other church. But thats almost just a front from everything else going on in the church.

i agree with his assessment on churches in general being feminin. but i think his answer is totally wrong. the men leading those church need to step up. if those churches became focused on following Christ (going to the world!!!) the'd see some change.

im very weak at sharing with strangers but my church is very centered on reach the community and i think that whole mindset of 'we have a huge mission to accomplish' draws men into the church. its something we can really be a part of .

though i guess the real test will come in 20 years when my church is long estabished - what then? will the men leave because the huge push to DO something has faded? how Should an established church draw men?

rocky said...

Karin (you should probably be the only person to read this comment, by the way)--

So, I hate to be odd person out here, but I admit, that website pissed me off. . .

To me, this guy is just some schmuck selling a book based on antiquated stereotypes.

(This is another argument, but. . .) I'd never suggest that men and women are the same, but to argue that XY chromosomes necessarily make "real" men adventurous, bold, and daring is flat out ignorant. Ditto for the assumptions about women (and notice the negative implication of the argument about men). As Mary Wollstonecraft asked: do women act like women because they're born that way, or do they act like women becuase they're taught to act that way? (again, this is different argument, though--I digress)

Also, this article sounds suspiciously like, "You're not catering to me, so I'm not putting up with you," whining.

You know I'm Catholic/Methodist (stupidity in both denominations notwithstanding), but I agree that if a congregation insists on being run by an all-male club, it's on them to change it.

It's curious to me that this schmuck considers compassion and understanding to be "un-male." I didn't realize that Buddhism was a religion (among others) composed entirely of pansies. Apparently, he notes that they don't have any problems attracting members, though. Are we to assume that it's because Buddhist countries are full of pansies?

Of course, no one wants their man to be a weenie, but shouldn't that go for the women, too? Is it OK for a woman to be weak because she's a woman? I would hope not.

Actually, the problem here is that I really could write you a term paper on why that article is stupid, and that isn't appropriate for the comments section.

Frankly, though, it's one thing to have cojones. It's another thing to hide behind them and use them as an excuse for insensitivity, brashness, and absence from church.

Apologies if I ruffled feathers. You know I didn't grow up with a background that would be receptive to the article on that page. But, I have to say, that article is so dualistic and based on stereotypes that it actually disturbs me.

Really, though--I'd bet this guy would argue that logic is "male" and emotion is "female." So what are we to make of the times when Jesus wept? He was being a woman at that moment? Since I don't cry, am I more of a man? I say, people are who they are, and the problem isn't that Christianity is too feminine. He was just bored in his church.

rocky said...

And Furthermore (sorry--can't stop)!

Where does this schmuck get off with, "Women, don't feel guilty because your man won't go to church?"

What sort of ego-centric universe does this schmuck navigate, that women feel GUILTY over HIS inaction?

OK, I'm done for now.

Patricia said...

I don't like the stereotypes women because I don't fit into them. I have a feminine side but at the same time I like action movies and video games, and I love sci-fi. I can't live without adventure in my life, or I get really bored with life. And I hate talking about stuff forever and never getting around to action.

So I can agree that men and women are different but not always to extremes. That's part of why I didn't like the article. I just don't like generalized stereotypes.

annette said...

Wow, Karin, this article caused quite a stir amongst your readers. I suggest posting them on the "contact us" tab of the website...

brian said...

I'd say that article is an unsupported rant on why this guy doesn't like his church. With the variety of churches that are in existence in the US these days, I'm sure he could go and find a church that better meets his needs, or perhaps he needs to reconsider why he is going to church in the first place. Nonetheless, I read the article and was not impressed with the needless whinning about how this guy feels like the church doesn't cater enough to men.

This guy could attempt to remedy this problem by taking some initiative and attempting to start some changes at his church or go elsewhere.

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