A Time for Clarity: Equality Celebrates Differences, not Sameness

I love to cook. I enjoy time spent in the kitchen, tweaking sauces or soups with this spice or that, smelling and tasting until it’s exactly how I want it. It’s my time to relax and to create. I’ve been known to spend hours making food.

When one of the kids asks what I’m making for dinner and their response is “YESSS!!” after I tell them, it totally makes my day. When they get all wide-eyed after smelling a batch of cinnamon rolls in the oven, I feel satisfied. Bonus points when they’re teens and get excited out loud.

I’m so cliche.

My mom, on the other hand, hates to cook. Hate is a strong word, and it’s ACCURATE here. She’s a total nose-wrinkler when it comes to being all domesticated and such. It’s not her thing.

I’m pretty sure one of the reasons I learned how to cook is because she sucks at it so much. Sorry, mom. You know it’s true.

I CHOOSE this. It is not my “role.” It is something I find joy in. And that’s ok.

My mom CHOOSES this. She doesn’t like to cook and so she doesn’t. And that’s ok too.

But I also find joy in learning and discussing ideas. Writing is therapeutic to me. I’m intrigued with the law, and have an passion for father’s rights. That’s right. I like to help men. Shocker, I know – what with my wayward feminist beliefs and such. I also have a passion when it comes to abuse, and women’s rights.

Why is it that my domestic skills are more celebrated within Christianity than my voice about ANYTHING ELSE?

Because that’s my place?

It seems that gender roles have been a polarizing subject within Christianity. I’ve noticed that many times, people who speak up about it are taking the idea that “men and women are exactly the same.” and making a case against it.

The thing is, I generally don’t see people who want equality claiming that men and women ARE exactly the same. I do, however, see us talking about how we are all DIFFERENT. Even within the sexes, we are different. Celebrating differences is kind of our selling point. We are each unique. That’s one reason why one whole gender shouldn’t be stuffed into a box and told “this is your PLACE.”

So it’s interesting to me that those who support heirarchy often use “men and women aren’t exactly the same” as their GOTCHA card.

We are ALL created in God’s image.

When God said “let us make mankind in our image,” He was referring to both men AND women. God has some characteristics that we as a society might view as more “masculine,” and others that we might interpret as “feminine.” But when it comes down to it, we weren’t handed only one slice of the God-personality pie, based on our X or Y chromosome, when He created us.

When it comes down to gender roles in Christianity, the issue isn’t in similarities or in differences; it is in rights and opportunities.

Where it gets sticky is in the idea that we were created to fulfill certain roles and as such, we are resigned to those roles. This in and of itself places humans in positions which take rights and opportunities away from them. This especially applies to women, who are told that their “role” is under a man.

The bottom line is that when men “belong” somewhere in society and women “belong” somewhere else, there will be people who are prevented from using their GOD-GIVEN gifts as a result.

God’s character is one of FREEDOM, of CELEBRATION.

I have heard women say that they feel honoured to fill their role, that they find joy in it. That’s their choice, and I respect it. But whether individuals choose to delight in these roles is besides the point if ALL women are also placed in these well-decorated but locked-down cages alongside them.

Why can’t a man be protective AND emotionally intelligent? What is it about encouraging characteristics like sensitivity and nurturing in our boys that has some Christians in a tizzy? We’ve put a lot of pressure on men.

Why can’t a woman be nurturing AND a leader? Or a leader, period? What about women who God has gifted to teach? What about those women who don’t want children of their own? We’ve put a lot of pressure on women.

This is an area that needs more consideration.

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