Friday, April 25, 2008

The May edition of 'Christianity' Magazine has two articles on the issue that I have repeatedly raised in this blog: That of a church culture skewed toward the feminine. A point that neither article seems to grasp is that the masculine-feminine ‘spectrum’ is an abstraction defined by the clusters of traits that have varying probabilities of being associated with the more clear cut phenomenon of genetic typing. For example, physical strength is more likely (but NOT necessarily) to be found amongst males than females. Once this abstract male-female space is set up, actual genetic males and females may find themselves at different points in that space.

Given this concept of the male-female space, the fact is that churches are a niche subculture that is biased toward the feminine cluster of traits in that space. Males who demonstrate a more feminine mindset are in turn more likely to find themselves in line with church values than those with obviously extreme masculine traits. But there is one exception; the Male ‘Leadership’ patriarch is often welcomed with open arms, and finds a place in an subculture that frequently favours submissive behaviour and a dumbing down of an analytic mindset, whether that mindset belongs to a genetic male or a genetic female. See the restorationists for fine examples of patriarchy.

Both articles in 'Christianity' were written by females. One of the articles ends ironically with what to me is actually a call for the church to become even more feminine in its slant! That is, according to the article writer we should get out of the comfort zone of our safe and highly focused stereo typical roles, connect to the holy mystery of God and the mysteries of the gender gap, generally be more outgoing, relate to one another and learn from one another! Next time I go to church I think I’ll dress up in drag and act in a less focused and more scatter brained way; I might fit in better.

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