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Neon Genesis

Is Compleminarianism Sexism Repackaged?

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I was catching up on my backlog of episodes of the Unbelievable podcast which is a Christian debate podcast where every week they have two guests debate a religious topic. Sometimes it's atheists versus theists and sometimes it's theists versus other theists. This episode was on the debate between complimentarinism and egalitarianism. While I admire the lady who was defending the egalitarianism side of the debate for being respectful and kind to the complimentarinism side, I feel like at times she was almost too generous to them. It strikes me as odd that the complimentarinism side spent about half of the debate justifying why their worldview wasn't sexist at all. Yet they never once articulated why women should be banned from preaching to men just because men and women have differences between each other. If the genders were reversed and Christian feminists said men couldn't preach over women because men and women were different, there would be international outrage across all the theological spectrum, but because it's about women, it's acceptable to use differences as a justification for discrimination. Ultimately their only "justification" was that they just quoted other men who happened to agree with them that women should be banned from preaching because they say so. It just seems to me that complimentarinism is just a nicer and gentler form of sexism but at its core it's still sexism.

Edited by Neon Genesis

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I'm not sure if sexism is the right term though as there are just as many women that believe in/support complimentarianism as men. These women don't feel discriminated against but rather that they are serving God how He wants.

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There are also conservative women who voted against the Violence Against Women bill and oppose abortion rights so I don't think that just because someone is a woman doesn't mean that the idea is no longer sexist. I was disturbed one time during bible class at my church where this one lady who thought it was nonsense to say that a wife and husband had a 50/50 partnership. She described her relationship with her husband as being more like 80/20 and it was her job as the wife to bend her will to the will of her husband.

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...so I don't think that just because someone is a woman doesn't mean that the idea is no longer sexist.

 

I hear what you're saying and I myself think such a line of thinking (not a woman's role to preach or a woman is less in a marriage than a man) is outdated and patriarchal, I have difficulty phrasing it as sexism in the general sense, when in the main the people being discriminated against agree with the discrimination.

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I am sure in the early 1860's there were slaves that would have argued that slavery was God's design. That didn't change the fact it was wrong and immoral.

 

steve

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True, it didn't Steve. And women agreeing to theology that says they have a role to play in serving God albeit a different role to men, doesn't make that theology any less patriarchal or outdated. I'm just suggesting that the term sexism is more about women being discriminated against unwillingly. But happy to be wrong if that term should be used to describe a system where women don't think they're being discriminated against or prejudiced. This theology does stereotype women so perhaps sexism is the appropriate term.

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But are the women who espouse these views really going along with it willingly if that's the only worldview they've known? For many of these women, a patriarchal society is the only way of life they've known but if women have access to a different way of living and they aren't threatened with hellfire if they choose this other way of life, how many would still choose the complimentarianism way of life?

Edited by Neon Genesis

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A difficult question to answer Neon. It would seem that information and thought process is available to those women but not adopted for a variety of reasons, including the ones you mention. Options for different world views are there, but not readily taken up. Is that because women are downtrodden, discriminated against and held forcefully back, or because they are willing parties to their own situation?

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But are the women who espouse these views really going along with it

willingly if that's the only worldview they've known? For many of these

women, a patriarchal society is the only way of life they've known but

if women have access to a different way of living and they aren't

threatened with hellfire if they choose this other way of life, how many

would still choose the complimentarianism way of life?

 

The answer to this question is answered by looking at woman who have grown up in a home that treats both sexes equally and see how many believe in the complimentarianism way of life. If you remove the brainwashing and fear I suspect it is pretty close to zero.

 

My great-Grandmother, wife of a baptist minister, would have been a proponent and practicer of complimentarianism. If you asked my Grandmother she would have said that she agreed with it cause it was in the bible but as she and my grandfather had a fairly equal relationship. My mother grew up in this contradiction which caused considerable friction in her life.

 

 

steve

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A difficult question to answer Neon. It would seem that information and thought process is available to those women but not adopted for a variety of reasons, including the ones you mention. Options for different world views are there, but not readily taken up. Is that because women are downtrodden, discriminated against and held forcefully back, or because they are willing parties to their own situation?

The information cannot be said to be truly available as an option to these women if they are threatened with eternal torture if they voiced support for these different world views. Knowing what you know now about fundamentalist Christianity, would you willingly choose to disregard everything you've learned about it and the bible and willingly convert to fundamentalist Christianity?

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I was subject to the same threats of eternal torture if I voiced support for a different worldview, yet that wasn't enough to 'make' me believe what my church and family wanted me to. Everyone is different of course and for most I think it's a choice of refusing to consider any options. I think those options are there and available these days, but many refuse to even consider them.

 

I see the men in these situations just as much a victim of their beliefs as the women, that's why I have trouble with the term sexism, but as I said, I can see that perhaps it is an appropriate term.

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