Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gender roles and Alice Walker

Last night I had the pleasure of having dinner with some wonderful girlfriends.

The conversation, chicken curry and Thai iced tea were all fabulous. 

One of the things that came up in conversation was submission, gender and the Bible. 

I have such mixed feelings on this topic.

On the one hand, sometimes I think emotional intimacy and authentic relationship are sacrificed on the altar of complementarianism.  Women concede to whatever their husbands decide, all in the name of being obedient to God, instead of committing to the difficult but ultimately worthwhile task of working through conflict, striving for unity, and agreeing not to give up until a mutually beneficial solution is found.  How can iron sharpen iron when it's nothing but a one-way street?

On the other hand, I do think God gave women and men somewhat distinct roles within marriage--this seems to be evident from a biological/natural law standpoint alone.  So I get that.  I'm an at-home mom and we wouldn't have it any other way.  It's not oppressive, it's amazing.  I'm participating in God's calling for my life and it's nothing short of a miracle.  In short, motherhood rocks.  :)  Does this make me un-egalitarian?  I don't know. 

Anyway, I'm rambling on sharing all of this because last week I read this horribly sad essay by Rebecca Walker, daughter of famous African American feminist (and author of The Color Purple) Alice Walker.  Obviously she is very upset with her mother, and one could argue that this is the root of the issue and that it colors everything else, but I do think hers is a voice seldom heard in this conversation.

Interesting food for thought, if nothing else!


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