I’m not going to be able to post anything on Sunday (International Women's Day) - I’ll Be busy doing a church weekend, and then travelling to the south ready for meetings the next day. So I’m posting it today. (It also means I've not applied my usual strict checking process and filter - it may come across as a bit angry - sorry)
I love that we have International Women's Day, but I generally dislike how it all plays out across social media. There's a load of back slapping, quite a bit of venom and just a small amount of education. The women who work tirelessly in different situations across the world, often unknown, are left unknown and unpraised.
I love our unsung heroines. The ones who clean our churches, who do our youth and children's work, who do the stuff that no one notices. Let praise them and pray for them.
A couple of weeks ago I posted a link to a blog about how the feminist movement lets down those women who are disabled. I didn’t agree with all of the blog, but there were sections that I thought were spot on - take a look at it here and see what you think.
Last year I wrote this blog on a similar line - if you think there is discrimination against women…. try being a disabled woman - especially outside of Europe.
But what I want to say is this (As my title implies!): Some forms of Christian feminism are discriminatory.
I’m a bit of a closet feminist. I believe women can preach and lead. But I am much more adamant about the situations of my fellow women in all parts of the world where they can’t fight for themselves - where their voice has been effectively silenced.
I don’t believe there are any feminists out there who would disagree with me on that - even giving me a hearty amen.
BUT, when it comes to expressing my own thoughts on certain peripheral subjects, on the edge of feminism, where I have my own strongly held and valid beliefs - my fellow tweeting/facebooking feminists would jump on me, calling me all sort of names if I dared to write these views down…… effectively silencing my voice.
I've seen it done to others, and I'm not talking robust discussion here - I'm talking the whole "You must be stupid/be a bigot to believe that" type of response.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Like my fellow women outside of Europe - I have chosen to keep my mouth firmly shut for fear of the backlash.
When I speak out about about women and disability I often get the feeling of not being taken seriously. A bit of a “Who cares” deafening silence.
When I ask about accessibility of conferences I get a similar reaction - many of them aren't, on many levels, including financially (For example: If you have a conference in London, transport is expensive as you often need taxis, and there are incredibly few reasonably priced accessible hotels to stay in, meaning even more taxis during the conference)
When the greater part of feminism is about giving women a voice - why is it I feel as though mine is being silenced?
So let me try speaking out again - don't forget that life is bad for many women in our world, but disability has an even greater impact.
And if you're the organiser of a women's conference/meeting of any sort, can you make sure it's accessible - and I don't just mean wheelchair access.
And finally - allow me to have my own opinions and beliefs when it comes to theology, including the space to express them. I'm happy for discussion - I'm not happy to be called a bigot.