Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Superior Bigots In Need of Protections

As a critic of male supremacist religions, I have been following the Church of England's recent decision to reject the introduction of female bishops. For some background, the House of Bishops and the House of Clergy approved the measure, but the House of Laity did not garner the required 2/3 vote to approve the measure.

Yes, in 2012, people are still having this quaint little debate about Women In Religious Leadership and are warning of Very Dire (yet unspecified) Things happening as a result of women's increased leadership.

Some of the reasons put forth for rejecting female bishops have been frustratingly amusing. From the BBC:
"The key concerns of opponents within the Church are over provisions for traditionalist parishes opposed to women bishops to request supervision by a stand-in male bishop.

Critics of the legislation said it did not provide enough safeguards for the objectors."

I find that amusing because, so rarely, do we see people so explicitly admit how fragile the notion of men being the super-duper-est, most special gender is and how, due to this fragility, this notion of allegedly inherent male superiority needs to be very carefully protected from the competing notion that women are not, actually, second-class creations.

I'm reminded of that high school kid in Iowa who refused to wrestle his female high school opponent in the state tournament. In his case, I somewhat excused his behavior on account of his age, suggesting that he was likely echoing his religion and society's teachings about the "proper" roles of boys and girls-- which doesn't make it okay, but does give him a benefit of the doubt that he hasn't had much opportunity yet to think critically about gender.

I do not grant the same benefit of the doubt to the adults who willfully and consciously reject women in leadership positions- whether secular or religions. Such people reject the class of all women from various positions, and they do so not because of the content of our character, intellect, or actual ability, but because we are women. Just women. And that, apparently, tells them all they need to know about our capabilities.

This treatment of women, we are to believe, is still okay, moral, commonsensical, true, and righteous. In 2012.


The lackadaisical acceptance of male supremacy under the banner of religious freedom, unity, and tolerance is why I am increasingly frustrated by newfangled "feminist"/gender egalitarian claims that "men and women are oppressed in equal and opposite ways." In seeking to attract men to feminism, I fear we sometimes concede far too much.

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