Dear Brothers in Christ,
By now, perhaps you’ve read the letter that was written by Beth Moore a couple of days ago, on the subject of misogyny in the church. But, if not, please click the hyperlink above, and then come back to me.
Did you read it?
Ugh. I hope you’re not ignoring my request just because I’m a woman!
(No, seriously, please read Beth’s letter, because mine is in response… and, I tend to think response letters make the most sense if you’ve read what they’re responding to.)
I know there are many women who would agree with Beth that disrespect for women is a big problem among churches. And there are very few men willing to stick their necks out to disagree with those women…even if they honestly think their sisters are misdiagnosing the root of the issue.
Many of you, brothers, would rather stay quiet than risk being “disrespectful.” Plus, no one wants to be accused of making “fried chicken” out of a female leader. (That’s a reference to Beth Moore’s letter, which you recognized because you clicked on the link above, I’m sure.)
Hopefully Beth didn’t start her letter with the “fried chicken” statement as a preemptive move, in an attempt to insulate herself from necessary criticism, because I’m going to criticize her anyway.
I think Beth Moore is misdiagnosing the root of the problem.
Please don’t misunderstand. I believe she truly has encountered many disrespectful men. And although half the examples she gave seemed merely “awkward” rather than “sinful,” I have absolutely no doubt that men have quoted Scripture about female leaders in order to shut Beth Moore down.
I simply mean to agree with Beth’s statement that objections on biblical grounds are “just an excuse,” and that the root of the issue is something more complicated than dismissiveness toward women, specifically.
I believe her critics would look for other ways to shut her down, even if she weren’t a woman, because her womanhood is inconsequential. Most irrational critics are wrestling against anyone who speaks the Truth…not against a certain identity group.
Like Beth, I’ve been dismissed for a whole host of ridiculous “reasons”–ranging from age to income level to the tone of my writing. I’ve been dismissed for being white and dismissed for being married to a man (as opposed to another woman), and I’ve been dismissed repeatedly just for calling myself a Christian.
That’s how I’ve come to realize it’s not my age or eye-color or marital status which causes certain people to block me. NOR IS IT THE FACT OF MY WOMANHOOD.
The problem runs much deeper than that.
My experience with irrational, truth-adverse, dismissive jerks (many of whom are female themselves) has forced me to come up with a more-likely explanation than simple “misogyny.”
And this is what I’ve discovered:
It’s not WHO’S speaking that bothers most people. It’s WHAT they’re saying.
I’m willing to bet–even if Beth’s name was “Bart”–she would be surprised and frustrated to discover those men she thought were misogynists were still dismissing “Bart” for any lame reason they could muster.
They’re not miso-gynists. (Haters of Women.) They’re miso-alethinos. (Haters of Truth.)
MEE-Soh-Al-e-THEE-Nohs. I just made it up, after Googling “Greek word for Truth.” But I like it!
Being dismissive of TRUTH is the real root of the problem.
So that’s why I’m writing to you, brothers, to insist that you’re not more responsible than we sisters are, for the bad behavior of the misoalethinos.
You shouldn’t feel any more guilty than women do, about the fact that Churches have a festering problem with Truth-Denialism.
People are building walls and cutting each other off, to be sure! Sometimes men are cutting off women! And if you were as well-known as Beth Moore, you would be unfairly dismissed, too. (Go ahead and drop a “pro-life” comment on Planned Parenthood’s social media page some time. See how quickly you get dismissed for your gender!) 🙂
But the point I’m making is that even when women say men can’t have opinions about abortion, it doesn’t come from a hatred for men specifically. Not really. They have husbands and fathers and brothers and sons they are very respectful toward.
Most of them probably supported Bernie Sanders wholed-heartedly! (Ha!)
The problem with the Pro-Choice crowd isn’t really Mis-Andry (Hatred for Men). It’s a case of Miso-alethinos. (Hatred for Truth.)
Brothers, you don’t need to spend time apologizing to me and other females because you “don’t know what it’s like” to be a woman dealing with this special plight. You understand just fine.
You, as a Truth-Seeker, already have the ability to understand what it’s like to stand with me against those who want to dismiss all of us.
Misoalethinos come in all sorts of identity groups, and they will attack you no matter which one you belong to! You and I are in this together.
I wish Beth Moore would think a little deeper about the war we’re waging, instead of giving into the simplified explanation. I’m saddened that every cultural issue gets reduced to black vs. white, liberal vs. conservative, or male vs. female. (It smells of intellectual laziness to me.)
Misoalethinos are becoming a huge, culture-wide problem! But letters like Beth Moore’s are causing us to get distracted, hacking at tree leaves, instead of focusing on what really matters at the base. It would be equally misguided if my children got into a disagreement on the playground with a bunch of kids who happened to be wearing green shoes, so they wrote a letter to green-shoe wearers, asking them to help tackle the problem of green-shoe meanies.
The shoes are inconsequential. In fact, even if the meanies on the playground were MAKING FUN OF MY KIDS’ SHOES, the problem still has nothing to do with the footwear of any of the kids involved. Am I making sense, brothers?
If you only remember one thing from this post, just please stop apologizing on behalf of other people who happen to be wearing green shoes, like yours.
Meanwhile, I hope I haven’t made “fried chicken” out of Beth Moore. But she really is tackling the wrong problem right now. We should be focused on seeking Truth together–not focusing on the gender of those who are tearing us down.
With Sisterly Love,
Update: my dad and I discussed this further toward the middle of this podcast… http://branyancomedy.libsyn.com/incels-girl-scout-cookies-and-beth-moore?tdest_id=458261