1. Feminist theologians and anti-feminist theologians are simply just gnawing over at each other attempting to assert their positions as absolutely clear! One side asserts that they’re being completely oppressed (despite the large amounts of women voices in medieval Catholicism which was highly patriarchal according to today’s Catholic standards), the other side insists the others just are after power (which might be true). However, because the issue is so ambiguous, all that these arguments boil down to is people making themselves out to be God. A deacon once asked me if I knew what magic was—just before I gave him a brief history of magic, he stopped me. “I didn’t ask you to give me a history of Faust, I asked if you knew what magic was. Magic is when we put ourselves in the position of God!” Good Lord, the Church by this whole feminist debate has practiced sorcery!
2. Feminist theologians and anti-feminist theologians are usually debating differing ecclesiologies with no attempt to understand the other. I include this because it is quite important. For some, it may seem like certain Anglo-Catholics, Catholics, and the Eastern Orthodox have forbidden women from studying theology all together or even passing down theological knowledge. Even certain Baptists might be accused of this. However, if we are concentrating solely on what women in the Bible did for a “Biblical” basis for anti-feminism/feminism, then it’s important to note that most (a good majority) of churches permit women to do what they did in the Bible (catechists, readers, deacons, etc.). Not all though. Thus, women are allowed to teach theology in even the most patriarchal of patriarchal churches (that’s Anglo-Catholicism, BTW). In contrast, feminist theologians contrast only on ordained ministerial positions and seem to shut down the laity (which is one reason why they might be so obsessed with this issue more so than the other churches).
3. It distracts an evangelical gospel message. At times, people are so obsessed with the entire feminist debate within the church that they forget the very foundations of the gospel message! It’s not about an earthly, “Gender equality for all!” message. It’s a message of freedom from the struggles of the world. The “Cherubic Hymn” goes as follows: “now set aside…set aside all earthly cares…set aside all earthly cares”. Not like this: “now argue about…argue about gender equality…argue about all gender equality”. Yet it seems that people in the church are too obsessed with gender equality that someone on the outskirts of trouble (like myself) ends up being denied entry into the kingdom just simply because the otherworldly kingdom has become worldly! Where is my freedom from suicidal thoughts in a church that is basked in such earthly cares?
4. Neither side has become convinced by the other side. While this may seem like a no-brainer, it really isn’t. Neither side has figured out that they’re never going to convince the other side so arguing the “truth” of one’s view in this debate is entirely hopeless.
5. Galatians 3:28 battles! No seriously, this is where both sides constantly gnaw on each other. “You’re misinterpreting!” “No, you’re misinterpreting!” Etcetera. It’s almost too funny, isn’t it? One side sees absolute gender equality and then proceeds to accuse the other side of advocating for slavery. The other side keenly points out, “No, the text reads ‘there is neither male and female!’ Therefore, go to 1 Corinthians 11:3 to find out that in fact, the head of women is man!” You can see the debate is hopeless. Indeed, what the text is probably affirming is something that neither side is seeing. It would actually end up leaving both sides as co-equal victors in this gender debate. In those days, one wore their nationality as a pride! There is neither Jew nor Greek throws apart this nationality. Paul indeed creates a “third” race. This third race is called Christianity. In Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female. It matters not what your gender is or your nationality is or your social status is, you’re all one under this third race called Christianity. That’s my interpretation and I’m sticking with it!
6. Calling a genderless God a girl! Yes, some feminists will stoop to this level. Yet they don’t seem to grasp how calling a genderless God a guy in the first place is a bit of an oxy-moron. This just simply goes beyond obsession to say “God is a he or a she!” Do you realize how ridiculous this obsession is? You don’t see any guys complaining that Satan became a “he” (oh wait, Satan’s just a scare tactic for Christians, sorry, forgot! Oops!). You don’t see guys complaining that it’s a sin to look upon a woman lustfully but not a for a woman to look upon a guy lustfully (sorry, sin’s just a social construct any way!). Honestly…and why would someone be upset to affirm that a genderless God is a girl.
7. Name-calling. Regrettably, mostly on the feminist side but sometimes, anti-feminists will consider feminists to be theological liberals (really, that’s their worst?). You’ll hear things like “Patriarchalist!”, “Sexist!”, “Slavery promoter!”, “Anti-women!”, “Male empowerer!”, etc., from feminist theologians non-stop. For the most part, feminist theologians don’t seem to understand what these words even mean. Patriarchy is not imprisonment to women. On the contrast, patriarchy can actually allow a women more freedom because she is protected by another, higher than her. I love the fact that Auntie is more patriarchal in her opinions on marriage and family because it gives me comfort knowing that my godmother is constantly being protected by her male superior. And how many anti-feminists actually promote slavery? Fr. Copleston was completely against even Aristotelian justifications of slavery!
8. Patriarchy/feminism is bad/good for the entire human race. Just substitute the appropriate words separated by the slash and pick any variation you want (patriarch is bad…patriarchy is good…feminism is bad…feminism is good, etc.). This, in the end, is what both sides end up saying about their own and the other side. Can you catch the ridiculousness? “My side is good! Your side is bad! End of discussion.” Yes, the end of the discussion. If the Christian Church wants to call itself Christian, it will have to put a complete end to the feminist debate within its walls. If it doesn’t, I refuse to even attempt to enter into the Christian Church. I’ll eat popcorn as I watch the Christian Church destroy itself over ad nauseums, ad hominems, and deliberate if not malignant misrepresentations.