Friday, August 1, 2014

10 Ways Male Privilege Shows Up in the Church

I’ve been thinking a lot about privilege lately. Well, not just lately. I overheard that conversation at a Starbucks in Washington, D.C. more than a year ago, and it still haunts me. The Oxford Dictionary defines privilege as “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group”. Simply put, privilege has to do with how groups in society accommodate and cater to you.

Over the past few months I’ve had several conversations with male friends who disagree that they are “privileged” in their communities of faith and that women are at a disadvantage as a result. I had been praying and mulling over how to break through this impasse when I came across an anonymous post, “A Definitive Guide to White Privilege”. There are a lot of these lists floating around, but this one had a lot of examples that I think are also true in church contexts. I’ve rewritten a few from my vantage point as a woman in the conservative evangelical church.

1. A person’s male privilege is reflected the second he wonders why people are still talking about gender.

It is reflected even more if he acts offended or annoyed when another person calls out and questions that male privilege. “We should all look past gender” is a statement that can only be made by someone for whom gender is not a daily issue or negotiation.
2. Male privilege means never having your intelligence or qualifications questioned because of your gender.

It probably won’t be assumed that you aren’t good with money, that you’re more easily deceived, or that your ability to make important decisions is dependent on what time of the month it is.

Read the rest here

1 comment:

Mary W (Voice and Diction - 01) said...

This is SO true. I see male privilege constantly in church, but I think the main problem is how the Church is trying to counter this privilege. They provide annual "women's conferences" that allow women to talk about issues that we face specifically. The messages are mostly composed of being content in the situation you are in, why you should continue doing the work you do without being acknowledged or thanked for it, and some many other problematic messages that are never taught to men. I hope that more change comes that allows for women to have more say instead of trying to keep them in a role that is less than a man.