My parents raised me in such a way that I never really thought that there were things that a woman couldn't do that a man could. (There are definitely things I don't WANT to do but I can still do them. Thus, I found myself taking apart the deck, a couple of months ago, and dealing with the dead rodent under the deck. Yuck, yuck, yuck.) Yes, Yo Momma did all the cooking but Papa Bear was very good about cleaning (his nickname is Mr. Clean). Yo Momma stayed home with Lil Bro and I until we went to school all day and then she got a part time job. They both did their fair share of discipline and I never once heard Papa Bear talk down to Yo Momma, like she was a second rate citizen. I went to a church where women had leadership roles, the larger church included women in Pastoral leadership roles, and I was always, always encouraged to chase whatever dream I wanted to chase.
One summer I wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper in the Bay Area. I think they were doing a series on "Hot Topics" and I wrote in about one in particular. My letter was published for the world to read, my thoughts in print. My parents were proud. Our family was out of town the weekend my letter was published. I remember driving to the local store that carried that particular paper to buy a copy and Yo Momma and I deciding not to let the extended family that was there see the paper with my letter. We just didn't want to get into the conversation.
The other night I was with a bunch of my young adult friends and the conversation of politics came up, as it always does. There were two in the room of eight that don't necessarily agree with the rest of us. Those conversations, I always feel like we're walking such a fine line between listening to the other opinion and disrespect. I usually try to avoid the conversations as much as possible. I have opinions, I have convictions, I just don't want to get into the conversation.
I've been listening to conversations in which the rights of women are seemingly being chipped away, one by one. I feel like this country is taking huge leaps backwards when it comes to the equality of women. I don't want to get into the conversations...I cannot stay silent any longer.
- I am tired of women continuing to be belittled, criticized and harangued for living their lives in the best way they see fit. Whether that be a stay-at-home-mom, a working mom, a single mom, a single woman, I'm tired of women having to defend their life decisions.
- I'm tired of the conversation in churches that continues to tell women that they should be silent or that they are just baby machines and should know their place.
- I'm tired of the conversation that says that women should subject themselves to whatever a man requires of them, because of that verse in the Bible that says a woman should "submit" to her husband. Why don't we focus on the verses that follow as much? The one's about men loving their wives as Christ loved the church.
- I'm tired of the double standard that says men can have sex with multiple women, but a woman who has sex with more than one man is a whore.
- I'm tired of women being denied birth control because of their religious affiliations or who they work for.
- I'm tired of the discussion about abortion, especially in the church, when: A.) there is strong resistant to educating people on how to use or allowing access to birth control; B.) we continue to criticize and demean women and their families who work hard and still struggle to put food on the table and need a little help to make it through life; C.) there are children in our foster care system that are desperate for families to shower them love and attention, right now. Where are the people in the church for those children? (and I know some amazing church people who ARE there for kids in the foster care system and are walking their talk) D.) We make it so hard and expensive to adopt children.
- I'm tired of the line of rhetoric that says all people on welfare are druggies or low-life's or not working hard. It's simply not true.
- I'm tired of being told that my voice really shouldn't be heard in the church because of my gender. As I told a friend recently, I didn't choose to be in church leadership, God CALLED me to church leadership. Time after time, God put me in positions of leadership in the church, even when I was resisting, If you want to argue, argue with God, stop talking to me.
- I'm tired of women being rated as second class citizens who can't make wise decisions and choices because they are missing an appendage.
- I'm tired of women (and men) who have been violated physically, emotionally and mentally by rape, being violated, yet again, by people running for a political office.