10 clues that you’re a woman in the church

"Woman Evaluated" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Woman Evaluated” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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Before anyone corrects me, I’ll say right off the bat that not all churches are like this. This isn’t the experience of every woman in the church. In fact, this can be the experience of some men in the church. However, I do claim that this is the typical experience of many women. And… this can apply outside the church as well.

I’m not pulling these ideas out of a hat. I’ve heard these from women I know. I’ve also observed these things happen in churches I’ve attended or been a part of. I guess it is a cultural, societal issue that we carry with us into the church. But the church is a very rich culture for this kind of thing to occur unfettered.

So… if you experience these things in the church, there’s a good chance you’re a woman:

  1. you are analyzed up and down as soon as you walk in
  2. you don’t teach men and they are constantly explaining things to you
  3. you are expected to provide food and take care of children
  4. you feel a lot of pressure to be beautiful
  5. the only time you’re up front is to sing or make an announcement
  6. you are conspicuous if you’re alone
  7. it’s very awkward if you come with a female friend
  8. if you get divorced it was your fault
  9. it’s assumed you have more free time to volunteer
  10. you know that if you didn’t return no one would notice

Can you add anything to this list? Leave a comment!

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12 Responses

  1. Sabio Lantz says:

    I agree with 2, 3, 4, 5,

    But from what I’ve seen in many religious groups — not just Christians — are the following caveats:

    (1) EVERYONE is analyzed up and down when you walk in. It is what people do – men and women.

    (6) Alone is conspicuous for everyone, eh?

    (7) If male comes with male friend is it easier on that male in your churches?

    (8) Actually, in divorces, I think the majority think it is the man’s fault.

    (9) No sure this is totally false — it depends on the town, the demographics and more.

    (10) This is definitely true for everyone. Sad truth. I wager it is also true on Lasting Supper — or at least more true that most would want to think. It is the nature of things.

  2. jersey girl says:

    I can relate to most of these. Which pretty much sums up why I don’t go to church anymore after being a Christian and going to church every Sunday for 33 years.

  3. Pat Pope says:

    11. You can have a position of leadership and still have people look past you and address their question to the men about something clearly under your span of control.

  4. Gary says:

    Reminds me of the Progressive insurance TV spot playing now where Flo is on a 1950’s era tv set and the male announcer is stereotyping her into strictly a housewife role who only supports her husband. I laugh every time it comes on…especially when she dead pans the question to the audience “Is he for real?” Which, coincidentally, mirrors the question I found myself asking at half of the stupid shit that came out of my last pastor’s mouth.

  5. Rose says:

    I guess I am blessed because this is not my church. We have a woman Elder and several woman teachers. Everyone is welcomed alone , with a friend , as a family, it really dosnt matter. If you could see our church you would see a very diverse group as far as fashion goes and all are accepted and asked to participate. It is not unusual to see children sitting with some of the older people who are not their family, just getting a little extra attention. We are not a perfect church but one that I feel shares Jesus warmth with all.

  6. Good point Gary!

    And that’s awesome Rose, but rare I think.

  7. Sharon says:

    I totally agree! I grew tired of not being able to lead anything but a women’s bible study or take care of kids or cook. In one circumstance, I was told that I was to teach the little girls how to cook and care for men while the boys went out on nature walks. So many splinters in my skin from being shoved into the box I was supposed to be in. I am free now, however, and I can’t go back.

  8. Awesome Sharon. Freedom!!!!!!!

  9. Adam Julians says:

    Checklist done – hey I’m a woman!

    Anyone want to join me in a coming out party? 😉

  10. Kristin says:

    12. If you have a prophetic voice it’s “bad spirit”; you are minimised, criticised, dismissed or shunned

  11. Kristin says:

    PS that is – if what you have to say is questioning the status quo! It’s fine if it’s something “nice”

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