Almost Heretical: Women in the Church and Gender Roles

Almost Heretical, Women in the Church, Gender Roles in the Church

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If you believe that God designed hierarchy between husband and wife, that husbands are “over” women, and only women submit to men, not the other way around. I encourage you to listen to this podcast series.

The above used to be what I believed. I didn’t care for it, but I accepted it as God’s way because that is what I was taught and what the Bible seemed to say. There are church groups/pastors who listen to other leaders, listen to traditions of their church’s denomination, give credence to translations of the Bible by all-male translators. In adhering to those church traditions and interpretations, women have been silenced and limited in what they can do and say in the church and in their marriages.

I used to have a hard time reading Paul’s letters (Ephesians, Colossians, etc), because of how it seemed he also limited women and put restrictions on them.

Now, after doing a lot more reading from Biblical scholars, professors of theology, I have challenged what was taught to me.

I never saw Jesus limiting women in the Bible. He elevated women. Always. Now, after looking through a different lens of interpretation, I see that Paul has also done the same. The verses in which I thought Paul was limiting women, I now believe the opposite. This has been life-changing for me, and has brought a new love for Christ and His message for the Body of Christ.

This is a great podcast to listen to if you are interested in challenging yourself in this area. Don’t let the name of the podcast, Almost Heretical, turn you off. It’s just a couple of guys who have challenged some of the teachings that have left a sour taste in their mouths. Nate Hanson and Tim Ritter are former pastors who understand spiritual abuse, the harm done to Christian women, and want to show that you don’t have to “do” Christianity in a way that conflicts with your heart. I think many in my reading audience will be able to resonate with their messages.

Listen here: Almost Heretical Series on Gender

504 comments on “Almost Heretical: Women in the Church and Gender Roles

  1. Lea said,

    This is pretty OT, but I think a lot of people raised in an overly conservative/religious home have a hard time swearing and learning to swear is a bit therapeutic.
    There is a difference between saying a ‘swear word’ and swearing at someone or calling them out. You can be every bit as mean or meaner while using ‘clean’ words.

    Funny thing is, I don’t think I cuss an awful lot, I’m not a big fan of consistent, non-stop swearing (the very sort my sister is into).

    On the other hand, Christians who are too far in the other direction of it, who insist all language be G-rated all the time from every person, regardless of reason, context, or motive, bug me as well.

    If I’m posting to a Christian forum, I usually try to watch my language out of respect for the Christians present.

    Ironically, guys such as D and KAS, with their non-stop nit-pickiness about the language thing, make me want to cuss up a storm. They’d have more success with me in those areas if they backed off of those issues.

    You know, the Bible says that God gave the ancient Jews the Ten Commandments to make them sin even more. There’s something in that, about the more you “tut-tut” people the more apt they are to act out.

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  2. D, I think we get that your parents had a difficult time that that you weren’t raised in a white-collar home. To swing that around back to the topic, your mom was probably far more capable than anyone gave her credit for. Probably not her teachers, nor her boss. She probably worked 50+ hours wearing her hands to the bone because people could not see her capability beyond the simple fact she was a woman.

    That is a form of cultural bias and cultural pressure. It’s the flip side – we were talking about how women are conditioned towards thinking that certain roles suit them. But, you’re talking about how your mother worked really hard and never got ahead. What if it’s the same thing – gender bias that kept your mother from recognizing her abilities and seeking a better and less physically exhausting job?

    I personally don’t think you’re using the same tactics as KAS, but they come across similarly. To be more clear, I don’t think you really have tactics – you are just reminded about something in your life and because you’re reminded it seems pertinent to the discussion and worthy of mentioning. That’s why it seems so hard to find our disagreement. We don’t know if you don’t understand what cultural pressure is, or you are just denying how pervasive it is, or you just can’t believe that your aunt, who is as liberal and opinionated as they come could ever be “pressured” into a teaching job she didn’t naturally want. I think we’re just not used to debating non-academic people.

    So, a little semi-off-topic wondering… One of my daughters, whose conversation style can most aptly be described as “stream of consciousness” was talking on the way home tonight. Now, I try to some extent to wade into that stream, but usually there is so little substance that I just zone her out. At some point she asked me a question, and I said, “I really can’t follow what you’re saying”. Her response: “Yeah, girls’ conversations go all over the place”. I was thinking – why does she believe that? I’ve heard boys do the exact same thing, but somehow this is considered a feminine “trait”.

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  3. KAS,

    The thing about using profanity when having a discussion, when it turns toxic.

    Pretty soon, the discussion turns into a cussing match, back and forth giving the impression that the two people that are trading profanity is angry at one another.

    I can’t do this.

    Having discussion out of anger, or being called naive, when none of us have walked in one another’s shoes, is essentially force feeding one another’s will on the other, with our blinders on.

    My mom was independent, a true feminist, but expected her kids to behave with a higher standard, even if we don’t see things the same. Which is why she proclaimed that using profanity, lacks class.

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  4. Mark,

    My parents did have a difficult time. They aren’t the only ones. But there are many more parents in this generation that have it more difficult.

    More kids are growing up without as much guidance or are left on their own while their parents are hustling trying to survive.

    We spend a lot of time about in-equality in the work place, which I agree isn’t right. As a parent with 2 daughters, I gave them every opportunity to make their decisions as the sky was the limit. Heck in California where we raised them, discrimination against gender gets people fired and creates lawsuits which I advocate.

    I have seen very little dialogue implemented into most of these threads that include “parental role”, but when it happens, sparks begin to fly.

    Mark, most parents w/kids want either the wife or husband to be more available to their kids, but simply can’t because of economic reasons. Parent wanting to be more available has nothing to do with cultural pressure.

    If you think my parents situation is unique, like everyone else on this thread, when in fact it is wide-spread, then you aren’t seeing what I’m seeing.

    You may have a career that is user friendly to families. Try having a career that isn’t, where both spouses rarely see each other or work so hard they have very little energy for each other or their kids.

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  5. D – The thing about using profanity when having a discussion

    Profanity imo usually means someone has lost the plot in a discussion, starting to make it personal.

    You cannot but fail to have notice complaints that I wish to Tone Police and indeed ‘lecture’ people on this. Quite apart from the fact I have no power to enforce this, this misses the point.

    It is simply that Christians should abide by the standards set in the NT, and I have quoted Eph in this regard:

    Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion ….Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice, and more to the point Let there be no filthiness, nor silly talk, nor levity/obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are not fitting.

    It is no coincidence that the last sentence above is just before the exhortation to expose evil. My whole point has been that when Christians let rip verbally when they are exposing evil – and no-one can doubt the need for this in church institutions – those who need to repent of it or stop supporting it, those who are uncritical fans of the celebrity Big Names and their doctrines simply won’t listen. The criticism is nullified. Critics who do this simply sound bitter.

    Who is going to take any notice of anyone exposing ecclesiatic wrong-doing, disobedience to scripture by church authorities, when the critic is also disobedient in what the NT tells them? It is completely counter-productive.

    This is not remotely trying to ‘silence’ anyone or prevent them telling the unvarnished truth.

    Non-Christians do not have to abide by NT instructions, they can say what they like. And frequently do!

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  6. KAS, I agree that profanity is not okay. Here’s my problem, though. You/D/the c’hurch focus on the checkbox matters of right/wrong white/black. Okay, yup, you win. Profanity is black.

    But, the Bible isn’t a one issue thing. For example, David’s (and prophetically, Jesus’s) enemy is spoken of here: “His speech was smoother than butter, But his heart was war; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords.” (Ps 55:21) Also, “Her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord has not spoken. The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner without justice.” (Ezek. 22:28-29)

    So, while the church is great on “no R-rated speech or movies, no alcohol, no dancing” and the like, they completely miss what God is truly angry about. Was Isaiah and Israel of unclean lips because they used a few curse words or was it much, much bigger than that? It’s one thing to nit-pick other peoples’ speech. I choose to not nitpick spelling and grammar. It’s another thing to see through the person who is eloquent yet incites injustice and violence against the innocent.

    Since you’re going to ignore what we say anyway, speech policing is about you, not us. You’re just rationalizing your willful blindness by saying that we didn’t check all the boxes when coming to you. You obviously think something like that because you say “God will not answer your prayers if …” I think I’ve said this before, but I’m thankful that my God, unlike yours, does not push me away when my lips are unclean. He doesn’t reject my pleas when they don’t check all the Evangelical prayer checklist boxes. Jesus touched the untouchable, he welcomed the children that his disciples decided were unworthy, he healed pagans and Samaritans.

    If you and D can’t see the pain past the words, then the problem is you.

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  7. D, “Heck in California where we raised them, discrimination against gender gets people fired and creates lawsuits which I advocate.”

    As it should, but discrimination must generally be obvious enough to sell a jury on. In the deep south, even though they have the same sorts of laws as California, discrimination is still alive and well. That’s the point of the NFL protests – they are saying that there is still structural racial discrimination in our society and that is not okay.

    “If you think my parents situation is unique, like everyone else on this thread, when in fact it is wide-spread, then you aren’t seeing what I’m seeing.”

    I don’t think it’s unique. I just don’t think that your parents’ situation, despite how gravely it affected them, and you, is pertinent to the topic of this discussion, which is on “gender roles”.

    I would say, in a sense, that my situation before college was worse than yours – but because of gender roles. Once I was in school, my mom could have easily gotten a job, but because of the church’s push for women to be “keepers of the home”, she stayed home. By the time I was in college, there were fewer mouths to feed, the mortgage was paid off by an inheritance, and my dad was getting better pay, so my mom did not need to work for us to have a reasonable living.

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  8. Mark,

    As for gender roles, I have said that in cases of teen girls in a youth group, I think at least one woman should be leading the youth group. There are also delicate matters when a girl would prefer to share with a Christian woman rather than a man. Even when a woman involved in a ladies bible study, typically would prefer to have a woman lead.

    What erupted the discussion is when I admitted that I felt more comfortable with a woman involved in teaching preschool or at least present in that particular Sunday School for my granddaughters. I feel the same with kindergarten teachers. Mind you, it is my preference. I’m not flipping out, using profanity or challenging your intelligence on what your or anybody else’s preference is.

    I realize in order to have a discussion on this thread is not have differing circumstances or backgrounds, though mine isn’t unique as our society is swimming with husbands and wives working themselves into the ground.

    From there the conversation expanded and I have been aggressively criticized even being referred as naïve. Even someone insinuating that I think the women’s place is the home, which I never said.

    When the topic of women or men choosing to teach for various reasons, like flexibility of schedule or because that is their passion, the usually flip side argument was bias or cultural pressure embracing the cons instead of the pros as to why someone chooses to teach.

    I know that times are changing as we now have 33 or more different genders that exist. People can say or identify themselves anyway they want. Heck a white woman in Spokane, Wa. now identifies herself as an African American.

    Maybe not all here are parents so this fact won’t apply. But a dad is a father and a mom is a mother. If they are married then their role is to be good parents and to provide guidance and make themselves available to the best of their ability.

    You can’t ignore that families are breaking down for numerous reasons, abuse, careers being more important to either the man, woman or both, adultery or not being in love in the first place. Kids are being left unattended more than ever as couples are both working themselves into the ground.

    From there the conversation expanded and I have been aggressively criticized even being referred as naïve. When the topic of women or men choosing to teach for various reasons, like flexibility of schedule or because that is their passion, the usually flip side argument was bias or cultural pressure and exercising more energy to the cons as to why someone chooses to teach.

    I think most men are more aggressive than most women. That is an opinion.

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  9. D – Some states define African American as 1/32nd. That means if my Great Great Great Grandmother was African, I am too. Genetically speaking, that could be true without me looking one bit the part. I don’t general read news, but if I recall correctly, she did a genetics test and it came back partially African – enough for her to consider herself >1/32.

    “Mind you, it is my preference.”

    I think what we kept pointing back to was that your preference is discriminatory. If someone said “I prefer my kids to have white teachers” you’d probably immediately realize that was discriminatory. Yet discriminating female/male based on gender roles somehow seems okay to you.

    As I said, I have a bias against people with southern accents. I recognize that bias and I actively try to counter that bias when I’m interacting with those sorts of people. You, on the other hand, act as if it’s no big deal to be biased against men when it comes to educating young children. Then you claim that yours and others’ bias (preference) against men educating young children could not possibly be a significant contributory factor in women choosing to be kindergarten teachers and men not.

    “I think most men are more aggressive than most women.”

    Men are definitely, on average, stronger than women, but strength does not equal aggressiveness. However, you will notice that there is a significant cultural bias towards men being aggressive. For example, how many superheroes are male vs. female. How do those superheroes act? Is it the men or women who are likely to charge into action. Is it the men or women who are more likely to be shown taking a nurturing role? What about other movies? How many cop dramas have you seen with a female lead? How many action movies with a female lead?

    Daisy already pointed out that men are rewarded for aggressive behavior and women are punished. For example, in a business meeting a man who raises a strong challenge is considered a potential leader and confident. A woman who does the same is considered bossy and a complainer.

    Boys get GI Joe toys, guns, bows and arrows, and girls get baby dolls, Barbies, doll houses, toy cell phones and toy kitchens.

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  10. Mark,

    I have been told that I’m 1/32 native and 1/32 African American, and if we go far enough back a millennium or two I’m sure most of us on this thread would be cousins a few hundred times removed, but that doesn’t make us cousins, does it?

    Ms. Dolezal profited from being something she wasn’t as her parents stated she is of German and Czech heritage,with “faint traces” of Native American ancestry.

    That doesn’t really matter, what matters is barriers are being broken maybe not fast enough for some, but it is happening and,especially in the work place. Where I live both the grammar school and high school have female principles, the local airline station manager for the last 20 years is a woman, heck my last 2 managers are women.

    Maybe in the past, aggression in the Board was expected by men. But not so much in this day in age when Boards are more concerned about the price of the corporate stock. Now it has nothing to do with which gender is more aggressive in the Board Room or on the job, but who is more qualified to do the job. It is all about profit and loss, earnings per share.

    Like I said before, suggesting that I still think the majority of women are better with young kids in certain circumstances than most men. And the main reason is I haven’t seen enough men mentoring the younger pre-school aged and kindergarten kids in the classroom to prove otherwise. When it comes to correct a younger child a man’s voice is deeper and can be more intimidating than a woman’s voice to that child.

    People on this thread have found different ways to sway or criticize my preferences and my opinions as to why certain career choices are made. Ignoring that most of my preferences has more to do with early childhood development whether the man or woman has more flexibility in their schedule, Early childhood development is seriously lacking for many kids because they are left alone or being raised by somebody else as a result of their parents working too hard.

    I hear a lot of complaining toward me objecting of the use of profanity, but then if you think about, if all of us trade profanity back and forth when we don’t agree, it gets ugly. Those that practice it here either don’t care or aren’t thinking far enough ahead or lack vision to realize that getting into a cussing match makes matters worse instead of making things better. Or maybe they see nothing wrong going toe to toe trading profanity.

    Mark, lets end this discussion. please.

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  11. Mark wrote:

    But, the Bible isn’t a one issue thing

    I have never said it was.

    speech policing is about you

    I am not trying to tone police. I’m commenting on unrighteousness as it relates to speech, and its affect on the credibility of justified criticism of modern evangelicalism.

    you say “God will not answer your prayers if …”

    No, the OT and NT says this, as I have quoted many times before:

    Do not return evil for evil or reviling for reviling; but on the contrary bless, for to this you have been called, that you may obtain a blessing.

    For “He that would love life
    and see good days,
    let him keep his tongue from evil
    and his lips from speaking guile;
    let him turn away from evil and do right;
    let him seek peace and pursue it.
    For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous,
    and his ears are open to their prayer.
    But the face of the Lord is against those that do evil.”

    This applies in particular to husbands who mistreat their wives. If you have a problem with this, take it up with the apostle Peter!

    I neither want to deny the grace of God, nor presume on it either.

    It would not be difficult to find hundreds of examples on the internet of returning reviling for reviling or trying to overcome evil with evil instead of good. From Team Pyro to survivor blogs, from Arminian to Calvinist and back again.

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  12. However, you will notice that there is a significant cultural bias towards men being aggressive. … Daisy already pointed out that men are rewarded for aggressive behavior and women are punished.

    Mark, you are correct and I’m sure this point has been made many times. What is sort of maddening about this discussion is seeing umpteen examples of cultural pressures put on women to be a certain way, to do certain things, etc, and vice versa for men, and then some sort of denial that cultural pressure is an issue. Even by a person who is admittedly participating in the social pressure!

    Bah.

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  13. “speech policing is about you”

    Still remains. You are CHERRY-PICKING Bible verses that seem to agree with what you are saying. Jesus hung out with the sinners and tax-collectors. It was the Pharisees that said, Jesus can’t be a prophet because if he just knew who he was with… but he knew. It was the Pharisees that were saying that the sinners did not have a right to be with God because of this or that action that probably some Torah verse explicitly pointed to, yet Jesus broke their rules. Again and again, he touched people, he talked with people that the Pharisees deemed unworthy.

    Now, if you’re going to deem people unworthy… Are you with Jesus or the Pharisees? You’ve just said it, and it’s not Peter, it’s you putting words in Peter’s mouth. Would you be the one pointing the finger at Jesus and saying, listen to that profanity. If Jesus were really a prophet, he would turn and walk away from that filth!

    But to counter what you are saying:

    You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear his cry; and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.

    If you ever take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, you are to return it to him before the sun sets, for that is his only covering; it is his cloak for his body. What else shall he sleep in? And it shall come about that when he cries out to Me, I will hear him, for I am gracious.

    Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.

    Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice, And be gracious to me and answer me.

    But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.

    But, it’s again interesting that what the Bible says about wrong speech
    – Deceit
    – Reviling
    – Taking the Lord’s name in vain
    – Lying
    – Cursing one another

    And, yes, I get that profanity and coarse language is in there, but it’s kind of the baby brother of these other things that are greatly destructive. Yet, the Evangelical Neo-Pharisees come up with rules about how it’s somehow okay to deceive and revile, as long as it’s done with the right tone. On the other hand, it’s okay to push victims to the side as soon as you hear profanity. It’s okay to dismiss allegations and arguments if they sound angry or bitter or profane.

    So, KAS I’m saying that you are in the wrong camp. My God listens to me. He hears my pain and answers my prayers He is my father and he wants to hold me when I’m screaming in anguish and anger just as much as he wants to celebrate when I overcome sin. And that’s what your crappy Neo-Pharisee doctrine can’t provide – a God who is there when I’m angry and in pain and bitter. I have to first get my mouth and my life clean, and only THEN can I approach the king of the universe. And that’s why you harp on how God turns his back on those with profane talk.

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  14. with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God

    This is cursing another person, though, Mark. It’s totally different from a general expression like ‘WTF’, which is an expression of being puzzled more than anything, not anything like what is listed above. It’s ridiculous to act like saying ‘wtf’ is the same as ‘fu’.

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  15. Mark, all of us are cherry picking.

    Many of the topics, including this one has an affect on kids.

    Your life’s circumstances doesn’t sound as bad as others, but your background is such that you have to know that the toll on kids being surrounded by adults who are abusive, or adults living a “me first” mentality or parents that work long hard hours so they can clothed their kids is painfully real, even though I’m sure most parents won’t admit it, or are too busy to even know.

    You make it sound as if my upbringing is rare compared to others even in today’s standards, but it isn’t.

    I have stated that I don’t minimalize the existence of unrealistic gender roles being placed on any gender as that also has an adverse effect on kids as well as stimulating more abuse, mainly women and their kids.

    The track record speaks for itself, most women have more experience than men in early childhood development. My admitting that my preference of women continuing to have a more active role in early childhood development, shouldn’t have got so much push back.

    Being in a church that was at one point led by a man that embraced hyper-doctrines that spiritually abuses churches and having another preacher that viewed my kids as a liability when I wasn’t available 7 nights a week for a couple of years, makes me very cautious with men, more so than with women.

    The amount of spiritual abuse that exists’ is primarily by men, so I’m going to be extra cautious anyway.

    You want the last word, go for it. I’m done. You can use all the capital letters you want on me, but remember, we are all cherry picking. including yourself.

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  16. What erupted the discussion is when I admitted that I felt more comfortable with a woman involved in teaching preschool or at least present in that particular Sunday School for my granddaughters. I feel the same with kindergarten teachers. Mind you, it is my preference. I’m not flipping out, using profanity or challenging your intelligence on what your or anybody else’s preference is.

    No. But you are saying that, in spite of all my years of experience as a teacher (including at kindergarten) and all of my fondness for children, you would still refuse to hire me as a teacher. And you would refuse to hire me, not because of inexperience or lack of competence, but simply because I’m a man.

    And I find that much more offensive than profanity.

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  17. Mark, you made my whole day with this genteel reminder, which pierces the truth, “Jesus touched the untouchable, He welcomed the children that disciples decided were unworthy, He healed pagans and Samaritans.”

    God Bless you, sir. And yep, that is the Jesus I choose to worship this day and every day as the Body of Christ is called to minister to those who are “unworthy.”

    Note: “the unworthy”…….hmmmm……would not encompass all of us/humanity at times? For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God…….not my words.

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  18. Japan, you are one of few men that taught kindergarten. You seem to skim past what I’m saying.

    I have repeatedly suggested that most women (not all) are more experienced in early childhood development than most men. (not all) This is a major reason why I have preferences.

    There have been 2 preachers that have passed through the doors of our church one being abusive to the congregation as a whole and the other treating my kids like a liability as I wasn’t going to sacrifice every night of the week after I got off of work, to work in on a building project. As I also needed to help around the house and spend time with my wife and kids.

    Your teaching experience with kindergarteners, doesn’t make me any less cautious or change my preferences. But it does make sense as to why you have verbally sparred with why I think the way I do. But then you have never walked in my shoes, nor have I walked in yours.

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  19. Lea, that’s why I said “Cursing one another” – I think that is different than using profanity and what James is really getting at. I agree that profanity is not okay, but I don’t put it in the same category as what I listed.

    “You make it sound as if my upbringing is rare compared to others even in today’s standards, but it isn’t.”

    I’m not sure how you get that impression. Unfortunately, one of the problems with c’hurches today is that they are culturally stratified. For example, Reformed churches are typically more middle class and more academically oriented. One of the churches I went to did have a more neighborhood, blue-collar feel, but there unfortunately was a divide (I was too young to understand) between the blue and white collar and peoples’ financial struggles were not talked about. So, I agree, I probably don’t understand as much what you went through, and my upbringing was probably more financially stable.

    Sorry, “you” in my previous comment was aimed at KAS, not you, D. I completely understand where you’re coming from. It’s one thing to say “I don’t want to be in a discussion once profanity comes out because it gets toxic in my experience.” It’s quite another to start calling upon the word of GAWD against all evildoers and start claiming that God will immediately stop hearing me if I let the F-bomb slip out, which is the same point KAS thumps every time someone uses any profanity.

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  20. Lea, that’s why I said “Cursing one another” – I think that is different than using profanity and what James is really getting at. I agree that profanity is not okay, but I don’t put it in the same category as what I listed.

    Thanks Mark, yes I mean to be agreeing with you and expanding on what you said…apologies if it sounded otherwise!

    I don’t actually mind profanity in general, but directed at another person is an entirely different thing. And it’s so easy to cut at someone without being profane. I don’t have any patience for tone policing though. It happens to me even when I haven’t used ‘bad words’ here, so it’s obvious that it isn’t about the words.

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  21. But you are saying that, in spite of all my years of experience as a teacher (including at kindergarten) and all of my fondness for children, you would still refuse to hire me as a teacher. And you would refuse to hire me, not because of inexperience or lack of competence, but simply because I’m a man.

    SKIJ, this is why comp is so stupid. It looks solely at the gender and generalizes/stereotypes, instead of looking at the aptitude or capabilities of a person. Which even if it weren’t discriminatory (which it is) and annoying is also a terrible decision making process.

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  22. Mark,

    Typing out profane words on a computer is premeditated. one chooses to use those words on purpose as they have ample time to delete, before clicking the “post comment” icon.

    People slip an F bomb past their lips, they don’t have time to delete it before they say it. Of course some think using the F bomb or any vulgar term, exposes that we lack respect. When it comes ti my wife, I’ve seen people apologize to her if they knew she heard what they said.

    I choose not to trade profanity on this thread which is why I have to stop my discussion with any individual who uses it to emphasize their point or other reasons. It changes the dynamics of the discussion turning it into something way more personal, especially if when views aren’t the same.

    Swearing is kind of like being around people who are smoking. It is addictive. Hang with people that swear, then it can rub off on others. Same with smoking, though I quit 35 years ago and refuse to be around someone with a cigarette in their mouth.

    When I worked in a hot sweaty factory surrounded by all walks of life listening to their profanity, I was vulnerable, but my kids jumped all over me, If I ever used a profane word. If we don’t tolerate it from our kids, then we have to lead by example.

    Like others on this site, I have endured spiritual and mental abuse from a hyper Calvinist. Not knowing all who have endured abuse on this site, why take the chance to use abusive language directed to someone who has endured abuse? It might send them over the edge or cut into their heart.

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  23. SKIJ said,

    No. But you are saying that, in spite of all my years of experience as a teacher (including at kindergarten) and all of my fondness for children, you would still refuse to hire me as a teacher.

    And you would refuse to hire me, not because of inexperience or lack of competence, but simply because I’m a man.

    And I find that much more offensive than profanity.

    I’m sorry, SKIJ.

    At the very least, you are getting a small taste of what life is like for many women in and out of Christianity.

    We women are often told in Christian environs, and we also get messages in secular culture (via overt sexism, or societal gender stereotypes, or unconscious bias), that we women cannot or should not do X, Y, or Z, because we’re not…

    Good enough, smart enough, (physically and/or emotionally) strong enough, capable enough, logical enough, not predisposed enough for, X, Y, or Z …
    and all just because of the biological sex we were born.

    And it’s very insulting, frustrating, and incredibly infuriating.

    And I’d say most of us start getting these messages from the time we are little kids.
    It doesn’t just hit most of us over the head in adulthood.

    Personally, I do not have any issues with a man teaching kids of any age, provided he’s good at it / has the skills / talent / educated / interest in it / is qualified at it or for it.

    I don’t think your biological sex should be an automatic determiner of what career you (or anyone) goes into, should be encouraged to going into, permitted to enter, etc.

    Like

  24. Dude said,

    I choose not to trade profanity on this thread which is why I have to stop my discussion with any individual who uses it to emphasize their point or other reasons. It changes the dynamics of the discussion turning it into something way more personal, especially if when views aren’t the same.

    Did I use profanity?

    Is that established?

    What the Fudge?

    You take some stuff too personally that is not meant to be taken personally, by the way.

    If I exclaim, “Oh sh-t that hurts!,” if I step on a Lego in your den with a bare foot, that isn’t a put down of you personally, any more than expressing exasperation via a “WTH” or “WTF” is over your off-topic points.

    Like

  25. I apologize for going off topic here, but I feel it’s still a bit pertinent, in a way, considering all the recent posts by D and KAS-

    It’s really odd to me that participants such as D and KAS who seem very unhappy posting here to this blog, who keep nit-picking other people’s posts, over style, tone, and language, never- the- less keep posting to this site.

    They seem unhappy posting here, but they’ve been posting here for months.
    Why?
    (Well, KAS did say in an older post on another thread, that he posts to this blog to “distract himself.”
    (_Source for that KAS comment_.)

    Most of the time, if I find the culture of a blog or forum to be not of my taste or preference, I either stop visiting that site altogether, or I limit my time participating or reading there.

    I often find new blogs and forums to post to in those situations.

    I don’t usually keep returning to that same blog or forum that I find distasteful, as KAS and D do.

    They’ve both made it plain they disagree with many of us here, with how we talk and carry ourselves.

    Unless the blog owner tells me to change and/or shape up, I don’t really plan on changing how I communicate, certainly not all just to please D or KAS.

    If you don’t like 90% or more of the people here, or you don’t approve of, or like, how some of us express ourselves, you don’t have to keep reading, visiting, or posting here. This is not the only site on the internet.

    Like

  26. Here is the point I really wanted to address when I came back to this thread today-

    Mark said about KAS to another poster:

    It’s quite another to start calling upon the word of GAWD against all evildoers and start claiming that God will immediately stop hearing me if I let the F-bomb slip out, which is the same point KAS thumps every time someone uses any profanity.

    I’m afraid if I scroll back up and read KAS’ post(s) myself that Mark is referencing that I will be tempted to respond,
    and these threads can be a tremendous time-suck, and KAS’ posts make my blood pressure rise.

    So, I’m going by Mark’s paraphrases here, rather than reading KAS first-hand.

    Re: Rules, Behavior, Prayer

    Yes, I’ve seen KAS on older threads talk about how this or that behavior will supposedly keep God from responding to a person’s prayer.

    And he’s still going at it, in this thread.

    Off the top of my head, the only Bible verse I recall about this is directed at husbands who are abusive to their wives:
    There is some verse that says, basically, something like this:

    “Husbands, if you are a jerk to your Wife, I’m not going to grant you your prayed petitions, so buzz off and don’t waste my time until you start treating your wife better.”

    There’s a verse that talks about “wrong motive” hampering a prayer… and that’s about it on that front.

    There is really nothing in the Bible about how you must be good and godly all the time and never use a naughty word, or else God refuses to hear your prayer(s) or favorably respond to your prayers.

    Re: Rule Following and the Favor of God

    This gets into a big pet peeve or two of mine.

    I spent years, from my childhood into my adult years, being
    Little Miss Goody Two Shoes, Morally Up-Right, Sweet, Submissive, Godly Christian Girl and later Woman, Who Never Used Profane Language, Never Lied, Never Slept Around, Never Abused Drink or Drugs…

    -and yet, and still, many of my prayers did not get answered.

    You can be a super-duper, righteous, G-rated Christian in your lifestyle and still have bad things happen to you, and God will still ignore your prayers.

    Many Christians (see KAS) assume if they or others just act properly all the time, and Follow The Rules, that God will supernaturally protect, defend, and/or bless them.

    That is not so, most of the time for most people.

    (As I said in the older thread, too, this is one reason of several Christian parents need to throw away Gender Complementarianism and teach their daughters to defend themselves,
    because complementarianism discourages girls and women from defending themselves – and God is not going to protect your daughter(s).)

    I think the book of Job in the Old Testament, and some of the Psalms, testify to this – that being “godly” and refraining from using vulgar language will protect you in life and get your prayers answered in the affirmative.

    Just one example:

    For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
    They have no struggle in their death; their bodies are well-fed.…
    (Psalm 73:3)

    And yet, many Christians want to keep wrongly telling people if they just do things like…

    -Live a clean life, and do not cuss, drink, smoke, do not use profanity,
    -attend church weekly,
    -(and fill in the blank with many other rules and regulations to be followed)

    That they will have a successful life, where God responds to all their prayers and needs.

    And this is so wrong. That’s not how life works most of the time for most people.

    You can refrain from vulgarities and obscene language every day of your life, and that is not a guarantee that your “prayers will be heard,” or that God, if he exists, will respond to your prayers the way you are wanting and hoping.

    Even the Bible teaches you this stuff – that following formulas or “being good’ is not a guarantee that God will protect or bless you.

    Jesus had to correct his disciples and the religious types of his day on this matter, because they equated “bad thing happened to this guy” with the assumption that “this bad thing happened to this guy obviously because this guy sinned and God is angry at him and punishing him.”

    And Jesus said to them, no, that is not so, not in all cases with every person.

    Like

  27. Mark said,

    “speech policing is about you”

    Still remains. You are CHERRY-PICKING Bible verses that seem to agree with what you are saying. Jesus hung out with the sinners and tax-collectors.

    It was the Pharisees that said, Jesus can’t be a prophet because if he just knew who he was with… but he knew.

    It was the Pharisees that were saying that the sinners did not have a right to be with God because of this or that action that probably some Torah verse explicitly pointed to, yet Jesus broke their rules.

    Again and again, he touched people, he talked with people that the Pharisees deemed unworthy.

    Now, if you’re going to deem people unworthy… Are you with Jesus or the Pharisees?

    KAS’ take on the profanity topic -and other things- reminds me of this parable that Jesus spoke:

    The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

    To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:

    “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

    The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed:
    ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people— robbers, evildoers, adulterers— or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

    “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

    “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

    -(From Luke chapter 18)

    I suppose it’s all fine and dandy to live a clean lifestyle, but you have to be careful of not falling into that trap that the Tax Collector did in that parable, either.

    Like

  28. Re: KAS quote (quoted by Mark):

    (KAS said),
    “..speech policing is about you….”

    If I am understanding this remark and its motivation correctly.

    Jesus tells you to be more concerned with the beam in your own eye and not so much with the speck in mine, KAS.

    KAS, I don’t need or want you playing school marmr for me and lecturing me, -and you think you doing so is for my benefit?

    All it does is annoy me. It’s very condescending.

    I’ve read the Bible all the way through. I’m quite familiar with the Bible. I don’t need you teaching me Biblical concepts, most of which I am already familiar with.

    I even know the Bible verses you probably have in mind, stuff like this:

    Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

    (and this one):

    Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

    I don’t need or want you (or other Christians) correcting me or my behavior or actions (especially not over something like language) because you supposedly “fear for my soul,” or whatever this is about.

    (As I just said in a post above, I was a goody- two- shoes, sweet, clean- living, non obscene word using Christian woman for many years, and God still did not bless me or respond to my prayers. Being a “good” Christian did not benefit me.)

    For someone who supposedly cares about my, or women’s generally, eternal fate (as you have implied in other threads), you sure don’t act like it.

    I can see why some Christian women reject Jesus and/or the faith to join a religion that is more supportive and respectful of women, as I said on another post a couple of weeks back.

    You then shot back to that what a mistake and how horrible this is, and then you were trotting out the tired and offensive gender stereotype that such women are hairy, God- and- Man- Hating feminists who are single, men find them repulsive, and they live with 80 cats (implied-) to compensate for being single and childless.

    You think crud like that will cause a woman who is doubting the faith to want to stay in it?
    Wrong. It merely pushes women like me further away.

    And the Bible you claim to revere actually indicates that God finds certain behavior more concerning than other behavior.

    For example, based on my understanding of the Bible, behaviors such as a man raping a woman would be considered far more infuriating to God than me or someone else on a blog using a cuss word.

    If you want to be of actual, useful service in the online world,
    Go find some sexist Christian blog or forum and correct the sexist men there.
    Tell them to stop beating their wives or pressuring their wives into having sex they don’t want to have.

    In the real world, maybe donate money to domestic violence shelters in your area.

    Like

  29. D said

    It changes the dynamics of the discussion turning it into something way more personal, especially if when views aren’t the same.

    I wanted to add too that I felt this was a kind of strange thing for you to say, D, because about three times up thread over the past week you told Mark and/or myself that you think we’re all actually largely in agreement on many (most?) points).

    But now you’re saying we not in agreement.

    As for me, that you will not acknowledge your own gender bias or recognize or admit that church and secular culture does in fact send messages to girls from a young age as to what careers they should enter when they get older based on gender expectations and gender stereotypes, is a major area of disagreement between you and me.

    Like

  30. KAS said

    Are you suggesting I am lying?

    Daisy – absolutely not.

    I have no idea what you were getting at.

    Were you trying to be funny or cute?

    You asked me up thread for a source Re: my experience and observation that a lot of men are moochers while the woman pays the bills (this was sure true of me with my ex).

    I don’t provide many sources in this thread at this point, because the participant calling himself “D” claims he doesn’t read them or my quoted excerpts (which disproves his assumptions) are too long for him to read.

    Like

  31. d said“I have repeatedly suggested that most women (not all) are more experienced in early childhood development than most men. (not all) This is a major reason why I have preferences. I don’t think any one in this thread has ever disputed that there are more female teachers than male teachers of small children.

    That is not the point of contention.

    Where you get tripped up and refuse to concede you may be wrong:

    One major reason there are more female teachers of small children vs. males is because families, society, and churches encourage girls to enter certain vocations when they are adults, and they based this on sexist gender stereotypes and sexist assumptions,
    …which falsely believe things like females are more gentle and nurturing with children than men are.

    Most American men, meanwhile, are socially conditioned from the time they are boys to refrain from engaging in behaviors such as crying or being tender because that is considered “feminine” behavior (and is thus deemed “weak”), and they are conditioned to be tough and stoic.

    Like

  32. quote.

    From an early age, girls learn that authority figures will reward them for being amenable and punish them for being “too” assertive.

    Studies have shown that girls and women apologize far more than boys and men do, that girls are more likely than boys to be praised for “being good.”

    They learn, as Soraya Chemaly wrote in her new book exploring female anger, Rage Becomes Her, to smile as a way to “sooth the people around [them], a facial adaptation to the expectation that we put others first, preserve social connections, and hide our disappointment, frustration, anger, or fear.”

    This sentiment was echoed by Tannen. “Girls learn very early on that they get bad responses if they are not self-effacing, apologetic, ‘oh, little old me,’” she said.

    Not only are girls rewarded for their accommodating tone and behavior, but they are also taught that this kind of comportment might literally stave off violence. They learn to be constantly vigilant about their environments and potential threats in those environments, and to adjust their behavior accordingly. For many grown women, they learn to prioritize the comfort of men as a result, especially powerful men.

    “We are so busy teaching girls to be likable,” wrote Chemaly, “that we often forget to teach them, as we do boys, that they should be respected.”

    Unlike women, men can yell their way to respect. Their anger is viewed as powerful, no matter how misdirected or unhinged it is.

    (_Source_, by E. Gray)

    Like

  33. Your teaching experience with kindergarteners, doesn’t make me any less cautious or change my preferences. But it does make sense as to why you have verbally sparred with why I think the way I do. But then you have never walked in my shoes, nor have I walked in yours.

    So, let’s imagine that the two abusive men that you’ve encountered in church had been black or Latino. Would you feel justified in demanding that your grandchildren’s teacher be white?

    If not, why do you feel justified in demanding that they be taught by women?

    Like

  34. Daisy,

    We don’t disagree on most points, in particular when it comes to spiritual, physical abuse and rape or when men is purposely keeping women from reaching the same goals as a man.

    Our views are slightly different on early childhood development. I base my thesis on the fact that most women from the very beginning develop an immediate bond even with their own kids when they are born and begin to nurse their baby.

    I’m not saying that men shouldn’t do his share to the best of his ability. but in general it is typically the woman who gets maternity leave when they have a child. Automatically, she is spending more time with the baby than the man is. (unless he doesn’t work outside the home)

    You are correct that some of it is societal pressure. but society recognizes that a women’s role in early childhood development is extremely important to both the child and the mother, which is why maternity leave is allowed more and more.

    Though very important in early childhood development for men and women nurturing styles merge, their nurturing styles are typically different from the very beginning. As the child matures by the age of 10, the child need’s also matures.

    I can concede that there are exceptions, which isn’t fair to the men that has that special gift to teach younger kids that are being overlooked. I can also concede that social protective ideology of younger kids that is being practiced by both men and women alike, does create an unfair bias. In my case, most men that I grew up around were harsher than most women, though my mom was extremely strict.

    What makes us different or unique, is none of us has walked in one another’s shoes. So it is nearly impossible for our views to perfectly line up.

    Like

  35. If not, why do you feel justified in demanding that they be taught by women?

    This stuff isn’t rational. It’s something else, and the rest is an attempt by individuals or the mind to fill in blanks with theoretical ‘data’ that confirms preexisting bias and opinions.

    Like

  36. Though very important in early childhood development for men and women nurturing styles merge, their nurturing styles are typically different from the very beginning. As the child matures by the age of 10, the child need’s also matures.

    Do you realize, D, that you are implying that as a child ‘matures’ they need a man rather than a woman? And what that means of your opinion of both men and women?

    This is why you get pushback. Among other things.

    Like

  37. Japan,

    I’m not demanding my younger grand kids to be taught by women, it is a preference based on deep rooted nurturing experiences most kids have in early childhood development from women, more so than men.

    It is also my experience that most men that I encountered growing up, (even in the classroom at an earlier age) was they were more intimidating than women. (except an uncle of mine)

    I believe there are exceptions, you may be a very good kindergarten teacher if you are still teaching that class, if you aren’t why did you stop?

    Like

  38. Lea, “Do you realize, D, that you are implying that as a child ‘matures’ they need a man rather than a woman? And what that means of your opinion of both men and women?”

    And the comment suggesting that women weren’t as attracted to teaching in Japan because it was more academically rigorous. So, women are okay at teaching as long as they are really just nurturing and coddling, rather than actually attempting to instruct, but if instruction is what is needed, better for men to take over?

    That also opens the can of worms – do you prefer female teachers for your granddaughter because you want her to be nurtured and coddled rather than instructed? Would you feel the same way about a grandson?

    Like

  39. Lea,

    I’m not implying a child needs a man more than a woman. In fact, in early childhood development, the child is more dependent on their mother.

    I implied there is a sweet spot in the age where nurturing need’s begins to change long after they are weened. I held my children from the very beginning I could still see a difference in their nurturing needs favored my wife more so than I. Even at the age of 5. they were more dependent on my wife than myself.

    As they matured, their need for attention and other needs from both parents was nearly identical, like they were merged together. Instead of a child needing a man more than a mother, which you are accusing me of implying.

    Growing up with a single mom, I was dependent on her, but still wanting the presence of my father and have a little normalcy, which my wife and I have tried to do with our own kids. Though my childhood circumstances aren’t unique anymore, in fact all of the girls that was in my daughter’s class are unmarried single moms.

    You have treated me like an adversary.Like I have this covert, sly motive of how I think the world should be, which is nonsense.

    I write something that doesn’t look right to you or you disagree with and I get chopped up, rather than having a conversation. So then I give it back a little, without using profanity.

    As for pushback. my impression is there is something much deeper going on inside your mind that goes beyond having a dialogue or sharing insights about my belief or preferences of individual roles of parents or teachers when discussing the importance of early childhood development, without making it personal.

    I write something that doesn’t look right to you or you disagree with and I get chopped up, rather than having a conversation, so then I give it back a little, which ruins the opportunity for further dialogue. But then I’m the one that is blamed for the one doing the initial criticizing.

    Both of us are pretty good a trading words that chop one another up or challenge the one another’s capacity. I think you are more intelligent than I, which I admire. What I don’t admire is trading unkind words, for which most of us here, are doing.

    Much of what we are sharing, (or least I’m sharing and being criticized) is based on observations we are seeing or have experienced.

    From your recent comment, you seem to be implying on me being fixated into believing I have this man vs woman ideology, where men are better than women, when all along I have been saying that I prefer the nurturing talents of a woman teaching younger kids.

    Like

  40. And the comment suggesting that women weren’t as attracted to teaching in Japan because it was more academically rigorous.

    Oh believe me Mark, I was certainly connecting the two, although from his comment D doesn’t see it.

    You have treated me like an adversary

    D, I disagree with you and you take it personally. I’m not mad at you, I’m exasperated that can’t or won’t see it. That’s all.

    Like

  41. So then I give it back a little, without using profanity.

    First of all, I haven’t used profanity with you either. So maybe drop that little complaint on somebody else.

    Second, This is NOT A COMPETITION. You don’t need to ‘give it back’ to me simply because I disagreed with you. Maybe just listen next time. Sheesh.

    As for pushback. my impression is there is something much deeper going on inside your mind that goes beyond having a dialogue or sharing insights about my belief or preferences

    I don’t know why you are trying to psychoanalyze me. All I have asked is that you take a teensy break from ‘sharing’ your insights, which are often just preferences and stereotypes, of what you think women are best at. Trust me, I’ve heard them all before.

    The only ‘deeper’ thing is that I have heard all of these stereotypes and preferences and harmless little thoughts you have expressed regarding women before. I reject them, for reasons that I clearly lay out. It is not my fault that you don’t listen.

    Like

  42. D, “Much of what we are sharing, (or least I’m sharing and being criticized) is based on observations we are seeing or have experienced.”

    Yes, but those observations are being processed in the way you were brought up.

    I wasn’t going to mention this, but my grandfather was racist, but he was seemingly racist in a very practical way. He was an administrator in public education for an area with lots of different communities with different racial makeups. His conclusion was once a community became more than 50% minority, it fell into disarray. He was a brilliant man, but he couldn’t see beyond race into other social dynamics, such as poverty, discrimination, lack of opportunity, and a welfare state at that point that financially penalized married couples over single mothers. His knee-jerk reaction was when ‘those people’ move in the community gets destroyed.

    You sound very similar to that. You have lots of experiences that seem to back up what you believe, but you have to understand that there are different ways to interpret those experiences. You may say that your aunt had no cultural pressure to go into teaching, or if she did, that she would have outright rejected it, but that is based on your foregone conclusions that (1) cultural pressure must be clear and obvious, and (2) your aunt would have rejected any clear and obvious cultural pressure. But… even if (2) is true, what if (1) is false – which is what we are all claiming.

    It’s like the Evolutionist and Creationist standing side by side looking at the Grand Canyon. The Evolutionist says “Wow! Look what a little water can do over a long period of time!” The Creationist says, “Wow! Look what a lot of water can do over a short period of time!” The evidence/experience is the same, yet these two interpret the experience based on their presuppositions.

    Like

  43. Mark-:Yes, but those observations are being processed in the way you were brought up.”

    Yes, that is true and much of what is happening to others is also occurring.

    This thread is filled with those that are defensive. Not sure why, maybe they are working and have kids at home fending for themselves and don’t see anything wrong with it, because it is in their minds the “new normal”.

    There are however that live that lifestyle, but prefer not to. Those are the ones I connect with better.

    Mark the observations you are processing is based on personal experiences, weather your grandfather was a racist or not.

    I’m not saying your observations is wrong. As I have said many times, none of us has walked in one another’s shoes.

    You are hung up on “Cultural Pressure” more so than “Free Will”. Do Calvinist believe in “Free Will”?

    Like

  44. Lea,

    You have been very critical in a very aggressive way in our discussion on childhood development.

    I get your point, when it comes to early childhood development you are more gender neutral, whereas I believe most women are more effective and better at nurturing younger children than most men.

    Your views don’t exasperate me, you being exasperated with me and then putting in motion toward me, is what I find exasperating.

    I never claimed this was a competition, maybe you don’t think we are throwing darks at one another, but it sure feels that way to me.

    I don’t expect anyone on this thread to see it the same as me, as their circumstances are different than mine.

    Most of the ones that do see it the same as me don’t have time to write in a blog like this as they are hard at work,

    Many are in a two income household, living paycheck to paycheck, raising kids and won’t be able to catch their breath until close to midnight, when they are finally able to go to sleep, (or later if they are working a swing shift) Having to wake up early 5 days out of the week to get their kids off to school or daycare. The ones not in daycare are fending for themselves alone at home.

    I know a lot of teachers with kids that have a lot more flexibility with their schedules and able to spend more time with their kids and enjoy 50 days off more than more in the general population working in a 2 income environment.

    From the very beginning, you have treated me like an adversary, like I have a special agenda. It feels like you are sometimes treating me like I’m a gullible chauvinistic idiot that doesn’t know what he is talking about or whatever it is that you to convey. If you aren’t purposely doing this, then it might be best to not act critical or act like I have some stupid special agenda, because I don’t.

    Now you think that I was implying that when a child matures, that they need men more than women, when I never said or thought it.

    What I’m implying is kids need stability, many don’t have it. I have also conceded that I prefer the roles that women have played in my, my kids and my grandkids in early childhood development. Most men that tried didn’t cut it.

    Like

  45. D, “Mark the observations you are processing is based on personal experiences, weather your grandfather was a racist or not.”

    My grandfather was an authority in my life. My dad spoke very highly of him and his brilliance, and I knew my dad was also very intelligent and insightful. So, what my grandfather and father said did not necessarily go through the same level of skepticism that other things did, and in fact, my worldview was shaped greatly by my father and to a lesser extent, my grandfather.

    Except for a small set of things, I owned my dad’s beliefs. To a lesser extent, my grandfather’s. It wasn’t until, little by little, the things my dad said would or would not happen didn’t come true, especially with respect to how obeying and respecting authority would lead to my own advancement and good treatment. When that got shattered, I started questioning other things, and not only that, but I started realizing how much I still believed, not by experience, not by analysis, but simply because that’s what I was told.

    “You are hung up on “Cultural Pressure” more so than “Free Will”. Do Calvinist believe in “Free Will”?”

    You probably won’t get this. How come someone from the humane society can easily identify abused dogs? They cower in the corner. They hold their tails between their legs when they interact. Sometimes they urinate on the floor when someone talks in a strong voice. There are pretty clear signs. Don’t dogs have “free will” to process their environment, just like humans?

    Yet, we see the very same signs in humans, who, yes, have free will, but, in another sense, there are common reactive patterns to certain types of stimuli. For example, I can’t mentate my way past an optical illusion. It’s how my brain is wired. In the same way, when the authorities in my life abused me, I developed certain patterns of behavior, which, not surprisingly, are similar to patterns that other abused people developed. Is that a violation of “free will”?

    Yet, you say that somehow people who are, yes, free to make decisions, when put under certain types of stress and stimuli, and encouraged in this way or that, are not going to naturally show certain patterns of behavior? Here’s an example:

    Although there are differences in math performance between girls and boys of both high school and college age, and when doing certain types of math, these studies find only a small gender difference in math performance. The mean performance scores for boys and girls are about 0.1 to 0.3 standard deviations apart from one another—very small differences and with a lot of overlap between boys’ and girls’ math skills. Thus, boys and girls are much more similar than different in math performance, even when considering studies that found the largest gender differences.

    Interestingly, we often see larger gender difference in other math-related outcomes compared with overall performance. Girls tend to have less positive math attitudes: They have higher levels of math anxiety and lower levels of confidence in their math skills. This means even when girls show similar performance levels to boys, they are often less sure of themselves. In addition, we see larger gender differences in spatial skills, the way students approach solving math problems and math-intensive career choices.

    So, it’s somewhat intriguing to question why these differences – for example, why would girls be less confident and more anxious at math than boys? I can tell you that my daughters are not. We talk a lot about math in our house. Also, my daughters are very good at spatial reasoning. Why? Maybe Duplos and Legos rather than Barbies? Maybe “free will” only works where people are given true opportunity to choose? I didn’t have the “free will” to be a professional athlete because my parents didn’t pay for me to play sports growing up, even though I was athletic.

    “Free will” is about individual responsibility with respect to sin, not whether a person has infinite opportunities and zero baggage in choosing between those opportunities. Our brains are not fully developed growing up, so we rely on other people to tell us what we are and aren’t good at, and that has lifelong implications.

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  46. I see that D is still in denial about how gender stereotypes influence which careers women enter, and are also at the root of her preferences about who teaches his children.

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  47. You have been very critical in a very aggressive way in our discussion on childhood development.

    But I thought only me were aggressive! 🤷🏻‍♀️ You sure that isn’t the real problem?

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  48. Folks “worldwide” are still susceptible to the “herd” mentality, and frankly, I don’t see it evaporating anytime soon, especially with regards to the institutional c’hurch. And one of the aspects of self religious/righteous folks, is the fact that one gender is “built up” concerning their accomplishments in this life, while the other gender either receives the “silent treatment” regarding their accomplishments, or far worse, the usage of Scriptures to put the “other gender” in their place.

    It’s like attaching religious leeches onto the born again believer, sucking out the life of the Holy Spirit, working in each individual soul, regardless of gender. Why did not Jesus make a “big deal” about genders while He walked/taught/preached on this earth?

    I find it far, far, far easier to submit to the teachings of Jesus Christ as a follower/believer, than I do to the religious or non-religious leaders for that matter, in all things in this life. And wow, when one doesn’t submit to the overlords, whether in the church or elsewhere……there is always hell to pay in the form of being the recipient of the deeds of the wicked (includes c’hurched and unc’hurched folks here 😦 ).

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