Posted by: smstrouse | February 25, 2012

Where Are the Women?

We’ve all seen the picture. The outcry of “Where are the women?” has been heard across the land. The idiocy depicted in the photo doesn’t need to be repeated here. Or does it?

You would think we’d have gotten beyond the need to remind ourselves that the faces, bodies, needs, presence, gifts, issues, choices, decisions, etc, etc. of women are of equal value to those of men. But here we are: fighting the same old battles.

Which brings me back to a subject I’ve written about before, but here I go again. There are days, when I’m working on the scripture texts for the Sunday bulletin, and I get to a passage with male names (‘the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,’ for instance), I’m tempted (ooh, a good Lent thing) to let it go. I’m too busy; no one will notice; it doesn’t matter.  But I do it anyway. I change it to ‘the God of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob, Rachel and Leah.’

Why? Because If there were a photo today of how we came to be as people of faith, and the only ones in the photo were the men, we would have to have the same outcry: where are the women?!  So often the women of scripture are nameless, e.g. the woman at the well, Simon Peter’s mother-in-law. And we know, we excuse the writers because that’s how it was in those days. Women didn’t have the status they have today.

Don’t be so sure. Status, rights can be taken away. So, yes, names are important, pictures are important – and action is important. Take a look at the girls and young women (and the boys and young men) in your congregation and remind yourself: language matters. Use inclusive language. There’s just no excuse anymore; there are good resources out there.

OK, end of sermon. Gotta work on next weeks Roman passage: For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith.”  Sigh. Here we go again.



  1. AMEN!


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