Wednesday, August 05, 2009

She Who Must Be Ignored

Putting a title to this one was tough; at StandFirm they called it the Stupidest Anglican Idea Ever, but the competition for that is so intense that I'd hate to choose a winner.

Anyway, this is Katie Sherrod's idea:
Before giving up totally on the Anglican Communion, let's have all the men -- Rowan Williams, all the male Primates, all the male bishops, all the male priests, all the male laymen -- take a vow of silence on this issue for a year and let the women of the Anglican Communion work on reconciling us to one another.

Let's let the people -- women -- who really DO make up the largest numbers of Anglicans in the world work on finding a way we can all live together in love despite our differences.

Let's make IAWN the instrument of Communion.
Well, let's NOT.

First, not to put to fine a point on it, but as Greg Griffith at SF says, the folks at the International Anglican Women's Network seem to be the same kind of nutcases-- when they aren't the same nutcases-- who infest the Episcopal Church Office of Women's Ministries. That is, they are stuck pushing the same 1970s woo-woo womanist claptrap that suggested adding pagan/wiccan material to the liturgy. They are wildly unrepresentative of women in the communion as a whole; they don't even represent well the women in liberal churches like ECUSA.

Second, the notion that women can, by nature, run things better than men is an amusing conceit that is easily belied by middle school. Yes, perhaps the girls are better organized, but the back-biting and viciousness is if anything worse than that among the boys. The notion that a woman can do a man's job, but not vice versa, is old enough to appear in fairy tales, but it is, after all, sexist through and through. And when I look at the presiding bishop, her female role model seems to be Elizabeth I on a good day, or her sister Mary on a bad one. Meanwhile IAWN and OWM represent the gender-neutral conceit of liberal academics that the world would be perfect if ordered according to their flights of fancy.

If we're going to have women run things, though, I have some suggestions. Let Geralyn Wolf run ECUSA, and let's seat Fleming Rutledge in Cantuar's throne. And let's have the remaining All Saints sisters run the Office of Women's Ministries. That way we could have some real change.