Thursday, June 26, 2008

Men vs. Women

As I near the finish line of my class I have noticed a lot of bothersome things. Things that have made me sit quietly in class and ponder while my professor lectures on the life and theology of Christ in the Gospels. All very fascinating indeed, but as I have observed his character and behavior I have found myself wondering.

If I wasn't already a Christian, would I be convinced that I should follow Christ by observing this guy and a few of the guys in my class?

Let me explain. First of all, I am the only woman in the class of about 15. Not a big deal at all, I am quite used to this being one of a few women in the Divinity program at my school. Most of the time it is fine, except when someone starts talking about sexual sin then it gets awkward...
But, the professor teaching my class is a visiting prof from Dallas Theological Seminary. It is super duper conservative and doesn't allow women to get the M.Div. degree (the degree I've been working my butt off for the past four years for) unless they are specifically going into women's ministry. That's all fine and dandy except the guy keeps making comments that are really not pc at all!

Like when we were looking at the parable of the woman and the unrighteous judge. I admit, the woman in the passage is persistant to the point of nagging, but did the prof really have to say, "Heaven help the man who's married to a woman like that? I bet we all know women like that. Har har har har..." As the class erupts in male laughter and I sit there quietly thinking to myself...

That wasn't so bad. What is bad, however, is the past few mornings. There is a guy in my class who joked about how his wife was mad because one day he told her we were getting out early and we ended up not getting out early. He joked that she was waiting with a rolling pin when he got home. That's fine, I guess, to joke like that. But, every day it's gotten worse and the prof and this guy constantly rip into this man's poor wife. Jokes about wives who mother their husbands and make controlling decisions and don't know what it means to submit and all that. Today I was seething. I was really upset because it makes these guys sound like they don't love their wives or honor them at all. So, I talked to Sam about it during break.

After I came in from break someone asked me what I thought of all of the banter going on during class. I thought for a minute and said, "If I'm going to be completely honest with you, I think it's pretty disrespectful. Even if it's meant in a joking tone, the wives aren't here to joke back and it makes the guys sound like jerks." I also explained how Sam and I would never speak about each other in such a negative light because we love and honor and respect one another.

A guy looked at me and said, "You're an egalitarian, right?" (side note here, egalitarian is someone who believes that women and men are equal in standing and can perform the same roles while a complimentarian is someone who thinks that women and men have specific roles that only one gender can perform). I said yes-ish (because I'm currently studying the issue deeply and trying to see where I sit with the whole issue, it's really complicated) and wanted to say, "It doesn't matter, either way we are supposed to respect others." But class started.

That's not all. This week I had a conversation with a woman who needed to have her car jumped because her battery died. So, she asked a guy from our church to help her. Not a big deal, I have Sam jump our car all the time because I am scared to do it (I know how, I just get freaked out and don't want to do it). The woman told me that the guy didn't know how to jump it and she did but she wouldn't correct him because she didn't want to step on his role as a man. Excuse my french but, WHAT THE HELL!??? She wasted so much time because she wasn't willing to speak up and get out of her "role". Grrrr....

So that has been my week. It's really hard.

But, I'M DONE WITH MY PAPER!!!!! NO MORE HOMEWORK UNTIL AUGUST!!!

8 comments:

Fawn said...

Visiting by way of POW...

The "Old Boys Club" lives on, hunh? Good luck to you finding ways to deal with it; it seems it will probably be an issue you will face continually on your chosen path. I'm glad for you that the week is over, and congratulations on being finished!

P.S. - It would be nice if you could open up your comments to allow people to post their own non-Blogger URLS. Even though I use WordPress, OpenID doesn't seem to work for me because I have my own domain name.

Cheers!

Dan said...

Pretty sad.

Maybe you can use these experiences to help teach your son and future students of the importance of love and mutual respect?

And you're right about these guys' joking being of the sort that might drive a non-believer away. Athletes and students both are taught that you will inevitably perform in the same way in which you practice - I think that can apply here too. What would you have to say to the Lord on the day of reckoning if He brought such an incident up?

Keep at it - He's got your back :)

Lee Jones said...

Hey Carrie. I know we already talked but I figured I'd comment anyway. I was surprised since I took a two-week class from the same prof last year. That class was very mixed though, and almost half women (and about half Asian!), so the prof spent the first 10 minutes talking about and Israel trip instead of joking about wives, and repent.

I expect better from this prof; he'd old enough and seasoned enough that he shouldn't tolerate seminary students belittling their wives (or husbands), let alone encourage it.

Some (most?) of these guys went from undergrad straight into seminary and rely on their wives to keep everything together. I know quite a few that were studying full time while their wives worked to put them through seminary. Such behavior is unacceptable, period, and I am amazed that no one has spoken up about it (yet?).

You're right, too, about love and honor. If a man is not going to honor his wife now when he is just in school, what hope will he have of honoring his wife when he is actually in ministry? God help the man who thinks so poorly of his wife. Isn't she a gift better than great riches, straight from the Lord?

If a man won't provide for his own family, he's "worse than an unbeliever," right? What about the man who won't honor and protect his own family?

*sigh* There's more, but I'll stop here. Hopefully, your fellow students and your professor will realize how poorly they are behaving, in the sight of God and their fellow Christians, toward their wives.

Lee Jones said...

One other thing... it's too bad that it so often feels like "men vs. women." It should be "men and women" in ministry instead of in ministry conflict.

Don Mills Diva said...

Just visiting via POW. I would have a really hard time with some of the atitudes expressed in that class. It sounds like a haven for people with sexist ideas...

Mamasphere said...

You're getting a pretty interesting behind-the-scenes view of what is a typically male education. "Old Boys Club" indeed.

I don't know how you hold your tongue in a class like that, with a prof like that. I'd have gotten kicked out long ago!

McMommy said...

Wow, Carrie. Part of me believes that maybe you are in that class for a reason....maybe you are going to be the one to show these guys the error of their ways!!!

Happy POW, my friend!

The White House said...

Hi Carrie, visiting through POW...

I am sorry that you have had such a bad experience. I am praying that you are able to encourage these men through a gentle and quiet spirit. I hope that they are able to follow Christ's command, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34