So why am I averse to women’s stuff?
-generally women’s events are Christianity “lite”. The theology is very very poor (if it is there at all). Any bible study is surfacey and generally takes a lot of verses way out of context. Many women are still under the delusion that women are not allow to think critically, and so what is presented is shallow and you are looked on with contempt if you try to change that.
- many women’s gatherings are focused only on emotions. There is nothing bad about emotions (and I think a lot of other settings would do well to include personal reaction times), but emotions are not all there are. I want theology, history, science, literature, philosophy. I want scholarship, tradition, and experience.
- women can be bitches, especially in the church. The gossip disguised as “prayer requests” is nauseating. The cliques, the fights over room assignments, blah blah blah… Not an environment I want to be a part of.
- most women’s stuff I’ve attended before focus on a woman’s relationship with her husband and her kids. Basically they are all about teaching women how to be pigeonholed into certain roles that the conservative church thinks they should be in. I don’t want to go be told how I can better submit, or how to pray for my husband and children, or or to be a more efficient housekeeper.
- these events often support stereotypes and cheezy faith. The promo stuff always has flowers on it. There are “spa” options. The worship stuff is so fake and performer oriented. A bunch of women talking about a male God and not really examining who we are as women. It is a place to rubber stamp contemporary christian culture.
- and there are those who think (my biggest issue/struggle) that women who think women must be separate from men to develop spiritually are just hurting themselves. This is something I really struggled with as I became involved with Emerging Women stuff (and for which I still get angry emails about). We do not want to create a separate but equal setting. Women should be fully involved in all types of regular church (emergent) activities. But I have come to realize that some women need the space to question and grow into equality. They need to be empowered by other women and encouraged where they are at. Sometimes this can only happen among other women. So are there issues with it all, of course, but I (obviously) have come to see its necessity.
Anyway - sorry for the superlong post/rant.
As for gathering for women who don’t identify as Christ followers. — I haven’t been to any other events, but I know there are things like the BlogHer gathering this summer (in Chicago) that may be similar. I know the upcoming Midwest Gathering while it will have a spiritual emphasis is open to all - atheists, “pagans”, liberal and conservative Christians… Its an experiment, but I hope we could all learn from, encourage, and empower each other.