At our church two weeks ago during a sermon, the pastor lost me. It wasn’t because he was expounding on a difficult theological concept. It was because he put his hand behind his head and moved his hand in the sign for talking too much. He conveyed his illustration of a different sermon point with the idea that women talk too much. I was so mad, I didn’t hear anything else he said.
Last weekend I was at my friend’s cabin with a bunch of women and there was a lot of talking. But beyond the normal range of catching up and visiting, a few of the women seemed to dominate the conversation. As in, they got started and would even talk OVER one another.
One night, all I could do was get in a smart aleck comment every so often because they
They wore me right out.
So is the pastor wrong?
Do women talk too much?
Some men talk a lot. That seems to be okay. Does it really matter if some women talk a lot?
Not all women talk a lot And because Christian culture has traditionally been repressive of women, it would be hard to err to far into letting women have a voice.
The pastor, because of his position, is presumed as an example of the viewpoint of his church. If he makes a sarcastic remark in his sermon, this is counted as the church’s position on women: they talk too much. How’s that for a first impression on a visitor? His comment was belittling and condescending to women. It may have been in jest, but he went too far when he made it about all women rather than making it specifically about one woman, ie. his wife (like that’s not a cliché that hasn’t been beaten into the ground — get some new material in that joke book, please.).
My weekend with my friends may have been a non-stop jabberflappy lip-fest, but we had a lot of catching up to do and a limited amount of time in which to do it. We had to talk fast to get it all in! And these chatty women don’t always talk that extensively. This get-away was a safe space to share freely about our lives and what’s been going on.
If that pastor’s opinion is that his wife talks too much, then he should take it up with her. He should not blanket an entire gender because of the traits of one person. And he certainly should not use the pulpit to put down women, who do so much for the church and the people in it. If he was trying to be funny, it was an epic fail. And it pains me to think that someone was visiting and went away thinking that was the church’s position towards women.
…unless that position was accurate, which would force me to become the women’s advocate at that church, because Christ never went out of his way to silence women. If anything, He was about including and validating women. The Church as a whole needs to get it together and acknowledge the vital role women already play. And then it needs to pass out new joke books to all the speaking pastors.
Alternate title: She’s a Freak…Yow!
It has been confirmed once again that I am the exception to the norm, that my brain doesn’t work in the similar patterns as the brains of other women, and that women today consistently share one common characteristic: worry.
Women worry about everything.
A woman worries if it is time to move her child to a front-facing car seat.
She worries about her husband’s safety on a work trip out of town.
She worries about the mole she noticed on her shoulder.
She worries about the comment she made at party last weekend.
These things are reasonable, when taken individually. Who doesn’t want to make the best decision about the health or safety of their family members? The thing that unites women is not just the fact that they worry about common things; it’s that they don’t just worry, they obsess.
Almost every woman I know mulls things over, and over and over, until a problem or decision that was fairly small gains unmerited importance and gravity. Will the house be ready when company comes over? Why did my co-worker make that suggestion yesterday and what did he mean by it? When my in-laws offer me a maid service as a birthday gift, what are they really saying?
The constant analysis and deconstruction of every detail of every interaction robs women of their confidence, their self-worth and their joy. Who has time to be joyful when there are so many bird-y things pecking at them all the time? If left unchecked, women’s worrying can make them stop trusting their instincts and put their worth in the hands of the people outside themselves. When allowed to grow, this shakiness can lead to chronic and sometimes debilitating anxiety.
I’m trying to discern why this is so commonplace. What messages are women given that leads them down this road? How can we keep this from being passed down to our daughters?
And how did it NOT get passed to me?
I’d love to hear your insights and experiences with worry and anxiety.