Yesterday, after church, I had a conversation with Diane, our Director of Women's Ministries. She told me that she was looking for a conference speaker, but ugh... she was having a hard time with the "Women's Ministry" mold.
Diane told me that she was recently at a conference and the speaker-- God love her-- opened her talk with a product give away. She gave a book out to the first woman who made her bed before coming to the workshop. Another book was given to a woman who got all her domestic chores done before leaving her family for the day.
Diane was not amused. "Seriously, could you see that occurring the beginning of a men's conference?"
I explained that if prizes were given out that it would most likely be awarded for the man who left the toilet seat down.
Diane reacted, I think, because what so often passes for "women's ministry" is actually programs that gently perpetuate Victorian ideals regarding women. That proper God-fearing women would create their own universe, paralleled to the manly universe, but set apart. There, women could foster their creativity and ideals in a forum that didn't bother the men. This geography of this universe mostly consists of the home and a few women's gatherings.
Diane wondered if I knew of any speakers that happened to be women that wouldn't fall into that trap. I had an idea. I just finished reading Angry Conversations with God and knew that Susan was just the kind of speaker that would ignore those silly lines. She'd just tell her story and do her thing. Prizes would not be be awarded to the woman who got up at 5 AM baked home made muffins for the children before leaving for the day. Susan would appeal to creative people, whether they were stay-home or 9-5-ers.
I thought about sharing the book with Diane when the thought hit me, This whole Fundegelical Stepford Wives Boot Camp thing is warped, but darn it, you're a man and this pastel system of oppression could work to your advantage. Leave well enough alone.
But Jesus wouldn't have approved. And if my wife, Amy, found out that I asked Diane to brew me a pot of coffee instead of sharing the name, well... I bruise easily.