I've been exploring the correlation between society and the church regarding women's perceived roles over time.
Before the first women’s movement, the secular worlds had influenced churches’ patriarchal biblical interpretation of female roles and worth (see my previous post). The women’s suffrage and abolition movements led to the breaking away from patriarchal tradition by a significant number of women and a number of men too.
The women who led the suffrage movement in the mid 1800’s were not of one mind when it came to religion and the bible. Many left traditional religion for the Quaker faith, and others for spiritualism. Still others, with their new-found confidence and inspired by strong women in the bible, remained in the Christian church, working for women’s rights, abolition, temperance, and compassion for the less fortunate.
Regardless of faith affiliations, experience in working in these movements empowered women
to think for themselves and to speak out.
The 19th amendment which guaranteed women’s right to vote finally passed in 1920, and the secular world began to change toward a more egalitarian view. Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, and Bella Abzug, spearheaded the second women’s movement in the 1960s and ’70s which touched on every area of women’s family, sexuality, and work.
They felt little need to discuss biblical views of women.
They felt little need to discuss biblical views of women. Their efforts moved society somewhat closer to egalitarianism, but not as far as they had hoped, and the Equal Rights Amendment has yet to be adopted.
As society’s attitude toward women began to change, so too did some Protestant churches, as they began to accept women as equally gifted. We'll get to that in next week's post
Do you have a divorce experience to share? Have you been shamed by a church because of your divorce? There are hurting people who need to hear your story, who need to know they are not alone, and who need to be encouraged. If you are interested in sharing your story, email Linda for guidelines: Linda@LindaMKurth.com
Linda M. Kurth is a writer and a divorced and remarried Christian. In going through the divorce, she experienced a dichotomy of responses from the Christian community. After sharing some of those experiences in her upcoming memoir, God, the Devil, and Divorce, she's heard many stories of divorced Christians who have struggled with the same issues. This blog invites divorced Christians to tell their stories with the goal of encouraging churches to resist condemnation and become a source of healing and grace.
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