A few weeks ago I wrote about the double standards that women leaders in the church face. Many of the women responded affirmatively to my comments that a woman’s appearance is scrutinized far more than her male colleagues.
This young female scientist, Emily Graslie, is conscious and vocal about the ways that this reality introduces anxiety into her work as an educator. In this brief video she reads actual comments that have been made about her on her YouTube channel. Too many of them ignore the words that she is saying for attention to everything else in ways that are unique to women educators.
She makes the point that it is easy to “dismiss” these as ridiculous internet trolls, unless the comments are about you. For her – and the analogy to my female clergy colleagues should be obvious – a cerebral recognition that the comments are juvenile and inappropriate does not prevent her from considering what is going to be said when she prepares that next piece.
When I write a blog post like this one, I too am keenly aware that a few people are going to have some negative things to say. I think about it. Sometimes I alter what I write because of it. But my concerns are about how people will critique my content, not whether people will think I’m sexually attractive. That allows my focus to be on ideas…a luxury that many women speakers, preachers, and teachers do not have.
She asks us to do something pretty simple: When someone critiques a woman based on her looks rather than her professional performance, name this behavior as sexist and turn the conversation back to her ideas.
Related Post: 4 Reasons Why Ordaining Women Is No Longer An Option
Click here to see all that I’ve written on women in ministry.
If you like what you have read on this blog, please follow via e-mail or Facebook at the bottom of this post or via RSS feed from my home page.