Women in Ministry from NC Conference of The UMC on Vimeo.
“I can’t concentrate on your sermon because you’re so pretty.”
“You do a really good job. But I think Scripture is more meaningful if read with a male voice.”
“I keep picturing you naked under your robe.”
For female ministers in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, comments like these are just part of the job.
Now a new video, produced by the conference and shown at its annual meeting last week (June 12-15), features male ministers reading aloud some of the most remarkable sexist comments, hoping to illustrate what female clergy contend with on a daily basis — both from male clergy and male congregants.
The United Methodist video follows one made by the North Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America last year titled “Seriously? Actual things said to female pastors in the NC Synod.” The North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church also used the tactic in a 2016 video titled “Her Truth.”
After the success of the Lutheran synod’s video last year, conference leaders first thought to show the Lutheran version. When they decided to produce their own and sent out an email to women ministers asking them to submit comments anonymously, the response was voluminous.
If the object was to make United Methodists uncomfortable with the sexism that female ministers routinely experience, it achieved that goal in the responses of male clergy who read the remarks. Many squirm and roll their eyes as they read out loud the words the women ministers submitted. (The female ministers did not read the comments themselves because it might betray and shame their congregants.)
“No. No, no, no!” begs one male minster. “A Methodist said this?”
“I guess they should wear Amish dresses all the way to the floor,” added another.
The United Methodist Church has allowed women to be ordained for more than 50 years and the first woman elected bishop was in 1980. But attitudes about women’s leadership have lagged, not only in the denomination, but also in the larger Christian world.
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Source: Religion News Service