|Posted by God Loves Women on November 21, 2012 at 5:40 AM|
Yesterday was a heartbreaking one for many. Although I am not in an Anglican Church, I deeply feel the pain of women being yet again declared lesser. Throughout the discussions both before the vote and afterwards, one of the things I have found most sad was people saying, “never mind Women Bishops, what about the killing and atrocities in Gaza?” and “chill out everyone, it’s only the legislation that didn’t go through”.
And in those words, in those statements broken hearted people are undermined and the fight to see equality in all places is ignored. I am passionate about seeing women and men able to fulfil their calling, not as an isolated cause, not because I don’t see the full reality of suffering out there, not because I’m some poncy white person who doesn’t have anything better to do (I mean I am a white person, but I like to imagine I’m not poncy... ) I am passionate about seeing equality because the more unequal a society is, the more violence against women there is.
There is a direct correlation between there not being an equal number of men and women in positions of authority and the amount of violence against women in society.
“What?!” I hear you cry, “This cannot be so, clearly Mrs GLW, you are being overly dramatic.”
I am not being over dramatic. The foundations of violence against women are that of the ownership of women by men, and the entitlement of men over women. Wherever we see this dynamic worked out, we see violence against women in many forms. Whether it be FGM, rape, domestic abuse, bride burning, forced marriage, female infanticide, or the many other forms of abuse and oppression, it is primarily about ownership of women and entitlement over women.
Hear me correctly; I’m not saying all those against Women Bishops are directly abusive. I’m not saying they are all sexist people. But by apposing the full equality, in opportunity as well as in value of women and men, is to contribute to a patriarchal power structure, to contribute to the ownership of women and entitlement over women. I do not say this with any malice, or to be offensive, but as the reality that it is.
Then I hear people saying “there are much more important things than whether women get to be bishops” or see tweets that suggest we should “chill out” it breaks my heart. I constantly meet women from the Church who have been raped, abused and degraded, I met a woman this weekend who had looked down the barrel of her husband’s gun as he told her that she was about to die. This vote was about women like her, women like me, women across the world and throughout the UK who have or are experiencing abuse.
I’m not saying that having Women Bishops in and of itself will stop violence against women singlehandedly, but it will contribute. Just as the “Say no to page 3” campaign will and the legal system working well will and the charities working to support women continuing to be funded will, it takes all of us to do all we can if we are to see it ended.
Please don’t undermine people’s pain by saying there are more important battles, or that we should chill out, because this is part of a much bigger battle and every loss means there will continue to be women staring down the barrel of guns, being told they are about to die by the person who is supposed to love them the most.