Saturday, August 30, 2008

Glass ceiling not fully shattering anytime soon


By now everybody is bouncing back from the shock of Sarah Palin being chosen as the Republican VP nominee. Relax. This post is not about who I'm voting for...or not. I know I have many readers on both sides of the aisle, and some of you no where near either aisle. (lol) I don't share from the pulpit or my blog who I think people should vote for - it's not appropriate, not to mention it's technically illegal! Quite honestly you just might be surprised at times were you to know how I vote!

It might shock some of you to know that I'm an admirer of BOTH Hillary Clinton AND Sarah Palin. (Okay, pick yourselves up off the floor...) I know what you're thinking. These two women believe COMPLETELY different things. You're right! I read a blog yesterday that said, "The only thing Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton share in common is that they have the same kind of genitals." Well, perhaps. I actually think they'd probably find a little more common ground than that, but here's where I'm going with this...although I might not agree 100% or even 10% with what a person stands for (their values) I can look beyond that to see the admirable qualities in a person. Just because I admire someone doesn't mean I'd vote for them.

I know she's not in the race anymore this year, but like her or not, you have to admit, Hillary Clinton is a sharp lady. She's a worker to the core -- you might not agree with everything she stands for, or even anything she stands for, but the fact is, she'll work to her dying day for what she believes in and with passion, and never give up. She embodies perseverance. I admire that in a person. I haven't known as much about Palin for very long, she has simply not been as prominent as Clinton. However I see many qualities in her that are admirable as well -- an equal passion for what she believes in, standing against corruption, cutting unnecessary spending, being willing to brave the storm that inevitably comes into one's life by not caving in to the "good old boy network". So now that I've told you that I admire things about both women, what the heck IS this post really about?

This post is about the questions people ask women that they would NEVER ask men. As soon as Palin was chosen as the VP pick, people rose up to question whether she should take this job, having 5 kids, one of them being a newborn baby. No kidding, I actually heard one pundit ask if she would have to bring the baby to the White House for meetings to nurse him, and if people thought that should be allowed!! I had to double over laughing on that one. (And yes, I breastfed my kids, and yes, I think it's a great thing.) It was my brilliant husband who shook his head at the stupid commenter as well and said, "you idiot, by the time she gets to the White House for meetings, if indeed she is elected VP, the baby will be at the age where he would be weaned before she's even sworn in." (I love my husband!)

Here's my thought...the glass ceiling is far from being shattered until we start asking MEN the same questions we ask women.

Do you think anyone in 21 years has ever asked my husband, "Pastor Shrodes, how do you manage to pastor the church while still having three kids in your home?"

Do you think in 21 years anyone has ever asked my husband, "Pastor Shrodes, how do you get everything done? How do you balance it all?"

Do you think in 21 years of pastoring, my husband has ever sat in an interview with a pulpit committee and heard, "Now Pastor Shrodes, you are after all, a husband and father. Do you think with that as a factor that you will be able to effectively do this job if indeed you are elected the pastor of this church?"

No, no, no. They have asked Pastor Shrodes, alright, but it's been THE WRONG Pastor Shrodes! LOL

John McCain has SEVEN (count 'em, 7!) kids and one still in the home. She was standing beside Cindy McCain yesterday at the VP announcement. Barack Obama still has two young daughters in the home. They were absolutely adorable the other night, talking into the microphone at the DNC, saying, "I love you, Daddy!" Why has nobody asked McCain how he will manage his large family, including his last child still in the home and do the job? Why hasn't anybody asked Obama how he will handle juggling the presidency and his two little girls at the same time? I realize they wouldn't ask Biden because to my knowledge, he has no kids in the home, so it's not applicable. Before you say, "well people haven't asked because their mothers are the ones raising them," I don't believe that. Both McCain and Obama seem like VERY involved fathers to me, from everything I've observed. (There you go, something I admire about both! But I can only vote for one.)

We will have shattered the glass ceiling when people are asking men the same questions they ask us.

Some of you might be ready to rattle off at your keyboard and comment or e-mail me with... "are you saying being a wife and mother aren't important?" and "don't you know motherhood is a high calling from God?" and "don't you believe in putting your kids before your job?" Answer to questions: no , yes, and yes.

I simply believe that all the same applies to my husband. Being a husband and father is important, isn't it? Being a husband and father is a high calling from God, isn't it? Being a husband and father comes before your job, doesn't it? So why aren't people asking the man the same questions?

It's obvious from some of the reading I've been doing that Todd Palin believes the way that my husband and quite a number of husbands today believe: parenting wasn't designed by God to be a one person responsibility. Single parenting is hard and most people aren't doing it by choice. God gave children a father and a mother for a reason. My husband and I believe God has given us our home and our children to lead as a team - together.

It's about a partnership. It's evident both Clinton and Palin have husbands who are partners. This is another thing I admire about both women, and something, ironically I have heard both criticized about!

Some of these questions about Palin's fitness to lead at this time come from women who strongly supported Hillary. Shame! Shame! Shame on you women!!! It's as if you forgot that Hillary ever had a child! She might be an empty nester now, but remember, she was raising Chelsea the majority of the years she was in the White House. And by all appearances it seems she and Bill raised her equally together. With all the bad you might have to say about the woman, give her this - she's a darn good mother who together with her husband raised a fine young lady. At least if you are going to criticize Sarah Palin, do it concerning her policies, not about whether she's going to nurse the baby or not, or whether she'll be able to keep the laundry done and still work on America's energy crisis. How ridiculous!!!

Ladies, ladies, ladies...let's not hold our sisters back or down by this type of rhetoric, whether we agree with their policies or not. Whether you are a Palin supporter or not, don't tear down what so many of our sisters -- and thankfully many of our right thinking and compassionate brothers --before us have worked so long and hard for.

No matter who gets elected this November, please keep in mind, the glass ceiling is not shattered until we stop asking women certain questions, or decide to ask men the same ones.

[Deanna...stepping away from soapbox now...gee, that felt good to get all that out. I feel better now. I can hear Leanne clapping all the way from Wisconsin and Tara all the way from Illinois! And yeah, I hear Patrick and Craig clapping too...gotta love those supportive men...lol]

13 comments:

Leanne said...

You heard right...although I'm sitting in my office about to get some work done, so technically you're hearing BOTH Tara and I clapping from Illinois...lol :o).

I agree 100% - although for a few laughs, go check out "Ladies Against Feminism" for their assessment of Sarah Palin's appointment. It would be funny if people didn't actually believe that way...

Deanna Shrodes said...

I just went there...started reading but it doesn't make me laugh...it makes me sick.

It's hard for me to laugh at things like that because I realize the damage it does. I wish I were to the point where you and many of my sisters are where I could read it and laugh and just let it roll off. I actually admire you for it.

Larry just leaned over to me and said, "stop reading that! click out of it! It just garbage and it gets you upset and you don't need it..."

I read 3/4 of the way down and couldn't take any more.

Lord, help me. I really do need to take your approach more, Leanne. I'm just not there yet.

Leanne said...

Honestly? If I didn't laugh at it, I'd cry - because I go to church with a lot of people who truly believe that way.

Laughter is not so much a sign of maturity as much as it is a defense mechanism in my case :o).

Deanna Shrodes said...

Wow. I'm sorry. Sorry that you say, "a lot." In the last few years of my ministry I've dealt with "a few" of those type of people in my church but not many. The "a lot" is part of my past. A painful one that I've moved beyond. Honestly, the "few" that have been here at my church were/are on the fringe, not in leadership. I don't know anybody who would stay in our leadership for very long who felt that way being that Larry and I lead everything together so strongly. It just wouldn't jive or they'd have a mental breakdown. lol (Because our style of leadership would never changed based upon their feelings. Therefore if people have issue with it, they just quit. )

I am sorry that you have to deal with it "a lot" at your church...I know how painful that is because I did deal with it previously and it was almost the death of me. Never again.

Love you, my friend... and I'll pray that your "lot" will become little to non-existent.

Angie said...

PD,
She was raised A/G....if you go to Wikepedia and to the Religion section it gives a brief description of the churches she has attended/attends.

Tara Sloan said...

I'm with you and about to post a similar post on my blog... you know what they say about great minds.... ")

Leanne said...

I find it kind of weird that families like that would say in a church like ours, too...with a co-pastoring team, a female children's pastor, and TONS of women in leadership! Not to mention a church that has children's and youth ministry...

My husband said, "They like the perks." They have their kids compete at Fine Arts; they get to participate in some really good worship; and they get to dress how they want with no pressure to put on the prairies dresses like they would at a more conservative church.

Whatever - it's not really a HUGE group of people...just a few very vocal families, lol! It's just way more of that attitude than I'm used to - I was actually one of the more conservative people I knew; now I feel like a raving liberal.

But we all know how I feel about labels and stereotypes, so...

Deanna Shrodes said...

Angie - yes, that's cool, huh? I thought to myself though, that although it is an honor for us to have a VP nominee among our ranks in the AG, hopefully it will not prove to be a difficulty for her to be associated with the AG. Not that I don't love the AG - it's just that some reporters are going to have a field day with some of our past weaknesses. (For example: they will point out, I'm sure that Palin is from the same denomination as certain fallen televangelists, yada yada yada...never mnid that there are over 10,000 of us credential holders that aren't doing that kind of behavior...) but you know how the media is.

Tara - can't wait to read it - going there in a sec...

Leanne - I have often thought the same thing in time past when pastoring another church and came to similar conclusions. One thing I would say for you to be aware of is that it's not only the type of people who are at your church (extremist/militant type homeschoolers, etc.) who can believe that way. Those who gave me some of the worst problems in the past were not those types. (Although I've definitely dealt with some of your type.) They come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds. lol It's not just your "prairie dress" (I laughed so hard on that one!) churches who believe that junk.

When I faced it in a previous church I wondered the same thing you did but then realized that among other reasons they stay also because...they have family in the church, they were there first (and think they will outlast you), the church is close to their home in some cases and they don't want to be inconvenienced to drive further, they don't like change and it's easier to stay and put up with the fact that you're on staff than make a switch to a new church that scares them, they are in leadership and will lose their leadership positions at your church and have to start on the "low end of the totem pole" at a new church, and the ever popular reason as you mentioned that there are programs at your church they can't get elsewhere so they stay just for that.

I do have them to thank for this...my husband and I came to be rock solid as a team and in what we believe due to some rocky waters with people like that. When you are faced with dealing with those kind of monsters you quickly have to figure out, "okay, who are we, and what do we believe?" if you don't already know it. I know you and Patrick have that figured out and you are a solid team. It seems like your pastors are too. You are blessed to have a unified, strong team. It will get you through the hard times, as it has me. Only Jesus and the power of your partnership is what pulls you through in some of the dark days of dealing with prejudicial monsters.

Love you my friend...

Tara Sloan said...

I just visited the Ladies Against Feminism site too and I had to leave before I wrote another blog post... ugh... I don't know what to say... some women are truly clueless!

Anonymous said...

We had a couple in our church that were convinced there was a "Jezebel" spirit at work in our church because of women in leadership positions in our church. My husband wants women on the church board. We have women on our board and he encourages women to take leadership roles.

This couple is no longer part of our church....

Deanna Shrodes said...

Yesterday my husband said, "why aren't those women taking their OWN advice? They need to stop spending their time creating and writing these blog posts and get back to their kids. After all, isn't that all they believe we are allowed to do in life? If they believe that's the only place they should spend their time then why the heck are they on their computers? Double mindedness. (oh that's right, the Bible says a double minded MAN is unstable in all his ways...maybe that's the way they get around that...they must not believe women can be doubleminded. Ha ha!) Ahhhhhh........I need to stop. I could go on...(sometimes I do - lol) Nutshell: you're right T, it's amazing there's anybody left on the planet that believes that way. But they do exist, alien-like as they are.)

Deanna Shrodes said...

Anonymous - ahhh yes, the jezebel spirit...I'm familiar with that one too. Amazing how people many people are really clueless as to what that truly is. One time I had a lady in the church who got flustered and she was talking about that and she said to me, "Pastor Deanna, I'm telling you, I'm telling you, there's an Isabelle spirit in our church!!!" (It was all I could do not to fall over laughing.)

Anyhoo, Michele who comments on my blog frequently (and has her own blog (An Adoptive Family's Life) is one of our board members. Many of our departmental leaders are women and of course Larry and I are full partners in leading the church. I have learned, as you have, anonymous, that usually when people believe as that couple believed, they will move on when they see the pastor is not changing their direction on the "no ceiling" principle in the church. Sometimes you have a few diehards that stick it out though, and those can be what sends you to the Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey or Fudge Brownie waaaayyyyy too much. (lol)

Melissa said...

PD - I agree with both of you and Tara on all of this. I am not sure what or where most of our people stand on women being in leadership. I do believe they are changing on it because of what I do along side my DH. Not like they have much of a choice right now..lol! I gave you and Tara a shout out on my blog!
See you soon!